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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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Feb 15, 2019

This week we start with a discussion of assumptions, as Ben brings two outrage-provoking news stories that turned out to not be what was originally assumed. Then we slide through many variations of oily miraculous substances, some folkloric and some that are available from your local PTA mom: the original old-timey snake oil, early modern Europe's witch ointment, and then, more recently, essential oils, Lorenzo's oil, and CBD oil. What's the lure behind easy, supposed panaceas in the form of some kind of concentrated oil that are rumored to cure everything? Has the medical community found any of them measurably useful for any conditions?