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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.

2.5 BILLION Spent on CAM Testing. Result? It Doesn't Work. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Right on the heels of my ChOPRAH article comes this article from MSNBC. $2.5B study on how "alternative medicine" shows virtually no effectiveness. A waste of money? Not necessarily.

From the article:

Echinacea for colds. Ginkgo biloba for memory. Glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis. Black cohosh for menopausal hot flashes. Saw palmetto for prostate problems. Shark cartilage for cancer. All proved no better than dummy pills in big studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

ChOPRAH PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

34i1y0jSigh. This is ugly. Really really ugly. The Huffington Post has been getting bashed by skeptics lately for being credulous at best and downright silly at worst. And now I can see why.

Most of you know that Oprah was called to task in Newsweek recently. I was going to mention it in Swift, but I  stopped myself for two reasons: 1) everyone else mentioned it, and 2) it lauded Dr. Mehmet Oz as a voice of reason on Oprah's show. He's not, and it doesn't take much research to see that.

Anyway, today, Deepak ChOPRAH weighed in on Oprah's side. Yes, I'm going to spell his name like that. Deal with it.

So here's the article. Please read it if you can. I won't blame you if you can't. I'm going to go through it here anyway.

ChOPRAH says:

The (Newsweek) story failed to gain traction for obvious reasons. Oprah has aired innumerable shows on health, of which the controversial ones are a tiny minority. Her intention to improve women's lives on all fronts is so obvious as to be almost above criticism. The credibility for women's well-being and welfare she has earned day after day over the past two decades will not be undone with a story that cherry-picks the guests who can be made easy targets of ridicule by the medical establishment. And the fact that she has celebrity guests who have causes and crusades in the area of health, such as Jenny McCarthy or Suzanne Somers, is not the same as Oprah herself endorsing what they say.

Ok, please. Deepak, spare us your manipulative rhetoric.

"Champ" Visits Again PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

I am fortunate to live very near a lake with its own lake monster. With the exception of the well-debunked Loch Ness Monster, "Champ" or the Lake Champlain Monster in Vermont is probably the most well known "cryptid" of its kind. Of course, I don't believe there actually is a lake monster, with the exception of this one.

Last week, a gentleman by the name of Eric Olsen posted a video to YouTube which shows a shape moving in the early-morning waters of Lake Champlain just off of Oak Ledge Park in Burlington. It's interesting footage, and well worth a look.

As with any unusual video of something moving in the water, people were quick to shout "There's Champ!" But noted-skeptic Ben Radford, co-author of the book Lake Monster Mysteries is an expert on Champ, and posted his analysis at

From Ben's article:

The video holds several clues about the creature's identity. The form resembles the back and head of a swimming deer, and moves toward the near shore past what appears to be a buoy, which might suggest shallow water.

Don't Give Them What They Want PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

People I respect deeply are going to disagree with me on this, but I have to propose this idea as I think it's the best way to deal with this digusting problem.

Ignore them.

Who you ask? Well, I'm not going to mention their names. But imagine a group of so-called Christians who picket funerals with large signs indicating that some supreme being or other has an intense dislike for those of us who are homosexual, and you may get an idea of who I mean.

To explain why, I need to invoke Howard Stern.

Please Click — and Weep PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

I've often said that it's hard to anticipate how silly, illogical, fuzzy-thinking, and downright stupid that people - or organizations - can get. This time, it's a prominent newspaper...

The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s oldest paper, founded in 1877. It has a daily printed circulation of 700,000 copies, is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and has the largest circulation in Washington. They proudly assert:

More than 9.6 million of the smartest business leaders and key opinion leaders nationwide and worldwide turn to, their trusted source for unique insight vital to business and life.

No, not the smartest. Perhaps those who want to see how the Dumbos of the country are thinking, but not necessarily the smartest.

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