Bats in the Bellfry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Saturday, 13 June 2009 00:00

What is it with Baseball players? They're big, strong, well-paid... and yet some of them are afraid to sleep in a hotel alone.

No, I'm not making this up. Others sleep with a baseball bat by their side. Are they afraid of paparazzi? Jealous wives and girlfriends? No. They're afraid of ghosts.

WISN in Milwaukee reports that a local hotel, the newly remodeled Pfister, is scaring ballplayers from many visiting teams. You can check out their video report here.

Superstars Added to Thursday Night’s “Magic, Mayhem, and Mentalism” Show! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by AB Kovacs   
Friday, 12 June 2009 12:19

I am very pleased to announce that mind-reader extraordinaire Banachek, and top Vegas comedy magician Mac King, have been added to the line-up for the Thursday night show!

Banachek, acknowledged as one of the world’s leading mentalists, is a long-time friend of James Randi and The Amaz!ng Meeting – Mac King is the star of his own show at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip – and you can see them both on stage, along with your host – magician, mentalist, and TAM veteran Jamy Ian Swiss!

I'm sorry to announce that unfortunately The Great Tomsoni and Co. will not be able to perform at TAM 7 due to a non-life-threatening but unavoidable medical procedure. However, The Great Tomsoni and Co. have graciously agreed to join the schedule for TAM 8 should schedules allow.

The “Magic, Mayhem, and Mentalism” show is an optional paid event on Thursday evening, July 9, 2009. Many registrants have already purchased tickets, but there are still tickets available, so make your reservations now! (If you are a current ticket holder and would like a refund, we will gladly refund your purchase. Please contact Linda Shallenberger.)

Don’t miss this chance to see a unique live show of TAM’s superstars of magic and mentalism – Thursday night, July 9th!

Flim-Flam in the UK? PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 12 June 2009 00:00

It just never stops. Otherwise intelligent people still turn to woo-woo to solve their problems. One of the latest is Simon Trussell, 41, of London, UK, a lovesick restaurant owner who was estranged from his lady friend Mary Pratt. He feverishly consulted Psychic TV, a Sky and Freeview channel in the UK serving mediums and spiritualists, and was given a phone number to call and speak with a "psychic" advisor, George Lavery, 42, who uses the professional name Simon Lavery. The con man assured his victim that all would be well after his awesome powers were unleashed. To begin, he told Trussell to purchase a cell phone which he said he would pass to his ex. This was done, and Trussell began receiving dozens of text messages on his own cell phone in which Mary asked for cash and gifts - to be sent through Lavery.

He naturally complied. Over the next eight months, Trussell, 41, handed over as much as £6,000 cash, £800 of naughty leather fetish gear, a sofa, and even a £6,000 engagement ring - a total of £12,800 [US$21,000].

2.5 BILLION Spent on CAM Testing. Result? It Doesn't Work. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:36

Right on the heels of my ChOPRAH article comes this article from MSNBC. $2.5B study on how "alternative medicine" shows virtually no effectiveness. A waste of money? Not necessarily.

From the article:

Echinacea for colds. Ginkgo biloba for memory. Glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis. Black cohosh for menopausal hot flashes. Saw palmetto for prostate problems. Shark cartilage for cancer. All proved no better than dummy pills in big studies funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Make Way for the Anti-Ghost-Whisperers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jennifer Ouelette   
Thursday, 11 June 2009 00:00

oulette tamyspeaker At a symposium last November to launch the National Academy of Sciences' new program, the Science and Entertainment Exchange, host Seth McFarlane (The Family Guy) - perhaps Hollywood's most powerful atheist -bemoaned the dominance of "comic book spiritualism" in film and television in recent years.

"I grew up watching Star Trek and I remember we used to be so excited about NASA and what they were doing," he told a rapt audience of prominent scientists and leaders in the entertainment industry. "Now we have The Ghost Whisperer. I don't know why I chose to crap on that show specifically, but the point is that the realism is gone, and the believability is gone. We need to get people excited about science again."

McFarlane makes a valid point. But there are signs that the TV times, they are a-changin' - science and rational thinking are making a comeback on the airwaves, if a quick survey of the top TV shows of the last few years is any indication.

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