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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.

Technology Triumphs Again PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

logoI'm regularly in contact with my good friend in China, Matthew Hu Xinyu, who works with the Beiing Cultural Heritage Protection Center. His excellent "CHP" site can be seen at en.bjchp.org/english/indexen.asp. Matthew and his colleagues are working to see that the cultural relics of his country are properly preserved and valued, particularly in the old architectural areas, with their unique character and charm. The recent expansion and conversion of some areas of Beijing to accommodate the very successful Olympic Games, caused his people some apprehension, but things appear to be reasonably settled now, much to his relief.

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Woo in Review - LETTER BAG PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   

Rather than dig my fingernails into another review this week, I have decided to devote this Woo in Review to addressing some concerns voiced in the comments of previous editions. If you're coming here in search of a television show slam, however, not to worry - we'll be covering several shows throughout the course of this article.

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Asteroid Coming! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

At this article from last week, you’ll see some of the excellent coverage that reader Mogen Winthers has been providing us on this totally – and dangerously – self-deluded man, Dr. Richard Boylan, a defrocked psychiatrist who has been circulating statements about a fictitious asteroid that he says celestial powers have told him will impact Earth on November 15th, and has asked for a Joint Psychic Exercise [JPE] by all his fellow-nuts to steer the visitor away from Earth.

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A Big Wrist-Slap PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Well, at least it's something. Huckster Kevin Trudeau, who claimed his books could cause significant weight loss, cure addictions to heroin, alcohol, and cigarettes, and enable users to achieve a photographic memory, has been banned from being involved in "infomercials" for three years, and ordered to pay more than five million dollars for making false claims. See this Swift article from 2007.. Mind you, Trudeau has made that amount of money many, many, times over, so this is just a slight hitch in his operation - a nuisance. Look for Trudeau-coached operators appearing on TV to continue selling the same woo-woo, as Kevin enjoys the Riviera in luxury, while banking the proceeds.

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When Dinosaurs Surfed Texas PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeffrey Wagg   

Please watch this short commercial from our non-sponsor, Columbia Sportswear:

Notice anything odd there? Well Nat Heffernan did, and he brought it to our attention. The narration begins "Man didn't outlive dinosaurs or rotary phones by sitting still.  We adapt." And then later, in a stern voice, "Texas isn't surf country." Ok, two things. We didn't outlive dinosaurs at all. Not even close. While we're still learning about mammalian evolution during the "dinosaur age," it's likely beyond all reasonable debate that there were no humans around to run from a T-Rex. (This article gives evidence that mammals weren't the mouse-like pipsqueaks we had earlier believed though. Wow.)

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