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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.

Some Unwelcome News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

This is a personal article, and I hope you'll indulge me. If you decide to stop reading now, I won't be offended.

Over Thanksgiving, I learned that a friend of mine saw some rough times. It's been five years since our last meeting.

We met in Vegas, and though he was more my father's friend (being a coworker) than mine, I quite enjoyed his company.  He had a decent job, his own condo, and given his behavior at the Super Bowl parties we used to attend, he seemed happy.

At this point, I'm envisioning sitting with him next to an enormous screen in the ballroom of Paris, as he nearly won a very long-shot bet. We were all very excited, but he just sat there looking at the screen with a content smile on his face.

And that will be my permanent memory of him.

Conundrum PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Reader Ron Holmstrom in Alaska points out one of the many difficulties faced by those trying to make any sense of homeopathy. He writes:

Doctor Frank's Homeopathic Pain relief TV commercial says:

Call now and learn how to double your pain relief!

How about just add water?

A Good Question PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

I frankly don't have as much time as I'd like to look through the comments following the items that appear on SWIFT, and I'm sure I thus miss a lot of good material. At this article, I discussed some differences between UK and USA English usage, and though I was tempted to get into car parts - the English have "boot," "lorry," and "petrol" where we have "trunk," "truck," and "gas" - I settled on some place names and proper names. The item got 1,826 hits and 37 comments within the first 24 hours, among which was one from "BillyJoe" that I believe needs my attention.

The androgynous BillyJoe asked:

And, pray tell, what is this doing in Swift?

Mercy, Indeed! PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Reader Frank Trumpy sends us this hilarious ad, a quite serious one, from a circular in his vast collection:

Fathers of Mercy

Dedicated To


need men to bring the Mercy of God to all.


Write: Vocation Director

Fathers of Mercy

South Union, KY 42283


Galileo: Nincompoop

Another "History Channel" Disgrace PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Reader Dennis Middlebrooks of New York writes:

The History Channel aired a program called "The Next Nostradamus" Sunday night. The show began by claiming Nostradamus was right on target with his predictions and was "a mortal man with immortal insights into the future."  Incredibly, the show equates astrology with astronomy and states that Nostradamus developed a method to predict the future by casting horoscopes for the entire globe!  The show also claimed that Copernicus and Galileo were astrologers and described alchemy as the "science of converting lead into gold."  I kid you not.

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