The Amazing Meeting 2014

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In The News PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 12:00

Critics of John Travolta's church, the Church of Scientology, are claiming that his 16-year-old son Jett was autistic and was not given the proper diagnosis and/or treatments because Scientology disapproves of psychiatric and drug treatment of autism, also rejecting psychiatry as a pseudoscience. Jett died last week while on holiday with his parents, apparently from a fall in the hotel bathroom. In 2007, Ocala, Florida, restaurant manager Tim Kenny, the father of an autistic child himself, and who committed suicide in March of last year at age 41, said he'd asked Travolta what special treatment Jett was getting:

As one autistic child's father to another, I asked him if he was doing anything special in terms of therapy for Jett. Travolta responded, "Well, we involve him in the arts"... Scientology is keeping him from acknowledging his son's autism. They see it as a weakness.

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Dowsing for Everything PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Tuesday, 06 January 2009 00:00

We've encountered an endless line of dowsers eager to show their "abilities" to dowse for water, people, gold, explosives, graves.. and in one case, the ability to dowse for a circle drawn in chalk. There are number of different techniques, but so far, all of these claims have had one thing in common: they haven't stood up to the Million Dollar Challenge. That is to say, when exposed to the light of a controlled experiment, they fail. 

Despite this, many people and the media continue to think of dowsing as a real phenomenon. A search of Google News shows dozens of hits in the news for dowsing. Most are the same old thing, but this Evansville (Indiana) Courier and Press report about Duane Walker caught my attention.

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Why We Can't Find Bigfoot PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Monday, 05 January 2009 00:00

horizontalThe big question for skeptics concerning anthropoid cryptids is "If they exist, why can't we find them?" Doug Waller of the Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation (Or the Southeast Sasquatch Association, depending on source) has a theory. As reported by WHIZ in Zanesville, Ohio, Waller hosted a conference at a local library and explained his theory. 

These things have a vertical spine like men, and when you go out in the woods and you have trees everywhere and you see a deer, it has a horizontal spine. It sticks out. Well, if a Bigfoot is in the woods, and he hears you coming and doesn't want to be found, all he needs to do is stand in the shadows next to a trees. Chances are, you'll just go right on by, and you won't ever know it's there.

So it's that simple. They hear you coming, and hide.

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Prophecy PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Sunday, 04 January 2009 00:00

prophecyimageBeing the new year, the so-called psychics are giving their predictions, and showing off how well they did last year. And I got to thinking.. since everything I've seen leads me to believe that I'm every bit as "psychic" as they are, why not make my own predictions? I've read Kreskin's predictions for 2009, and I think I can do better.

 But what method should I use? Crystal ball? Tea leaves? (I'm more of a coffee drinker) Extispicy? (would sushi count?) Aha, I've found the answer. And it is... iTunes. How, you ask? Well, I shall tell you.

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Amazing, Kreskin! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Saturday, 03 January 2009 00:00

kreskinGeorge Kresge, now known as The Amazing Kreskin - remember him? - has floored us with yet another startling prediction for this year of 2009. He tells us:

There will be a growing movement in the US to follow in the steps of England, and that is to restrict, discourage, or even ban cell phones in restaurants.

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