The Amazing Meeting 2014

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Randi's TAM 7 Welcome Address PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 10 July 2009 10:40

Today marks the official start of The Amaz!ng Meeting 7! The ceremonies were opened by Randi himself, and below is a transcript of his talk.

Greetings, all! First, welcome to The Amaz!ng Meeting 7. The JREF staff and I have been repeatedly astonished – if not “amazed” – at the steady growth of this annual event, and we are appropriately grateful and humble for your presence here.  But, I must explain my somewhat subdued appearance…

This is what I call a major bummer.  During a routine medical examination more than a month ago, it was discovered that I had a nasty visitor inside me – yet another stunning example of Intelligent Design at work, friends.  My doctors went in and removed it, and things are looking up again.  I’ll be pretty weak for a couple of months, but I assure you all that I’m fighting this thing with the very best technical help – I’m not at all shy about embracing technology! – and I’ll be able to keep up with my regular duties as the treatment proceeds.

This is the reason you’ve not seen any recent videos from me.  Of course, I’m very fortunate to have good folks like Phil Plait, that Bad Astronomer, along with the ever-present, ever-diligent, and very fierce Linda Shallenberger, to back me up.  They stepped in to manage and resuscitate TAM 7, and I think the results speak for themselves…!

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The Story So Far: Vikings In The Bar, Envelopes, Randi’s Big White Limousine, Some Notes On Food, The Conference Begins PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon Thorp   
Friday, 10 July 2009 00:00

The Del Mar bar is empty right now, which is weird. It is a big bar, roughly the shape of an oyster shell, separated from an ocean of evil-looking slot-machines by several hundred feet of polished brass railings. Each of the slots advertises an ever-growing jackpot, which had edged up near $1,300,000 last time I checked. But we are not interested in slots. We are interested in the bar. By 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon, a small band of early-bird skeptics led by a large and improbably cuddly Danish Viking named Toby had colonized one of the Del Mar’s central tables. We were a small bunch, but loud, and The South Point Casino’s more traditional patrons eyed us curiously as though we were some rare, geeky species of desert fauna.

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TAM 7 Begins! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 09 July 2009 00:00

For those of you not attending TAM, I can understand if you'd rather not read about it. After all, you're missing out on the premiere skeptical event of the year, and possibly the largest skeptic gathering of al time. But, I urge you to read this, because technology has moved forward, and you can actually attend TAM in the comfort of your own home.

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Acupuncture versus Electro-Acupuncture: Application of Occam's Razor PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Christina Stephens   
Monday, 06 July 2009 00:00

When one sees press release headlines like, "For Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Acupuncture and Exercise May Bring Relief, Reduce Risks", as seen here, one tends to assume that the content of said press release concerns a specific alternative medicine procedure in which fine needles are inserted into specific parts of the body for therapeutic purposes based on the hypothesis that the needles can alter "energy".  When one reads the text of the press release, one is greeted with, "Exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments can reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a new study."

Electro-acupuncture and acupuncture are two different things and should not be used synonymously.

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Homeopathology PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Phil Plait   
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 00:00

We skeptics can rant and rail against homeopathy, how it's useless, how it's nothing more than water, how there is no real methodology or mechanics behind it, how it's been shown over and over not to have any efficacy over the placebo effect... ... but sometimes simple mockery is the best way to sway people's hearts.

 


 

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