News From Around The Blogosphere 6.23.11

June 24, 2011

1. Introducing the solar-kini – A designer has created a bikini with embedded solar panels that can charge your mobile technology while your sunbathe.

2. Granite State skeptics hand out psychic bingo cards to John Edward’s audience -

The cards had a five-by-five grid of vague “hot words” and scenarios that often come up in cold reading, a term used to describe how it’s possible to elicit information from people without their knowing it.

Mentalist Mark Edward also weighed in on this story here.

3. Hundreds of Mormon ads appear in NYC – Maybe this is just a really elaborate campaign to promote the Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon, but something tells me not a single one of these ads mentions the Mormon home planet of Kolob. Maybe if Mormons were a little more honest about their beliefs and practices, more would trust them more and they wouldn’t need the improve their image. And if you’re embarrassed by your own beliefs, maybe you should change your beliefs. Just a thought.

4. Self-help guru James Arthur Ray convicted in sweat lodge deaths – He was found guilty of negligent homicide in the deaths of three of his followers during a botched sweat lodge ceremony.

5. More proof that reality TV is not real – I’ve worked in reality TV, so I don’t need convincing. But for those who aren’t convinced yet, the opening to “MasterChef” featuring a crowd of allegedly thousands of applicants has been exposed as a clumsy Photoshop job that just pastes the same groups of people multiple times.

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Mehmet Oz joins John Edward in grief-raping

March 21, 2011

Those who may have been following this blog for awhile probably know that I don’t care much for Dr. Mehmet Oz. At least fifty percent of any medical advice he gives is complete bullshit and he seems to feel that the only way anyone will take him seriously as a medical professional is if he constantly wears his scrubs everywhere he goes.

But as much as I dislike Dr. Oz, he is nowhere near as repulsive as John Edward, who has been named the Biggest Douche in the Universe for his tireless commitment to grief-raping. But now Oz seems to looking to steal that title as he recently invited John Edward, the professional fraudster himself, on his show. On that show, he sat there and let Edward re-define grief as a form of cancer and then cross the line into full-blown sadism:

His next victim (patient?) was a middle-aged man who rose to his feet when Edward suggested someone had lost a son. As the reading continued, Edward informed the grief-stricken parent that the car accident that claimed his son’s life was in fact a suicide.

“I’ve never known that he committed suicide for sure,” said the grieving father, “but I believe it.”

This father seemed able to cope with that information, but I’m not sure every grieving parent would take that kind of news as well. What’s particularly noteworthy is that it has no basis in fact or truth.

Instead of having the dignity to criticize Edward, Oz brought in a critic, Katherine Nordal, to assess Edward’s psychic readings. Then according to Nordal, the producers heavily edited her portion to distort and quote-mine her criticism:

In a letter to producers of “The Dr. Oz” show Nordal said, “I provided very balanced responses to Dr. Oz’s questions during the show’s taping, however, the editing of my responses did not capture my full comments or give viewers an accurate portrayal of my professional view on John Edward’s methods. Instead, it seems that ‘The Doctor Oz’ show intentionally edited my responses in a way that gave the appearance of my endorsement of Edward’s methods as a legitimate intervention.”

I’m no psychic, but I predict a broken nose in John Edward’s and Mehmet Oz’s futures if either ever crosses my path.

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News From Around The Blogosphere 7.14.10

July 14, 2010

1. Atheist group provides one page guide to becoming psychic – When the Humanist Association of Ottawa heard about a local event called “The Psychic Experience” where an alleged “psychic” named Matthew Stapley was to be performing the classic John Edward-like “talking to the dead” routine, they decided to take action. They went to the event and passed out a very simple 1-page pamphlet entitled “How To Be A Psychic” (PDF here), where they explain the most common Cold Reading techniques. And it’s great that they made it available online for others to use.

2. My less skeptical cousin Chupacabra turns up again – Yeah, it’s got to be him because they describe him as being very ugly. And yeah, he always was the ugly one in the family. And he’s definitely not sexy:

Legend states that the beast would attack goats and suck their blood. Think of them as a less sexy version of “Twilight”‘s infamous vampire Edward Cullen.

Yeah, I always though Chupacabra would be more popular if he sparkled in sunlight.

3. Cracked.com hits another one out of the park – I love Cracked.com. They have some of the funniest and most informative articles around. And these days they tend to mostly produce very good skeptical content. And this lasted list from them is no exception, The 6 Most Misguided Causes Ever Made Famous by Celebrities. I’m particularly happy with the number one choice, Jenny McCarthy.

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2 leading psychics’ cold readings that are full of fail

April 30, 2010

Two of the world’s leading grief rapists fail miserably in their games of 20 questions:

Now I’ve only done one cold reading in my life, in the comments section of this very blog:

Don’t waste time for Rosemary. I’ll do it. Your mother says she’s in a wonderful place. She loves you and she knows how much you love her. She wants me to acknowledge a piece of jewelry you wear and/or old photograph you keep framed by your bed that reminds you of her. Oh, and I’m getting a what looks like either the letter J or the letter M that is somehow associated with your mother.

And that one was free on account that, like Rosemary, I have no actual psychic powers.

And I was given very high marks:

I appreciate the free reading. I realize you make no claims as does Sylvia Browne so it means a lot. Ever since I lost her in 1976 I have always wanted a reading, but never trusted a pychic enough to pay for one.

My mother’s name was Jane, so you got the “J” right. There were two “M’s” in her maiden name, and her sister’s name was Marian, in fact. My Aunt Marian was also like a mother to me.

I thought you got the rest wrong at first glance but had to think about it.
I do have a framed picture by my bed near it, kind of next to it, and have all of her old jewelry but don’t think I wear any of it regularly. The jewelry is also next to my bed.

If you get any other feelings I would welcome more.

I am extremely psychic, have predicted that someone was going to die and when, and they did. Very disturbing and haunting. Not much of a gift but more of a curse.

I don’t channel from dead people but I can read live people pretty well. I can see things other people don’t. I can take an initial dislike to someone and see a vision where something isn’t right. I have had dreams come true and predicted at least one disaster through a dream. Dreamt people died and actually heard a news broadcast before George Wallace was shot that he was shot then came home and heard the same broadcast, although it was real that time.

Thanks. I look more to hearing from you.

Jean

Praise from Caesar.

So I have a 100% accuracy rate, so clearly I’m a better psychic than both John Edward and James Van Praagh. It’s statistical fact. Suck it, bitches!


News From Around The Blogosphere 1.23.10

January 24, 2010

1. Man may be capable of running 40 MPH -

The newly published evidence identifies the critical variable imposing the biological limit to running speed, and offers an enticing view of how the biological limits might be pushed back beyond the nearly 28 miles per hour speeds achieved by Bolt to speeds of perhaps 35 or even 40 miles per hour.

2. UK bans dowsing rods posing as bomb detectors – I’ve blogged before about the bogus bomb detectors used by Iraqi military officials. Glad to see the media isn’t dropping the ball on reporting this sham.

3. The other day I posted this clip of William Shatner asking “psychic” John Edward some great hardball questions:

Well I didn’t see this clip from the end of the show that seems to further suggest that you can’t fool Captain Kirk:

4. John Travolta & other $cientology vampires feed off Haiti disaster victims – I probably shouldn’t be surprised. After 9/11, Tom Cruise showed up to get the cult free publicity by giving the FDNY bogus “detox” treatments and the $cientologists showed up after Virginia Tech in the wake of that atrocity. They really have no shame.

5. Vanity Fair visits the Creation “Museum” - And they brought Paul Bettany, the atheist actor who portrays Charles Darwin in the new film “Creation” with them to take photos. My favorite part of the article was this:

The Creation Museum isn’t really a museum at all. It’s an argument. It’s not even an argument. It’s the ammunition for an argument. It is the Word made into bullets. An armory of righteous revisionism. This whole building is devoted to the literal veracity of the first 11 chapters of Genesis: God created the world in six days, and the whole thing is no more than 6,000 years old. Everything came at once, so Tyrannosaurus rex and Noah shared a cabin. That’s an awful lot of explaining to do. This place doesn’t just take on evolution—it squares off with geology, anthropology, paleontology, history, chemistry, astronomy, zoology, biology, and good taste. It directly and boldly contradicts most -onomies and all -ologies, including most theology.

6. Denmark’s Prime Minister says burqas not welcome in Denmark – Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and according to its Prime Minister, it’s the burqa:

THE face-covering burqa and niqab veils worn by some Muslim women “have no place in Danish society”, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen has said. “They symbolise a view of women and humanity that we totally oppose and that we want to combat in Danish society,” he said.

Denmark was “an open, democratic society where we look at the person to whom we are talking, whether it’s in a classroom or on the job”.

“That is why we don’t want to see this garment in Danish society,” he said.

Now why can’t the U.S. have politicians with that kind of balls?


I love you, Captain Kirk

January 15, 2010

‘Infinite Quest’ is infinite scam

July 6, 2009

New AgeI heard several months ago about self-proclaimed “psychic medium” John Edward’s latest project, a website called “Infinite Quest.” My job forced me to listen closely to an hour-long interview he did for the show EXTRA to promote the site, which I believe Gitmo prisoners were also subjected to. I kept the transcript.

But now the Friendly Atheist did a write-up psychic-crystal-ball_1114702cabout Infinite Quest that was worth sharing. Infinite Quest goes beyond just the old “talking to the dead” schtick that hucksters have been doing for the better part of the 20th century. It combines big names in numerous arenas of woo from astrologers, to numerologists, to palm readers, tarot readers, etc.  And while there is a free forum on the site, don’t be fooled into thinking John Edward and company are going to tell you your future for nothing. No, there’s paid option that provides you with more site privileges. Those privileges apparently are that you get to give your money to some of the most notorious con artists in the world.

Perhaps most telling, as the Friendly Atheist reports, is the site’s disclaimer:

Here’s all you need to know about the site. The Terms of Use has a disclaimer — a “limitation of liability” — that reads:

JECO PARTIES MAKE NO WARRANTY THAT… THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE SITE WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE…

In other words, they can make up whatever bullshit they want, and if they’re wrong, you can’t do anything about it.

Yup, it’s been said before but John Edward is a douche.

douche2


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