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 The 2008 Pigasus Awards are in!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2009 :  11:24:53  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The 2008 Pigasus Awards have been announced

The Pigasus Awards are awarded by the James Randi Educational Foundation every year on April 1st in five categories:

1. the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
2. the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.
3. the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
4. the Performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.
5. For the most persistent refusal to face reality.


[Moved to the General Skepticism folder - Dave W.]

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project

Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  12:06:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting stuff... Although Dr. Colin Ross does emit electromagnetic beams from his eyes. More precisely, his eyes reflect the ambient light (which is how they themselves are visible)...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  13:04:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

Interesting stuff... Although Dr. Colin Ross does emit electromagnetic beams from his eyes. More precisely, his eyes reflect the ambient light (which is how they themselves are visible)...
Yeah, that's the one I don't understand. Granted, Ross seems extremely unhinged. He believes the CIA has been active in secret government mind control for decades. But Ross does admit that his system for detecting electromagnetic beams from his eyes is returning false positives, and that he needs to work on the system some more. But wouldn't it be simpler for him to just test the device in a completely dark environment? No ambient light, nothing for his eyes to reflect. Why waste all that time tweaking the device? I have a sneaking suspicion it's because Ross has found that when he tests his goggles in the dark his powers cease to operate...


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2009 :  13:15:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh... I was merely making a funny. I did not read Ross's paper but, I'd think that the EM 'beams' he is mentioning are more impressive than just reflecting light (which would not be directional enough to qualify as 'beams' in my opinion).
Even then, just switching of the light would not be enough, as the heat from his body would still produce infra-red radiations.



Edit:
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the issue:

In 2008, Dr. Ross applied for the James Randi Educational Foundation's One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge with the claim that he can shoot beams of energy out of his eyeballs and cause a speaker, receiving no other input, to sound a tone. During later correspondence with Dr. Steven Novella of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, he conceded that the equipment he was using was, in fact, a biofeedback machine attached to his laptop, and that the laptop was responding in a well-understood way to an eyeblink. However, he claimed that he could still send energy beams out of his eyes, and was working on modifying the software to ignore an eyeblink. His claim has not currently been tested by the JREF.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
Edited by - Simon on 04/07/2009 13:21:19
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