November 26, 2004

Yes You Can Sell Anything on EBay, Fairytale Revisited, Expensive Turtle, The Audio World Is Aroused, More Puzzles, Happy Dublin Crowd, The SciFi People Are At It Again, Mass Suicide in Australia Fails, Pink Death For Charity, Wisdom From Two Centuries Past, The Light Dawns, A Diversion, Quackery Marine Style, AGI Fights Pseudoscience, More Magnets, Trudeau's Fellow Sales-Person, and In Conclusion....


Table of Contents:


YES YOU CAN SELL ANYTHING ON EBAY

The eBay folks, for reasons that are still vague, suddenly last week withdrew a "hot" item that had reached over $28,000 in bids. A Hollywood (Florida) woman, Diana Duyser, 52, had put up half of a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich for auction. She said that it bears an image of the Virgin Mary. See the illustration....

In the last few years we've had Mother Teresa on a bun, Jesus Christ on a tortilla, and Che Guevara on a plaster wall, not to mention Donald Duck in the grain of a plywood door, but none of those ever approached such a price. Duyser said she'd taken a bite of the sandwich after making it ten years ago and to her amazement, saw a face staring back at her from the bread. To assure that this miracle was preserved, she put the sandwich in a clear plastic box and kept it on her night stand. Then she decided that she wanted to "share it with the world," she said, and stuck it on eBay, where it went from $9.99 to over $28,000 in just a few days.

The item was viewed by curious shoppers nearly 100,000 times before eBay decided that it was being taken down because they would "not allow listings that are intended as jokes." Duyser, however, insisted that this was no joke. And, she added, "The sandwich was cooked with no oil or butter." Not only that, but it has never sprouted a spore of mold.

Folks, that last detail almost convinces us.... But see reader Jon Lee's observation, up ahead.

But, lo! Without warning, eBay put the item back up again almost as fast as it was pulled off! I suspect that lawyers were involved here.... The blessed sandwich was now listed at an opening bid of $3,000 — quite a come-down — and we sat once more entranced waiting for this religious/financial farce to resolve itself. Just minutes before the auction closed, the price was $26,000, and jumped to $28,000 at the final bell. This miraculous item is now the property of an on-line casino, where we may assume it will be enshrined as an object of adoration like the Turin Shroud, and prayed to by a gaggle of gamblers who may momentarily put aside the rabbits feet and other lucky talismans to give this latest magical object a shot at improving their performance at the slot machines. Really? Yes, because the vendor of the petrified snack had led them to believe that it had shown that kind of supernatural powers for her. She'd posted this description, original spelling and grammar retained:

You are viewing an extroidinary out of this world item!! I made this sandwich 10 years ago, when I took a bite out of it, I saw a face looking up at me, It was Virgin Mary starring back at me, I was in total shock, I would like to point out there is no mold or disingration, The item has not been preserved or anything, It has been keep in a plastic case, not a special one that seals out air or potiental mold or bacteria, it is like a miracle, It has just preserved itself which in itself I consider a miracle, people ask me if I have had blessings since she has been in my home, I do feel I have, I have won $70,000 (total) on different occasions at the casino near by my house, I can show the recipts to the high bidder if they are interested, I would like all people to know that I do believe that this is the Virgin Mary Mother Of God, That is my solem belief, but you are free to believe that she is whomever you like, I am not scamming anyone, I would like all potinetal bidders to know that this has gained alot of attention from media personell around the country, On Tuesday November 16, 2004 the Miami Herald will feature a story in thier paper on this phenomon, Also Today which is November 15, 2004 The story of The Virgin Mary In The Grilled Cheese will be aired on Channel 4 News here in South Florida, The story has been told nationwide on radio stations ect. I also would like all onlookers to understand why I am choosing to keep the high bidders ID private, I listed this once before and had all kinds of emails some were nice and funny comments but many were cruel intended, and vindictive, I ignored them but, I do not wish to subject potiental buyers to this form of invasion, The last time this was listed there were over 80,000 viewers, Like I said I recieved alot of emails that were down right cruel intended, I do not care I will not read them anyhow, but you should not waste your time being vindictive, I am asking that only serious questions about the item be emailed to me, not jokes or ridiclous comments, If you have a genuine question please do feel free to email, I am not scamming anyone I am selling this item proivided that there is a serious bid with a payment, SERIOUS BIDDERS ONLY! DO NOT BID IF YOU INTEND TO RETRACT THE BID OR FOOL AROUND, THERE IS NO RESERVE ON THIS AUCTION!! I AM STARTING IT OUT AT THE BOTTOM LINE PRICE THAT I INTEND TO SELL THIS ITEM FOR!!

No, ma'am, we are not "viewing" a miracle, we are looking at a desiccated ten-year-old sandwich in a plastic bag, a disgusting object with a burn mark on it that looks like a face when turned the way you've shown it. I think you're a silly and naïve person, though the persons who have bid on this useless piece of junk are several orders of silly beyond whatever you have managed, obviously — and you're ahead of them at the bank, too.

On this subject, reader Jon Lee wrote:

I noticed she states that [the sandwich] hasn't sprouted any mold, as if this implies it is special. When I was in college I microwaved a piece of pizza on a paper plate for too long; the pizza became rock hard and fused to the paper and was inedible. Rather than throw it away (and being the disgusting freshmen we were), my roommates and I decided to hang it on the wall as a decoration. Seven months later when it was time to leave the dorm for summer break, the pizza was still on the wall and it looked the same as it did the day we hung it up; not a sprout of mold either. Alas, the pizza didn't have any identifiable faces on it, otherwise I would have sold it on eBay.

How embarrassing to find that there are so many people out there who will actually want to own a fossilized sandwich, and will pay through the nose for it. I know that the next trip I make out of the USA, people will approach me and ask just how the most powerful nation on Earth can have such crazies as citizens. And I don't have a good answer for them....

I harbor a wish that maybe this is a delicious hoax that some skeptic out there has dreamed up, but I must admit that if I'd been approached and asked the feasibility of such an imposture, I'd have advised against it as being beyond what even the wildest nut-case could think up. I'd have been wrong....

And after all, it's only half a sandwich....


FAIRYTALE REVISITED

My good friend Donald Simanek has an extensive and fascinating data-source at http://alcor.concordia.ca/~vpetkov/links4.htm which effectively bombs on the subject of fairies, and the film that was made on the subject in 1997. A lady who saw that reference was disturbed enough to write him:

I first saw the movie "Fairytale" [see www.randi.org/library/cottingley/movie.html] when it was shown in the theater several years ago.

Although I choose to say that I have an open mind for the most part, I am a skeptic in many ways, just because I have been stumped by people all my life. That movie changed my life forever. I do not know your feelings on the matter, but mine are this. I have raised my children who are now a son 16, and an 11-yr-old daughter, to believe in them. Not sure my son does anymore, but my daughter does.

I started a garden last year and added onto it this year all designated for fairies. Each year hereafter, I hope to make it more and more believable. Although I have never seen one, doesn't mean that I will give up hope of it. I am a very stable and credible woman for the most part. But it is nice to have something to believe in. I sometimes think they really could be there. I suppose you think I am crazy, but, no matter what, our fairytale has been a fun one. With winter setting in and the garden now dying, I will spend my winter spare time figuring out how to make fairy houses out of the huge tree roots that I salvaged over the summer. Your article is interesting, I do wonder if the pictures are real, up close they sure don't look like it. But, maybe in the retouches that were done after the originals, someone fixed them to suit the press. There is always hope.

It's hard to realize that a mother would try to cripple her children in this way, though the son seems to have now escaped her delusion. Another letter re fairies that is in Simanek's collection arouses my suspicion that the writer, who refers to the Cottingley photos taken almost a century ago by two little girls (see www.randi.org/library/cottingley), just may have seen something himself that was very real, but he has misinterpreted it. Read this and see if we agree....

I am stating an opinion, over the pictures, taken of the fairies with the girls, I think that there is a chance that they are real, but then again they couldn't be, I saw a fairie once in Mexico Durango, in my grandmas house, when I was only 6yrs old, but the reason I have doubts, over the fairie pictures, is because the one I saw was naked and did not have any clothes on, the fairie was purple her whole body was purple not a human color she had wings her size was about an inch and a half, and I only saw her for about 7-8 seconds. Than as I called my friend Sandra to come see the fairie, she disappeared into a flower, this took place in my grandmas garden. And I think that what I saw was real although people might not believe me, also I believe that the fairies body was made, or it looked like it was made out of a plant because it looked so fragile. Anyways whatever it was made out of, I saw it and I believe in what i saw, and i know that there has to be more of those type of fairies that i saw out there. Whether or not they exist, I know that what I saw looked pretty real.

Well, I've given some thought to this purple, unclothed, fragile, winged critter about an inch and a half long, seen among flowers in Mexico. Examine the accompanying illustration, which meets all those descriptive factors. This is a specimen of Orthemis Discolor, a dragonfly commonly found in Mexico, and 4 cms (1.6 inches) long. A six-year-old could easily transform such a sighting into a fairy encounter, don't you think?


EXPENSIVE TURTLE

Reader Lisa Zawadski comments on merchandise offered by "Master" IIchi Lee's website, from an item that we ran last week:

The Brain Respiration gang's Power Brain is a steal at $90. Check out the $4000+ Healing Turtle! It has the "greatest healing energy of all the healing products." I suppose it's just a coincidence it's the most expensive too. And Healing Turtle has great Feng Shui too! Why do people stick up liquor stores and go to jail when this sort of crime is so much easier?


THE AUDIO WORLD IS AROUSED

John Atkinson, editor of Stereophile magazine, is flailing around trying to explain the recent statements of his columnist, Art Dudley. He invents this following nonsense, on a forum devoted to audio esoterica:

With respect to the Randi Challenge, it is worked so that the only way someone can collect the $1 million is to prove that they can detect the Device Under Test by purely 'psychic' means. If there is a real cause for the sonic difference, then Randi doesn't have to pay up, even if the test produces positive results. As Art wrote, "intellectually dishonest."

I responded to Atkinson, who might well have been misinformed by Dudley, and who apparently thought his lies would never come to my attention:

I've no notion where you got that bizarre idea that "[the challenge] is worked so that the only way someone can collect the $1 million is to prove that they can detect the Device Under Test by purely "psychic' means." Or did Dudley tell you that to validate his tirade?

No, Mr. Atkinson, for such obviously nutty items as the Shakti Stones and other such items, the applicant only has to detect whether or not they're in use — by any means desired.

I trust that you will now correct your mis-statement?

Atkinson never responded to this request, and also wrote, in a desperate attempt to obfuscate his untenable position:

Science can't explain dowsing (yet), but there appears to be something to it. (And by the way, it's lots of fun to watch Zwinge and other "professional skeptics" dance around that particular subject!)

Well, for his information, we've tested scores of dowsers all over the world, under their circumstances, using their materials, with their total agreement to the rules and the conduct of the tests, and they have all failed to prove their abilities, always. Dowsing is the most common claim we get, in fact. Just last month, in Germany, I watched tests done of two prominent dowsers, who after approving the double-blind protocol obtained exactly what pure chance would call for — as expected. Dowsing doesn't work, regardless of amateur opinion, and there's simply nothing to explain there. Atkinson doesn't read much outside of his own magazine, it seems. As for our "dancing" around the subject that's so giddily celebrated, it's Dudley and Atkinson — and many of the other audio "experts" — who are doing the frantic fandango. We skeptics meet the challenge head-on, without choreography, with no hesitation nor problem. Dudley and Atkinson are simply not informed, and they choose to continue to be ignorant of the true nature of this confrontation. One member on that audio forum asked, quite sensibly:

. . . why doesn't someone from the audio reviewer community step up and claim the [JREF] prize?

Which is exactly what I've been asking for years now! But the answer — another blatant lie — came down from On High:

Simple, because the test is rigged. You really must do some research by carefully reading all of Randi's rules. This scenario is very different from the one you have linked with it, i.e., the ol' double blind test crapola. The two are miles apart, but not in opposite directions....

Don't ask me what that last inane sentence means, but yes, please do read all the rules, Mr. Atkinson, then tell us where the tests are "rigged," if you will. Better men than you have tried for years to do that, and have had to retreat. You at Stereophile have chosen to be willfully unaware of the facts, and to repeat what you've heard without looking into the matter. And obviously, if you consider double-blind tests to be "crapola," you know nothing about proper science, nor about technology.

I repeat: tell me where the tests are "rigged." Or go join the other "experts" under that big rock.

Move over, Sylvia! Incoming fakers....


MORE PUZZLES

Here is yet another example of a translation software mess, the kind of thing that Kramer has to puzzle out — though this one is relatively easy to resolve. All is just as it was when received, an application from a reader interested in the JREF prize, with the e-mail address removed:

My name is pi yu,is the people of china yunnan kunming .write to you to tell I one true experience of oneself.from 1993 to now,I once kept in touch with E.T.many times.what made people getting salty and surprised even more is,I have some exceptional functions afterwards.certainly,perhaps you will not belive what I say,but you should always belive the fact.I can accept any scientific measuring.in addition,what I can also affirm tells you ,after you see this letter,the miracle will come with it too.as for why?it is very difficult for me to answer this question here.however,if you are interested in this,we can also do the further discusion.my E-MAIL: [edited]

We have contacted this person and instructed him/her to apply....


HAPPY DUBLIN CROWD

When I lectured at a skeptics meeting in Dublin in mid-October, this photo of my rapt audience was snapped. A full house, a satisfied audience, support for the JREF, and good new friends. What more could I ask?


THE SCIFI PEOPLE ARE AT IT AGAIN

When John Edward left the SciFi channel, they felt the loss so much that they have since been thrashing about looking for equally fake features to keep their sponsors happy. UK reader Guy Matthews is a bit jaundiced when it comes to TV representations of the paranormal, and for good reasons:

I'll note that whilst I took exception to that one line of reasoning of Don [Riefler's] (see www.randi.org/jr/111204hot.html#2) I suspect he's spot on in his review of the actual show. Haven't seen it myself as it hasn't aired yet in the UK, but it sounds very true to Sci-Fi's attitude towards the paranormal. I've got a true horror story to share with you about their disgraceful behavior toward their UK viewers.

In 2001 Sci-Fi UK announced they were going to be setting up shop in the Maze House, an allegedly haunted locale. They'd set up proper surveillance and EM [electro-magnetic] monitors, bring in psychics and investigators, broadcast live form the house on a daily basis, set up chat forums, and have live Q&A answers online. Now of course this was all a scam, nothing live ever happened and everything caught on tape was staged, the live chats were just text being played out according to a script, no real questions from the public were ever aired.

You think that's bad? That's NOTHING, I've saved the worst for last. Sci-Fi claimed that the data from their EM sensors was being collected and would be analyzed by a distributed computing project a la SETI@Home. That's right. As the entire thing was a scam they in fact got their viewers to download Trojans masquerading as dcomp clients. A Trojan horse program is defined as a program that entices people to download and install it by claiming and appearing to perform one function while actually being intended to perform an entirely different function. This is a criminal offence today, though as I recall, UK cybercrimes legislation didn't cover the matter at the time, so I didn't get very far when I contacted the police about it back then.

Y'see this now falls into my professional qualifications. I'm a senior network security administrator. I was one of the first to realize that the program was nothing but a looped animation, and I was definitely the first to start publishing warnings about this on the forums. The program consumed significant CPU resources (a constant 25% load on my fairly powerful rig) at all times for no reason at all, and worse, it dialed home disclosing information on the user's machine to sci-fi. Finally, it was so poorly coded that uninstalling it DID severely damage Windows on a number of machines I'm personally aware of, I being the one who had to fix the damage.

Sci-fi was unfortunately never brought to charges on this as far as I know, they've never commented on the matter in any way, ignored e-mails I'd sent at the time, and have since very carefully purged the relevant website, forums, and all other material they had control over from the web. The archives services, however still have some traces of the original site: http://web.archive.org/web/20020628120240/www.themazehouse.com/index.jsp provides a vague admission to the hoax, with no mention or apology for the damage done to computers throughout the nation.

This is an excellent "word to the wise," I believe. Be wise....


MASS SUICIDE IN AUSTRALIA

Richard Saunders, President of the Australian Skeptics, informs us:

The Australian Skeptics' national convention is over for another year. Our guest and keynote speaker was none other than Dr. Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer. We soon discovered that Dr. Plait is anything but bad. His moon hoax talk was a highlight of the convention.

Another highlight was the successful failure of a Homeopathic Mass Suicide. Before the convention, we marched into a Sydney Pharmacy, yes, a pharmacy, and bought almost $100 worth of worthless sleeping pills. Then, as you can see in the photo, Prof. Colin Keay, Dr. David Brookman, myself, Barry Williams, Dr. Phil Plait, Peter Bowditch and Dr. Steve Roberts (not pictured) took the lot. We ate enough sleeping pills each that we should now all be dead.

The point, apart from showing once again that this stuff is rubbish, was to also remind the audience that some parents actually try to vaccinate their babies with "Homeopathic Vaccines". This could indeed have deadly consequences.

Back in 1997, I think it was, my colleague Andrew Harter and I were invited to Washington to speak to some congressional folks about homeopathy, and as part of my talk, I downed 64 homeopathic sleeping tablets — designated dose "2 tablets every 4 hours, as needed." The demo got some attention, but still nothing was done by that congress. Seems that others — such as these Aussies and a Belgian group recently — have latched on to that stunt. Maybe, eventually, the agencies will wake up...? (Pun intended.)


PINK DEATH FOR CHARITY

I told you some time ago — on the September 9th page — that we would reveal what I was referring to by this tantalizing description:

The JREF has been given a really marvelous gift, a personal item from a prominent showbiz personality that we'll be auctioning off via E-Bay very soon — the item, not the personality. It's pink, it's big, and it's loud.

Well, here it is. Penn Jillette, the vocal half of the Penn & Teller team, has contributed Pink Death to the cause of promoting critical thinking. Pink Death is the bright pink Bronco SUV that has terrorized the streets of Las Vegas since the pair first took up residence there. Now that it's being retired, Jillette is donating it to an eBay auction to benefit the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF).

A piece of Vegas lore like Elvis' jump suit and Liberace's piano, this unique vehicle has transported Nobel laureates, artists such as Deborah Harry and other eclectic guests around town. Along with his donation of Pink Death, as you all know, Jillette has allowed the James Randi Educational Foundation to auction tours of his Las Vegas home — known as "The Slammer" — on eBay, as well. That auction, for the 2005 tours, is almost over.

Pink Death sports a 50-CD changer, countless speakers to vibrate the body, and other custom features that the aficionado should find irresistible.

Folks, this is like having Bruce Wayne donate the Batmobile. It's a famous — even notorious — vehicle that should excite any P&T fan, and we're very grateful to Penn for helping us raise funds for our work. If convenient for the successful bidder, Pink Death will be officially turned over to the proud new owner by Mr. Jillette during the January 13-16 Amaz!ng Meeting Conference in Las Vegas to be held at the Stardust Hotel. Then stand back....

It'll go up for bids on eBay December 15th, and a piece on the history of Pink Death written by Penn himself will appear here December 10th....


WISDOM FROM TWO CENTURIES PAST

A chap named Thomas Jefferson, reassuring people in 1798, wrote:

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt...if the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.

I got that from www.barbrastreisand.com/statements.html. Let's hope....


THE LIGHT DAWNS

I had a tough time understanding why a Belgian applicant could be seriously claiming to be able to survive exposure to ZyklonB, the deadly gas used in Nazi concentration camps back in WWII. Then a reader suggested that this might be a well-known character in the Conspiracy Crowd who is amply handled in the Holocaust Revisionist references on the Internet. Reader Bastiaan Van Eeckhoudt:

The Siegfried Verbeke you mentioned might be the same one who has been convicted in Belgium for holocaust revisionism. See www.adelaideinstitute.org/Dissenters/verbeke.htm and www.revisionists.com/revisionists/verbeke.html. He has an organization called Vrij Historisch Onderzoek (Free Historic Research) that publishes revisionist materials.

So the question on the forum: Do you deny that Zyklon B gas was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths at the camps where it has been conclusively proven to have been used by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews, along with other ethnic groups, the mentally retarded, etc...? is pretty relevant.

I agree, Bastiaan, and in any case we will not accept this man's application because of the danger into which he would obviously place himself if we accepted. It just shows that we get more than our quota of nut-cases....


A DIVERSION

Reader Rod Bruce sends us to http://greatinventions.tv/products/106.html for a few laughs. But consider: just how different is this material from the "serious" stuff out there that is bringing in millions to the scam industry....? Think about that.


QUACKERY MARINE STYLE

Reader Master Sergeant Scott H. Miller comments:

I've seen many bizarre things in my 21 years in the Marine Corps; most of them can be attributed to the fact that bored young people are liable to do anything. Today I saw something that I had to pass on. While waiting to fill a prescription I spotted a flyer touting the below class. I am appalled that a modern medical facility such as Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton could sanction such flummery. I welcome any comments and suggestions on how to approach the bureaucracy on this.

Sergeant Miller directs us to the page dealing with NHCP Patient Classes. Under "Healing Touch" we find:

Healing Touch is an energy (biofield) therapy that encompasses a group of non-invasive techniques that utilize the hands to clear, energize, and balance the human and environmental energy fields. Healing Touch interventions may be used to restore, energize, and balance an energy field disturbance. Allowing the body to heal and promoting health and wellness.

That particular hospital facility has an excellent rating, and they take pride in mentioning to their potential patients

. . . the professional qualifications of the credentialed providers who deliver quality medical care to each of you and your families. Over 90% of our medical staff are board certified in their specialty as compared to only 82% of their civilian counter parts [sic].

The person in charge of this "healing touch" nonsense is listed as Quyen H. Nguyen. We'd like to know what "professional qualifications" this person has to be instructing in quackery — the course is booked up solid! — at this prestigious medical center. Who made Nguyen "credentialed" as a "provider"? Is Nguyen "board certified," as "over 90%" of the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton personnel are, or was this one of the 10% who missed that process? Do those "civilian counterparts" employ similarly "certified" providers? And, while I'm at it, just what "board" could have "certified" Nguyen, in any case?

Perhaps this is one of those "faith-based" healing organizations....

Look in at www.enhcp.com/nhcp.cfm?c=lmd&sc=pc&t=details&um=11&uy=2004&id=9DECBD7104025FE5EED83543C72F1288 to see this item.


AGI FIGHTS PSEUDOSCIENCE

We at the James Randi Educational Foundation heartily endorse and applaud the stand taken by the American Geological Institute (see www.agiweb.org/gap/legis108/evolutiongrandcanyon.html) concerning the book Grand Canyon: A Different View, written by former river guide Tom Vail. That such blatant propaganda for a science-bashing point of view should be actually offered for sale at this magnificent national site, is incredible -- especially since it seems that the main reason for allowing it to be sold is that, in the words of National Park Services spokeswoman Elaine Sevy, "[it] has become quite popular." Is that the bottom line here? If so, perhaps Ms. Sevy would support offering psychedelic drugs for sale at the site — to enhance the Grand Canyon experience? That would bring in even more money....

Our thanks to reader James E. McFaddin for bringing our attention to this matter.


MORE MAGNETS

Reader Nigel Dowrick seems to have come up with the explanation of the stainless-steel problem of last week. He writes:

I think the explanation is that stainless steel is actually a much poorer electrical conductor than copper. My handy databook gives the following figures for the resistivities of the materials that you mention:

Copper: 1.7 [1.70]
Aluminium: 2.65-5.0 [2.79]
Brass: 8 [6.63]
Stainless Steel: 96 [43.9]

(all in units of 10-8 ohm-metres)

So stainless steel is more than ten times worse at conducting electricity even than brass! This has, I admit, come as a total shock to me, but it seems to be an adequate explanation of your surprising observation.

(The figures in square brackets, above, were taken from a book I have on hand.)

I agree that this is probably the explanation — much more resistance in the stainless steel, and thus a correspondingly weaker induced and opposing magnetic field. However, there are a great number of alloys in aluminum, brass, and stainless steel, and doubtless there are also different resistances for many.

As for the other puzzle, about the ball rolling differently according the direction it's moving, those effects will be different in different locations on Earth, because they depend on the fact that the natural magnetic lines of force are inclined differently relative to the Earth's surface. Here in the northern hemisphere they point downward. (They're horizontal at the equator, vertical at the poles, and vary from one to the other as you move between the equator and either pole.) That means that as the ball travels north and down the incline, it's more or less going along those lines, but going south and downwards, it cuts across the lines of flux and hesitates a little as its poles come up against that opposing field — which explains why the jerky motion is seen each time the ball rolls over once, bringing the same presentation of an opposing pole to face the down-pointing flux line with each complete revolution. (The ball aligns itself north-and-south, automatically, as it starts its trip, just as a compass needle does. Often, when it starts rolling, the jerky motion is not seen right away, until the ball/magnet gets itself aligned north-and-south.)

Another interesting phenomenon: if you spin the ball on a flat, smooth, level surface, it will wobble alarmingly as its momentum of spin fights its natural need for a north-south orientation.


TRUDEAU'S FELLOW-SALESPERSON

I'm informed that the pretty blonde with Kevin Trudeau in that TV wrinkle-cream ad we mentioned here last week, is model Leigh Valentine, who is not far from the scammer community at all. She used to be Leigh Tilton, being briefly married to the televangelist Robert Tilton in the mid 1990s. Small world...

A reader sent me the booklet shown here, issued by Tilton, who is still in operation despite his huge legal problems. Inside this tome we discover the secret. You can be rich and have everything you ever wanted, simply by sending Tilton some money — $100 is the lowest suggested "Prove-God offering" — and then Tilton, too, will be rich and have everything that he ever wanted! Isn't that easy, folks?


IN CONCLUSION...

Next week, the latest on hucksters Dennis Lee and Ilchi Lee — no relationship known — and how these guys are still taking the suckers....