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Pigasus Awards for 2008 Announced PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Phil Plait   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:55

250px-pigasusaward

Every year, on the appropriate date of April 1, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) gives out the Pigasus Awards, a dubious honor to people or organizations that have done their best in the past year to snuff out science and promote irrationality. The award is named after the beloved mascot of the JREF because, after all, when paranormal powers are proven, pigs will fly.

The five categories of the Pigasus Award are:

1. To the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to occult, supernatural, or paranormal subjects in the preceding twelve months.

2. To the Funding Organization that supports the most useless study related to the occult, supernatural, or paranormal during the year.

3. To the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous occult, supernatural, or paranormal claim.

4. To the Performer who fooled the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.

5. For the most persistent refusal to face reality.

This year's (dis)honorees are:

1) Dr. Colin Ross, who claims he can shoot electromagnetic radiation from his eyes;

2) The Producers of the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed";

3) Late night cable TV stations;

4) Jenny McCarthy; who has written books and appeared on countless TV shows promoting measles; and

5) Kevin Trudeau; who sold quack books even after the government fined him for it.

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No, JAMA, You're Doing It Wrong PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Joe Albietz   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 00:00

Conflicts of interest are a major point of concern within modern medicine. Ideally, physicians and patients want to make decisions based solely upon what is right for the patient; it is what we strive for. In the past it was commonplace for physicians to accept gifts from drug companies, some were small, a pen or a lunch, others were far more substantial. Many physicians thought they could benefit from the drug companies’ attention while remaining unaffected in their medical decision making. They were wrong.

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Problem with YouTube PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Monday, 30 March 2009 12:19

Our YouTube account has been suspended, which means all of the Randi Speaks and other JREF videos are temporarily unavailable. We're researching the problem, and will be back online as soon as possible. Thanks very much for your patience.

 

 
Some Interesting Details PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Tuesday, 31 March 2009 00:00

In this May '04 Swift, you'll find a rather comprehensive item about Carla Baron, who owes the cupidity - if not the stupidity - of the media, for her continued success. Renata Galvan, who was a victim of this reckless endorsement of psychic powers, has some interesting news on the actual facts about Baron's involvement in the investigation of the murder of her son Tim:

I am writing you concerning so called psychic Carla Baron. I think you guys were absolutely correct that she is all out for the publicity. My son's case was featured on "Haunting Evidence" as its second episode.

Carla claims she was going in blind on the case, and that was so far from the truth. She talked to me EVERY DAY for several months, pretending to be my friend and to help me. All the while she would direct me to bulletin boards to praise her efforts and defend her when skeptics would write about her.

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Science and Skepticism a Growing Trend? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   
Monday, 30 March 2009 00:00

scienceShows based on mysterious investigations have been a staple of American television for years, and have had the public entranced by the logical explanations of Mr. Spock , fascinated by the resourcefulness of MacGyver, and wondering at the possibilities rattled off by Agent Fox Mulder.

But until this point, television wasn’t necessarily concerned with the accuracy of what was represented, leading to episodes of Star Trek that made viewers pause and wonder at the plausibility of a giant hand in space. We are at a strange point in time – one where what the public finds entertaining happens to be logic and science, even if the edges of the scientific accuracy are blurred.

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