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Signals Disappoints PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Sunday, 11 January 2009 00:00

reflexologyboardSignals, the catalog that supports public television in the US, has let us down again. This time, they're pushing the Reflexology board:

A centuries-old healing art, reflexology reduces stress, boosts energy, and benefits your whole body from head to toe. The reflexology board is an important tool of Eastern acupressure medicine. Wooden nodes stimulate pressure points and enhance circulation.

Let's take this one at a time.

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Sanjay Gupta Unfit? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 08 January 2009 12:00

guptaJim Todd, asks us to consider that Sanjay Gupta, medical rock star of the media, may not be the best choice for Surgeon General:

CNN reports that Sanjay Gupta, who has actively promoted facilitated communication as a valid and useful communication method, is being considered for United States Surgeon General.

This is indeed a concern. Randi and others have railed for years against the nonsense that is facilitated communication, or FC, which involves a practitioner grabbing the hand of a non-communicative patient, and "facilitating" their pointing out words to make sentences.

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Glastonbury WiFi: Orgone is the Cure PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 10 January 2009 00:00

JREFer TheTurtleMoves informs us that some citizens in Glastonbury, England are complaining that the new experimental city-wide WiFi network is causing dizziness, nausea, and lack of creativity. I have to agree with the last part... there's certainly nothing "creative" about claiming that a relatively new technology is full of doom and gloom.

So what to do? Combat it with orgone of course. This Telegraph UK article has most of the story, but not all of it. (As a side – I wonder what protests went on when the telegraph was introduced.)

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Vroom, Vroooom! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 09 January 2009 00:00

punkReader Matthew Kleckner sends us to this site to see a frightening item about superstition in Nigeria. He writes:

Motorcyclists sometimes get upset by laws requiring them to wear helmets, but in Nigeria people have gone off the deep end. According to an article on the BBC website, passengers fear:

...that the helmets could be used by motorcyclists to cast spells on their clients, making it easy for them to be robbed.  "Some people can put juju inside the helmets and when they are worn the victim can either lose consciousness or be struck dumb," passenger Kolawole Aremu told the Daily Trust newspaper.

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R.I.P. Senator Pell PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Thursday, 08 January 2009 00:00

claibornepellThe media has not been very kind to the memory of former U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, who died last week in his 91st year. They recalled his odd obsession with UFOs, "remote viewing," ESP, "backward masking," and the spoonbender Uri Geller - who he firmly believed had psychic powers. 

I trust that they will remember the student grant program that bears his name, and which helped so many students to obtain educations that might otherwise have been lost to them.

Pell's interest in ESP was so important to him that he assigned a Senate staffer to keep him posted on the subject. In 1987, Pell invited Uri Geller to Washington to put out "good vibrations" to Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. The New York Times obituary noted:

Mr. Pell's eccentricities and his ability to laugh at himself endeared him to colleagues and constituents.

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