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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.

Amazing, Kreskin! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

kreskinGeorge Kresge, now known as The Amazing Kreskin - remember him? - has floored us with yet another startling prediction for this year of 2009. He tells us:

There will be a growing movement in the US to follow in the steps of England, and that is to restrict, discourage, or even ban cell phones in restaurants.

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Excellent Choice PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

oopReader John Michalski, a science teacher at East Hanover Middle School, NJ, writes to say that it’s

Good to have thinkers in the media, wherever we can find them.

Of course, we at JREF agree with John, who sends us to this site to learn that Stephen Whitty, the movie critic for the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger, gave a “science fiction" rating to "Expelled

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WOO IN REVIEW: Crystal Head Vodka PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   
WOO IN REVIEW: Crystal Head Vodka

Available in bars and liquor stores for $12/shot or between $50 and $250/bottle

 crystalhead

A few months ago, when the promotional video for Crystal Head Vodka was first released, there was some doubt about whether or not it was a real product and whether or not Dan Aykroyd had totally flipped his cheeseburger.

 

All I can say is: Aykroyd's cheeseburger was flipped long ago – he is a lifetime member of and consultant for MUFON. He also hosted the television show Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal which, though it was a scripted drama, earned him the Snuffed Candle Award from CSI.

So the vodka he helped create is, of course, also insanely woo. And I mean insanely.

 

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Skeptical of Business Services... PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brian Dunning   

corporationIt's year end again, and about now I always get an extra annual load of junk mail. This particular batch is from companies who attempt to deceive small business owners into paying for unnecessary services that appear to be a legal requirement.

I received a typical solicitation today. Corporations are required to keep certain records, including the recorded minutes of shareholder meetings. In my case, once a quarter I type a sentence or two detailing any important decisions I made regarding my podcast, and I stick it in a file. This is a legal requirement, and it takes me ten minutes to comply.

Today's solicitation was from a company offering to store it for me, for $175, if I mail it to them. Nothing wrong with that. Probably not worth it, but certainly there's nothing wrong with offering such a service.

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The Wall Street Journal Debunks the Myth of Alternative Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   

We frequently criticize the media for gullible reporting of pseudoscience and inaccurate reporting of real science. But sometimes they exceed our fondest hopes and get it spectacularly right. On December 25, 2008, the Wall Street Journal gave us all a Christmas present: they printed an article by Steve Salerno that was a refreshing blast of skepticism and critical thinking about alternative medicine.

Salerno points out that 38% of Americans use "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM) and it is being increasingly accepted in hospitals and medical schools. He says this should be a laughing matter but isn't because of the huge amounts of money being spent on ineffective treatments. Not to speak of the huge amounts of money being wasted on implausible research at the NCCAM.

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