Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alien cruise ship responsible for Bolingbrook blackouts

By Reporter X

Sources at Clow UFO Base say a new pleasure cruise spaceship is causing blackouts at the intersection of Boughton RD and Sunshine DR.

“When it kicks in its secondary anti-gravity drive, the magnetic field knocks out the power.” Said a source who asked not to be named. “We have to use the same flight path to minimize the damage to the Bolingbrook power grid.”

All the sources say they feel sorry for the residents who live by the intersection, and they’re trying to resolve the problem. The craft has departed from Clow four times since August, and each time it has caused a blackout that has lasted at least 10 hours.

Some residents say apologies aren’t enough.

“What about my spoiled ice cream and fruit?” Said a resident who asked to be identified as Bob. “I had to cancel a hot date, I mean a hot meal because of a power outage. When I asked to speak with the Department of Interstellar Affairs, the receptionist laughed and hung up.”

A woman who asked to be called Joan, said she was harassed following her complaint.

“ComEd told me to call back at 2 AM. When I called at 2 AM, the customer service representative said no one calls at that hour, and I was interrupting his World of Warcraft game! That man had some nerve!”

Joan said she started yelling at the man, when she heard a knock at the door. According to Joan, she looked outside and saw two Men In Blue standing on her porch. She didn’t open door, but she heard them say that if she complained to anyone else, they would give her the memory altering kiss.

“So I’m telling you guys, because I heard that the Men In Blue don’t bother people who speak to The Babbler.”

Other sources at Clow say the ship, the JeWago, is being used by skeptical travel agency, SkepTours, to take human skeptics to Gliese 581g.

“The residents of Gliese don’t like humans looking at their solar system.” Said a source. “So these cruises are a way of introducing ourselves, and helping their tourism industry. Personally, I think the planet is a tourist trap. I prefer planets that have night and day on all sides.”

When asked to comment, Mayor Roger Claar assured this reporter that the power outages would be taken care of.

“I’ve spoken to the cruise line and explained that if they don’t fix their ship, they’ll have to pay to fix our electrical grid.” Said Claar. “I consider this a very serious issue! If this isn’t resolved, those residents could decide to vote for Bonnie, and that would be a disaster for the village!”

When this reporter attempted to contact SkepTours, a receptionist replied, “If any Bolingbrook residents believe that their power outages were caused by an alien spacecraft, they should contact the James Randi Educational Foundation. They can apply for their million dollar prize, and that should be more than enough to compensate for any damages this alleged UFO caused.”

Also in The Babbler:

Cutler: I thought I was playing for the Redskins!
Lisle trees feud with Downers Grove trees over who has the best leaves!
Bolingbrook: No zombie uprising this Halloween!
God to smite Bolingbrook on 10/30/10.

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anti-psychic Kitty: Always be critical!

Note: Due to a legal settlement with the James Randi Educational Foundation, we are required to give occasional column space to Anti-psychic Kitty, the most skeptical creature on Earth. The views expressed in this column do not reflect the views of The Babbler.

Some times, a skeptic like myself needs to take a break from The JREF web site, and Indie Skeptics, and visit a public forum. Because it is important to interact with the “general public.” So this week I decided to check out Topix.

Topix is supposed to be a web page that collects news articles from around the web about a community. The service is OK, but the forums are something else. Their Bolingbrook forum seems to be divided between people who insult Bonnie Kurowski-Alicea and people who make insinuations about Mayor Roger Claar. It’s kind of like a human hissing match.

Now I don’t care for local politics since I can’t vote, but this post from Mr. Washington caught my attention:

Tell me Joe, do you believe what your parents or guardians have told you over the years? Do you believe what your Preacher has to say? Did you believe what your teachers told you? Or do you not trust these people that have/had your best interests in mind?

Bonnie has or best interests in mind and some of us feel no need to question her actions.

As a pet, I do understand the sentiment. I am dependent on humans for my food and water. As a skeptic, however, I feel that this post is very flawed. It relies on the argument from authority fallacy.

Now, as The Skeptics Guide to Universe points out, you should consider a person’s expertise, and the consensus of scientific community does hold considerable weight. Still, an individual can be wrong, even if they are an expert. Having a degree does not automatically make everything you say correct.

It is true that Kurowski-Alicea may have the best interest of Bolingbrook in mind. However, that does not mean everything she says will be correct. She could make a mistake, or her ideas for what is best for the community may not match what the community wants.

The same goes for Mayor Claar. He completed his PhD and has over twenty years of experience as mayor. Yet The Brook Report is filled with articles criticizing his policies. Even though I’m sure he feels that he has the best interest of Bolingbrook in mind, he still has critics, and those critics feel that they have the best interests of Bolingbrook in mind.

Now I don’t care who you vote for in next year’s trustee election. I just urge all the good residents to critically examine all the claims of the candidates. Even if they say the things you want to hear, they may not be right for Bolingbrook. Because it is your tax money that they’ll be spending, and your safety and your services that they’ll be administering. You need to be as critical as possible. If any one of these candidates says to blindly trust them, hiss at them. Oops. I mean climb the nearest tree. Oops.  I mean run away as fast as you can.

Just remember, in the Internet forum of life, there’s only one post that won’t get you flamed: IMSOCUTE!

Also in The Babbler:

Bears players blame pink towels for loss
Source: Weekly World News faked Michy capture
Cats to hold convention in Lisle
God to Smite Bolingbrook on 10/21/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicago Skeptics fail to capture Missy

Chicago Skeptics chase Missy, Lake Michigan's lake monster
Eyewitnesses claim that the Chicago Skeptics failed to capture the Lake Michigian monster Missy after a one hour chase along the North shore.

“When I saw Missy’s head, I wasn’t worried.” Said Paul, who asked that we not use his last name. “Then I saw this speed boat charging at her. That’s unusual become most of us either ignore her, or run away.”

David, who also asked that we not use his last name, claimed that witnessed the chase from his Jet Ski. “Missy was swimming faster than usual. I was wondering why when this white boat charged at her. It had the name, ‘Skeptiboat’ and there were a punch of people on it. One guy had a lasso, and there was a woman holding on to his belt. Another guy was videotaping the whole thing. I don’t know why they were hunting Missy. Everyone normally ignores her. She’s kind of a lame lake monster if you ask me.”

Donna, who insisted that we not use her name, also witnessed the chase from a beach. “I saw her head streaking across the water, and the black speed boat was following her. A few seconds, she dove underwater. The boat started circling. I was about to go back to sunbathing, when this sub was flung out of the water and crash landed a few feet next to me.”

According to Donna, a man and a woman climbed out of the sub. She heard the man yell into his cell phone, “What do you mean I’m not eligible for the million dollar prize. I’ve got footage of the Lake Michigan Monster!”

The woman walked up to Donna and apologized for having the “Skeptisub” crash so close to her. The woman explained that they were trying to help their friend, Dr. Pamela Gay. She was recently selected to be the cohost of The Skeptologists, but the show doesn’t have a network. The Chicago Skeptics, according to her, thought if they captured Missy, they could give The Skeptologists exclusive rights to the video. They could then use the video to negoiate a series deal.

According to Donna, the woman explained, "If we prove the existence of this monster, a network will give them a program to disprove all other monsters!"

After the conversation, the Chicago Skeptics attached a chain from the boat to the sub and dragged the sub back into the lake. By the time the Chicago police arrived, the skeptics were long gone.

When called, Dr. Jen, head of Chicago Skeptics, denied that they tried to capture Missy.

“I've never heard of Missy. We are, however, sponsoring a speech by famous skeptic Jeff Wagg about the myths and mysteries of Lake Michigan. He’ll be speaking at The Black Rock on 10/16/10 at 12:30 PM. Oooh! Be quiet. A man is trying to win the million dollar prize by teaching my cat a trick!”

In the background, a man said, “Look at the spider! Look at the spider! Good girl! Wait for it. Wait for it!” He paused for a few seconds. “Attack the spider!” He yelled.

The cat yowled and the man screamed in pain.

“I’m not a spider!”

Also in The Babbler:

Bonnie promises not to call Mayor Claar a corrupt stooge of space aliens
Giant walking bacteria spotted in the South Side
Orland Park to offer incentives for private space port
God to smite Bolingbrook on 10/15/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Will County judge dismisses Skepticality ‘out of body’ harassment lawsuit

Do these two have the power of psychic projection?
A Will County judge dismissed a lawsuit against the hosts of “Skepticality” accusing them of “harassment by out of body projection.”

The potentially groundbreaking lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that the podcast hosts weren’t physically served papers.

“Even if these alleged projections are real, placing papers on a night stand for them to see does not meet the legal requirement for serving notice to the defendants.”

Skepticality, a skeptical podcast founded in 2005, is hosted by Derek Colanduno and Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy. The hosts are critical of paranormal claims, and have built their careers promoting “critical thinking.”

Which makes the anonymous plaintiffs' claims especially surprising. The married couple filing the suit claims to be former skeptics who had a sudden change of heart.

The wife said the visits started in 2009. According to court records, she said woke up early in the morning and Colanduno was standing by the end of the bed. She said he started angrily speaking backwards, then vanished. Colanduno, according to her, would reappear every other night. He would say “nonsensical phrases” and then vanish.

About a month later, McCarthy started to appear before the husband. According to him, McCarthy would start off by saying, “Hi, I’m Swoopy! Why won’t you come to Dragon*con?” Then she would say “a bunch of gibberish” in an angry tone.

The couple believes that the Skepticality hosts found out they they couldn’t afford to attend the Atlanta based science fiction convention. The hosts also help organize a series of presentations call “The Skeptic Track” at Dragon*con. Because the couple didn’t attend, the couple believes the hosts, “used their secret psychic powers of projection to harass the couple into attending the next Dragon*con.”

The couple had sought over a million dollars in damages for “lost sleep, martial distress and the pain and suffering caused by the loss of their belief in skepticism.”

When asked to comment, McCarthy denied any knowledge of the lawsuit or any hearing.

“It sounds like this couple is suffering from sleep paralysis.” Said McCarthy. “It’s what most so-called alien abductions are. In this case, the wife started dreaming about Derek, and then the husband started dreaming about me. That’s assuming this is a real story.”

During the phone interview, Colanduno walked into the room, and asked who she was talking to. When she replied it was The Babbler, Colanduno asked to speak with this reporter.

Elyse told me about you guys!” Yelled Colanduno. “I will make sure that “What’s the Harm” will devote an entire page to your nonsense.”

McCarthy cleared her throat.

“Now?” Asked Colanduno.

“I didn’t get a chance to, and this will be on the Internet.”

Colanduno sighed, and then said, “You guys could use some education. Why don’t you go to Audible.com and download some audiobooks. In fact, we’ll soon have a special offer where you can pre-order The Skeptic Society’s Michael Shermer’s upcoming book, ‘Free Minds, Free Markets, Free Beer!’”

Colanduno coughed and then continued.

“And as a bonus, you’ll also get a free copy of Shermer’s ‘The Skeptic’s Guide to Meeting Women!’”

McCarthy sneezed.

Continued Colanduno , “So don’t even think of hugging me, even though I'm vaccinated! Is that all of our sponsors?”

“Yep. For this week.” Replied Swoopy.

Also in The Babbler:

Thirty foot tall pit bull spotted in Delavan, WI.
Bears denying cloning Jim McMahn
Sources: Bonnie also considering running for mayor of Chicago
God to smite Bolingbrook on 10/6/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.