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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.

SWIFT March 21, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

He Has Passed Away, Compulsive Grubby, One Faker Endorses the Other, It’s a Start, Another Epiphany, Interesting, A Potential Applicant, Commendable, Jamy Speaks, Readers Digest Gets Its Lumps, In Closing…

Arthur C Clarke

I lead off this SWIFT entry with sad but rather expected news. Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, who was kind enough to write a flattering introduction to my book, “An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural,” has passed away at his adopted home in Colombo, Sri Lanka, at the age of 90. He left written instructions that his funeral be strictly secular, and had directed that "Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral."

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SWIFT March 14, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Purple Plates, Another Withdrawal, Don’t Miss This, A Request, Airborne News, An Assignment, Another Pet Psychic, No Wonder!, Very True, Moving Forward – Maybe, PBS Offends, Lilieci Case Solved, A Loser Is the Winner, That Pot Head Man, Unlikely Penguins, Adelaide Woo-Woo, Homeopathy Alert, and In Closing…

padre pio

Reader Dean Malandris:

Those of us trying to maintain our life raft of sanity in an ocean of stupidity have probably developed a sense of being "comfortably numb," as Pink Floyd once said. If rationality is represented by low-lying land mass, and woo-woo is represented by the ocean, then the more I look around, the more I'm convinced that we're suffering Intellectual Global Warming.

I originally thought this was a web site that might have described, in intricate detail, the contents of Nikola Tesla's kitchen cabinets, or side board, but oh no: www.tesla-energy.com

The only sensible thing I could make out was on the "About Plates" page, where it says:

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SWIFT March 7, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Breaking News, Easy Solution, Another Wrist-Slap, Just Another Cold Reader, A Happy Convert, Explanation, Prophet/Profit Manual, Musical Advice, Rebuttal, That Old Null Hypothesis Problem, Steorn’s Demise Again Denied, Who & Why?, That Health Anchor, Desiré?, and In Closing…

padre pio

The corpse of Padre Pio, the Italian monk from the Capuchin order who was said to have regularly exhibited stigmata – wounds on his hands, feet and side like those of Jesus Christ during his crucifixion – and who was made a saint by Pope John Paul II, has been exhumed on the 40th anniversary of his death. Some seven million people visit his tomb every year. Those wounds reputedly bled frequently throughout his adult life. He was exhumed in order to be put on public display at the end of April. We’re told that the remains will be “prepared by experts before being placed in a glass coffin.” I certainly hope so.

The body was in "fair" condition, a Church statement said, and “his nails looked as if they had just undergone a manicure.” The statement also said that the body “has been conserved well,'' and “we could clearly make out the beard,” except that

The top part of the skull is partly skeletal but the chin is perfect and the rest of the body is well preserved.

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SWIFT February 29, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

The Latest on the Geller Front, Steorn: Still Active?, South Africa Again, And Once More, Howe Numb Noory, Hot Air A-Plenty, Homeopathic Tragedies Revisited, Accept the Good Part, The Grubbies Attack!, Defended, Price Winner, Norwegian Nuttery, In Closing..

geller

The TV program titled “The Next Uri Geller” – just run by the Pro-Sieben channel in Germany – now has its audience wondering just why anyone would want to have another such character. Though it was all kept very secretive, the strange clauses in the contract signed by mentalists who asked to be part of the program, have now been made public, and since German law is very contract-oriented, there are many questions being asked – a little too late. Some of the contract terms were anything

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SWIFT February 22, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Scientology Under the Microscope, Freiburg Fumble, To Read, Comments on Comments, Shut Down Due to Failure, Excuses and Creative Editing, New for TAM6, and In Closing…

time An Internet site that has examined some of the claims made by the Church of Scientology [CoS] concerning the history of their founder Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, is chock-full of obscenities and juvenile comments, a factor that goes directly into the CoS arsenal and provides them with all sorts of weapons with which to devalue that site – though not the facts stated therein. However, the site’s observations deserve to be disseminated, and I summarize them here:

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