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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.

UFO Mystery Solved! Er.. umm.. well.. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

ufobibleHere at the JREF, we believe in UFOs. That is, we believe that there are Flying Objects that for a time can be Unidentified. Most of these sightings have a rational explanation, however some remain unexplained. And then there are cases like this one.

Probably the most well-known UFO incident in the United States is the Roswell Crash, in New Mexico. The common rational explanation is that a secret balloon project crashed there, causing the military to act in a secretive fashion, which in turn gave fodder to the "alien spaceship" theory of so much contemporary lore.

However, at this year's UFO Festival (July 3-5... you can do this and still make TAM 7!), a Christian group plans to expose the "real" explanation for the crash. They found the answer in the Bible.

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Can You Apply Too Much Critical Thought? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

pressurecookerReaders of this site, by and large, already accept the idea that applying critical thought is good for you. But can you apply too much?

Consider the purchase of an automobile. You have a long commute, so you want the most fuel-efficient car possible. The dealer in the area has a model that gets 40mpg, and meets all your criteria. He has two of these cars on the lot. One of them is white, and the other is black. Which car do you pick?

Actually, the proper question is: how do you decide which car you’ll pick? A skeptic might make a list of pros and cons over the colors. White cars have a higher resale value and hide dirt and blemishes better. Given those facts, it seems the obvious choice is white.

A friend of mine answered this by saying “I’d never buy a white car. I think they’re ugly. Only the black one could work for me.”

Was she exercising critical thinking in her decision? I may surprise you by saying yes, she was.

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A Small Move Forward PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Did you see that General Mills has been scolded by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] for having dared to advertise for two years that their product Cheerios lowers cholesterol, and for twelve years that it is “heart healthy”?  FDA authorities are pondering what action they’ll take at this grave infraction… Didn’t anyone ever tell them that the homeopathic industry has been luring the naïve away from effective life-saving medicines that actually work, while legally selling them pills and drops with ZERO content - for 70 years longer than General Mills has existed, and they've been around since 1866?

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Don't Want Our Money? Take Theirs... PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

Attention Astrologers - many of you have refused to take the JREF $1,000,000 Challenge, often citing spurious excuses such as "the money isn't real" or "the tests are rigged." You're wrong about those things, but no matter... there is other money waiting for you:

(Published at www.srai.org and www.thefreethinker.tk )

INR 25,00,000 challenge to all astrologers to forecast result of Parliament Election 2009

May 11th 2009

Science and Rationalists’ Association of India (Bharayatiya Bigyan o Yuktibadi Samiti) challenges all astrologers to forecast following results / information regarding Parliament Election 2009:--

  1. How many seats will be acquired by Congress, BJP, TMC, CPI(M), BSP, RJD, Samajbadi Party, DMK, AIDMK?
  2. How much differences in votes will remain to win/lose for Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Lalkrishna Advani, Mamata Bandopadhyay, Laluprasad Yadav, Rambilas Paswan from their respective nearest opponents?
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When The Pope Hates You PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

John Paul II hates Jeremy Pechanec. On February 22nd, right around 2:30 a.m., the 28-year-old Pechanec was shot in the back of the head in what some have speculated was a drug deal gone awry. He was left brain-dead, lying on the sidewalk in the middle of downtown Cleveland, just a few steps from the bar where he’d been drinking. (The bar is called “Scorchers,” and makes a tidy profit off its “Wicked” wings — evocative word choices that may explain the late Pontiff’s antipathy.) Over the next several days, Pechanec’s organs were harvested and his unusuable remains interred. The deceased Pope, despite his plain interest in securing a swift beatification and canonization, did nothing.

But there was a man kneeling next to Jeremy Pechanec when he was executed, gang-land style, on that ugly winter’s morn. Pechanec’s friend, Jory Aebly, was shot as well. The bullet shattered his skull and whizzed through two hemispheres of gray matter before coming to rest against the interior of his forehead. According to EWTN — “The Global Catholic Network”— Aebly’s injuries were “non-survivable.” (Though according to a local news channel’s dispatch from the day of the shooting, Aebly was doing “better than expected” from the moment he arrived at the hospital.)

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