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Squaring the Strange

Squaring the Strange brings evidence-based analysis and commentary to a wide variety of topics, ranging from the paranormal to the political.


Investigating ghosts. Debunking conspiracies. Dodging chupacabras.

If a claim seems strange, Ben and Pascual will try to square it with the facts.


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Jul 29, 2022

This episode is special because all three of us have personal experience -- in Santa Fe, the Black Rock Desert, or Lewes, England -- watching giant effigies burn down in a symbolic cleansing ritual reputed to have dark, murderous roots. Yet this ubiquitous form of expression is also clever, satirical, and a way to...

Jul 15, 2022

This week, as we await Pascual's time-out due to COVID, Ben and Celestia look into strange burial practices over the ages. With a peppering of pop culture here and there, we hear from Ben on medieval ways to keep your relatives from leaving their graves, from wooden stakes to mouth bricks to even the origins...

Jul 1, 2022

We are joined by Professor Michael Branch, who has just released his new book "On the Trail of the Jackalope." What began as an idea for a taxidermy correspondence course 90 years ago has blossomed into a cultural phenomenon. Michael Branch shares his appreciation for the Western tall tale, the whimsy and skill that...

Jun 17, 2022

We begin with a look at the continuing danger of online rumors igniting mob violence and the Google engineer who is in the news for his belief that the AI in development there has reached sentience. Then we are joined by Susan Gerbic and Kenny Biddle, who ventured out to Vegas recently and joined Ben for a tour of...

Jun 3, 2022

Ben has done several deep dives into various aspects of how the public processes mass shootings, and recent events moved us to bring this topic out now. As political talking heads and newsmakers cherry-pick and sound off about their own causative theories and narratives, what will and won't work to curb these horrific...