Give us a wave, Bownessie!


2014 bownessie full picture
A view of the original photo (screen capped)

It’s 2014, and after an absence from the media of quite some time, the Bownessie lake monster has made headlines once more. Mr Matt Benefield got in touch with the West Morland Gazette to say he thought he might have captured the mysterious beast in a photograph he took when walking in Windermere on January 12th. Continue reading Give us a wave, Bownessie!

‘I know what I saw’: a lesson in diplomacy

When I deliver talks to younger audiences my talks tend to focus on two ‘rules’.

1 – What we see isn’t always what is there;
2 – What we remember isn’t always what happened;

Our perception of things around us is often flawed for numerous reasons – we are pattern seeking creatures who see meaning where there is none. That meaning might be animals in clouds, knocking noises that seem to respond to questions you ask in a haunted house, or a picture frame falling off of the wall as you think about your deceased father. It might be a translucent figure in a photograph taken while on holiday, or it might be voice-like sounds on your Dictaphone when you heard none at the time of recording. Continue reading ‘I know what I saw’: a lesson in diplomacy

Religious Healing Claims not exempt from CAP Codes

Today the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised via their website that claims of Religious and Spiritual Healing are not exempt from being found to breach CAP Codes stating ‘Rule 12.2 prohibits marketers from discouraging essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.  They should not offer specific advice on, diagnosis of or treatment for such conditions unless that advice, diagnosis or treatment is conducted under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional.’ 

They cited specific claims that would be in breach of CAP codes with examples of times such claims had been made by religious organisations and also used as an example my successful complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about the claims being made by the ‘Healing on the Streets’ organisation in Bath who claimed that their god could heal everything from colds and broken bones to HIV and crippling disease. Continue reading Religious Healing Claims not exempt from CAP Codes

A conversation about Sasquatch

How can a person know a sound they hear is a Sasquatch if they cannot see the alleged Sasquatch, and if it isn’t on verifiable  record what a Sasquatch sounds like? That is the question I asked Matt Moneymaker on Twitter that led to him telling me I wasn’t old enough to understand and should go an ask my parents. His reasoning was that many adults had asked him the same and had no problem accepting the answer that he knew because he’d heard Sasquatch before.

You can view the tweets from Matt on Storify here.
Continue reading A conversation about Sasquatch