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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.

Give Me an S! Give Me a C! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

logoChemical and Engineering News may have a narrow audience, but long time JREF friend (she's never missed a TAM!)  and educator Sachie brings this cheery article to our attention.

From the article:

Darlene Cavalier, a Pennsylvania mother of four, a former business developer for Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide, and a onetime cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers, is a vociferous fan of science and, with her slam-dunk smile and enthusiasm, is adding a literal verve to the idea of science cheerleading.
Courtesy of Darlene Cavalier

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A Message From the Spirit World PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

I have received a personal message from beyond the grave, in the form of an audio file. It was posted under the heading American Chiropractors apply for the Zerobrainer Award. It seems that D. D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, has been monitoring the Quackwatch Healthfraud discussion list and the Science-Based Medicine blog from wherever departed spirits reside, and he is pissed. He singles me out for criticism and addresses me as Harriet.

He says I should be devoting my retirement to ladylike pursuits: knitting, ladies' clubs, baking cookies and the like. Thinking is not a woman's game. He says he had 5 wives himself and they knew their place.

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It's Tough Being Psychic PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

There's an old joke that goes something like this:

A man walks into the police station and says "Officer, I'm pyschic, and I just sensed a murder. It was awful! If you go to 212 Main St. and look in the basement, I'm sure you'll find a man stabbed to death." So the officer brings the psychic along, and upon finding a body there, arrests him. "Why are you arresting me?" the psychic asks. And the officer replies, "If you were really psychic, you'd have known that's what I was going to do, and you wouldn't have come along. And if you're not psychic, you must have killed this guy to know what had happened."

Now imagine a real life scenario.

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Is Solar Always Green? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   

solarbusArguably, there can be no cleaner source of energy than the sun. If you place a black container filled with water in the sun, you'll heat water at no cost and with no appreciable environmental impact. That's well and good, but impractical if you want to take a shower at 3AM, or need to boil water for cooking.

Ultimately, what we need is electricity, as our culture is based on electrical devices. So how does one turn solar power into electricity? While you could create a solar furnace that boiled water to produce steam that powered a generator, the cost and size are prohibitive. It's far more reasonable to use solar panels. But are they "green"?

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Ghost Hunter Tells All in Exclusive Interview PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   

mrxRecently, I was granted an interview with “X,” a paranormal investigator from a television show. X could only speak if given total anonymity, as the contract X signed for the show states that giving an interview of this nature would result in litigation. 

Because most of the individuals who read Swift are skeptics, it’s understandable to additionally be skeptical of the existence of X. I can only promise that X does exist, and was able, during this interview, to give a unique point-of-view of television paranormal investigation. 

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