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The Real Meaning of Crop Circles: Vandalism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Sunday, 19 July 2009 00:00

cropgraffitiReader John calls our attention to a recent article in The Mail in which curious sightseers investigating a crop circle saw something unexpected flying overhead: shotgun fire. The report is a bit confused, but it seems that a farmer, one of his cousins, or a hired hand fired a shotgun over the heads of a group of Norwegian tourists who had come to see a recent crop circle.

Why do such a thing? Simple, he says. He was defending his property.

One onlooker was surprised to come under fire:

I have been visiting crop circles for a decade and have in various ways been told that we are not welcome, but this is the first time I have been threatened with a gun.

Farmers have the right to protect their land, but they have no legal right to threaten people. It was totally unnecessary and incredibly scary.

So, let me get this straight... she knows she's not welcome, and admits that famers have a right to protect their land, but these realizations aren't enough for her to stop trampling people's crops. Got it.

Connie Sonne Preliminary Challenge Test at TAM 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Smith   
Friday, 17 July 2009 00:00

At the Amaz!ng Meeting 7, we conducted a Preliminary Challenge Test for the JREF million-dollar prize - the first time we've ever done this in front of a live audience. It was done with total transparency.  We invited all TAMgoers, as well as media representatives and famous skeptics and magicians, to attend a preliminary Challenge test of Ms. Connie Sonne.

For those who weren't able to attend in person, we streamed the test live so those at home could watch from their computers. We had six hundred people watching from the audience, and 1,600 watching from home. The in-person audience included people like Penn and Teller, Mac King, Jamy Ian Swiss, Dr. Joe Albietz, and, of course, Randi. The video was viewed by people from all over the world, just as it happened in real time.

A bleesed (?) event at TAM 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   
Saturday, 18 July 2009 00:00

We see a lot of, well, amazing things at The Amaz!ng Meeting, but I think TAM 7 topped them all.

Our friends at The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (the official JREF podcast) recorded their podcast live in front of the audience at TAM 7 before the official festivities started. During the usual Q&A session, Sid Rodrigues stood up and, in front of nearly 1000 attendees, asked Rebecca Watson to marry him.

Did she say "yes"? Watch the video and find out!

Yes, that's Mythbuster Adam Savage as the ring bearer, and JREF's Director of Operations A B Kovacs officiating. Another video is on YouTube taken from a different angle.

Our heartiest congratulations to the newlyweds! And it just goes to show you, skeptics fall in love too.

Move Over Crystal Head… PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 16 July 2009 00:00

ovalbottlethumb2That’s right, there’s a new booze on the block. Reader David points us to Oval Vodka, which is "structured" and designed by a "homeopathic scientist."


"'Structuring’ is our name for a patented process developed by Professor Valery Sorokin, a renowned Russian homeopathic scientist." They show a nice nd completely inaccurate animation of a “vodka molecule” being enveloped by water, and somehow this is supposed to provide a smooth taste like fresh spring water. The process, whatever it is, takes 11 days.

Did Voodoo Kill Michael Jackson? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 00:00

There is a fascinating article in the Phoenix New Times at  I recommend reading all 6 pages of it to get the full flavor of all the varieties of woo-ness it contains. Sedona healer Reinalda de Souza is claiming that she killed Michael Jackson - with voodoo!

She claims to be trained in just about every kind of alternative medical woo-woo (rhymes with voodoo), including acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, dowsing, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, divination, massage, and lithotherapy. She treated Jackson with lithotherapy, having him bathe in tubs filled with agate, garnet, and aventurine.

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