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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.

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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Who's Making Money Now? Psychics. PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeffrey Wagg   

According to Wired News, things are good for those with "gifts." The author, Ryan Singel, apparently interviewed a few "psychics" and asked them to report. Troubled investors have been turning in droves to so-called online "psychics" to advise them on what to do during these difficult economic times. I'm not terribly surprised by this "news," but the article itself has a few interesting points for dicsussion.  

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