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On Superstition PDF Print E-mail
Written by George Hrab   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 00:00

geo_standing_suitEarly humans looked to the sky and invented stories explaining the intricate machinations of gods and monsters, heroes and heroines, warriors and poets. They created myths, stories, and legends to account for the workings of these mysterious, brilliant points of light. A single dot in the heavens could represent the most epic of battles. A pair of stars could somehow contain within them the entire contents of both the Iliad and the Odyssey. This was all possible because early man's free-time allotment did not include the mind-numbing wonders of back episodes of VH-1's "The Flavor of Love."

No Surprise PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Monday, 08 December 2008 00:00

e8King Edward VIII of England reigned for only 11 months, abdicating in December of 1936 so that he could marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. He was automatically succeeded by his younger brother, who became George VI - King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India, and King of Ireland. George reigned until his death in 1952.

It has now been discovered that Edward consulted a famous "mystic," Dr. Alexander Cannon, in an attempt to solve the dilemma brought about by his intended marriage to Simpson, which was of course strenuously opposed by politicians of the day and would have caused a constitutional crisis, had he remained on the throne.

Some Unwelcome News PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 06 December 2008 12:00

This is a personal article, and I hope you'll indulge me. If you decide to stop reading now, I won't be offended.

Over Thanksgiving, I learned that a friend of mine saw some rough times. It's been five years since our last meeting.

We met in Vegas, and though he was more my father's friend (being a coworker) than mine, I quite enjoyed his company.  He had a decent job, his own condo, and given his behavior at the Super Bowl parties we used to attend, he seemed happy.

At this point, I'm envisioning sitting with him next to an enormous screen in the ballroom of Paris, as he nearly won a very long-shot bet. We were all very excited, but he just sat there looking at the screen with a content smile on his face.

And that will be my permanent memory of him.

A Good Question PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 05 December 2008 05:17

I frankly don't have as much time as I'd like to look through the comments following the items that appear on SWIFT, and I'm sure I thus miss a lot of good material. At this article, I discussed some differences between UK and USA English usage, and though I was tempted to get into car parts - the English have "boot," "lorry," and "petrol" where we have "trunk," "truck," and "gas" - I settled on some place names and proper names. The item got 1,826 hits and 37 comments within the first 24 hours, among which was one from "BillyJoe" that I believe needs my attention.

The androgynous BillyJoe asked:

And, pray tell, what is this doing in Swift?

Mercy, Indeed! PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 05 December 2008 00:00

Reader Frank Trumpy sends us this hilarious ad, a quite serious one, from a circular in his vast collection:

Fathers of Mercy

Dedicated To


need men to bring the Mercy of God to all.


Write: Vocation Director

Fathers of Mercy

South Union, KY 42283


Galileo: Nincompoop

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