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Skeptic - Gentle Wind Project

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  • Eric Krieg
    People, Has anyone heard of any skeptical response to Gentle Wind Project ? A media person in my area asked about it. I ve started investigating, but would
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7 7:48 PM

      Has anyone heard of any skeptical response to "Gentle Wind Project"?
      A media person in my area asked about it. I've started investigating,
      but would be happy to o take advantage of and promote any extent work by others.

      There is a good NYT review of "Voodoo Science" by Robert Park:

      The new skeptical discussion board (Phactboard) is at:

      I read that Mark Hughes, the founder of Herbalife, just died at age 44.

      There is now evidence that sharks do get cancer - so much for shark cartilage as a cure. (maybe snakes don't get cancer and we can all
      just take snake oil instead :) )

      The following is what we already suspected about the clueless
      being over confident:

      for those not already subscribing to Skeptical Inquirer or their
      email list, here's the kind of stuff you are missing:

      Subject: Skeptical Inquirer Electronic Digest 2-24-00
      Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 11:26:43 EST
      From: SkeptInq@...

      Skeptical Inquirer Electronic Digest, Feb. 24, 2000

      Visit the CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer Magazine website at
      http://www.csicop.org Receiving over 200,000 hits per year, the CSICOP site
      was rated one of the top ten science sites by HOMEPC magazine.

      In this edition of SI DIGEST:
      --PREVIEW: Skeptical Inquirer March/April 2000
      --OBERG: What are the flying triangles?
      --NY TIMES: NEJM apologizes for violating own standards
      --PITTSBURGH POST-GAZZETTE: For Ghost hunters its in the ectoplasm
      --SIXTH SENSE to be novelized for kids


      Available on newsstands in the next two weeks. Arriving to subscribers this
      week or next. Order a copy or subscription by calling 1800-634-1610.


      --Risky Business
      Vividness, Availability, and the Media Paradox

      John Ruscio

      The popular media deliver reports on a carefully chosen set of events in
      vivid detail. Owing to its concrete, personal, and emotional flavor, this
      biased sample of information is easily retrievable from memory and therefore
      exerts a disproportionate influence on our judgments and decisions. This
      results in the media paradox: The more we rely on the popular media to inform
      us, the more apt we are to misplace our fears.

      --Physics and the Paranormal
      A Theoretical Physicist's View

      Gerard 't Hooft

      The co-recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics explains how modern
      physics and biology restrict the possibilities for physical explanations of
      the paranormal.

      --Efficacy of Prayer
      A Critical Examination of Claims

      Irwin Tessman and Jack Tessman

      The "landmark study" of Byrd and the recent confirmation attempt by Harris
      et al., both claiming therapeutic benefits of intercessory prayer, are shown
      to be invalid. One was improperly designed, the other fallaciously
      analyzed--and the two contradict each other.

      --Can We Tell When Someone is Staring at Us?

      Robert Baker

      A common belief is that people can tell when someone is staring at them, and
      some parapsychologists contend this is a form of distant mental influence. To
      test this phenomenon, the author carried out two demonstrations, one with
      forty people in a public area, the other with fifty students in a controlled

      --Assessing the Quality of Medical Web Sites

      Ragnar Levi

      Quackery and misinformation on the Internet may become a matter of life and
      death. As a growing number of patients and health professionals consult
      medical Web resources, concerns have been raised about their quality and
      reliability. The free flow of information inevitably brings such

      --The Demon-Haunted Sentence
      A Skeptical Analysis of Reverse Speech

      Advocates of reverse speech propose that it is a direct path to the
      unconscious mind. However, there is no evidence of its existence, and
      accepting this pseudoscience could prove tragic.

      Tom Byrne and Matthew Normand


      --Notes of a Fringe Watcher
      Mad Messiahs

      Martin Gardner

      --Investigative Files
      The Secrets of Oak Island

      Joe Nickell

      --Psychic Vibrations
      ET, You've Got Mail

      Robert Sheaffer


      Science writer James Oberg recently contributed the following commentary to

      For the full article, go to

      What Are the Flying Triangles?

      By James Oberg
      special to space.com
      posted: 05:15 PM EST
      14 January 2000

      NOSS: U.S. military uses of space

      [The December 1999 issue of Spaceflight magazine carried two letters from
      writers looking for explanations of a curious celestial phenomenon: a
      triangle of lights crossing the night sky. NOSS/Parcae sightings probably do
      not account for very many of the flood of "triangle UFO" sightings. The
      lights are dim, are visible only for an hour or so before and move in
      straight lines across the sky. Still, the phenomenon underscores the richness
      of prosaic visual stimuli out there waiting to mislead naive observers, and
      so would-be researchers should do well to rule NOSS out as an explanation
      before leaping to conclusions. Satellites are not just steady points of
      light --they can flash and can travel "in formation." They can emit clouds of
      fuel or waste water or even sport visible thread-like tethers. Letter writer
      Nick Spall described what he saw from Cornwall at about 10 PM on August 10,
      1999. The triangular-shaped formation moved from north to south passed the
      star Altair.
      "With the naked eye the formation appeared as one object," Spall wrote.
      However, "through binoculars (7x50) the group was resolved into three steady
      pinpoints traveling together in formation." A second letter from A.R.
      Thompson in Surrey echoed the first account. "On 4 September 1999 I was
      sitting in my garden enjoying the cool of late evening," he wrote, "when I
      noticed three satellites apparently moving in a triangular 'formation' ... I
      have never witnessed satellites moving in the same direction and maintaining
      the same position relative to one another."...]


      Medical Journal Apologizes for Violating Own Standards
      By Lawrence K. Altman
      February 24, 2000

      For the full text of the article go to

      [The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world's top-ranked
      scientific publications and a leading critic of doctors' financial ties to
      industry, apologized yesterday to its readers for violating its own financial
      conflict-of-interest policy 19 times over the last three years in choosing
      experts to review drug therapies. The journal said it had failed to
      disqualify the authors of the 19 reviews even though the authors had told
      them about their financial ties to drug companies that marketed therapies
      described in the articles. "This is the most serious mistake for which we
      have had to apologize," Dr. Marcia Angell, the editor in chief of the journal
      that began publishing in 1812, said in an interview....]


      Here is a typical example of highlighting a paranormal claim with scant
      mention of criticism coming at the end of the feature article.
      Letters-to-the-editor can be sent to: letters@...

      For these ghost hunters, it's all in the ectoplasm
      Tuesday, February 22, 2000

      By Gretchen McKay, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

      For the full article, go to

      [John DuMaurier pulls a flashlight out of his briefcase and points to the
      blue plastic lens. If a yellow fog-like trail shows up in the blue beam, a
      ghost has been here, he says. "That indicates ectoplasm, the spiritual
      residue of a ghost," he says to the home's new tenant, Lisa Alexander, KDKA
      Radio's morning news anchor. Turns out, the flashlight is something of a
      formality. Though he'd been in the 130-year-old house barely 15 minutes
      yesterday morning, he'd already gotten a "very positive feeling" about some
      sort of spirit. He's picturing a gray-haired, elderly woman. "This place is
      incredibly rich with vibration," he says. When Alexander and roommate Lisa
      Rutter exchange quizzical glances, DuMaurier quickly assures them....]


      Scholastic has signed an agreement with Spyglass Entertainment to create a
      series of books based on the Oscar-nominated spirit medium suspense film "The
      Sixth Sense." _The Sixth Sense: A Novelization_ arrives in stores in March
      to coincide with the horror flick's release on home video. Meanwhile, The
      Sixth Sense: Secrets From Beyond, a series of books starring the character
      Cole Sear, debuts this fall.


      SI Electronic Digest is the biweekly e-mail news update of the Committee for
      the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP.)

      Visit http://www.csicop.org/.

      Rated one of the Top Ten Science sites on the Web by HOMEPC magazine.

      The Digest is written and edited by Matthew Nisbet and Barry Karr. SI Digest
      is distributed directly via e-mail to over 3000 readers worldwide, and is
      sent from CSICOP headquarters at the Center for Inquiry-International,
      Amherst NY, USA.

      To subscribe for free to the SI DIGEST, go to:


      Send comments, media inquiries and news to:
      SINISBET@... (716-636-1425 x217)

      CSICOP publishes the bimonthly SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, The Magazine for Science
      and Reason. The Jan/Feg 2000 issue features articles on the ten outstanding
      skeptics of the twentieth century, religious traditionalism and paranormal
      belief, the second coming of jesus, and the pseudoscience of oxygen therapy.

      To subscribe at the $18.95 introductory Internet price, go to:

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