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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.

What's The Harm? (Kenyan Edition) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

(Editor's Warning: The video linked to below is extremely graphic, violent, and disturbing. Do not view if you don't want your day ruined. You need not view it to understand the accompanying article.)

Posted below is a video of a "witch" burning in the Kisii district of western Kenya, in a village called Nyamatoro. It is a two-minute excerpt from a 45-minute piece of footage, apparently shot by a Kenyan freelance journalist named Johnny. If you like, you may visit Johnny's webpage here, though it won't provide any fresh insight into the horrors captured by his camera. In his brief discussion of the video, Johnny's language is studiedly neutral. This is understandable. As you shall see, Johnny has temperamental neighbors.

On his website, Johnny writes mostly about his wish to receive journalistic commissions from news agencies abroad. That, too, is understandable. Any man who witnesses five acquaintances beaten and burned to death by sixty or so of his other acquaintances has every right to a little wanderlust, at the very least.

John Moore Sizes Up Somers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   

suzanne-somersSuzanne Somers has been making a lot of noise lately about how conventional cancer treatment is a sham propped up by greedy practitioners, and the real cures are being hushed because there's no profit in them.

The people I know who have been cured of cancer though conventional treatments beg to differ. John Moore, a radio talk show host for NewsTalk 1010AM Toronto does more than beg: he demands.

Moore had Somers on as a guest, and for the first time, Somers was asked some hard questions. She didn't like it.

Hilarious But Sad PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Sometimes it's difficult to believe just how misinformed some folks can be.  Now, I'm only a very amateur scientist, and I speak with little authority - though I've been personally enlightened by such giants as Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Isaac Asimov, and Richard Dawkins. Prepare yourself for "Dr. Charlene Werner", a "developmental optometrist who combines light therapy, vision training, and homeopathy." Wow! An intellectual giant, right? No, she's  someone who has almost zero knowledge of reality, leans on "vibrations" and Einstein, and constantly asks "Okay?" - a sure sign of the woo-woo speaker - all through an astonishing, rambling, display of ignorance that can be seen at in all its glory.  It runs for more than 8 minutes, but I challenge you to watch the whole thing...

Get Real! PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

wattgateA gushing ad for the WattGate 381, a $148 110-volt wall receptacle, is a masterpiece of misrepresentation, hyperbole, and mendacity that just could attract a starry-eyed Audio-Visual fan. And stupidity - just in case the vendors of this nonsense might believe they've actually created something useful. Read it, and see...

If you are building your own audiophile power cord to improve component performance, you need the WattGate 381 receptacle. Why build a performance power cable only to plug it into the same receptacle that's been in use for almost 100 years? WattGate's 381 is a no compromise solution for the demanding AV enthusiast. Construction of the 381 is top-notch and features glass-filled, nylon front and rear housings. Mounting strap, rivets and grounding strip are gold plated, solid brass for the ultimate in corrosion resistance and power transfer. Installation of the 381 is simple and efficient due to rear wiring and large, #10 brass terminal screws. Terminal clamps are gold plated, solid brass and shaped to better grip the conductors. Like the 330 and 350, the 381 leaves the competition behind with its contacts. Configured in a triple-wiper design allows the plug blades to be gripped at three separate points. Additionally, the heavy-duty contacts maximize the clamping spring-rate and ensure conductivity. A three-layer plating process is also completed on the 381: Oxygen free copper plating, electrolysis nickel, and finally 24k gold plating. Receptacle is cryogenically treated and rated at 125 VAC, 20A.

Trituration Proving of the Light of Saturn PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   

Homeopathy is based on the idea that "like cures like" and the "law of infinitesimals." If coffee keeps you awake, diluted coffee should cure insomnia. The less coffee, the stronger the effect. You can even dilute away all the molecules of coffee: the water will remember it. To figure out which remedies work for which symptoms, homeopathy has its own experimental process called "proving." They have a number of healthy people take a remedy and report all the symptoms they experience for an undetermined period of time, including things like "dreams of robbers." Then they list all these symptoms in a book so you can look up the ones that match your own symptoms to choose a remedy.

I have just read a hilarious account of a proving at It sounds like a parody, but it isn't. It was published in an online international homeopathy journal established in 2006.

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