Monday, August 31, 2009

grassroots skeptics

there's a new skeptical group making a name for itself: grassroots skeptics.

"The group plans to use the site to gather and organize information about skeptical advocacy. At launch,the site will feature an index of local skeptics groups, information on many skeptical blogs andpodcasts, discussion forums, and a calendar of skeptical events. The events calendar is a joint project, maintained in collaboration with the prominent skeptical website

Future plans for the site include a skeptical speakers' bureau, a searchable map of skeptics groups and skeptic-friendly attractions, and a development kit for skeptics who want to start new groups. “We're excited about this launch,” said Myers, “but we're already looking forward to making a richer, deeper resource for the organized skeptical community.” "

check it out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

charlie crist saves FL from hurricanes

yes, that's right. evidently charlie, he is keeping our state safe with his diligent (albeit expensive if you consider the cost of the flights to and from jerusalem) prayers.

i think charlie should spend less time praying (and posturing for his senate bid) and more time taking care of important things like --- oh, i dunno --- our state's future via FL kids' educations.

especially considering that kids in the US are falling behind in math and science.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

chip coffey is so scary

i mean he's trying to be scary. he recently tweeted: "Internet bashers, beware! This sets a legal precedent!" and linked to this article.

man, i am sooo scared of chip coffey, scamming psychic skanks are the scariest!

epic OMG! wouldn't you just love to see chip coffey sue someone! talk about setting legal precedents...think of all the "psychic kids" whose parents could then turn around and sue chip. think of all the people who could sue chip and ask for their wasted money back!

anyhoo, perhaps chip didn't read this part of the article:

If simply calling Cohen a "skank" online is ruled to be defamation, it may open the door for more litigation against the hordes on Facebook, Twitter, and the like who loudly hurl insults at celebrities and one another. In fact, if simply calling someone a name on the Internet is grounds for legal action, some of the commenters on this site are guilty of defamation. But don't worry, we won't be taking legal action against you, no matter how many times you call us stupid, ignorant, or things that we can't repeat.

plus, it looks like the unveiled blogger is fighting back.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

they hired skepbitch as a psychic

you have to love the money-grubbing psychic networks. they'll take anyone who's willing to scam the masses...even a skeptic.

well, she wasn't trying to scam the masses, she was making a point about the credibility of the psychic industry.

also see skepbitch's "letter to a psychic."

i love skepbitch's reply:

Owning a phone sex hotline in conjunction with a psychic hotline isn’t what makes a psychic hotline questionable. It’s that the psychic hotline company and operators think they’re “psychic” that’s questionable.

The bottom line is, I was offered a contract by Absolutely Psychic, but I am not psychic.

As you say, Absolutely Psychic contract “TESTED PSYCHICS” only, and by passing their tests and being offered a contract, I am one of those. By their own admission, I am one of those ‘true psychics’, the “1%” to whom they offer contracts. But I am not a psychic.

As easily as I passed the company’s tests, without being psychic, I could have maintained the ‘marriage’ of the contract.

It’s exactly what you do, but you call the psychology, the advice, the comfort, the guesswork, the friendliness, the speculation, the amateur counseling, the unqualified therapy, and ‘being around the block’ by another word… “psychic”.

If we consider the paranormal definition of psychic, no “psychic” has ever demonstrated that they are psychic.

In your email, you’ve judged the worth of the company by its treatment of its staff, the pay, and the perks, rather than the validity of the very trade; or in this case, the invalidity of the trade.

The Hazards of Commenting on Fringe Woo Blogs

as a rule, i tend to not even bother trying to comment on blogs that are outrageously paranormal in nature. i'd get banned before i could finish typing my screen name.

luckily, thanks to a backlash from the paranormal community against the insult-to the-paranormal-community done by shows like "paranormal state", "ghost hunters" and "psychic kids", there are actually paranormal-ish blogs out there which actually espouse critical thinking and skeptical lines of questioning.

a few of these are: TiPS, WhoForted, the ghost divas, and ghosttheory (see below).

what's interesting to me is that i've now been reprimanded and/or "banned" from commenting at two of those above mentioned blogs (TiPS and ghosttheory) for my openly sarcastic and skeptical comments about the articles these blogs present.

it's pretty sad, because i'm about the most mild-mannered skeptic in a public internet discussion you're likely to find. it's also pretty ironic, because the PN believers at the two sites i was banned from are the ones who tend to wax abusive, end up looking like idiots, and then complain to the admins of the website that i was mean to them or i 'attacked' them.

the woo-wielders (and TV producers/networks) who benefit the most monetarily from keeping skepticism out of paranormal vs skepticism discussions must certainly be pleased that there are so many good little woo soldiers who are so helpful at keeping skeptics from contributing to even semi-skeptical paranormal discussions.

(woo soldiers - gnarly little chihuahuas - are the ones who incessantly flame-bait and wax abusive during online discussions and/or whine to admins that they're going to stop posting - or are afraid to post - due to the big bad mean scary skeptics) harbors an example of the latest exchange which caused me to be reprimanded.

perhaps i should've just taken a page out of the funny skeptical retort that i quoted in another entry and spit the abuse back at the woo soldier using their own post as a template.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

chip coffey's 100% accuracy rate on "paranormal state"...

i know, i know - it's astounding! it's stunning! it's a symphony of psychic success!

or is it?

check out the "contact PRS if you need help" sign up sheet featured over at A$E. scroll down and read all of the questions that are asked.

why, it's everything a good television psychic needs to know, and more! and it's straight from the can't wait to get on TV peeps clients' keypads!

Friday, August 14, 2009

bellaboo as a screen name

heh, i just googled "bellaboo" and there are tons of "bellaboos" out there.
(the one who called herself "whore face" on myspace certainly caught my attention)
i've only used this screen name to make a comment here and there on blogs and to participate at the AE forum - i think there was one other forum also (i was banned from that one for making fun of psychics, evidently one of the regulars was an overly-sensitive sensitive.) i've never used this screen name to sign up on any social networking site, so no - i'm not "whore face" or any of those lively bellaboos. i'm not the crafty bellaboo nor the childrens' books bellaboo, either.

if i could be any of them, i think i'd pick "whore face" cause she seems the most interesting!

ironically enough, i thought i had made the "bellaboo" name up in december 2007 when i off-the-cuff signed up at the A$E forums to join in the "paranormal state" fun-poking frenzy.

i was trying to come up with something that i would remember easily for that site: it was "bella" (for belgian beer, a libation that i rather enjoy) and "boo" for something "scary" (like the idea that anyone takes that show seriously).

alas, apparently i wasn't very original.

there are quite a few "bellabootoo"s out there as well.

well, i appreciate anonymity on the internet so it's really not a bad thing having lots of different people using the same SN as me. for even more anonymity, i suppose i should have picked "bob".

woo comments on blogs

i was perusing skeptico and ran across one of their excellent articles debunking a UK "psychic", joe power.

i'd never even heard of him, -- there are far too many fake psychics (redundant description, i know) attempting to take advantage of media exposure to keep track.

i particularly enjoyed one woo comment(nicky)defending the psychic and the ensuing retort from a skeptic(jimmy blue):

woo comment:

i thnk you are all full of shit if you dont believe then thats up to you some of us do and we are quite happy continuing to do so, you have no evidence that he is a fake and all you ever bang on about is police investigations you never talk about all the accurate readings he dose for members of the public, who contact him by the way he dosnt go knocking on their doors so just go and boil your heads you boring nut jobs

skeptic's retort:

I think you're full of shit. If you do believe then that is up to you, some of us don't and we are quite happy continuing to not do so. You have no evidence that he is not a fake, and all you ever bang on about is readings he did for members of the public who contacted him. You never talk about cold reading. You never talk about warm reading. You never talk about hot reading. You never talk about selective thinking, wishful thinking, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, coincidence, the drawbacks of anecdotal evidence, poor memory recall, confirmation bias, the Forer effect, hindsight bias, selection bias, self-deception, shoe-horning, shot-gunning, subjective validation. You never talk about the inaccurate or flat out wrong readings - do you think he never, ever makes mistakes? Then why don't you hear about them? Why might someone hide their mistakes? Go boil your head you boring nut job.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

psychics 'investigating' famous "haunted" spots

don't you just love it when psychics show up to 'investigate' well-known places and/or events?

for example, "haunted" hotels like the St James Hotel / Old Depot Museum and the U.S. Hotel Rest-aurant and Tavern.

i bet google is their friend.

man, it's a win-win situation! the hotel/commercial business owners gets killer free publicity and the ghost hunters get some seriously already-gone-over material.

plus, they get to charge lots of money for these "hunts" when they invite the general public along and everyone makes money!! (except for the general public - i guess some people like to gamble, some like to give their money to charity, and some like to line the pockets of paranormal poppy-cock peddlers.)