The Amazing Meeting 2014

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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.

Dowsing for Everything PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

We've encountered an endless line of dowsers eager to show their "abilities" to dowse for water, people, gold, explosives, graves.. and in one case, the ability to dowse for a circle drawn in chalk. There are number of different techniques, but so far, all of these claims have had one thing in common: they haven't stood up to the Million Dollar Challenge. That is to say, when exposed to the light of a controlled experiment, they fail. 

Despite this, many people and the media continue to think of dowsing as a real phenomenon. A search of Google News shows dozens of hits in the news for dowsing. Most are the same old thing, but this Evansville (Indiana) Courier and Press report about Duane Walker caught my attention.

 
Why We Can't Find Bigfoot PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

horizontalThe big question for skeptics concerning anthropoid cryptids is "If they exist, why can't we find them?" Doug Waller of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation (Or the Southeast Sasquatch Association, depending on source) has a theory. As reported by WHIZ in Zanesville, Ohio, Waller hosted a conference at a local library and explained his theory. 

These things have a vertical spine like men, and when you go out in the woods and you have trees everywhere and you see a deer, it has a horizontal spine. It sticks out. Well, if a Bigfoot is in the woods, and he hears you coming and doesn't want to be found, all he needs to do is stand in the shadows next to a trees. Chances are, you'll just go right on by, and you won't ever know it's there.

So it's that simple. They hear you coming, and hide.

 
Prophecy PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

prophecyimageBeing the new year, the so-called psychics are giving their predictions, and showing off how well they did last year. And I got to thinking.. since everything I've seen leads me to believe that I'm every bit as "psychic" as they are, why not make my own predictions? I've read Kreskin's predictions for 2009, and I think I can do better.

 But what method should I use? Crystal ball? Tea leaves? (I'm more of a coffee drinker) Extispicy? (would sushi count?) Aha, I've found the answer. And it is... iTunes. How, you ask? Well, I shall tell you.

 
Amazing, Kreskin! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

kreskinGeorge Kresge, now known as The Amazing Kreskin - remember him? - has floored us with yet another startling prediction for this year of 2009. He tells us:

There will be a growing movement in the US to follow in the steps of England, and that is to restrict, discourage, or even ban cell phones in restaurants.

 
Excellent Choice PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

oopReader John Michalski, a science teacher at East Hanover Middle School, NJ, writes to say that it’s

Good to have thinkers in the media, wherever we can find them.

Of course, we at JREF agree with John, who sends us to this site to learn that Stephen Whitty, the movie critic for the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger, gave a “science fiction" rating to "Expelled

 
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