Prophecy Results PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Monday, 11 January 2010 18:18

prophecyimageSome of you may remember my article last year, wherein I invented a new form of mysticism related to iTunes, and shared my prognostications with the world. A year has passed, and it's time to to check my score. Though I don't actually claim to have any paranormal powers of prediction, I think you'll agree that I was quite accurate.

Here they are:

A major celebrity couple will break up amidst rumors of infidelity

Well, there were many this year in fact, but it was clearly Tiger Woods that was coming through so strongly.

An earthquake in South America will raise concerns over larger earthquakes in the future

I was only a few hundred miles off on this prediction, which actually referred to Honduras and Belize, in Central America. Residents have been warned to prepare for tsunamis, which often follow offshore events such as this one.

The People Have Spoken: Phil Plait is Skeptic of the Year! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Monday, 11 January 2010 16:55

1._phil_and_his_shuttleThe listeners of the official podcast of the JREF, Skeptics Guide to the Universe, have cast their votes, and former President of the JREF, Phil Plait has emerged victorious. Honorable mentions included Richard Dawkins, Simon Singh, and Wired Magazine's Amy Wallace.

Phil states on his blog that "I have arrived as a skeptic," and we at the JREF have to agree. With his incredibly popular blog, and upcoming TV series, countless apearances on podcasts, radio shows, and documentaries, Phil Plait is a skeptical tour de force.

When informed of the award, he said "That's really cool!" And then went on to mention that he wasn't wearing pants at the moment. If you'd like to hear his explanation for that, you can tune into the podcast which is available here, where you'll also find out what Phil thinks the biggest astronomy item of the year was, and why the Bullet Cluster is so important.

While Phil will be missed at the JREF, we're gratified that he's still out there fighting the good fight.

Child Sacrifice in Uganda PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Saturday, 09 January 2010 01:26

This is not a debunking. For all I know, Ugandan witch doctors really may be using the bodyparts of sacrificed children in their magical ceremonies, as has recently been claimed. But I’m skeptical.

… which is apparently a pretty rare attitude vis a vis child murders by Ugandan sorcerers. Early this morning (Friday, January 8th), the pan-African publication Newstime Africa was reporting that the Ugandan government had issued a statement condemning the “barbaric crime” of child sacrifice, and that former witch doctors were coming forward with grisly tales of child murder and black magic. Then a BBC story on the same subject began making the rounds on Twitter, and then the Telegraph’s day-old blurb entitled “Human sacrifices on the rise in Uganda as witch doctors admit to rituals” trumped them all by getting itself posted on The Drudge Report.

But really — this thing is probably a crock. Have a gander at that BBC story, and read more after the jump.

D.J. Grothe Gives First Interview - Discusses JREF Future PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Wagg   
Friday, 08 January 2010 11:57

In this Pod Delusion podcast, D.J. Grothe's first interview since taking the Presidential reins of the JREF, more is revealed about the JREF's future plans. Hear about future Amaz!ng Meetings, D.J.'s departure from CFI, the future of Point of Inquiry and more.

It's only 20 minutes, and well worth a listen.

The Ornery Dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Thursday, 07 January 2010 12:55

Check out this poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The poll’s big finding is that Americans are mix-n-matching religions and belief systems as never before. No longer does a man’s self-identification as a Calvinist prevent him from getting smashed with the Asatruar, and Muslims from Maine to Mount Vernon are getting hip to reincarnation. Catholics, results show, are crazy for astrology, and almost one in five of us have had run-ins with the dead.

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