The Amazing Meeting 2014

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Opinion Survey by JREF and Women Thinking Free Foundation Supports Childhood Immunization PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF Staff   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 17:54

The James Randi Educational Foundation and Women Thinking, Inc. have come together for an opinion survey aimed at better understanding the spread of the unfounded “vaccine panic” that prevents some parents from getting important immunizations for their children. The project, Immunization: Myths, Misconceptions, and Misinformation, explores better ways to communicate a “vaccine-positive” message.

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Crazy clowns and pickled snakes: This week in Doubtful News for Sept 17, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 17:38

Here is this week's summary of the strange discoveries and jaw-dropping absurdity courtesy of Doubtful News.

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Last Week In Science-Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   
Monday, 16 September 2013 17:15

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.

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HOW A PSYCHIC’S COVER GOT … BLOWN PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Thursday, 12 September 2013 12:52

James Hydrick was a self-proclaimed psychic who briefly rose to fame when, in 1980, he appeared on the popular network show, “That’s Incredible!”, where he performed a number of convincing psychokinetic feats that drew nationwide attention. Pencils rotated at the wave of a hand; phone book pages eerily rose and turned without direct contact. Before you read any further, I strongly encourage you to go watch that appearance. It’s only five minutes and it’s a compelling demonstration:

James Hydrick on That’s Incredible [YouTube]

To pick up the story from there – and what reminded me of Hydrick in the first place – there is this recent useful blog post at a blog called the “Observation Post,” which succinctly summarizes Hydrick’s rise and fall.

Following Hydrick’s notable success on “That’s Incredible,” which helped accelerate his fame to potential cult-leading status, he subsequently appeared on “That’s My Line,” hosted by Bob Barker, where he agreed to attempt a demonstration under the watchful eyes (and protective protocols) of James Randi, along with a panel of three judges, and for which Randi offered his then $10,000 personal prize if Hydrick was able to achieve his feats under the agreed upon conditions. This appearance runs about 18 very instructive minutes and can be seen here:

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New "JREF in The Classroom" Lessons! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF Staff   
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:48

The James Randi Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the release of four new additions to our JREF in the Classroom offerings:

newJREFlessons

  • Pareidolia: Do You See What You Think You See?
  •  Illusions: Our Visual System
  •  Cognition: Are You Rational?
  •  Power Balance: Sports Enhancement, or Placebo?

These are downloadable lesson plans for use in high school and junior high school science and psychology classes that use topics in pseudoscience and the paranormal to teach critical thinking, skepticism, and scientific inquiry. Each lesson is designed to expose students to concepts identified in the National Science Content Standards and AAAS science literacy benchmarks.

These free lesson plans for teachers (and parents) are additions to JREF’s growing catalogue of grade-specific standards-focused resources including lesson plans, activity guides, multimedia materials, and more. JREF’s aim with these free resources is to inspire an investigative spirit in the next generation of critical thinkers, providing the intellectual toolkit needed to navigate a life full of difficult decisions, confusing information, and conflicting claims.

Teachers can contact  education@randi.org for a free printed classroom kit for any of the eight topics available so far, and to get more information on ways to incorporate JREF’s critical thinking materials into their classrooms.

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