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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.

THE IDIOT'S TALE PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

I give you here a transcript I prepared of an exchange between a BBC commentator and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. It was sent to us by our UK friend Ian Rowland. I present it verbatim, with the bad grammar, wrong verb tenses, and the uncertain umms and ahhs of the actual interview. You may listen to the audio here. (Scroll down to minute number 0831.) The archbishop’s responses are so infuriating, disconnected, vapid, meandering and evasive, that he sounds like a child — an uninformed one. If this is the best that the Church can do, I suggest that they stick to Bingo…

Just as we post this, it seems that God sent Haiti another earthquake, strength 6.1, as his reminder that he has a sense of humor. Very funny, you capricious, malicious, merciless, vengeful, egomaniacal deity… But I’ll let your quavering servant Sentamu speak for you.

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Ben Stein Hates All Superstitions, Save His Own PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

The JREF doesn’t pick sides in political races, but we do frequently take issue with the journalists who cover them. And as Massachusetts voters drive to the polls to choose the new occupant of the Senate seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy, there is one pundit who must be singled out for attention before somebody — I’m guessing Scott Brown — wins.

That pundit is conservative, creationist, monotonous Ben Stein, of Ferris Bueller fame. Here’s what he had to say, in part, about Brown’s opponent, Martha Coakley:

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Saints Down Under (The Mattress) PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

Great news, Catholics! It is now official: “Blessed” Mary McKillop, dead these last ninety years, was roused from her mortal torpor in 1995 to perform a minor medical miracle on a faithful devotee in Sydney, Australia. (It was her second miracle in 90 years, which means she is a less proficient intercessor than John Paul II but a damned sight better than Saint Damien of Molokai.) View the story here, and see why Sister McKillop, the fiery founder of the Josephites and Australian pedagogical innovator, is now ready for canonization.

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James Randi, Norm Edmund, and The Frustrated Compass PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   

We get alot of interesting folks visiting the Foundation, and lately we’ve decided to begin filming them. Massimo Polidoro arrived from Milan this past Wednesday for a brief Floridian vacay, and yesterday Norm Edmund (of Edmund’s Scientific!), aged 93, swung by to join Randi and Massimo for lunch. After the jump, some candid, unscripted footage of Randi showing Edmund his Mova Globe, dishing about polar magnetism, and discussing the iPhone.

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A FINE TAKE ON LUNACY PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

This video, which deals with very specific subject, lunacy – the delusion of the biological effect of the full Moon – is really well-produced and organized.  I’ll refer you to three major parts – which are in English – and will give you a very good understanding of the content.  They are, referring to the elapsed-time bar at the bottom of the video – 32:25 to 40:10 (my interview), 45:29 to 47:23, in which a farmer gives a good reason for harvesting at full moon, and 48:30 to 55:05, where a psychiatrist provides an angle I’d never thought of, and explains a very good reason for fear of moonlight…

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