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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.

Don't Read My Lips PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Karen Stollznow   

 

“When you run your hands through your hair like that it makes me think you’re flirting with me,” a colleague said recently.

I replied, “Maybe I’m not flirting, but I’m getting my hair out of my eyes, or detangling my hair, or it’s a nervous habit, or I have dandruff, or I’m readjusting my wig.”

Someone’s been reading those self-help books about so-called “Body Language”…

Linguistics, kinesics and semiotics are among the disciplines that attempt to observe and describe gesture and other forms of non-verbal communication.

On the other hand (excuse the pun), Body Language “experts” claim they can “read” posture, facial expressions, and other body movements. But people try to conceal their thoughts and emotions, and our own bodies reveal too much. It’s a conspiracy.

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Randi Speaks - The Carlos Affair PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeffrey Wagg   

In this episode, Randi recalls the phenomenon that was "Carlos," and how the media is often responsible for creating phenomena simply by reporting it in a credulous fashion.

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Misdirection... PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

One of my good friends in Switzerland is Michael Bloch, from whom I received this note:

Randi: I regularly receive recommendations from Amazon.com advertising esoteric books. They send these since I have bought books written by you!

Michael attached this recommendation that he'd received:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,

As someone who has purchased or rated "An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural" by James Randi, you might like to know that "Immortality And Our Employments Hereafter With What A Hundred Spirits, Good And Evil, Say Of Their Dwelling Place" is now available. You can order yours for just $29.95 by following the link below.

Michael complained to Amazon.com on May 10th with the following e-mail

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Penn says... go to TAM! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Phil Plait   

Penn Jillette -- the louder, bigger 2/3 of Penn & Teller, friend of the JREF, and perennial TAM speaker -- has made a short video talking about the live preliminary testing of the Million Dollar Challenge we'll be holding at The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 in Vegas; the meeting is from July 9 - 12, with the live test being on Sunday the 12th.

 

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Another Loss.. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

I’ve lost yet another good friend, Earl "Presto" Johnson, a generous, dedicated, magician of rare talent. He was a skinny Afro-American guy who spent a lot of love and effort on the youngsters of Harlem in NYC, helping them to find themselves.  He taught a score or more the conjuring trade, and he invented a number of sleight-of-hand effects that were brilliant. He died of a heart attack last month, having had a long history of heart problems. He was an icon in the New York magic world, a legend among his peers, who performed his stage act in his trademark white tail suit with silk top hat – and Bermuda shorts…

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