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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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May 17, 2024

Ben and Celestia roll out an abbreviated history of book bans and the psychology behind them. What sorts of fears manifest into the desire to keep information away from people? And which people? Is the current rash of book challenges a panic, or is the fear of such bans a panic? We start this episode with a solid opinion, then find ways to knock that opinion around a bit. Calls for book bans have come from the right and left, for different reasons. The freedom of speech gets complicated in matters of obscenity, "dangerous knowledge" or children's books containing racial slurs. From "The Anarchist Cookbook" to critical race theory, we look at some individual cases as well as how effective book banning attempts are today.