“Fox-elves cut off the people’s hair” – History of the Wei Dynasty, AD 477: The Fortean Times is 30 years old this month, and has a special commemorative supplement to celebrate. On the whole, they’re more likely to cover fish-falls than string theory, but that aside I can’t think of a mag which as a matter of habit hews closer to Geeta’s “science-as-punk” line, esp.as regards coverage of curiosities, wonders and anomalies overlooked and/or disallowed by academic dogma (or even common sense). “Exposing belief based on poor reasoning and research is qualitatively different from rubbishing subjects simply out of taste or disapproval,” they write in the supplement’s editorial: “It is useful to remember that our perceptions are more sensitive than we would guess, more easily manipulated than we would imagine and less objective than we would hope.” Ideas prosper – in politics, in science, anywhere – NOT because they’re correct or clever, but simply* because they generate the right social energy at the time they appear.** Cheerfully poking fun at bad logic AND bad scepticism, the FT provides a monthly map of some of those energies: “Nonsense (when all is said and done) is still nonsense,” a wise man said once. “But the study of nonsense, that is science.”

*(haha “simply”)
**(Yes yes being clever and being correct sometimes DO generate this energy in scienceworld: and sometimes they don’t…)