I attended the first ever UFO festival in Exeter NH on Sept.5, 2009. I have to say my impression is that the good old Yankees of the Granite State really don't get into the whole UFO/alien thing as well as the citizens of the West. No real Roswell style over the top costumes or booths selling quart rocks to help communicate with our space brethren. Just simply a simple display by the NEUFON (New England UFO network), the Kiwanis selling lunch, a tv table with a few newspaper clipping from the Historic Society, and t-shirts. The t-shirts were selling well. Inside Exeter town hall about 100-150 people calmly listened to talks by various UFO authors (with books for sale). The main draw seemed to be the niece of Betty and Barney Hill. We all remember Betty and Barney Hill as the couple that was abducted by aliens, and "recovered" their memory of it via hypnosis. The doctor that treated the Hills always emphasized that he did not believe they had been abducted, but that they certainly did believe.
This is not a new video, but it needs to be brought to our attention once again as it demonstrates that tools are ineffective if they're not used properly.
In this video you'll see Glenn Beck interviewing John Edward, and it starts off great. "Could you sleep at night knowing if you weren't on the up and up?" asks Glenn, and we're hopeful as we watch John Edward squrim. And then comes the question - why won't you take the JREF Million Dollar Challenge?
A year ago, Randi finished off a succesful attack on a device that was a swindle at best, and a killer at worst. That device, "Sniffex," was a divining rod purported by its marketers to detect explosives. (Not to be confused with SniffEx, a scientific – and functioning – sensor.)
Sadly, another troll has taken residence under the bridge.
I've heard from Gerardo, a reader in Costa Rica, which he describes as "the most beautiful land in the world, a tropical paradise with no army and sometimes, no shame either." He writes:
[I'm] an aspiring critical thinker from Costa Rica... As one of the last confessional estates in the Western hemisphere, the Nation of Costa Rica is Catholic, Apostolic and Roman. We are a state (funny, don't you think?) that worships hundreds of lesser gods commonly known as saints, a virgin, a ghost, a resurrected crucified man and a misogynist god Many people are very proud of this, but there are always a few dissenters.
Please forgive me if I hammer once again at this theme, but I see that just this month, the prestigious Mayo Clinic has issued a lengthy report that stresses the importance of not accepting "alternative medicine treatments ranging from herbal remedies to acupuncture" simply because they have become more popular and offer more options, cautioning that these treatments aren't always proven safe or effective. The report asks that people "Be open-minded yet skeptical of medical claims." While I certainly agree with this advice, and it's stated in an appropriately caring, polite, and skeptical fashion, I'm somewhat alarmed to see that the report also contains:
With any alternative treatment you consider, find out if the potential benefits outweigh the risks. It's a good idea to talk to your doctor and do research on your own before trying any treatment.
With due deference to the authority of the Mayo Clinic, I will state that I have met - quite recently - fully-qualified, licensed, practicing physicians who have endorsed or at least tolerated various aspects of quackery - especially acupuncture. Though innocently presented, such professional opinions originate in benign ignorance. Never assume malice when incompetence will do.