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Skeptically Speaking at TAM PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brownian   
Monday, 10 August 2009 00:00

The TAM 7 buzz is finally dying down, but I've received this detailed report from one of a large contingent of Candian Skeptics that I had to share with you. If you've not been to TAM, this narrative might give you an idea of what you're missing. - Jeff Wagg

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5:15 PM, Edmonton International Airport (curiously located in Nisku)-After months of waiting, it's finally time for TAM. The Edmonton contingent consists of Skeptically Speaking host Desiree Schell, Skeptically Speaking producer Sean Ouimette, Skepchick Jill Powell, Marion Kilgour of the Skeptographers, atheists-and-skeptics-about-town Rodrigo de la Jara and Nathan Hinman, and of course, myself. Jill has never flown before, so I chivalrously suggest she take the window seat, opting instead for the seat between her and Desiree. We taxi halfway to Calgary. Nathan, ever positive, makes a joke about people looking like ants-you may have had to be there. Hey, poker's on the little in-seat TV! We're headed to Vegas.

7:15 PM, McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas-Three hours and one time zone later we touch down. Another joke by Nathan about people looking like ants-where does he get his material?-and we are suddenly surrounded by slot machines. I feel a great disturbance, as if millions of bank accounts cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Nope, it's just Desiree, tugging at my arm. I'm dawdling, and the South Point bus is about to leave. That's why she's the host.

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James Randi, Born Today, + 81 Years PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Friday, 07 August 2009 10:06

randilibraryMany people have expressed interest in sending James "The Amazing" Randi birthday wishes on this, the first day of his 82nd year.

For your viewing pleasure, here's a link to a James Randi photo gallery that we put together a few years ago.

And for a unique view of Randi, check out this rare clip.

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I Have More... PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 07 August 2009 00:00

Readers will know that I've been expressing my objections to National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute [NIH/NCI] suggestions that acupuncture can/may/might offer relief of cancer treatment side-effects. I'll begin this entry by providing some explanatory background. I'm personally involved because I'm well into the process of chemotherapy, a "clean-up" procedure following a successful operation to remove a tumor. I prepared myself by reading up on the literature, and I must say that I'm doing very well - due to very recent improvements in the process, and new medications. I've experienced none of the possible nausea, though I'm weakened physically due to a decrease in red blood cells, and I have to avoid possible infection because of a lessened resistance. This, I hope, explains my considerable reaction to the irresponsible NIH/NCI comments on the efficacy of acupuncture for the relief of chemotherapy.

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Announcement About Upcoming Meetings PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by James Randi   
Thursday, 06 August 2009 12:36

To all my JREF friends-


As I announced at TAM 7, during a recent routine medical exam I received news that I have been visited by a most unwelcome guest. Now, I am fighting this with the aid of medical experts, and I have the highest trust -- not faith, mind you, but trust -- in their knowledge of and their ability to use state of the art medical science. No balms, distilled water, electrified needles, rubs, detoxifying agents, or poultices for me!

While I'm somewhat weakened by this state of affairs, I am emboldened by the support I have received from the JREF audience and community. Your emails and phone calls have filled me with (dare I say it) good spirits, and fight on I will.

However, on the advice of said medical experts, I must avoid crowds and public places. As much as I love to meet everyone and shake their hands, for the time being this has become impossible. Therefore I will not be attending Dragon*Con or NECSS in September, or TAM London in October. However, you can rest assured there will be a cadre of critically thinking skeptics attending and speaking at those conferences, and I urge you to attend them. As much as I wish I could go as well, I need to attend to my health first, so that I can be there in person next time.

And that, my friends, I fully plan to do.

James Randi

 
JREF and Education PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Bart Farkas   
Thursday, 06 August 2009 00:00

With the insertion of a new American President that actually wants scientists to be heard and (and to subsequently follow their advice), one can feel the winds of change blowing across the country and to a lesser extent, other countries as well. These breezes are bringing a breath of fresh realism to the people where science is no longer twisted or ignored to fit ideology, but rather it is being recognized as a legitimate source of information from which to base sound decisions.

 

Many skeptical organizations say that Education is the backbone of their activities, and if that’s true then now is the time for them to move out into the education frontier and start fighting the battles to win the minds of our youngest students.

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