Daily Mail Proves Psychic Powers!

I predict John Edward and his buddies will capitalize on this study.

Hey!  It’s great news!  According to a study in the Daily Mail, psychic powers exist and we can see into the future.  Wow!  Although apparently the effects must be really small because no one seems to have been able to predict that 9-11 was [...]

‘Psychic Kids’ needs a spanking

A recent article on Skepchick.org suggested a letter-writing campaign to the television network A&E to complain about their completely reprehensible and morally bankrupt show “Psychic Kids.”

I’d already written an angry letter to the network back when the show first aired but I decided to follow the Skepchick example and help this campaign by writing a second letter to the network.

Here’s what I wrote A&E:

Two years ago, when you began running the insipid program entitled “Psychic Kids,” I wrote a complaint about the abject nation of the show that promised that as long as that show remained on the air, I would never watch your network.

It’s two years later and I have kept my word. And now I’m writing you again to voice my disapproval of this program. … continue reading this entry.

Why I’m a better psychic than John Edward and James Van Praagh

When I think of alleged psychics who “talk to the dead,” two names come to mind:  John Edward and James Van Praagh. These are probably the two most successful professional “psychics” who do this trick.

Of course there’s nothing remarkable or even mysterious about this talking to the dead act that these self-proclaimed psychics perform. Legendary magician Harry Houdini regularly debunked these scams almost a century ago and today anyone can learn to do them themselves by reading books like Flim Flam by James Randi, former professional psychic M. Lamar Keene’s tell-all Psychic Mafia, the internet, or any decent book on mentalism. … continue reading this entry.

On Suing Swami

Buyer Beware

Buyer Beware

Let’s say that you go out and buy a big bucket of snake oil.  It’s sold with the label “Snake Oil!  New and improved!”  You take the snake oil home and try and use it to heal a sore leg.  Not surprisingly, it doesn’t work.  Are you now allowed to sue the snake oil salesman?  A woman in Morris County, NJ, has decided to sue her psychic for $160,000, after the psychic’s predictions did not come true. Well, she first asked for her money back, but after the psychic said no, the woman decided to sue. I am a firm believer that psychics don’t exist.  I would love if they did, I’d actually really enjoy having super-powers, and as a fan of the X-men, there’s always been a part of me that wanted to be Charles Xavier with hair and the ability to walk.  But whether someone should be able to sue their psychic… that’s a stickier issue. … continue reading this entry.

How To Tell if I’m Psychic?

I’m about to make a prediction.  I promise, I swear, I have not yet read the article I’m about to read.  It’s called “How to Tell if You’re Psychic.”  I’m going to make a prediction here: it’s not going to be very well thought out.  Let’s delve!

You awaken from a dream that warns you of a trip you are about to take. Your daughter calls to inform you that she, too, has an eerie feeling about the trip. Though your spouse doesn’t believe in dreams or in premonitions, he tells you that he feels uncomfortable about leaving too, though he doesn’t understand why. You decide not to go and later discover that the day you were to arrive, an earthquake tore apart the hotel in which you were to stay. … continue reading this entry.

An Intellectual Dichotomy at the New York Times

The home of a paper of record and a website of crap.

The home of a paper of record and a website of crap.

The New York Times kindled a love of science in me at an early age.  My parents, at the time, were trying to get me to a place where I would actually read the paper.  I was more of a comic books and… well… nothing else kind of guy, and they wanted to me to be educated about the world.  My mom handed me a copy of the Tuesday Science Times.  “Here,” she told me.  “You kind of like science, give this a look.”  Though I cannot for the life of me remember when this occurred, I still remember the article about the new ion drive scientists were installing onto the Deep Space 1 probe.  I clipped it out of the paper and put it up on my wall, right by my bed.  Though I don’t always read my copy of the New York Times, since that Tuesday long ago, I always look forward to what I’ll get from the paper on Tuesdays.  That was… until the internet.  The New York Times is beginning to become vaguely schizophrenic as far as science is concerned.  Though the Tuesday times is still, on the whole, doing well, the times foray into blogging has been less than scientifically valid.  Is this simply the problem of too many contributors, or are we looking at a possible shifting view in a paper of record? … continue reading this entry.

Psychic Finds Public Breaking Point

You’ve probably already heard about Jaycee Lee Dugard, the now 29 year old woman who’d been held kidnapped, raped repeatedly, and become a mother twice over the past eighteen years.  It’s astounding that Miss Dugard has been found alive, I’m sure I speak for all of the New York City Skeptics when I say that we hope she will be able to move forward in her life, and that one day, maybe she’ll be able to attain some totems of normalcy.  But, this is not the sympathy blog, this is the Gotham Skeptic, so we’re actually here to talk about Dayle Schear. … continue reading this entry.

The Magic of Self Delusion

Back on Monday, a story came out of Alaska about a Department of Transportation worker, Travis Capps, who was assisted in his search for a woman’s body by a psychic from California.  The woman, Carolyn Tyrrell, had been missing since Independence Day.  The article doesn’t tell us why Mr. Capps was so determined to find the late Ms. Tyrrell, but he was certainly committed, and that, no matter what methods he decided to use, is to his credit.

According to the AP, Mr. Capps contacted Katherine Marie Jones of the Sacramento area.  She wrote Tyrrell’s name on a piece of paper, asked God for help, and then concentrated for half an hour on what images came to her mind.  The article says that Jones believed Tyrrell would be found on “an east-facing slope near a boat launch.  She also described an eagle.”

Capps found the woman on Friday, about 17 miles from Eagle Summit.  Well… Capps found a woman on Friday.  By Monday, the body hadn’t been fully identified yet, but the SUV the body was found near belonged to Mrs. Tyrrell. … continue reading this entry.

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