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This is English? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 00:00

I got into a discussion with my long-time friend Michael Hutchinson, in the UK, via Skype – if you don’t know Skype, you’ve missed the boat – and we exchanged strange pronunciations of words. You might know that the place name Leicester is pronounced – by the English – as “Lester,” and Worcester becomes Wooster” when spoken. Michael provided these:

Family names:

Cholmondley – "Chumley"

Featherstonehaulgh – "Fanshaw"

Colquhoon – "Cahoon"

Beauchamp – "Beecham"

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UK Quackery PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Tuesday, 02 December 2008 00:00

Please, so that you can get some idea of just how miserably-managed the government health services are in the UK, go to http://dcscience.net/?p=454 and read Prof. David Colquhoun’s account. His “Improbable Science” entries have been railing against stupidity in medical science for years now, and you will see just how ignorant, inept, and recalcitrant these “quangos” are.

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Suffer the Little Children PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Sunday, 30 November 2008 00:00

Margaret Downey sends us to this link to learn of a disaster brought about by superstition and stupidity – in other words, religion. How many generations will it take for us to outgrow this infection?

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UK Fuss PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Saturday, 29 November 2008 00:00

My friend Mike Hutchinson, in the UK, sent me to this site to see that the UK Advertising Standards Authority [ASA] have announced a decision against an advertisement shown on TV that touted the miraculous powers of gems, and offered expensive rings and pendants that would grant these boons to the buyer. Said the announcer in these ads:

With their mysterious and amazing powers, gems have a great influence on the mind, body and soul of a human who wears them. They can help in controlling your anger, reducing your stress, increasing your confidence and it also enhances your decision making abilities. To grow further in life and to achieve what you have always wished for, it is extremely essential that your fate favors you. For good fortune, and for a favorable effect of all the planets on your fate, Global Sky Shop presents a special product, Global Zodiac Rings and Pendents [sic].

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Alien to Logic PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Phil Plait   
Sunday, 30 November 2008 00:00

I am frequently asked if I believe in aliens and UFOs. I shock most people by saying "Yes, and no." Alien life, somewhere in the Universe? Sure! But flying saucers whizzing by Earth, stopping just long enough to trample our wheat stalks and to pose for blurry photos?

Nope.

My friend David Mosher over at Discovery Channel's blog collective asked me to write up my thoughts on this, and I obliged. Pardon this rather rude redirect, but you can read my thoughts over there.

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