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James Randi Educational Foundation
In two weeks... PDF Print E-mail
Newsflash
tam2012header.png

July 12-15, 2012 | South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa | Las Vegas, NV

24 Talks | 5 Panels | 10 Workshops | 3 Evening Shows | 3 Late Night Events
2 Live SGU Shows | 1 Million Dollar Challenge

The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), the world’s largest celebration of science, skepticism and critical thinking, is just two weeks away. With well over one thousand skeptics already signed up, if you haven’t reserved your spot yet, now’s the time!

Register by July 1 and Save $125 »

Call (213) 293-3092 to register by phone.

Check out the the full schedule online. We have an AMAZ!NG lineup of exciting talks, panels and workshops, with brilliant speakers like Penn & Teller, Carol Tavris, Lawrence Krauss, Pamela Gay and Randi himself. 

Talk topics include "The Moral Arc of Science," "The Future and Nothing," "Techno-optimism vs. Reality," "The Self Illusion," "Ignorance: How It Drives Science," and many, many more!

TAM is a full four-day skeptical immersion experience, from early morning to after midnight each night, debating, discussing and celebrating skepticism and its goals.

Read more...
 
What You Can Do to Fight Woo PDF Print E-mail
Written by Carrie Poppy   

Every morning, I sit back at the breakfast table, crack open my newspaper, and think, "Man, there is a lot of nonsense out there." Or sometimes, "Really? I'm still buying paper newspapers? What is this, 2002?" In any case, the media is always full of ill-supported claims, from house hauntings to aura cleansing to UFO sightings. And these last couple of weeks have been no different. But what can you do to combat this nonsense in the media and around the world? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here are a few ways you can turn a media mess into a skeptical success.

American Homeopath Peddles Fake Medicine in Haiti

Homeopathic332What's Happening: News came out this week of a Massachusetts woman who has been working with the organization Homeopaths without Borders to teach locals in Haiti how to use homeopathy to allegedly treat various ailments, from headaches and acid reflux, to eye problems and severe anemia. As regular readers of randi.org know, homeopathy is, by definition, not medicine. Homeopathic remedies contain no active ingredients, and their use may delay a patient seeking real treatment, sometimes with dire consequences

What You Can Do: Write a letter to the editor at fosters.com, and tell your fellow readers why it is dangerous for organizations like Homeopaths without Borders to promote fake medicine where people are most in need. Be brief and to the point. Be sure to reference the article, "Mass. woman helps promote homeopathy in Haiti." 

 

 

IceTIce Loves Coco and Coco Talks to Dogs

What's Happening: Pop culture icon Ice T and his wife are enjoying their third season of Ice Loves Coco on E! and this week, Mrs. T revealed that she has psychic abilities which allow her to wordlessly communicate with dogs (video at the link). Her baffled husband offers her some pretty good advice: "These conversations you have with me, like this; don't have them with other people." Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle! Here I thought dogs mostly communicated through barks and the affectionate leg hump, when all this time, I should have been sending my mutts concentrated brain waves. 

What You Can Do: Tweet at Coco and encourage her to take the JREF's Million Dollar Challenge, to demonstrate her ability to communicate with non-human animals. With a million extra dollars, she can pocket the cash or give it to the charity of her choice. Be sure to tag us @jref, and as always, be polite.

 

 

Watches21-1Superstorm Sandy Victims Deal with Devastation

What's Happening: Unfortunately, this story is not a tale of superstition. The hurricane which ripped through the east coast has left 185 dead, more injured, and totaled at least $20 billion in damage. And now some of the victims are preparing for another storm

What You Can Do: Show your support for the victims, and promote critical thinking by wearing a Disaster Relief Placebo Band (which turns the "Power Balnce" band on its head). For each disaster relief Placebo Band sold, $2 goes to Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, and for every watch sold, $5 is donated to the cause. Get yours here

 

 

Want to do more to fight woo in your area? E-mail us to get started doing skeptical activism in your home town. 

 

 

Carrie Poppy is the director of communications at the James Randi Educational Foundation, and a regular contributor to Randi.org.


 
Austin’s “Haunted” Driskill Hotel PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   

The Driskill Hotel is an historic building in downtown Austin, Texas. Opened in 1886 by Civil War Colonel Jesse Driskill, the compulsive gambler promptly lost the hotel in a high-stakes poker game the following year. In 1890, Driskill died a broken man, and is believed to haunt the hotel to this day. It is said that he makes his presence known by the scent of his cigar smoke and the occasional appearance in a guest’s room, and especially to the ladies. 

Read more...
 
Save the Date! The Amazing Meeting 2014 PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF Staff   

The Amazing Meeting 2014 will be held at Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa, July 10th – 13th, 2014. More details will be announced soon so check back here and at amazingmeeting.com in the weeks ahead for more details on the event and to register.

In the meantime, please enjoy some new videos from last year's TAM below.

Read more...
 
Randi Speaks: Charles Lynch PDF Print E-mail
James Randi Speaks
Written by Jeffrey Wagg   

UPDATE: According to the LA Times, the sentencing has been pushed back until June 11th. Maybe some sanity will settle out by then.

Randi takes a different tone this time as a recent letter has shown that his adopted country is sometimes less than compassionate. Are politics more important than people? Maybe, but it shouldn't be that way.

 

From Randi -

Understand this:  I heartily endorse and accept marijuana use for medical purposes; research has clearly shown that it works efficiently in that role, and brings comfort and relief to the suffering.  As a result of this stated conditional acceptance, I have been approached by those who advocate general use of the substance on the same level that tobacco enjoys.  Generally, this makes sense to me, except that if its use were to bring with it the same dreadful health penalties that accompany tobacco, I would be reluctant to accept that.  I am not a drug user, I have never even been inebriated.  That is my personal choice, and I feel that other persons should also enjoy freedom of choice, even if taxes are imposed on that freedom in order to legislate it; I don’t want out-of-control drivers threatening my safety, for example.

Read more...
 
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