title

Squaring the Strange

Pascual Romero and Ben Radford

14
Followers
88
Plays
Squaring the Strange
Squaring the Strange

Squaring the Strange

Pascual Romero and Ben Radford

14
Followers
88
Plays
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About Us

Not just another “skeptical” podcast, it’s a show about critical thinking and evidence-based analysis, using science and critical thinking to examine the world around us, from the mysterious and paranormal to the mundane.

Latest Episodes

Episode 103 - Mysterious Animal Deaths and the Great Elk Murder

First, we look into an outrage-inspiring headline about a woman arrested for being topless at her home. Then we dive into why dead animals have unnerved us throughout history. Hailed by Biblical prophecies as a portent of doom, or blamed on aliens, cryptids, Satanists, or (more realistically) corporate polluters, mysterious animal deaths have a long history in the library of the strange. We unravel a few cases, including the Great Elk Murder Conspiracy, in New Mexico, which Ben got to cover as it unfolded.

88 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Episode 103 - Mysterious Animal Deaths and the Great Elk Murder

Episode 102 - Alienstock, Joker Fears, Homicidal Dwarves, and the Ica Stones

First, in a longer-than-usual opening segment: Ben recounts his latest chupacabra-related TV appearance; AlienStock happened, or tried to; two unsettling clown movies open this weekend--one of them contains Ben; and we look at a story that mirrors the film Orphan. Finally, Ben tells us about the Ica Stones, a hoax wrapped in a riddle tucked into a little Peruvian museum. Are these little tchotchkes proof of aliens, or a Biblical young earth, or both? One man's obsession holds many skeptical lessons.

86 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Episode 102 - Alienstock, Joker Fears, Homicidal Dwarves, and the Ica Stones

Episode 101 - Vaccines with Dr. Hans House and Academic Snake Oil with Kenny Biddle

First up, Dr. Hans House schools us on infectious diseases, especially some little-known facets of ebola, measles and the flu. He explains public health efforts and how we can do our part to save lives. Then we chat with Kenny Biddle about his recent investigations into diploma mills and paranormal credential fakery. Ben shares a personal experience, which goes down some unexpected paths as he tells us the surprising discoveries he made while researching a college professor's background some years ago.

103 MINSEP 20
Comments
Episode 101 - Vaccines with Dr. Hans House and Academic Snake Oil with Kenny Biddle

Episode 100 - "Alienstock" and Numerology

It's our 100th episode! We begin with a discussion of "Alienstock," the planned alien-themed music festival being imposed upon Rachel, NV, in the coming weeks. Then for our main topic we look at numerology and the mystical-seeming quality of numbers from a few different angles involving Pythagoras, power chords, and ocean waves, as well as the arbitrary decoder-ring version of fortune-telling that is numerology today and how its applied to everything from client names to historical dates to the Bible.

83 MINSEP 6
Comments
Episode 100 - "Alienstock" and Numerology

Episode 99 - Movie Curses with Erik Kristopher Myers

Join us for a deep dive into some popular movies of the past few decades and their associated curses . . . some that are due to genuinely tragic or strangely coincidental circumstances, others that have been a bit cultivated by those wishing to market the movie or just tell a good yarn years after its release. Filmmaker and friend of the show Erik Kristopher Myers joins Ben and Celestia to look at several horror films and a couple of superhero movies that have been rumored to have curses attached to them.

90 MINAUG 23
Comments
Episode 99 - Movie Curses with Erik Kristopher Myers

Bonus Mini-Not-So-Mini-Episode!

This started off as a little bonus mini-episode (in between episodes 98 and 99) where we have a little roundtable about some frustrating patterns of thought we have spotted on social media and other types of public discourse; some have actual fallacy names, some don't necessarily have a label. Lo and behold, once we got chatting it turned into a regular length episode. Just a bit less formal. Hope you enjoy.

71 MINAUG 19
Comments
Bonus Mini-Not-So-Mini-Episode!

Episode 98 - Talking Bigfoot Conferences and the Skookum Cast with Matt Crowley

Ben and special guest Matt Crowley reminisce about their first encounter, at a Bigfoot conference in Idaho about a dozen years ago. We look at some cultural aspects of Bigfootery, and Matt walks us through his "I can't unsee this" moment involving the Skookum cast, which has been touted as the best piece of Bigfoot evidence since the Patterson-Gimlin film.

81 MINAUG 9
Comments
Episode 98 - Talking Bigfoot Conferences and the Skookum Cast with Matt Crowley

Episode 97 - The Dancing Coffins of Chase Vault

This episode is a walk-through of Ben's investigation into the facts, theories, and folklore of a mysterious burial vault on Barbados. Due to strange natural phenomenon, ghosts, or a curse, the dead are said to not be able to rest within its walls. In the 1800s, stories emerged of the vaults contents being strewn about, inexplicably, while it was sealed. There's a lot to unpack, and Ben takes us through explanations, supposed eye-witness accounts, and folkloric roots.

76 MINJUL 26
Comments
Episode 97 - The Dancing Coffins of Chase Vault

Episode 96 - Organ Theft Tales

Richard Saunders of The Skeptic Zone joins us to discuss organ theft tales! The notion of waking up one day missing a kidney has been a pernicious and persistent rumor; and notions of rich Westerners kidnapping children from developing countries to harvest their body parts still fuels xenophobic fear. Ben brings his folklore knowledge and we discuss some pop culture and news stories about the topic. We also look at medical limitations, and we examine how these theft legends differ from organ trafficking.

70 MINJUL 19
Comments
Episode 96 - Organ Theft Tales

Episode 95 - MLMania!

Ben and Celestia are joined by the SciBabe, Yvette d'Entremont, to discuss the scourge of MLMs (Multilevel Marketing) companies. These organizations, some of the bordering on pyramid schemes, have a long and storied history in America. Many target women, often seeming like a good option to stay-at-home mothers eager for income and independence. But the math doesn't tell such an optimistic story, nor does the trail of shamed failed distributors, online rants, and FTC prosecutions.

90 MINJUN 27
Comments
Episode 95 - MLMania!

Latest Episodes

Episode 103 - Mysterious Animal Deaths and the Great Elk Murder

First, we look into an outrage-inspiring headline about a woman arrested for being topless at her home. Then we dive into why dead animals have unnerved us throughout history. Hailed by Biblical prophecies as a portent of doom, or blamed on aliens, cryptids, Satanists, or (more realistically) corporate polluters, mysterious animal deaths have a long history in the library of the strange. We unravel a few cases, including the Great Elk Murder Conspiracy, in New Mexico, which Ben got to cover as it unfolded.

88 MIN1 d ago
Comments
Episode 103 - Mysterious Animal Deaths and the Great Elk Murder

Episode 102 - Alienstock, Joker Fears, Homicidal Dwarves, and the Ica Stones

First, in a longer-than-usual opening segment: Ben recounts his latest chupacabra-related TV appearance; AlienStock happened, or tried to; two unsettling clown movies open this weekend--one of them contains Ben; and we look at a story that mirrors the film Orphan. Finally, Ben tells us about the Ica Stones, a hoax wrapped in a riddle tucked into a little Peruvian museum. Are these little tchotchkes proof of aliens, or a Biblical young earth, or both? One man's obsession holds many skeptical lessons.

86 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Episode 102 - Alienstock, Joker Fears, Homicidal Dwarves, and the Ica Stones

Episode 101 - Vaccines with Dr. Hans House and Academic Snake Oil with Kenny Biddle

First up, Dr. Hans House schools us on infectious diseases, especially some little-known facets of ebola, measles and the flu. He explains public health efforts and how we can do our part to save lives. Then we chat with Kenny Biddle about his recent investigations into diploma mills and paranormal credential fakery. Ben shares a personal experience, which goes down some unexpected paths as he tells us the surprising discoveries he made while researching a college professor's background some years ago.

103 MINSEP 20
Comments
Episode 101 - Vaccines with Dr. Hans House and Academic Snake Oil with Kenny Biddle

Episode 100 - "Alienstock" and Numerology

It's our 100th episode! We begin with a discussion of "Alienstock," the planned alien-themed music festival being imposed upon Rachel, NV, in the coming weeks. Then for our main topic we look at numerology and the mystical-seeming quality of numbers from a few different angles involving Pythagoras, power chords, and ocean waves, as well as the arbitrary decoder-ring version of fortune-telling that is numerology today and how its applied to everything from client names to historical dates to the Bible.

83 MINSEP 6
Comments
Episode 100 - "Alienstock" and Numerology

Episode 99 - Movie Curses with Erik Kristopher Myers

Join us for a deep dive into some popular movies of the past few decades and their associated curses . . . some that are due to genuinely tragic or strangely coincidental circumstances, others that have been a bit cultivated by those wishing to market the movie or just tell a good yarn years after its release. Filmmaker and friend of the show Erik Kristopher Myers joins Ben and Celestia to look at several horror films and a couple of superhero movies that have been rumored to have curses attached to them.

90 MINAUG 23
Comments
Episode 99 - Movie Curses with Erik Kristopher Myers

Bonus Mini-Not-So-Mini-Episode!

This started off as a little bonus mini-episode (in between episodes 98 and 99) where we have a little roundtable about some frustrating patterns of thought we have spotted on social media and other types of public discourse; some have actual fallacy names, some don't necessarily have a label. Lo and behold, once we got chatting it turned into a regular length episode. Just a bit less formal. Hope you enjoy.

71 MINAUG 19
Comments
Bonus Mini-Not-So-Mini-Episode!

Episode 98 - Talking Bigfoot Conferences and the Skookum Cast with Matt Crowley

Ben and special guest Matt Crowley reminisce about their first encounter, at a Bigfoot conference in Idaho about a dozen years ago. We look at some cultural aspects of Bigfootery, and Matt walks us through his "I can't unsee this" moment involving the Skookum cast, which has been touted as the best piece of Bigfoot evidence since the Patterson-Gimlin film.

81 MINAUG 9
Comments
Episode 98 - Talking Bigfoot Conferences and the Skookum Cast with Matt Crowley

Episode 97 - The Dancing Coffins of Chase Vault

This episode is a walk-through of Ben's investigation into the facts, theories, and folklore of a mysterious burial vault on Barbados. Due to strange natural phenomenon, ghosts, or a curse, the dead are said to not be able to rest within its walls. In the 1800s, stories emerged of the vaults contents being strewn about, inexplicably, while it was sealed. There's a lot to unpack, and Ben takes us through explanations, supposed eye-witness accounts, and folkloric roots.

76 MINJUL 26
Comments
Episode 97 - The Dancing Coffins of Chase Vault

Episode 96 - Organ Theft Tales

Richard Saunders of The Skeptic Zone joins us to discuss organ theft tales! The notion of waking up one day missing a kidney has been a pernicious and persistent rumor; and notions of rich Westerners kidnapping children from developing countries to harvest their body parts still fuels xenophobic fear. Ben brings his folklore knowledge and we discuss some pop culture and news stories about the topic. We also look at medical limitations, and we examine how these theft legends differ from organ trafficking.

70 MINJUL 19
Comments
Episode 96 - Organ Theft Tales

Episode 95 - MLMania!

Ben and Celestia are joined by the SciBabe, Yvette d'Entremont, to discuss the scourge of MLMs (Multilevel Marketing) companies. These organizations, some of the bordering on pyramid schemes, have a long and storied history in America. Many target women, often seeming like a good option to stay-at-home mothers eager for income and independence. But the math doesn't tell such an optimistic story, nor does the trail of shamed failed distributors, online rants, and FTC prosecutions.

90 MINJUN 27
Comments
Episode 95 - MLMania!