I've been utterly distracted from the blog for the last couple of weeks, and honestly I don't have a whole lot ready in terms of full-sized posts, but here's a few random things that have been kicking around in the ol' noggin'.
- A long time ago I was speaking to a friend of mine about ballistic missile security and I made an offhanded comment that essentially every ballistic missile used by countries that are at odds with the U.S. are based on Soviet SCUDs. My friend was unconvinced, and so I now offer up as evidence Jeff Kueter's article from the Spring issue of The Journal of International Security Affairs. The article itself is a discussion about what the author feels to be the need for U.S. anti-ballistic missile technology, but he also touches on the spread of SCUDs and SCUD-descended missiles from the USSR to China and then on to, well, just about everyone else. Check it out. (Also, why do I pay $7.95 plus tax for paper copies of that journal when I can get it online for free?)
- The endless march of TV woo continues: Cartoon Network is going to start running a Ghost Hunters- style show this summer named The Othersiders. Let's see, now we have large blocks of programming on the Travel Channel, the Sci Fi Channel (which also shows wrestling for some reason) and, as we've already discussed, the Discovery Channel devoted to dingdongs milling about with night vision cameras and acting scared. And, seriously, why would that ever be on the Cartoon Network of all things? The only ghost-chasing on Cartoon Network should be Scooby Doo.
- Tangentially to my mention of the Discovery Channel's myriad ghost shows, there's an article in the May/June Skeptical Inquirer by UK's own Joe Nickell regarding a case featured prominently on Discovery's "A Haunting" series and recently adapted into a film. The Haunting in Connecticut came out in theaters a few weeks ago and deals with the allegedly true story of a family who moves into a new house only to be menaced, attacked, and groped by demons. If that sounds kind of like The Amityville Horror, it's because "paranormal investigators" Ed and Lorraine Warren were involved in both incidents and apparently did quite a bit to, er..."jog" the memories of the alleged "victims".* The Nickell article hasn't been posted online yet, but check it out if you get the chance.
*It's my understanding that the Warrens were heavily involved in most of the cases detailed on that show "A Haunting". Their work is pretty easily identified because of their fixation on Catholic-style demonology - essentially every case they "investigated" turned out to be "demons".