Friday Mental Massage: Bigfoot, the boy, birthdays

Not a lot of time this Friday morning, so let’s just jump into it.

CNN should be spanked–Yes, I’ve seen the claims about Bigfoot being found an hour or so from my house. I gave the claims about as much credence as the Montauk Monster being a failed government experiment or Tom Cruise really fathering little Suri. And yet, there on the front page of CNN.com is a story that seems to give legitimacy to the claims. Yes, the story offers a dissenting voice, but not nearly as strongly as it should’ve. Also, it failed to note that the “Bigfoot researcher” Tom Biscardi is a already-notorious hoaxster who has already been publicly busted once for making a similar claim and charging people $15 apiece to sign up for a Bigfoot webcam. It also fails to mention the injured cop (who reportedly accidentally shot himself while on the job) has already been busted for having his brother pose as a scientist for a YouTube video to back up similar false claims. There used to be a day when BS hoaxes were given the brush-off treatment by mainstream media unless they were largely successful in fooling a big part of the population. Now, CNN is largely complicit in perpetuating and legitimizing the hoax-pullers’ activity. It used to be a lot harder to dupe America. Now one of the biggest news networks in the world is helping.

Birthday boy–My boy turned four yesterday. It was an exhausting but thouroughly fantastic day. It was laid back, fun, and inspiring. Now, in exactly 24 hours, somehwere in the neighborhood of 60 people will be showing up at our pool for a party. I expect it to be similarly exhausting, but only inspirational in the sense that it will inspire me to go drink to excess.

If I didn’t have several pictures of me doing the same thing, I might have been annoyed about that picture above. Instead, I thought…there’s my boy.

Red Bull Gives You…–A little more than a year ago, I woke up on my bathroom flooor with my wife standing above me. A minute or so before, she’d heard me crash on the floor. She jumped out of bed and found me with my eyes wide open. As she said later, “The lights were on, but nobody was home.” By the time I came to, she’d had time to run and find the phone, call 911, and start giving them our address. Once I got my senses about me, I talked her out of calling an ambulance. I still didn’t feel right for an hour or so afterward–cold sweats, etc. What had I been doing prior to this? Well, drinking a bunch of Red Bull while trying to stay awake at a poker game. I don’t tend to give stuides of 30 people a lot of credit, but I did find this story pretty interesting.

Alright, everything else I have is “ranty,” so we’ll just call it a week. If I make it through tomorrow’s pool party without injuring myself or someone else, I’ll see you on the other side.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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4 Responses

  1. BJ Nemeth says:

    Mainstream science journalism is more embarrassing than mainstream poker journalism.

    The problem is the constant need for content. Science is a long, slow process, and 24-hour news cycles can’t wait. If you wait for scientific consensus, it’ll take years. The same basic truth applies to CNN reporting on Bigfoot and the study about Red Bull. In both cases, they represent the *beginning* of the scientific process, not the end.

    The mainstream media also has a horrible habit of confusing “scientists” with “science.” They are *not* the same thing. Just because a credentialed scientist publishes the results of a properly conducted study doesn’t make something a fact. (Or even a valid theory.) It takes time, and it takes peer review.

    Should you be careful with your intake of Red Bull? Probably. Should the rednecks who found Bigfoot be allowed to have a press conference? Sure, it’s a free country. But neither of those things should be reported as *fact* — and that’s exactly what the mainstream media does.

    It’s a shame that when legitimate scientific journals like Nature report on a finding, they do it properly. But the mainstream media reads the headline and reports it like it’s already gone through years of peer review.

    If you haven’t noticed, this is a bit of a pet peeve for me. 🙂

  2. Da Goddess says:

    Your son is freakin’ adorable.

    Red Bull? Never had it. Yep, I’m one of four people who’s never tried it. Glad you came away from your experience alive.

  3. Drizztdj says:

    I’ve had exactly one Red Bull in my life and it was mixed with Vodka.

    Perhaps that’s the key to staying even keel? Next time lean on the side of caution and borrow BB’s Grey Goose.

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