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What If? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 26 September 2009 00:00

I'm asked this often... "What if someone won the JREF $1,000,000 Challenge?"

Well, what if? Let's consider. In order for someone to win the challenge, one of two things would have to happen. Either someone would have to fool us into believing they had paranormal powers, or they'd actually have them.

The first situation is carefully guarded against. The claimant's protocols are reviewed by magicians and statisticians before approval, and a lot of effort is expended to ensure that a crafty conjurer can't get past us. Those who were at TAM 7 can testify that the situation was carefully controlled, and the audience was unaware of many other precautions that were in place. So far, so good—no one has fooled us yet!

The second situation is much more interesting.

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Show, Don't Tell PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Friday, 25 September 2009 13:45

When it comes to homeopathy, a written or spoken explanation sometimes doesn't suffice. After explaining it to people, I'm often told "But no one would believe that... you must have it wrong." While I'm confident that I'm repeating exactly what Hahnemman believed, it just doesn't make sense.

Stephen Packard to the rescue. Stephen has create a visual guide to understanding homeopathy, loaded with humor, images, and most importantly... facts.

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Last call for TAM London tickets! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Phil Plait   
Thursday, 24 September 2009 15:57
Due to refunds and other reasons, a handful of TAM London tickets have become available for sale. This is it; TAML is next week, so no more tickets will be sold after these are gone! If you still want to attend the JREF's very first international meeting, then go to the TAM London website and get your tickets. Hurry, since they won't last long!

 

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A Chance Encounter PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Wednesday, 23 September 2009 00:00

I was recently at a gathering of skeptics. There were about 3 dozen people there, some of whom I knew, but many more who were strangers to me. One of these stood out a bit, and when I first noticed him, I knew he was going to want to speak with me.

He was soft-spoken, friendly, and over-dressed for the occasion. After patiently waiting for me to finish a conversation, he introduced himself.

"Hello, I'm Dave. I'm clairvoyant."

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Why Do Just One Woo-Woo? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Tuesday, 22 September 2009 00:00

In Phoenix, AZ, people are gathering in a pub for pizza and astrology. Joseph Anthony, a person who proclaims himself to have "extraordinary sensory perception," will give you a 10-minute astrological reading for $20 while you enjoy your pizza.

There's nothing newsworthy about this, and yet he's been in the news frequently, including this reference from the local ABC affiliate. You'll notice not much critical thought going on there.

It's interesting to note that he's a "psychic astrologer." What does that mean?

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