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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.

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.

"False Documents" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

ringbellSteve from Australia sent this picture, which makes us ask the question... why? Shouldn't the door just open as you approach?

And this reminds me of a story. While doing some research in New Orleans, I visited a palm reader with a woman of my acquaintance. We sat down in a bead-festooned closet, and he felt our palms.

"Hmm" he said, and then "Oh... I see." And despite the fact that neither of us were wearing our wedding rings, the psychic told us with complete confidence that we were married. He said that though there will be some conflicts, we are always going to be married. You see, our "life lines" and "heart lines" showed him this, and there was no mistaking it.

Upon hearing his proclamation, we looked each other in the eye, and shared a wink. You see, the psychic was right.

From Russia With Light Amplified by Stimulated Emissions of Radiaton PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

In this article, I asked you to consider how the Russian in the video was making paper burn, cups melt, and assistants wince in pain. I promised I'd share with you my thoughts, and here they are.

First, I have to say that the commenters were brilliant in exploring options and considering issues. What I'm about to say agrees with many of them, but it's important to know that I was not there, I have not talked to the people involved, and I could be completely wrong.

However, what I do have is James Randi, who I consulted on this matter.

Randi and I agree that the most likely explanation for the observed phenomena is laser energy.

Vaccines and Autism: A Deadly Manufactroversy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   

Do vaccines cause autism? Jenny McCarthy thinks so. She thinks her “mommy instincts” are more reliable than science. For those of us who think science is a better guide to knowledge than the instincts of celebrities, the evidence is in. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Vaccines are safe: far safer than not vaccinating.

The whole idea was a “manufactoversy” – a manufactured controversy based on junk science and perpetrated by unscrupulous researchers and irresponsible media reports. So many parents have been frightened into rejecting or delaying vaccines that vaccine-preventable diseases are staging a comeback, and our public health is endangered. How did this happen?

Simon Singh is appealing! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   

sas-libelIn a recent Swift post, guest blogger Naomi Baker wrote about friend of the JREF (and TAM London speaker) Simon Singh, a skeptic and journalist who literally wrote the book on "alternative" medicine. Simon also writes for the UK newspaper The Guardian, and in a recent article he said that the British Chiropractic Association made claims that were "bogus".

The BCA was not happy with this, of course. But instead of providing any evidence that what they claim is not bogus - evidence, in this case, which does not exist for reasons you can probably figure out yourself - they decided to sue Simon.

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