Connie Sonne Preliminary Challenge Test at TAM 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Smith   
Friday, 17 July 2009 00:00

At the Amaz!ng Meeting 7, we conducted a Preliminary Challenge Test for the JREF million-dollar prize - the first time we've ever done this in front of a live audience. It was done with total transparency.  We invited all TAMgoers, as well as media representatives and famous skeptics and magicians, to attend a preliminary Challenge test of Ms. Connie Sonne.

For those who weren't able to attend in person, we streamed the test live so those at home could watch from their computers. We had six hundred people watching from the audience, and 1,600 watching from home. The in-person audience included people like Penn and Teller, Mac King, Jamy Ian Swiss, Dr. Joe Albietz, and, of course, Randi. The video was viewed by people from all over the world, just as it happened in real time.

A bleesed (?) event at TAM 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   
Saturday, 18 July 2009 00:00

We see a lot of, well, amazing things at The Amaz!ng Meeting, but I think TAM 7 topped them all.

Our friends at The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe (the official JREF podcast) recorded their podcast live in front of the audience at TAM 7 before the official festivities started. During the usual Q&A session, Sid Rodrigues stood up and, in front of nearly 1000 attendees, asked Rebecca Watson to marry him.

Did she say "yes"? Watch the video and find out!

Yes, that's Mythbuster Adam Savage as the ring bearer, and JREF's Director of Operations A B Kovacs officiating. Another video is on YouTube taken from a different angle.

Our heartiest congratulations to the newlyweds! And it just goes to show you, skeptics fall in love too.

Move Over Crystal Head… PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 16 July 2009 00:00

ovalbottlethumb2That’s right, there’s a new booze on the block. Reader David points us to Oval Vodka, which is "structured" and designed by a "homeopathic scientist."


"'Structuring’ is our name for a patented process developed by Professor Valery Sorokin, a renowned Russian homeopathic scientist." They show a nice nd completely inaccurate animation of a “vodka molecule” being enveloped by water, and somehow this is supposed to provide a smooth taste like fresh spring water. The process, whatever it is, takes 11 days.

Did Voodoo Kill Michael Jackson? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Harriet Hall   
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 00:00

There is a fascinating article in the Phoenix New Times at  I recommend reading all 6 pages of it to get the full flavor of all the varieties of woo-ness it contains. Sedona healer Reinalda de Souza is claiming that she killed Michael Jackson - with voodoo!

She claims to be trained in just about every kind of alternative medical woo-woo (rhymes with voodoo), including acupuncture, reflexology, aromatherapy, Ayurvedic medicine, dowsing, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, divination, massage, and lithotherapy. She treated Jackson with lithotherapy, having him bathe in tubs filled with agate, garnet, and aventurine.

“Orphan”: A Movie That Reinforces Myths About Adoption PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jean Mercer   
Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:00

Later in July, Warner Brothers will release a movie that is already eliciting serious concern among adoption groups and other child advocates. “Orphan” presents the story of an adopted child who is “damaged goods” and is dangerous to her adoptive family while appearing sweet and innocent to others. Superficially charming and friendly, she secretly menaces those who love her.

This movie is a regrettable homage to the myth that adopted children are emotionally disturbed.

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