Tung Yin, Professor of Law at Lewis & Clark Law School, discusses whether behavioral detection screening as the TSA practices it detects security threats. Here's the link to his post for Jurist, enticingly and alliteratively titled Security Screening: Science or Sorcery?
Alastair Sooke, art critic of the Daily Telegraph, discusses the cultural history of witches in this piece for the BBC website. He points out that common images that we associate with witches (that they can turn people into animals, for example) derive from Greek mythology, and that they can foretell the future come from the Bible. But he points to the Renaissance as the period that really formed our modern notion of witches, and to one man--the artist Albrecht Duerer--as the person who created the archetype of the witch. Duerer, says Mr. Sooke, created the duality of the modern witch, who is invariably female.
In a pair of hugely influential engravings, Dürer determined what would become the dual stereotype of a witch’s appearance. On the one hand, as in The Four Witches (1497), she could be young, nubile and lissom – her physical charms capable of enthralling men. On the other, as in Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat (c 1500), she could be old and hideous.
Where did Duerer get his ideas? Possibly from other artists, including Andrea Mantegna. The invention of the printing press (15th century) allowed such ideas to spread quickly. By the beginning of the Enlightenment, belief in witchcraft and witches began to drop off, but artists and writers still found witches an interesting theme, and that theme continues today. And she is still almost always a woman, historically a target for societal blame and legal sanction. More here.
An article by David Robson of the BBC discusses the research of magician Jay Olson, who studies the psychological tricks of his profession, and explains how advertisers, politicians, and yes, magicians, among others, are master manipulators. More here.
This is the first academic exploration of the intersection between the Wiccan religion and the Second Amendment. The article provides all necessary background on Wiccan philosophy and principles, particularly on the Wiccan Rede. The article next explores founder Gerald Gardner's contributions to Wicca based on his views on self-defense, militia service, and ritual knife use. The article then considers arms issues in modern Wicca such as individual self-defense, military and police service, hunting, and contemporary ritual knife use. Finally, the article explores and response to opposition to generally held Wiccan beliefs regarding the Second Amendment.
A decade ago a controversial article in Science Magazine predicted a coming “paradigm shift” that would push forensic sciences toward fundamental change as the result of “[l]egal and scientific forces . . . converging to drive an emerging skepticism about the claims of the traditional forensic individualization sciences.” This article argues that the predicted paradigm shift has occurred. We support our thesis through a deconstruction of the jurisprudence of two of the forensic disciplines implicated in numerous wrongful convictions – forensic odontology (bite mark analysis) and forensic hair microscopy – and an examination of a confluence of unprecedented events currently altering the landscape of forensic sciences. The empirical evidence and data gathered here demonstrates that traditional forensic identification techniques, as well as the doctrines supporting them, are ultimately no more than a house of cards built on unvalidated hypotheses and unsubstantiated or non-existent data. Several very serious consequences result, among them that state, and to some extent federal, jurisprudence that stands for the proposition that this type of evidence is admissible is objectively erroneous and must be reevaluated and effectively rejected as valid precedent; and that the long-overdue paradigm shift presents a unique ethical challenge to criminal justice professionals, one that current professional ethics regimes fail to adequately capture, even though fundamental due process norms compel the conclusion that prosecutors, defense attorneys, forensic experts and their respective governing bodies have an ethical, moral and legal duty to revisit affected cases and provide remedies. Put differently, the “path forward” for forensic sciences that the National Academy of Sciences identified in its seminal 2009 report must have a rear-view mirror.
From Vice, a piece on the increasing popularity of those "haunted" items--specifically, haunted dolls. Sellers sell, and buyers buy, these objects (on eBay, or on some other platform) and the fllip is that the toys are "possessed" by some paranormal spirit or entity. The seller affirms in some way that she or he has had some sort of experience with the doll, and the buyer purchases the doll based on the seller's description of that experience. Now, note that the buyer is actually purchasing the doll, and note the seller's experience, or any expectation of a future experience. One person the reporter spoke to noted that spirits have "free will." That's not so comforting. Do the sellers consider that maybe these entities decide that once a doll is sold, they don't want to make the trip to the new purchaser? Maybe they just want to stay with the sellers? After all, the entities aren't parties to the sale. They didn't agree. Someone call Wolfram and Hart!