Scary Faces & “Brains On!”

I am back to report on two quick things, both of them rather spooky.

First, my latest column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine is “The Psychology of Scary Faces.” I’ve been watching French films lately, and this article was inspired by seeing George Franju’s classic horror film “Les Yeux Sans Visage (Eyes Without a Face).” The movie employs several techniques for making faces scary. The column includes some rather gruesome images, so enter at your own risk.

A character in “Les Yeux Sans Visage” reacts to seeing a scary face.

Second, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a science podcast for kids called “Brains on!”, which is a production of Minnesota Public Radio and is supported by the National Science Foundation. The topic was “Spooky superstitions! Why we think 13 is bad luck,” and the hosts did a great job. I am always happy to participate in projects geared toward young people, and this one was a pleasure.

You can learn more about “Brains On!” here. A young kid serves as co-host for each show, and I highly recommend the podcast for any kids who are interested in science. (Which should be ALL kids!) The episode I appeared in is below:

That’s it for now. Happy December.