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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.

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

In this article, I ran an item about one “astrologer Sir Bejaan Daruwala,” and I expressed my wonder that he’d been granted that honor, perhaps either for being an astrologer or for endorsing “Global Zodiac Rings and Pendants,” miraculous gems that vibrate the naïve into ecstasies of spending

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This is English? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

I got into a discussion with my long-time friend Michael Hutchinson, in the UK, via Skype – if you don’t know Skype, you’ve missed the boat – and we exchanged strange pronunciations of words. You might know that the place name Leicester is pronounced – by the English – as “Lester,” and Worcester becomes Wooster” when spoken. Michael provided these:

Family names:

Cholmondley – "Chumley"

Featherstonehaulgh – "Fanshaw"

Colquhoon – "Cahoon"

Beauchamp – "Beecham"

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UK Quackery PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Please, so that you can get some idea of just how miserably-managed the government health services are in the UK, go to http://dcscience.net/?p=454 and read Prof. David Colquhoun’s account. His “Improbable Science” entries have been railing against stupidity in medical science for years now, and you will see just how ignorant, inept, and recalcitrant these “quangos” are.

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WIlling to Be Shown PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Reader David Glück  referred me to this site, which prompted me to respond. Perhaps you’ll go there, read the essay, and return to see my response, below…

I read this unsigned essay with great interest. Therein, I found a few canards of which I’d not previously heard. For example, I assure the author that I, as a devoted skeptic but not a cynic, personally have no fear nor worry whatsoever that claimed psi phenomena might turn out to be real, as he thought might be the case with some. In fact, upon being presented with firm evidence establishing this wonderful circumstance, I would delight in trying to solve the modi operandi that might bring about telepathy, precognition, or other such phenomena.

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