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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 June 20, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Telepathic Pets, Well Said, That Video Analysis, Follow-Up, Improving the Law, More Waldorf, and In Closing…

RS

The English, in particular, are slavishly devoted to their pets. In fact, in the UK there are few laws against quacks operating on humans, but probe a dog without a veterinary license, and the full wrath of British justice is brought against you before you have time to ask Fido if he has parental conflicts. Thus, there is a widespread belief in pet/human communication by woo-woo channels, as you’ll see by this inquiry, asked on a woo-woo site:

Does your dog seem to know when you’re coming home? Do other people in your house tell you they knew you were on the way home based on how your dog was acting? If so, your dog might be a good candidate for our experiment, and may earn a $1,000 prize offered to successfully participants. For more click here...

We're looking for dogs and owners willing to participate in a research project looking at the special bond that we share with our animals.

Read more...
 
SWIFT June 13, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Silly Neck-Stuff, Incredible, Yet Another “Search” Show, Discovery Channel Discovers More Woo-Woo, Dow Jones Offers the Latest in Science, What Winners Do, Pretty But Useless, Waldorf Schools Examined, and In Closing…

Junk Jewelry

Reader Richard O. Brown writes us about that silly “Q-Link” that we’ve handled at tinyurl.com/63u6zl. Just another fraudulent – but highly profitable – bit of junk jewelry. Richard says:

Q-Link couldn't have gotten a less critical puff piece if they wrote it themselves: tinyurl.com/6jj6jf

Embarrassing. At least, based on the online comments, the readers aren't buying it. The Chronicle has good reporters who can write critically about science, health and technology, but as usual they assign an "arts and features" writer with no science background to this.

All sorts of sports and music-world heroes are said to wear this phony “charm,” as if IQ is well represented by pop stars. “More than 300 golfers in the PGA wear theirs” so we can be further reassured by that inclusion. There's more. Said Richard Gray, president and CEO of Clarus Transphase Scientific Inc., maker of Q-Link:

Read more...
 
SWIFT June 6, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Facilitated Fraud, The Perfect Solution, Getcher Latest Vibes, Van Praagh in People Mag, A Quandary, A Sad Comment on Our Time, Wait – There’s More, We Renew Our Offer, An Alien Sighting, Another “Police Psychic”, Don Your Deerstalker Caps!, Legislation Sought, Arm-Pushing Again, A Boots Specialty, Ask Questions, FYI, In Closing…

db

In mid-May, I spoke at Syracuse University, where Douglas Biklen, Dean of their School of Education, is still preaching the ridiculous notion of “Facilitated Communication” – only because the University can’t resist the huge amounts of cash that go into their coffers because some naïve and generous persons and agencies simply can’t recognize academic flummery when it’s immediately in front of their noses.

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SWIFT May 30, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Academic Madness in Maryland, Coroner Cornered, New York Magazine Adds to It All, Another Non-UFO, A Lame Reply, When Will We Grow up?, An Astronomer Comments, Do Take a Look, A Comments Comment, Geller in Turkey, and In Conclusion…

geller

My most excellent friend Bob Park, who grinds out a simply wonderful “What’s New” website from Up North, must have been crushed to discover that Stupidity and Superstition are offered as major subjects on the campus he serves. This is – literally – like discovering that students there are being taught Christopher Columbus was a woman, had two noses, and never left the shores of Europe, while Madame Marie Curie was a Russian ballet star who died at age 22. How could it get any stranger, less logical, or more bizarre than what Bob has as the current lead item in What’s New? I run it here exactly as featured on his page:

Read more...
 
SWIFT May 23, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Geller Dodges and Weaves, A Fine Delusion Explained, That Substitute Wizard, “Books-A-Million” Doesn’t Much Care, Bottom Line – Sell the book, It Worked, Incredible, My Solution to a Question, A Cruel Delusion, and In Closing…

geller

At the beginning of February this year, I was in Mannheim, Germany, to appear on a TV show duplicating and explaining the standard Uri Geller tricks. At about the same time, Geller was interviewed by Guido Schmalriede, and the interview appeared in “Der Skeptiker,” the journal of the German skeptics group, “Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften e. V.”, more conveniently referred to as “GWUP.”

Read more...
 
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