James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi Educational Foundation
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September 2011

The JREF Brings Skepticism to Mainstream Media like Never Before

James Randi has often remarked that the news and “infotainment” media are largely to blame for widespread belief in pseudoscience and the supernatural. Since our founding, one of the most important roles of the JREF has been to win ink and airtime for the skeptical perspective, and to challenge the perpetrators of scams and frauds on their own home court.

In the first nine months of 2011, the JREF has earned more media than in the last several years combined.

NPR, Forbes, and Wired covered our challenge to Homeopathy. Our Million Dollar Challenge Director Banachek debunked “performance bracelets” on the CBS Early Show. The Los Angeles Times and AOL News covered our “Pigasus Awards” for the year’s worst promoters of nonsense, bringing the skeptical movement’s criticisms of Dr. Oz and others into the mainstream. More than four million people watched the Primetime Nightline episode on “Psychic Powers” that prominently featured the JREF and our Million Dollar Challenge, and they learned how celebrity psychics like James Van Praagh ply their trade by cheating.

Now, the JREF has earned national coverage in Canada in advance of Randi’s tour of nine Canadian cities.

Through these stories and through radio appearances across the U.S. and around the world, we’re using the media to share our skeptical perspective with a wider audience than ever before.

Click here to read some of the stories we’ve earned so far in 2011, or scroll to the end of this email to see the stories from just the last month.

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Become a JREF Member During SGU-24 And Get a TAM London DVD Set; New Subscribers Can Win $1,200 TAM Experience Package

sgu-at-tam.jpgThe JREF is proud to sponsor the first ever 24-hour marathon broadcast of The Skeptics Guide to the Universe, beginning Friday, Sept. 23 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and continuing until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. If you become a member of the JREF during the 24-hour show, you'll receive a TAM London 2009 DVD set as a token of our appreciation. As a separate promotion, new subscribers to our e-newsletter during the show will be entered in a drawing to receive a TAM Experience package to The Amazing Meeting 2012 in Las Vegas—a $1,200 value. The package includes full access to TAM, all workshops, and all evening events.

And make sure to tune in to the show for interviews with JREF President D.J. Grothe and Communications Director Sadie Crabtree!

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JREF Awards 2011-2012 Academic Scholarships

For the fifth year in a row, the JREF has granted scholarships to deserving undergraduate and graduate students on the basis of academic achievement, outreach and community service in the name of science and critical thinking education, and career objectives that are aligned with the goals and values of the JREF. We're pleased to announce that the recipient of this year's scholarship is Narine E. Wandrey, an undergraduate at the University of Dallas.

Read more about the recipients of the 2011-2012 JREF Academic Scholarships.

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Reports Filed With Federal and State Agencies Against East Coast Alt-Med Company

The JREF has filed formal complaints with the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and a state Department of Health against an East Coast company for selling useless quack therapies for the treatment of serious diseases such as cancer. The complaints include evidence from tips and investigation done by a local JREF volunteer. We’ll follow up on these complaints and share updates. If you know of a local company that you suspect is breaking the law to sell quack therapies and want to help expose them, email jref@randi.org.

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Upcoming Workshop in D.C. Area: The Science of Divination

We are happy to announce that the JREF has joined with the University of Maryland Society of Inquiry and the National Capital Area Skeptics to present The Science of Divination: What They DON'T Teach at Hogwarts, a comprehensive, hands-on workshop all about the undying pseudoscience of dowsing.  Participants will learn the history of dowsing and the scientific explanation for its strange and uncanny effects.  Plus, they will create their own pendulums and dowsing rods to try divining for themselves. The workshop will be held on Sunday, September 25 at the University of Maryland—email education@randi.org for more information or visit the event page to register. This is just one of the interactive and educational workshops offered by the JREF on a range of topics, from the truth behind ESP to the basics of being a skeptical thinker. Keep an eye on Randi.org for announcements about upcoming workshops and information about how you can bring one to your area.

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truth-about-uri-gellar-ebook.JPGThe Truth About Uri Geller eBook Now Available

We’re happy to announce that our third eBook, James Randi’s The Truth About Uri Geller, is now available for the iPhone/iPad, Kindle, and Nook. You can download The Truth About Uri Geller in all major eBook formats at Randi.org.

And don’t forget our other eBook offerings: Flim-Flam! on Kindle or iBooks, and The Faith Healers on Kindle or iBooks.

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James Randi Embarks on Speaking Tour of Canada

James Randi is currently on his whirlwind lecture tour of Canada.  In his unique and entertaining way, Randi will explain how even the most rational minds can be fooled by the same tricks used by magicians and conjurers for centuries. Our friends at CFI Canada are kindly hosting the tour, which will take Randi from Vancouver to Halifax, with stops in Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal along the way. Find out how you can attend here, and keep an eye on Randi.org and the JREF's Facebook and Twitter pages for updates from the road, including photos, blog posts, and videos.

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Top Posts on the Randi.org Blog

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Upcoming Events

  • September 22: James Randi in Vancouver, BC
  • September 23: James Randi in Kelowna, BC
  • September 24: James Randi in Calgary, AB
  • September 25: James Randi in Edmonton, AB at University of Alberta
  • September 25: Workshop in D.C. Area: The Science of Divination featuring JREF educational director, Michael Blanford
  • September 26: James Randi in Saskatoon, SK at the Roxy Theater
  • September 27: James Randi in Toronto, ON
  • September 28: James Randi in Ottawa, ON
  • September 29: James Randi in Montreal, QC
  • September 30: James Randi in Halifax, NS
  • October 27-30: James Randi at CSICon in New Orleans
  • November 12: James Randi speaks at Carl Sagan Day celebration at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.
  • March 24, 2012: James Randi speaks at the Reason Rally: A Celebration of Secular Values

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JREF In The News

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