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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: THE MENTALIST and CRIMINAL MINDS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Smith   

mentalistThe pilot of The Mentalist (CBS) opens with a smarmy-looking man who resembles a Ken doll approaching a press conference outside a residence where parents are thanking police and volunteers for searching for their missing teenage daughter and utterly failing (as she has just been found dead). My first thought was "Who thanks police for their help while their dead daughter is being gurneyed off to the morgue like three feet away?" But that is neither here nor there for a review – I just accepted that the show wasn't going to be about realistic displays of emotion, and that they were trying to jam about a dozen plot elements into ten seconds.

Nitrogen Filled Tires? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Dunning   
There is always someone out there looking for a way to squeeze a few extra dollars out of gullible consumers. Tire shops offering nitrogen filled tires are no exception.

Some racing cars use nitrogen in their tires, as do some aircraft and freight trucks. If the big boys are doing it, maybe it's a good idea, right? Well, it may be a good idea for them, but that doesn't mean that these benefits will transfer to your street car.
Death from the Skies - New Book by Phil Plait PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   

deathfromskies.jpgYou’ve gotta love an astronomer who can reduce the history of the universe to 10 words, who tells us what he would weigh at the surface of the Sun and then feels obligated to add a footnote saying he would weigh more if his wife had just baked cookies.

Phil Plait has done it again. He has filled our plate (pun intended) with education and entertainment in the same inimitable style he perfected in his first book Bad Astronomy.

TAM 6 DVDs now available! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   

Every year, hundreds of critical thinkers converge on Las Vegas to attend the annual JREF conference, called The Amaz!ng Meeting (or TAM). In June 2008, almost 1000 people came to the sixth TAM and saw an array of fantastic speakers talking about science, skepticism, and rationality.

An Egregious NYCPB Item PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Note: There is an error in this article. Please read the note at the bottom.

Reader Greg Rochon took justifiable exception to an item he came upon, one that reminded me of a similar “job opportunity” entry we commented on back in 2000 – see, Category #2. Greg is annoyed at the naivety exhibited by the New York State Consumer Protection Board, who declare their goal thus:

The Consumer Protection Board, established in 1970 by the New York State Legislature, is the State's top consumer watchdog and "think tank." The CPB's core mission is to protect New Yorkers by publicizing unscrupulous and questionable business practices and product recalls; conducting investigations and hearings; enforcing the "Do Not Call Law"; researching issues; developing legislation; creating consumer education programs and materials; responding to individual marketplace complaints by securing voluntary agreements; and, representing the interests of consumers before the Public Service Commission (PSC) and other State and federal agencies.

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