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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 14, 2023

First, Ben discusses his recent excursion to a folklore conference, where he touched a plague box and went spelunking in the Devil's Ass, then Celestia pays tribute to Las Vegas eccentric Lonnie Hammargren. For our main segment we are joined by mentalist Banachek, who (like many skeptics this week) has some thoughts on a recent New York Times piece that gives a bit too much credit to a perpetually discredited spoon-bender in the magic world. This recent writeup brings many topics to the table, such as the role Randi's showmanship and ability to garner publicity played in forming the modern skeptical movement. Banachek also shares some details about his early life and what led him to magic, and to a strange wizard's home -- that is, James Randi's door -- at the age of 17.