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Update on Brian Dunning

by skepticblog, Apr 21 2013

As has already been made public, Brian Dunning is currently involved in legal proceedings involving the charge of wire fraud. While we all take this situation very seriously, not all the facts of the case will be made public until after the court case is completed later this year. Only at that time will we be able to fully review the case and its implications. After lengthy discussion with Brian we mutually agreed that he would suspend his contributions to Skepticblog until after the case is completed.

For those who are interested, while Brian is not at liberty to discuss the details of the case, he was allowed to post this partial explanation for now.

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Anatomy of a Musical: Take 2

by Brian Dunning, Apr 08 2011

Two weeks ago I gave my perspective on the production of Skeptoid #250, The History of Knowledge; which wasn’t perhaps the most insightful because I’m not a musician. I was just the dude standing behind the microphone trying to do what he was told. Some of the comments on the web transcript of the episode were asking for more information about some of the dozen tracks specifically, and so Peter Zachos, who composed and produced the piece, answered. Here are Peter’s remarks, which should interest the musically inclined among you, with [my comments]:

Some people have expressed interest in the behind-the-scenes production of “The History Of Knowledge”.  I’m happy to shed some light on how it was done.  I work primarily in Pro Tools, using an extensive library of sounds and plug-ins to produce each genre of music.  I work out of my studio, ClickClack, in Culver City.  This is where we recorded Brian’s vocals, as well as all the guitars and backup vocals.

I’ll go through each track and briefly describe the process: Continue reading…

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200 Skeptoids

by Brian Dunning, Apr 08 2010

This week marked the 200th episode of my podcast Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena.

Skeptoid has a long-standing tradition of making every 50th episode a lavish musical production. This tradition began last year at episode 150, which established the lavish musical employing a host of talented professionals; and crumbled all to hell this week at episode 200, when I applied my own unassisted imbecility toward the construction of a musical piece. The result is a parody of marketing efforts from purveyors of pseudoscience in the form of a song entitled Buy It!

–>> Click here to listen now (3 minutes) <<–

Being an experienced non-musician, and quite impressively talented on no musical instruments, I elected to make this piece an a cappella. This allowed me to leverage my deep gifts for not singing. Critics have already praised the performance as one of the great voices made for blogging. Continue reading…

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Promoting Science with Web Video

by Brian Dunning, Dec 31 2009

infact150As some of you may know, earlier this year I made three pilot episodes of a new web video series called inFact. The idea was to take the content from Skeptoid and repackage it for delivery to a much broader audience. If you’re wondering what the heck brand of paint I was sniffing to imagine I might have time in my schedule to make a weekly video series, you are on the right track. Of course I don’t have time, and don’t expect to find it any time soon. Video takes an order of magnitude more time and money to produce than an audio-only podcast like Skeptoid.

Therefore, the only way to produce inFact is to take time away from my regular professional career as a consulting computer scientist. This is the kind of career change that I’m looking to make anyway, to become of a full-time science journalist and skeptical outreach professional. But being the family breadwinner, I can only make such a change when there is sufficient money in the game. Continue reading…

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Vote for Skeptoid in the Podcast Awards

by Brian Dunning, Nov 19 2009

I’m excited to announce that Skeptoid has made it to the final round of the annual Podcast Awards for 2010! The real voting starts now.

As you may know, Skeptoid has been my labor of love for over three years. Unlike most other nominated podcasts, I do it almost entirely on my own: I have no co-hosts, producers, company, or sponsors behind me, like most. So I make my pitch that (if you like Skeptoid) it deserves your vote through all my hard work, even if there are other shows also nominated that you also like. Continue reading…

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The Semi-Great Twitter Experiment

by Brian Dunning, Sep 17 2009

I stand before you today to confess perhaps my greatest clusterfuck of the year: the Skeptoid Twitter Experiment, which rendered your Twitter account nearly useless on September 14 and 15, if you follow me or anyone else who follows me.

I have an upcoming Skeptoid podcast episode for which I want to include some informal survey data (it was episode 173 on Astrology). I’ve also been thinking a lot about Twitter for its potential to virally spread information. So I thought it would be a clever idea to combine my survey with Twitter, which (I thought) would be a lot of fun for everyone and would accomplish two goals: Continue reading…

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Breaking News: Brian Dunning Acknowledges FEMA Prison Camps

by Brian Dunning, Sep 03 2009

A Google Alert recently brought my attention to the fact that I had, somehow and without my knowledge, suddenly joined the ranks of conspiracy theorists who believe that FEMA is building concentration camps throughout the United States to inter and kill law-abiding citizens. I wondered if perhaps I’d been mixing my Bloody Marys a bit strong. But then I noticed what site the article was on: PrisonPlanet.com, run by Alex Jones. Alex didn’t personally write the article – he was out running around with his strait jacket flapping half open, cackling like a banshee, pursued on foot by guys in white suits – it was written by Chuck Baldwin.

If you don’t know him, Chuck Baldwin is one of the more legitimate faces of the “Government is out to kill us all” conspiracy theorist crowd. Chuck was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the hardcore conservative Guns-n-Bibles Constitution Party. Chuck wrote: Continue reading…

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Not Skeptical Enough

by Brian Dunning, Jun 11 2009

So now to follow up on last week’s post about this alleged TV show that Michael Shermer and I were allegedly “guests” on. I was supposed to be the host and was giving some tests to three psychics, one of which turned out to be a character (“Shirley Ghostman”) of a UK comic named Marc Wootton, but of course I didn’t know that. For his final bit of zaniness, he channeled the spirit of actor Lee Majors who told of the afterlife (Lee Majors is not dead).

Later in the show, after “Shirley” had been “thrown out and escorted from the grounds” (so I believed), Michael and I were having our discussion, on camera, about my findings with the psychics. Suddenly the studio doors slammed open, and in ran Shirley, pushing a cart holding a bodybag! I knew that Shirley was unbalanced and belligerent, so I stood the hell back and expected that security was going to tackle him and get him out of there. No such thing happened. In fact, the film crew hardly reacted at all. Michael had not had my previous experience with Shirley, so he stepped up cheerfully and asked to see what was in the bag. After some tussling, they got it open, and there’s some guy with a desk calculator or something taped to his chest, and another to his arm: The Six Million Dollar Man. Shirley was right: Lee Majors had died, and here was the body to prove it. Continue reading…

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Win 2 Free Tickets to the
Skeptoid 150th Episode Party

by Brian Dunning, Mar 12 2009

What’s better than the Skeptoid 150th Episode Party on April 18, 2009 in Irvine, CA, with a live mentalism performance by Mark Edward, special guests Yau-Man Chan and Ryan Johnson, a live Skeptoid presentation, a formal catered dinner and drinks, live music and entertainment, and the unveiling of the mysterious Secret Project from the Skeptoid skunkworks?

Why, getting to experience it all for FREE, of course! Continue reading…

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The Top UFO Debunker? Really?

by Brian Dunning, Dec 18 2008

I’m not sure why Stanton Friedman selected me as the subject of his writings these past couple of weeks.

I’m certainly not the first, or even the most articulate, to challenge his mission of promoting belief in alien visitation. Writing about Roswell last year, I referred to him as an obsessed UFO wacko, but he’s been called worse by others. Anyway he called me petty, ignorant, cavalier, lazy, biased, and an anti-UFO fanatic, so I guess we’re…even? Continue reading…

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