In an effort to make our extensive video library available online free of charge, The James Randi Educational Foundation is posting high quality digital video lectures and sessions from previous Amaz!ng Meetings and other events on randi.org. Check back often to see the latest video content.
Astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson presents the keynote address at TAM6. His "brain droppings" cover everything from UFO abductions to 13th floors to jury duty.
Dr. Tyson is the host of NOVA scienceNOW on PBS, and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. His presentation from TAM6 is one of the most entertaining presentations from any Amaz!ng Meeting.
July 12-15, 2012 South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Las Vegas, NV
TAM was already the skeptics’ event of the year, and now, it just got even better.
Saturday Keynote Event: We are thrilled that our good friends Penn & Teller will be delighting us with a special hour long keynote presentation titled "38 Years of Magic & BS: A Conversation with Penn & Teller."
Also on Friday night, Penn is hosting his second Private Rock & Roll, Doughnut and Bacon Party. Be forewarned: This really is Penn’s private party. He’s paying for everything and JREF has nothing to do with it. Everyone at TAM is invited, and there is a suggested twenty dollar donation to attend, with proceeds going to the JREF.
Wait, there’s more! We’re also pleased to announce the addition of the following speakers:
JREF is very pleased to announce publication of the latest addition to its growing collection of ebooks.
Karen Stollznow's Haunting America follows the author, a JREF research fellow, as she hits the road to investigate some of America's most haunted places.
From Alcatraz to Coral Castle, the Myrtles Plantation to the Winchester Mystery House, Stollznow leaves no stone unturned and no "spirit" unsettled in her search for the truth behind the scares. She details her use of the best investigative methods to apply scientific inquiry to these paranormal claims.
Haunting America is just a click or a tap away for the Amazon Kindle, and will be coming soon for the Nook and iOS devices. Experience for yourself the book that James Randi says is for those of us who love legends, but also want to know the truth.
If you follow the JREF on Facebook, you're already enjoying our day-by-day posts of news stories around the world showing both how unfounded beliefs hurt people (and animals) and how skepticism is gaining ground, fighting superstition and exploitation. But you may still be wondering what you can do to advance skepticism and reason. Here are a few ideas from recent headlines.
Former TV News Reporter Claims He Can Tell the Future
What's Happening: You know those times you predict a hurricane in the Philippines and you have nothing to prove it, and you think "Damn, if only I'd texted myself beforehand about this, I could be the talk of the town!"? Well, UK-based former TV reporter John Thomson is one step ahead of you. Claiming that he can predict the future, Thomson started texting himself his predictions and now claims he has a backlog of accurate predictions to rival any alleged psychic (shall we make a "predictive text" joke? No? Okay, we'll move on). The only problem is, Mr. Thomson has been collecting the texts for well over a year, giving him plenty of time to send thousands of texts to himself, and delete the predictions which didn't come true. Is he really foreseeing catastrophic world events, or just a really patient (and bored) texter? I'm suspicious.
What You Can Do: If John Thomson is all he claims to be, there's a million dollars waiting for him. Tweet at John and ask him to take the JREF's million dollar challenge. As always, be brief and polite.
Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.
“Low T”: The triumph of marketing over science (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/low-t-the-triumph-of-marketing-over-science/. When sexual dysfunction is caused by true hypogonadism, testosterone therapy is therapeutic. Unfortunately, clever marketing has convinced thousands of men with a laundry list of unrelated symptoms that they need testosterone for “Low T.” There is no evidence that it can relieve those symptoms, and it can cause adverse effects such as sleep apnea, shrinkage of the testicles, heart attacks, and increased mortality. “Low T” is sales, not science.
New Cholesterol Guidelines (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/new-cholesterol-guidelines/ The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have issued new guidelines for the use of statins. Based on the best current evidence, they have discarded “target” levels for LDL cholesterol in favor of a better approach based on risk level and intensity of statin dose. They offer a calculator to measure an individual’s risk of a cardiovascular event over the next 10 years. The changes have led to controversy and misunderstandings.