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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.

SWIFT September 21, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

In Australia, Where is the FDA?, From the Mouths of Babes, Off-the-Cuff-Cold Reading, Reaching the Heart - the Hard Way, God Sued, Sylvia Writes, Not Enough Atoms, and In Closing…

There’s good news and bad news from Down Under. First, as reported there recently by Australian TV:

An attempt to broaden the appeal of state education appears to be coming unstuck in [the state of] Victoria where an investigation was launched this week into a public school offering the Steiner method of teaching.

To clarify: the “Steiner System” is based on the religion known as Anthroposophy. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), was the Austrian woo-woo philosopher/mystic who founded the religion and the famous Waldorf schools, where his postulated "natural rhythms of everyday life" are pursued to “aid every child to unfold his or her unique destiny.” Waldorf teachers are given creative freedom to define curricula, to the extent that I have personally seen astrology, Wood Spirits, and Speaking to Trees incorporated into curricula in Finland and in Germany.
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SWIFT September 14, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Book Review, Forever Uninformed, To the Dark Continent Once More, More on Romania, Slow Learner, Our Recent Adventure, and In Closing…

We’ve just received an advance copy of a new book whose cover rather speaks for itself. It’s by Jim Gerard, a stand-up comic and satirist who effectively eviscerates fundamentalist Christianity in "Beam Me Up, Jesus," subtitled, "A Heathen’s Guide to The Rapture." The publisher tells us that this is a response to the immensely popular – among Rapture fans – "Left Behind" fiction series (see randi.org/jr/2006-09/09806guess.html and I suspect that this volume is just as funny as those are. A few quotes:

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SWIFT September 7, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Dubious Help, Dubious Education, Dubious Cures, Is No Silly Idea Sacred?, New Website, The Angel/Horse Communicators, Super Silly, COS Designated as Criminal, Mysteries of the Soul, and In Closing…

Reader Nate Caraor writes:

I thought you might be interested in learning about the Penn State Paranormal Research Society (PRS), a student organization to be found at www.pennstateprs.com. I was unaware of this group until I learned that a TV show called “PARANORMAL STATE” will soon be airing on A&E, centered around them and their highly promoted leader Ryan Buell. The PRS lists among its services:

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SWIFT August 31, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

An Open Ambush, Romania in Danger, Good News, Mea Culpa – Again, A New Group, Religion Strikes Again, That Strange Delusion, More Mea Culpa, Psychics Take a Tumble, Quoting Uri, In Closing…

I′ve approached the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to talk about preparing a series of programs on their science popularization TV series – on their own channel – set up to counter the commercial channels that air only trashy “scientific” material. This series would be our means of disarming Geller′s planned show on Hungarian TV2 by exposing – in advance – the methods used to convince the audience that he has paranormal powers – a scenario which in any case is rapidly becoming less and less acceptable. And, with any luck, we′ll have that series ready to go before the Geller/Angel series on NBC-TV, and will get the videos up on the Internet just before NBC airs the series.

We′re in touch with the Communication Director of the Academy, to get this underway. Literally, stay tuned…!

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SWIFT August 24, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Remember Derek?, Norway Still In a Tizzy, Kudos From Poland, Another Miracle Worker in Mexico, Homeopathic Hullabaloo in the UK, We’re Hoping Too, And in Hungary?, Possibly, Perhaps Another Pseudoscience, More Cat Stuff, Robert Lancaster Checks In, Re Isaac Newton, Political Theology, Dowser Inquiry, Stupid Questions Department, Apologies, We Regret, Incredible, Joker Hoaxed, Note, Uncle Phil Comments, and In Closing.

 

Reader and Forum member Niobe Vorenus, in the Netherlands, reports to us:

As I mentioned in the forums, Derek Ogilvie has gotten a TV show in the Netherlands with RTL that has other superstars like Char Margolis and Robbert van den Broeke. Fortunately for them, psychic abilities know no language barrier, it seems.

Today in the newspaper he claims he already took the JREF test, which he says can't be scientific, because "Randi is an illusionist." He also claims to have been tested by a Dr. Jerry Glock, of which the results he can't disclose, but there will be a documentary. I'm not sure who this Dr. Glock is, but perhaps he's the Gary Schwartz to his Allison DuBois (Why do I keep misspelling this word "Dubious?")

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