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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 January 11, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

More Nonsense, Hoax Still Active, Plain and Simple - It's a Magic Charm, Welcome News, The Anouncement, Warning, Edward Down Under, Bagged Psychics, Pendulum Magic, A Surprise to Look Into, Oops!, He Should Know, Science-Based Medicine, Re 666, Sylvia Again, IQ Test, Justice Is Served, In Conclusion...


Reader James Todd, Ph.D., with the Department of Psychology at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, comments on the continuing academic endorsement of the ridiculous “Facilitated Communication” [FC] notion as a means of treating autistic children. See for our most recent mention of this subject. Dr. Todd writes:

In case people are wondering, Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University Chancellor, has recently confirmed her FC true belief. I suppose that her appointing Douglas Biklen as Dean of the Syracuse College of Education, was probably enough to demonstrate that. But this nails it down.

In a speech delivered on September 7 this year, Cantor (a Stanford-trained Ph.D. in Psychology) stated:

SWIFT January 4, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

A Few Thoughts at Year’s End, It Seems that Everybody’s Doing It, More Denial of Death, The JREF Million-Dollar Challenge, More Geller, A Frantic Question, Pseudoscience In Full Bloom, I Learn Something New Every Day, A Simplified Art, Yet More Creationist Boo-Boos, From Israel, Another Conversion, A New Level of Nonsense Has Been Reached, How Exciting Can Science Get?, and In Conclusion…


On Xmas morning, the NBC-TV “Today Show” featured the Washington Performing Arts Society singing a rather upbeat version of the Hallelujah Chorus. It was just great, though Handel might have had an attack of the vapors on hearing it. Then the show took off on a religious treatment of the whole holiday scene, though some of this was encouraging, I must admit. Last week I pontificated on a presidential candidate’s religious attitudes being important rather than only peripheral to his/her qualifications, as so many have opined. Now “Today” has informed us that a survey says 70% of American voters want a religious presidential candidate… Man the barricades!

SWIFT December 28, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

There Are Other Gods Out There, Nice Try, An Expensive Magical Rod, Finding Significance, Not Just Yet, Playing the God Card, Saccharine Sooth, Tune In, Still Scamming, Medical Mythology Addressed, Viewer Comments, The Secret’s Out, Very Wise Words, Do This, Neatly and Evasively Done, In Conclusion.


Reader and frequent commentator Avital Pilpel has sent me a 334-word message that I will give you here in full, not only because it’s interesting and from an expert, but because it’s brief enough for you to handle easily. Had it been 350 words… Referring to the item at, Mr. Pilpel writes:

In your discussion with Jay Roessler, both of you are – slightly – wrong, due to translation problems.

The original Hebrew says, "Lo ihyu lachem elohim acherim al panay" – you shall have no other Gods al panay. Literally, "al panay" means "on my face." It is an Hebrew idiom, meaning "in preference to me." It is often used elsewhere in the Bible in matrimonial matters, i.e., when someone divorces one wife and marries another al paneyha – "over her face" – that is, in preference to her.

SWIFT December 21, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

Exposed Again, An Argument, Sokal Re-Created, My Recent Rant, The Latest High-Tech News, Involuntary Comedy, Possibly a Convert, A Just Complaint, In Closing...


Thirty or so years ago, very few of us – obviously including Uri Geller – had any notion that today’s easily-available technology would catch up with simple tricks. I offer you here a video selection made back in 1976 which has now popped back into existence to further expose one of Mr. Geller’s limited repertoire of tricks. In this excerpt from the video, as you’ll see, he tries to convince his audience that a bent key continues to bend as they watch it, and in this he is very successful. You can hear the comments:

(Begins at 1:12)

Geller [to the child, Ken]: Lift your hand.

Announcer: Now lift your hand, Ken. Lift your hand. Do you see any keys bending?

Geller: No…

Child: I see one.

Geller: Oh yes, this is bending!

SWIFT December 14, 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   

pic God Told Me to Do It, A Current Tragedy, A Step Forward, A Good Reason for Being an Atheist, Re Geller, Same Old Story, Science According to Abraham, Time for Education, Fremer Stirs!, Officially Quackery, Lights in the Sky – Again, Applied Nonsense, and In Closing…

Some of the most prominent televangelists in the USA are now under Senate investigation. See As an apparent result, Richard Roberts – who took over from his father Oral – told students at Oral Roberts University that he did not want to resign as president of the scandal-plagued evangelical school, but that he did so because on Thanksgiving Day, God told him to.

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