At this article from last week, you’ll see some of the excellent coverage that reader Mogen Winthers has been providing us on this totally – and dangerously – self-deluded man, Dr. Richard Boylan, a defrocked psychiatrist who has been circulating statements about a fictitious asteroid that he says celestial powers have told him will impact Earth on November 15th, and has asked for a Joint Psychic Exercise [JPE] by all his fellow-nuts to steer the visitor away from Earth.
Well, at least it's something. Huckster Kevin Trudeau, who claimed his books could cause significant weight loss, cure addictions to heroin, alcohol, and cigarettes, and enable users to achieve a photographic memory, has been banned from being involved in "infomercials" for three years, and ordered to pay more than five million dollars for making false claims. See this Swift article from 2007.. Mind you, Trudeau has made that amount of money many, many, times over, so this is just a slight hitch in his operation - a nuisance. Look for Trudeau-coached operators appearing on TV to continue selling the same woo-woo, as Kevin enjoys the Riviera in luxury, while banking the proceeds.
Please watch this short commercial from our non-sponsor, Columbia Sportswear:
Notice anything odd there? Well Nat Heffernan did, and he brought it to our attention. The narration begins "Man didn't outlive dinosaurs or rotary phones by sitting still. We adapt." And then later, in a stern voice, "Texas isn't surf country." Ok, two things. We didn't outlive dinosaurs at all. Not even close. While we're still learning about mammalian evolution during the "dinosaur age," it's likely beyond all reasonable debate that there were no humans around to run from a T-Rex. (This article gives evidence that mammals weren't the mouse-like pipsqueaks we had earlier believed though. Wow.)
It's been a battle, but we've finally launched the new version of the software we use to power randi.org. This new software promises to be more secure, faster, and offer more features than we've had before. We hope to add more features in the coming months.
Here's a guide to some of the changes you'll find.
The pilot of The Mentalist(CBS)opens with a smarmy-looking man who resembles a Ken doll approaching a press conference outside a residence where parents are thanking police and volunteers for searching for their missing teenage daughter and utterly failing (as she has just been found dead). My first thought was "Who thanks police for their help while their dead daughter is being gurneyed off to the morgue like three feet away?" But that is neither here nor there for a review – I just accepted that the show wasn't going to be about realistic displays of emotion, and that they were trying to jam about a dozen plot elements into ten seconds.