Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Mercury Meltdown! Logic in retrograde...

So Mercury is in retrograde right now...wait...you didn't know? Are you telling me you haven't noticed how SHIT you're life has been over the past month? You missed a bus today. Your boss was slightly grumpy last  week. And you didn't win the Lotto.See the pattern? That's because relative to Earth right now Mercury is moving backwards in the sky. That must significant somehow, Right?

These guys are certainly worried about it.

 They aren't alone the internet is full of dire warnings of the effect of Mercury retrograde. Sleep deprivation, technology malfunction, don't start a relationship, don't have repairs done... the warnings come thick and fast... mostly thick.

So what's the truth? All planets appear in retrograde at some point, Mercury just does it more often.This reversal in direction is simply a factor of two planets relative motion around the Sun. It's an effect of perspective, that's all. You can read more about the actual science of the retrograde here. Ancient astronomers struggled with this, it took the realisation of Copernicus and Galileo that the Earth orbits the Sun and not vice versa to dispell this ignorance. Unfortunately, no one filled in the astrologers and psychics, they still find this retrograde motion mysterious, challenging even.

The Huffington Post issues a dire warning regarding one of the 2013 Mercury retrogrades entitled "10 things not to do during a mercury retrograde":
"Keep in mind that astrology is based on a simple understanding that all the planets in the sky exert their own unique influence on each of us, and the world we live in.... Under this planetary influence (which occurs three times this year), communications of all types go "haywire!" You'll experience misunderstandings and communication failures in such great abundance that you'll look up at the sky and stars and say, "What the hell is going on?" The answer is: Mercury is in Retrograde."
 Except, no one has ever been able to even cite a mechanism by which the planets' movement can affect human behaviour. Astrology.com suggests that the planets influences on us are, in some way, due to gravitational force:
Gravity is simply too weak a force to do so, to exemplify this consider that the gravitational force exerted on you by your nearby coffee table is far greater than that of Mercury. Not only is gravity an extremely weak force, consider that when you lift a fallen orange from the ground you are overcoming the gravitational force exerted by an entire planet, but it's an inverse square law.  This means it weakens by the square of the increase in separation.

Let's look at the mutual gravitational force between you and Mercury compared to the gravitational force between yourself and a passing family car, say a Ford Focus.

Using Newton's law of gravitational force, we can compare the mutual gravity between Mercury and you.

Where Fg is the force in Newtons, G is Newton's gravitational constant, M  is Mercury's mass and m is your mass, with r representing the average distance between yourself and Mercury.

Hmm... pretty small, it's hard to see how fluctuations in that force could, for example, alter your emotions. Let's see how the force caused by the passing Ford Focus compares, let's say the car is around 2 m from you.

As you can see, the car exerts a gravitational force almost a full order of magnitude greater than Mercury. Can you imagine a system of belief that insists that because a Ford Focus did a u-turn in front of your house, you were in for a shitty week, or should expect major arguments with your partner, or you'll contract fuckin' norovirus? It would be nonsense.  And that's an actual change in motion, not an illusion created by relative motion!

"Please don't move that coffee table, John, it's gravitational effect on us will throw our lives in TURMOIL!"

So how can so many people experience turmoil during Mercury retrograde, if there's nothing to it? What we have here is ad-hoc reasoning, a person is told Mercury is in retrograde, is also told this can have a negative effect and then goes back selecting all the bad things that happened to them over the past week, forgetting the positive things that also happened, and neglecting to consider the times similar things have happened to them and others when Mercury WASN'T in retrograde. This form of confirmation bias is also responsible for the belief that a full moon can also affect behaviour,

Eccentric Fails To Consider Eccentricity

I came across more Mercury madness when I was recently informed via my twitter feed that there was an important article had I JUST had to read. As this recommendation came from Graham Hancock, a British writer whose work is probably best described as pseudo-archelogy, I suspected that what he calls "important" I may define as "mad as a wasp in an envelope." I was not disappointed.

Introducing "the secret of the long count" by John Martineau, an author and publisher of "new age" astronomy books such as The Little Book of Coincidence in the solar system" Wooden Books), let us allow John describe his theory:

"This is the story of a quite extraordinary synthesis in the history of archaoastronomy, as the bare bones of an advanced astronomical system are revealed for the first time in a thousand years. It is also the story of two numbers that underpin life on Earth and shape our local reality. And finally it is the story of three non-academic scientists and their quest to tackle some of the most enigmatic questions of our times."
Hmmm... by "non-academic scientists" do you mean unqualified scientists? Hey Rountree, you're missing a trick here. Maybe you should start calling yourself a "non-academic quantum physicist"
Anyway John continues:
"For the last 20 years, in my spare time, I have been studying the geometry and harmony of the solar system, with particular focus on the way that the inner planets, Venus and Mercury, relate to the Earth. In 1993 I published an observation concerning the orbits and sizes of Earth and Mercury, which had struck me as somewhat eerie. Here is a picture. What I had discovered was that a pentagram produces Mercury’s mean orbit from Earth’s, and that the same proportion relates the physical sizes of the two planets, really quite accurately (see my book for exact figures)."
Lovely fudging here: John tells us how brilliant he is, but declines to provide even the slightest in the way of evidence. He says we need to buy his book for the "exact figures" fair enough... how about any figures? Worry not though. We don't need to do the maths to spot the flaw in John's pattern spotting. Much of the theory seems to depend on the fact the Earth's orbit and Mercury's form a perfect pentagram, which is... err... magic... cause...it just is ok.

 Let's take a look at this picture John offers us:

Now what I'm about to do seems picky, but John has implied a strong level of accuracy here. Can you spot the immediate problem with John's diagram and any further conclusions upon which it is based?

John presents Earth and mercury's orbits as circular, planetary orbits are elliptical, not circular, the variation from a perfect circle being known as an Eccentricity, measured from 0 (perfect circle) to 1 (flattened). The eccentricity of Earth's orbit is 0.0167 on average at present. No big deal here. It's pretty much circular. The eccentricity of Mercury's orbit is far greater, at 0,229. Quite far from a perfect circle. Another inaccuracy is the placement of the Sun at the Mercury/Earth system's centre. Stars are not at the centre of their planet's orbits, as very simple diagrams of the solar system suggest. They occupy one of the foci on the semimajor axis of a planets orbit, denoted by F' and F in the following diagram taken from Kepler Observatories.

The greater the eccentricity of the planet's orbit, hence the more elliptical it is, the further the Sun is from the centre of that orbit (technically it's the centre of mass of the sun planet system, but the sun's mass is so much greater than that of Earth of Mercury that the mutual centre of mass is close enough to the sun to ignore in principle).

Here are the focal points in Earth's orbit. You can see that the centre of mass of the Sun/Earth system is quite close to the actual centre of the orbit. As the diameter of Earth's orbit is very large (roughly 300,000,000 km), even this small veriation  from centre results in a massive distance, approximately 2500000 km in fact.

Now the focal point in Mercury's orbit. As you'll see the Sun here is considerably far from the centre of the orbit.

Let's see how that roughly looks when put together.

Let's see how John's pentagram looks now in a more accurate picture of Earth and Mercury's orbit. As you'll see the alleged patternicity disappears. The central points no longer touch Mercury's orbit and the Sun is far from dead centre.

The two planets orbits are not concentric circles. Now if you're thinking "well it's still close" remember, John described the high accuracy of his calculations. Also, this kind of patternicity depends on blurring the edges. When we eliminate that fudging, the alleged patterns evaporate.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Blame Game.

A couple of posts ago I inducted Central Texas Paranormal into the Rational Paranormal Hall Of Shame, for using a ghost application to fake the following image:

Not only did Paul Coffey, the team's founder, resident psychic, and, for all I can tell, sole member, try to pass this off as an actual ghost photo, he had the audacity to engage in some special pleading by claiming his "gift" of spirit communication allowed him to confirm the pictures authenticity.
When I published Paul's fakery on my FB page, The Rational Paranormal, one of it's patrons, Mark decided to take the above image and confront him directly. That's a move I totally welcomed, and would ordinarily do myself, in my mind this would give him the opportunity to hold his hands up and to admit his error, apologize and move on. Instead of doing this, Paul deleted the offending post and issued the following, quite bizarre comment.

First off, calling out some one's fakery isn't "nasty" it's honesty. What I did by exposing Paul on my page, and likely what Mark did in sharing this to Central Texas Paranormal was motivated by compassion and concern for the people being deliberately misled. I don't like liars, I think people deserve the truth, whether they accept that truth is purely down to them. But I'd stand for allowing them to make that choice. As for my page "not having anything paranormal to show" frankly that's because I don't legitimately believe I've ever come across anything paranormal to share. If I ever did, I sure as hell would. I'd never resort to fakery though.

A friend asked me recently, what I'd do if I ever had a "ghost" encounter myself, how would my blog and page change? Would I apologise for my skeptical stance? My answer would of course be, not a jot. The things I've exposed as fake, are fake, I'd stand by every word I've wrote. In fact, if I ever became a "believer" I'd likely become more passionate about exposing fakery, I'd know that it's obscuring the "true" evidence of the paranormal.

Paul then waxes on about the huge amount of ghost photographs he possesses. Now you can make your own mind up about this statement by viewing the quality of his images on his Facebook page, but I'd be remiss not to add if you have so many GENUINE paranormal images, why the hell would you find the need to fake one? The only logical answer to this question is, you've faked a ton of images already and you are well aware that most of the others are simple misidentification of natural causes.

Paul then resumes special pleading by wittering on about his "powers" again:

" I am a true spirit sensitive and I was asked by the divine to cross spirits into God's light and I have been doing so since 2010. I am also a natural medium and I talk to the dead. "
I don't care what your calling is, or what supernatural agencies you purport to do the bidding of. YOU GOT CAUGHT! It's that simple. Also, having this "divine inspiration" you were still stupid enough to not only think you'd get away with such lame fakery, but you were so proud of it, you had to plaster your name and bullshit title all over it.

Also, if I were you, I'd be getting on to your "spirit guides" cause they really screwed the pooch when they said "Ya, looks legit to me Paul, post away!"

Amongst all this, of course, Paul gives a shout out to his supporters, many of whom post plaudits, "haters gonna hate" type messages and congratulations on the thread. So many of these messages talk about "the truth." It's hard to blame the commentators, as Paul never indicates what nasty comments he is referring to, and I doubt many of them would have had time to actually see the actual post and it's rebuttal. The fact of the matter is though, anyone of them could have discovered the true origins of Paul's ghost in a heartbeat as I did, and as someone else would have if I hadn't.

 Paul, however, knows the truth, and in thanking his followers, he's actually showing his gratitude for them being blinkered and so painfully unquestioning.

Paul repeats his thanks the following day:
For "work" read lies. Also that "tell-all book"? Will Paul actually tell-all or will he repeat the same lies he's currently spewing? The latter I bet. I'd hazard a guess that he'll play the blame game in his book too.

If he's looking for some guidance in this area, he could do worse than looking to regular blog punch-bag, David Rountree, who recently appeared on the Cinnamon Moon show (03/01/16). Amongst discussing paranormal archelogy, laughably forgetting about general and special relativity again, and attempting to bamboozle the show's laughably wishy-washy hosts, both called "something-moon" for some reason, with sciency sounding words, Rountree dropped repeated comments about social media and the paranormal scene. Both of which, are apparently in a terrible state, presumably because Rountree has difficulty navigating either without being buried with accusations of lying about military service, his academic record, his native American heritage and virtually everything else.

The problem is David, and Paul, you both lied. The people calling you out aren't the guilty ones. The paranormal scene may well be a "cesspit" as Rountree states, but this isn't the fault of the people striving to expose the lies, the fakes, and the overall deception.

The blame lies with the liars, frauds and fakers, and the blinkered that swallow their lies without question.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hollywood and The Warrens: Rewriting History Again...

Horror fans are likely waiting with bated breath for 10th June 2016, and the release of the sequel to the hugely successful 2013 film The Conjuring, directed by James Wan. The film will see Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as "paranormal investigators" the late Ed Warren and his surviving spouse Lorraine, the poster even features the tagline "the next true story from the case files of the Warrens."  Many, with more than a passing interest in the paranormal scene, likely had a slightly different reaction when the film's full title, The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist, was revealed a few months ago, and to the return of Ed and Lorraine, not to mention the aforementioned tagline which should induce at least a snort of derision from anyone aware of the Warrens' history.

The reason for these raised eyebrows?

Anyone who is aware of the Enfield poltergeist case knows that, barring a fleeting, uninvited visit to the family home,  Ed and Lorraine Warren had fudge-all to do with it! Sure Ed made various comments about Enfield, frequently referring to the alleged haunting as the work of a demon, something that the case's actual investigators, Guy Lyon Playfair and the late Maurice Gross of the SPR were in direct opposition to.

Now, cards on the table, firstly I'm not going to delve into Enfield too much. Frankly, it's been done to death, if you want more background, Joe Nickell wrote this excellent account for CSI. Also, I'm not a fan or Playfair or Gross, I think the investigative methods the pair used were shoddy at best. They gave the children at the center of the case just enough freedom to fake "phenomena" at will, as did the various journalists who visited the family over the course of the incidents.

A great example of Playfair's blindness to the idea of Janet and her sisters faking occurrences comes in this interview with the Righteous indignation team back in 2011. Interviewer Michael marsh asks if the girls could have faked any of the happenings recorded. Playfair responds that it's not possible, as every time they did fake something, he and Gross caught them! Seriously listen to the whole interview, Playfair unintentionally reveals many of the clear flaws in the investigation. As a side note to this side note, go and listen to the first 90 or so episodes of RI. It truly is the best skeptical podcast I've ever listened too. The interviews, many with believers and advocates of the paranormal and such, were conducted with such respect. but firmness, very were quite unique.

 I miss it a lot....

Anyway. Whatever I think of Lyon and Playfair, this was their investigation. This hijacking of their work to further the myth being weaved around the Warrens is disgraceful. Playfair has quite rightly spoken out about it, in an interview with Darkness radio. 

Playfair says:

"They did turn up once, I think, at Enfield, and all I can remember is Ed Warren telling me that he could make a lot of money for me out of it. So I thought, “well thats all I need to know from you” and I got myself out of his way as soon as I could. I said was not impressed.... I don’t think anybody in the family had ever heard of him until he turned up. Uninvited. I had a brief conversation with Ed at Enfield, and as I say, he was telling me how much money he’d help me make, and I politely declined his help, and I strained that that’s not what we exist for in the SPR, and that was the last time I saw him."
The repeated references to money will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Warrens. Let's be frank. That's all they ever gave a damn about. Also just turning up at the site of an alleged haunting was totally part of their MO. No doubt the narrative of this film will contain the victims of this haunting seeking out Ed and Lorraine, just as the first film did. The truth is, Ed and Lorraine just turned up unwarranted at the Perron's home just like they did at Enfield.

So why have the filmmakers chosen this case, rather than focus on an investigation that the Warrens were legitimately (not that Ed and Lorraine ever did anything legitimate) involved with? The truth if that the other cases the Warrens were involved with, and crucially, have the film rights to, probably wouldn't fit a popcorn, big studio horror-by-numbers.

Werewolf demon? Is a modern audience going to buy that as a true story? Unlikely.

What about the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, a 19-year-old tree surgeon, who murdered his landlord in a frenzied knife attack, and called in the Warrens to help him prove the devil made him do it? Well, the Warrens can hardly be heroes in this, the jury were, unsurprisingly unimpressed with the claim and voted to convict Johnston. Plus, the Warrens don't own the rights to this exclusively, Lorraine is unlikely to want to share the spoils with Johnson's family, with whom she co-owns the rights.

Should we be surprised by this revisionism? The Warrens do have form.

Fact Vs Fiction: Spot the difference between the real Warrens and their Hollywood likenesses 

As I wrote in this piece for Doubtful News in 2014, the Warrens were reinventing their own history long before Hollywood pitched in, so none of this should really come as much of a surprise. In fact, Ed and Lorraine investigated purely ghost-related phenomena until the release of the Exorcist in 1973, from then on in it was demons all the way. That's where the money was, the Hollywood movie deals and book deals.

Ed and Lorraine were, and are, sideshow carnies nothing more. They exploited vulnerable families and situations in some pretty foul ways. Author Ray Garton, who wrote the account of the Connecticut haunting "In A Dark Place" told interviewer Blake Smith in this monstertalk interview, of Ed Warren's disdain for the families they purported to "help":
"I have quite a few tapes and I couldn’t get the Snedekers, their stories, the details of their stories weren’t meshing. They weren’t adding up. I went to Ed Warren and I explained to him that this was happening. I said, “I’m not sure how to go about this.” I had never done any nonfiction before. This was a new experience for me and I was trying, I wanted to have all the information laid out in chronological order in front of me, and it just wasn’t adding up. I told Ed and he said, “Well, they’re crazy.” He said, “All the people who come to us are crazy. That’s why they come to us.” He said, “You just use what you can and make the rest up.”
Another example of this disregard for those affected by their investigation comes from Ed's justification for the ex-funeral home at the center of the "Haunting in Connecticut" case being infested with demons. Ed stated it was due to acts of necrophilia committed whilst it was trading. Think about the upset that absolutely baseless accusation could cause to the families whose loved ones were interred there after death. And worse, that was a family owned business, the ex-owners were well known in the local community. Allegations like this could have ruined their lives. And did Ed ever provide evidence of these allegations? Of course not.

Give me flawed investigators like Playfair and Gross over these exploitative charlatans any day of the week. Thankfully for the family at the center of the Enfield case, they got there before Ed and Lorraine. Ed and Lorraine would have turned this damaged family into a side show to be paraded around trashy US daytime TV. Don't, believe me, watch the appearance of the family involved in the "haunting in Connecticut" case on an episode of Sally Jesse Raphael show entitled "I was raped by a demon"

The Warrens shouldn't be movie heroes, they were villains and hucksters through and through. Their glorification frankly sickens me.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Flogging Dead Horses.

I've made this statement before, but surely tabloid reporting can't get worse than this story in today's Daily Mirror (5/1/16). The Mirror reports:

"an amateur photographer believes he has unwittingly captured a spooky picture of a GHOST on horseback in a graveyard. Richard Durham, 45, took the eerie snap as he went for a walk with his new camera on New Year's Day.
The dad-of-three stopped by Weedon Bec cemetery in Daventry, Northants, and photographed the frosty scene at around 9am. But when he returned home and uploaded it to Facebook an eagle-eyed pal pointed out the ghostly image lurking behind a row of headstones. Since then the gardener has been contacted by dozens of spooked web users who believe they can also see the chilling outline of a hooded figure and a horse."
Bet you can't wait to see this can you? What's your bet? App? Pareidolia? Actual ghost?

Wrong. It's quite literally nothing. There's a vague shape made by the gaps in the branches of the trees. This is just another example of journalists failing to consider pareidolia. Like most of these articles, the Mirror attempts to squeeze some highly subjective anecdotes into the form of evidence:
"Yesterday Richard, from Boothville, Northants, said: "The weird thing is, one friend told me her three-year-old daughter always acts quite strange around that area.
"She stops and holds out her hand like she is stroking a horse. Another friend told me her child did exactly the same.
"I do believe in ghosts but never thought I would ever capture one on camera.
"All I was doing was trying to get a few nice weather shots on a frosty and misty morning. It is quite an old village so probably has a few stories to tell.
"Locals have been telling me the pub down the road is haunted by a horseman.
"Apparently he used to walk there from the main church though the graveyard and up along the canal.
"So maybe this is him."
Maybe! Or maybe villages like Richard's retain tales like ghostly horsemen into folklore and this is a desperate attempt to use said folklore add substance to something with none. One thing this story does confirm that the Mirror is dead as a serious newspaper. It's journalistic integrity swapped for click-bait and advertisers' revenue.

Even the papers' own readers are sick of this bullshit.

Like Lorna, many of the commentators successfully identify pareidolia as the cause of the ghostly image, those that can see there actually is an image that is.

But it's not general readers of the paper who this bullshit exploits, it's believers in the paranormal, and it's a certain sub-section of believers who employ a particular line of argument that prevent these stories from being consigned to the rubbish bin, where they belong. Here's a recent exchange I had that exemplifies this thinking. The discussion was regarding the Harry's Bar and Grill ghost which was pretty much conclusively debunked on this page. The conversation is similar in theme to one I have frequently, especially with believers in the paranormal, conspiracy theorists and those fooled by the anti-vaccination movement and it usually contains some iteration of the following sentence:

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

Take a look at the conversation, which occurred on a Facebook site, the title of which I can't remember.

So Duff posits that this is an optical illusion or "motion blur", if you've read the post I linked to above, you'll have seen this clearly isn't the case. As Duff is clearly open to a rational explanation I link to my post, thinking he'll be genuinely interested.Unfortunately, he's pretty wedded to his "motion blur" explanation, and pretty much refuses to even view what's linked. The problem here is, even though Duff is clearly trying to be skeptical, he's still wrong, in fact his explanation is as wrong as saying this is a ghost. He points out that the blog is only my opinion.

Caryn adds that the conclusive nature of the post forbids others from saying what they think, later I the thread she actually goes on to say providing evidence is "forceful". Yes, this is often the end result of conclusively proving your point. This isn't fascist, or authoritarian, it's proving your point. 

I'm not against personal opinions, but there seems to be a belief amongst many at the moment that all opinions should be considered equally. This simply isn't constructive. An opinion backed with evidence is far more valid than one which comes, as Duff's did, without a shred of the same. In fact, an opinion with enough evidence becomes more a statement of fact. It's not, as Caryn seems to suggest, uncouth to tell someone they are wrong when it's demonstrable.

 There's also the matter of topics of debate falling into two definite categories, subjective and objective. This is an objective matter, there is a definite answer. Unsupported opinions are worthless in such issues. I have no issue with opinions, I also have no issue tearing down unsupported opinions.

So how does all this help propagate the sharing, and thus continued financial gain, of tabloid chunder such as the "dead horse" mentioned above. Well if there's no objective answer, if, in the mind of the believer, there's no shutting this crap down. Non-mysteries continue to be mysterious, in a nebulous, post-modern field where opinion is king. This makes repeated sharing of tabloid effluent acceptable.
It's genuine, truth-seeking believers who I pity in all this. Those that are comfortable with being wrong sometimes, that is the key to learning after all. The Mirror and other papers, make a mockery of them when they publish stories like this.

Speaking of making a mockery of the paranormal community.

The Rational Paranormal Hall Of Shame. 

In this semi-regular feature, I'll highlight the paranormal investigation teams which embarrass their hobby/field by blatantly faking ghost images and presenting them as "evidence" of the paranormal. The reason for doing this, by faking images and phenomena these teams humiliate teams who are out there employing legitimate methods to investigate the paranormal. To keep up to date with this, and to highlight such misdemeanors visit my Facebook page, The Rational Paranormal.

The time around it's two investigation teams who used ghost apps to fake evidence.

Central Ohio Paranormal Research Group 

This team, who claim to provide "educational services" was brazen enough to take this image from perhaps the best known "ghost app" for the iPhone. Perhaps a bit more research next time will show the group how easy these images are to identify and debunk.

What could be more pitiful than that?

Step up Paul Coffey of Central Texas Paranormal who boldly claimed that his spirit guides helped him confirm that the following image was legitimate. Your spirit guides need an internet connection mate, that's an app.

Of course, as soon as I called this on CTP's page it was instantly removed.

It's most definitely app season on social media, if you want to make some headway calling out ghost app fakery the following facebook pages will be extremely helpful to you as they have been to me.

There's a ghost app for that.

Ghost app Ghosts

Ghost Photo App Database Debunking Library

Happy debunking.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Journalists Baffled By Own Brains....

Britain's top journalists were baffled today when an image of muddled, visual data assembled itself in their brains as a vaguely human-looking figure. The following image caused particular bafflement at the offices of the Daily Mirror.

Journalist Hamish Spammer described his reaction to the picture: "I immediately had the urge to circle it, I don't know why." He continues "I've always had this urge. When I was a child and all the other kids were playing with their hula hoops in the traditional manner, I would lie back in the grass circling random clouds hoping to pick out a cat or a dog... it was weird.... I found a tractor once...."

As Spammer wept gently whilst wistfully remembering his lost youth, other Mirror churnalists engaged in a bitter battle as to what the random cluster of visual data should be labelled "It's a mermaid" screamed sports expert Speck Tannerfield, "No it's Kanye." Protested showbiz expert Jock Vapid "This is clearly his illegitimate love child. Fucking mermaids."

Editor Lloyd Lazy Fucking Clickbait Hack Is This what Journalism Has Come to Embley had his own opinion "For the sake of furthering the noble cause of click-bait, and the revenue it generates, we are running with a demon in the headline."

"That shit generates hits" he drools between bites on the hearts of Woodward and Bernstein "No one cares about actual news anymore. Screw that. Demon babies are the way forward. Do I believe it's a demon? Ha, ha. ha.... no. I'm lazy, not stupid."

"I'm aware that David Hume said "There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us." But frankly, that guy didn't have deadlines to hit or advertisers to appease, so fuck him. Fuck him in the ear."

When asked how "based upon the fact that ultrasound machines work by emitting high-frequency sound waves into the body, thus detecting membranes boundaries between soft tissue, hard tissue and fluid, what could the demon actually be  composed of, as it must clearly be a physical object?" Embley slowly transformed into this kitten and ball of wool. 

Awww..... look at it. It likes wool. Awww... what were we talking about?

Some internet "skeptics" have thus far attempted to futilely suggest a rational explanation for what is clearly an in utero demon. The Mirror journalists have dodged these protests as nimbly as a kitten playing with a lovely ball of wool.... aw www... "Yes. The skeptics have rational explanations such as pareidolia: a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct. But frankly it won't matter when the paranormal pages on social media get hold of this, They don't listen to anything that challenges their beliefs."

Others have challenged the identification of "demon." Intergalactic despot and fictional anime villain Frieza made the following claim: "This is clearly me in my final form, it has a power level of over 9000!" He goes on "I'm every bit as likely as a demon. There's as much empirical evidence that demons or I actually exist...NOW YOU PAY!!! YOU VILE FILTH SUCKING MAGGOTS!! YOU WILL RUE THE DAY YOU CROSSED MY PATH!! PREPARE YOURSELF TO EMBRACE OBLIVION!!!!"

The debate rages on. I guess we'll never know.