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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 August 24, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
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?")

SWIFT August 17, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Hoagland News Flash, Pecking at the Ankles of a Giant, Clarins Bombed, An Encounter, Terminally Gullible, Center For Inquiry Annual Awards, The Latest Popoff Puffery, That Damn Cat, That Weird Korean Obsession, More Moon Madness, More South African Woo-Woo, Transposition, Fellow Artists, In the Woo-Woo Way, Geller and Angel Teamed, Challenge Delayed, and In Closing…

From an anonymous reader comes this information:

Richard Hoagland, he who found a human face on Mars (see and do a search for “Hoagland”) now says he's talked to Moon walkers Buzz Aldrin and Edgar Mitchell, and claims they say that they can't remember certain parts of their missions because NASA has erased parts of their memories so they can't tell anybody what they saw up there. Apparently, there's the remains of an ancient civilization up there that nobody is supposed to know about.

Wonder how Hoagland found out…?

Not sure if it was the same guy or not, but a week or two ago, one of the guests [on the radio] said the reason it would take so long to get back to the Moon is because of the ruins up there. If NASA spends enough money pretending to try to get there, interest will fade and they won't have to actually go and then hide – again – what's really up there.

SWIFT August 10, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Stunning News, More Beastly Stuff, Krazy Kat, South Africa - Again?, Ask the Psychics, Attenborough Not Concerned, A Good Experience, Shermer Scores, In Conclusion.

Have you ever wondered whether there was any measurable effect of the phases of the Moon on human affairs? Well, Dr. Robert Seeberger, a physicist and astronomer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Austria, apparently has cared enough to look into this question – though it’s hard to imagine where the funding came from, or why. He has now reported that his team of experts analyzed 500,000 industrial accidents in that country between 2000 and 2004, and found no link to lunar activity. Says he:

The full moon does not unfavorably affect the likelihood of an accident.

SWIFT August 3, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Blatantly Suppressing Science, More Royal News, JREF Library File, Sylvia Got Something Right!, All Talk But No Cure, Yet Another Dowsing Rod, And It Still Pours, Accreditation Responsibility, Solutions Offered, Error, Educator McLeroy Again, Flamm Again on Flim-Flam, Another Favorite Myth Exploded, In Conclusion…

From reader Jan Willem Nienhuys comes another disturbing story from the Low Countries.

One of the “public broadcasting corporations” in the Netherlands is the EO, where “E” stands for Evangelical. Why such religious organizations are “public” is too complicated to explain. Competing with the EO is the Roman Catholic KRO, which specializes in psychic superstitions like miracle stories, reincarnation, and “competitions” between psychics. The EO turns out to be a bunch of liars as well. They broadcast the BBC series "The Life of Mammals" presented by David Attenborough, and it turns out that they left out certain comments about evolutionary theory; all references to "millions of years" were also systematically edited out. The last part of the series, mainly about the descent of man, was omitted altogether.

SWIFT July 27, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

That Silly Non-Spinning Wheel, Candidates for the Prize, Hot News, Texas Leads in Science Bashing, Royal Speaks to Angels and Horses, Sylvia’s Predictions, That Dreaded Number Again, And it Poured…, Homer at Work, Credentials, Reality Can Be Rough, Trouble in Dilution Land and In Conclusion…

Yes, the Steorn toy is still with us, folks. Refer to to refresh your memory. I just saw a typically naïve comment that repeats a canard about the requirements of our patent office:

Right, and in the US the USPTO, our patent office, actually requires people to send in physical working samples of supposed perpetual motion machines because they have historically received so many claims for patents to this system.

Wrong. The USPTO requires nothing of the kind. They’ll issue patents to just about anything, no matter how silly it is. For an example, see – do a search for “patent.”

Another discussion on the claims made for this stupid machine. First, a question that was posed to the Steorn CEO:

Let's talk a little bit more about the technology that you guys have supposedly developed here. Laws of thermodynamics basically state that you can't achieve 100% efficiency in any apparatus and that there are always transfers of heat and energy in any system. But obviously you guys are claiming 100%+ efficiency. Do you have a statistic or number of what you estimate the energy efficiency level of your machine is? Is it 110% or 150%?

Steorn’s answer

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