The Amazing Meeting 2014

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James Randi Educational Foundation
Woo-Woo Salad PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

What would you call it if you combined dowsing, energy healing, feng shui and spirit cleansing all in one practice? Well, you'd call it Crossroads Consulting of course. It seems that practitioner Jodie Harvala can "dowse your space" and "improve your success" with a wave of her copper wand. She can also give you design advice, and if you're interested, she can provide reiki treatment too.

Ahh, where to begin...

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Gypsy Bad Fortune PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

A Maryland man who refers to himself as a Gypsy is claiming discrimination in the case of a Bethesda, Maryland law that forbids "foretelling the future." And.. the ACLU is on his side.

He claims that as a Gypsy, it's his historical heritage to open a fortune telling business, and that it's only because of the desire to drive Gypsies away that the law was put in place.

After you read the article, you may notice that most of the comments are in favor of the ban being overturned. And I'm in agreement.

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Diagnosis by Handwriting and Dreams PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

In a recent press release, the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing announced that they had suspended chiropractor Judith Yager's license for one year.

Her transgressions?

  • Practicing with a lapsed license

  • Using a banned device to treat patients (device not named in press release)

  • Hiring an unlicensed chiropractor to treat patients in her clinic

  • Engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient

  • Providing false information to the board

  • Diagnosing patients based on handwriting samples and dreams

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Psychic to the Rescue! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

We published many articles where so-called psychics got things wrong. In fact, there are so many of those stories that we've backed off of them, fearing that they had inundated the site. But now, we have to report... a psychic had an actual hit. And it wasn't just any psychic, it was a pet psychic.

It seems that Tinker Bell, a six pound Chihuahua was standing on his owner's trailer when a 70 MPH gust of wind picked up the diminutive canine and whisked him off to parts unknown. The distraught owners searched for two days and in desperation, contacted a pet psychic.

And guess what? The pet psychic showed them right where the dog was.

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Freethought? Maybe not.. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Naomi Baker   

In 2008, I was encouraged to organize a skeptics group in Houston. Relying on the advice of friends from Denver, who had successfully started a similar group using the social website Meetup (www.meetup.com), I launched my site and have seen slow but steady growth. As discussed by Reed Esau on a Skepticiality podcast, it is often difficult to generate interest, keep the turnover rate low, and get assistance with organizing meetings. In Houston, matters are complicated in that the metropolitan area is 60 miles across in each direction and there is almost no public transporation except for limited bus service in the central area. People are reluctant to attend evening meetings when the location is far from the office and the drive home afterwards might be up to an hour long. However, the group is slowly growing and we've been able to attract some lively, engaged people.

I was therefore interested when I received, through the Meetup site, an email invitation to join a group that was forming closer to my area of Houston, labeled as a Freethinkers group. The organizer wanted to work on eliminating the ‘imposition of religious doctrine on Free-thinkers in the area," that the group was not against organized religion itself, and specifically mentioned the offering of Bible-as-literature classes in the local school district. Apropos of recent discussions in SWIFT on religion, I must state that, while I am agnostic, my passion in skepticism is directed toward the paranormal, alternative medicine issues, and illiteracy in science, so the particular focus of this group did not interest me, but I thought I might join in order to meet skeptical people in my neighborhood and possibly recruit new members for my own skeptics organization.

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