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JREF Swift Blog
Swift, named for Jonathan Swift, is the JREF's daily blog, featuring content from James Randi, the JREF staff, and other featured authors.

Don't Want Our Money? Take Theirs... PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Attention Astrologers - many of you have refused to take the JREF $1,000,000 Challenge, often citing spurious excuses such as "the money isn't real" or "the tests are rigged." You're wrong about those things, but no matter... there is other money waiting for you:

(Published at www.srai.org and www.thefreethinker.tk )

INR 25,00,000 challenge to all astrologers to forecast result of Parliament Election 2009

May 11th 2009

Science and Rationalists’ Association of India (Bharayatiya Bigyan o Yuktibadi Samiti) challenges all astrologers to forecast following results / information regarding Parliament Election 2009:--

  1. How many seats will be acquired by Congress, BJP, TMC, CPI(M), BSP, RJD, Samajbadi Party, DMK, AIDMK?
  2. How much differences in votes will remain to win/lose for Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Lalkrishna Advani, Mamata Bandopadhyay, Laluprasad Yadav, Rambilas Paswan from their respective nearest opponents?
 
When The Pope Hates You PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

John Paul II hates Jeremy Pechanec. On February 22nd, right around 2:30 a.m., the 28-year-old Pechanec was shot in the back of the head in what some have speculated was a drug deal gone awry. He was left brain-dead, lying on the sidewalk in the middle of downtown Cleveland, just a few steps from the bar where he’d been drinking. (The bar is called “Scorchers,” and makes a tidy profit off its “Wicked” wings — evocative word choices that may explain the late Pontiff’s antipathy.) Over the next several days, Pechanec’s organs were harvested and his unusuable remains interred. The deceased Pope, despite his plain interest in securing a swift beatification and canonization, did nothing.

But there was a man kneeling next to Jeremy Pechanec when he was executed, gang-land style, on that ugly winter’s morn. Pechanec’s friend, Jory Aebly, was shot as well. The bullet shattered his skull and whizzed through two hemispheres of gray matter before coming to rest against the interior of his forehead. According to EWTN — “The Global Catholic Network”— Aebly’s injuries were “non-survivable.” (Though according to a local news channel’s dispatch from the day of the shooting, Aebly was doing “better than expected” from the moment he arrived at the hospital.)

 
Heavy Event! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Our friend Scot Morris refers to numerology as “the one true pseudoscience,” and alerts us that Mr. Jerry Slocum – prefacing it with “I had a deep feeling that you just needed to know this” – has discovered that at 5 minutes and 6 seconds after 4 a.m., on the 8th of July, this year, the time and date will be:  04:05:06 07-08-09! This will not happen again until the year 3009!

 
Celebrity Science PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

tamyspeakerharhallThe current issue of Reader’s Digest has an article on “The Trouble with Celebrity Science.”  “What happens when stars weigh in on medical topics?...Celebrities may be perfectly qualified to evaluate sneakers, but that doesn’t mean you want to learn biochemistry from them.”

They mention Tom Cruise’s sweeping condemnation of modern psychiatry, then focus on…

 

Are you ready for this?....

  1. Woo-promoter extraordinaire Oprah Winfrey

  2. Anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy (the one whose victims are listed on the Jenny McCarthy Body Count, and

  3. Gluten-free advocate Elisabeth Hasselbeck!!!

 
Graphology: Write but Wrong PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Karen Stollznow   

A few days ago I happened to see the article: Is Our Personality Written in Our Handwriting? listed as a “Featured” news item on the Yahoo homepage. This wasn’t a critical examination of graphology, as the title suggests. The article was written with the assumption that graphology works, and that it employs a scientific methodology.

Graphology, in the most common usage of the word, is the practice of handwriting analysis to identify a subject’s personality traits. Some graphologists further claim that they can read the subject’s past and present, forecast the future, and even diagnose illness. Some proponents claim graphology (or graphotherapy) is a treatment, and assert that if people change their handwriting style, they can break bad behaviors, alter their attitude and character, and even heal themselves.

We have to be mindful, as I type away on my keyboard, that few of us have much writing practice anymore, aside from our signatures.

 
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