Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dumbest Letter of the Day:
Young Quebeckers don't seem to be using condoms because:
......They understand that condoms are really the last thing to use to protect yourself from Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Condoms promote their transmission by the genital lesions (abrasions) that they cause, which promote the exchange of blood and other fluid, and by the fact that the spermicide that coat condoms kill immune system cells.

Le Droit, Ottawa, letter to the editor, August 25 2008

You'd think that the editorial at Le Droit would at least consult a health expert before running this letter that gives bad advice - nonoxynol-9, a spermicide, has been shown to cause some abrasion and ulceration with frequent use in some people, and since it has not been shown to be an effective preventative to HIV transmission in real-life conditions, its use on condoms has declined, but even using a nonoxynol-9 coated condom is certainly safer than not using one, and there are plenty available that don't have nonoxynol-9 on them.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Kreskin fails to Amaze

(rewritten from earlier blog)

Kreskin fails to Amaze

The mentalist Kreskin used to have a TV show produced at the local Ottawa CTV studio - up til now I thought he was Canadian, but he is from New Jersey.

One of the things that he talked about in the publicity for his appearance at the The Ottawa Super Ex this year was how he'd been interviewed by the FBI and the CIA after making predictions about 9/11 on January 2001 on CNN. Read the interview in the Ottawa Citizen, where the reporter discusses his difficulties in verifying Kreskin's other claims.

Here's what he really did say on CNN on January 1, 2001:

by September or October there will be two major plane crashes. I don't predict disasters in which people are hurt, but it will be the disaster of two companies going out of business......there will not be planes crashing. The crashes will be the companies collapsing, going out of business.

He also predicted the Yankees would not win the World Series that year. (just as accurately as his other prediction).

At the Ex he did a stage hypnosis routine where it seemed like people were seeing UFOs. Here's how stage hypnosis works. You get the people who are eager to be onstage and are willing to do what you suggest to them - it's easy - before the show starts, you pick the people who are crowding around the stage and who respond to your suggestions that they can't move their arms when you tell them they can't, or some other demonstration that they're willing to play along.

What you really are seeing when people are running around on all fours, pretending to be dogs, is just people hamming it up because they've been given an excuse to be the centre of attention.

In this case, I don't think they're really seeing UFOs - they're not running off the stage, trying to get other people to look at the UFOs, or trying to call the authorities - they are behaving just like amateur actors pretending to see something.

He did this at one of his post 9/11 shows in Las Vegas to, in his home page's words:

.....expose the influence of the terrorist mindset, Kreskin demonstrated The Power of Suggestion in June 2002. In a mass gathering in the Nevada desert, he illustrated how easily the minds (sic) perception can be manipulated by successfully causing numerous individuals to believe they were witnessing an actual UFO sighting and within seconds fear, panic and chaos erupted in the darkened desert night

from the bio on Kreskin's website

If only Osama bin Laden had known he could cause mass panic just by doing a familiar stage act that often is followed by someone making balloon animals!

But some witnessing the event seemed more strickened with boredom :

Hundreds of people camped out and watched the skies continually, most carrying cellphones, preparing to call in to Art Bell (and other media) when the event transpired. Art Bell himself set up a webcam aimed at Las Vegas to get his own photographic evidence.

Nothing happened.

Nolan B. Canova,


Some of the crowd were angry at Kreskin and started cat-calling and saying "Da plane, da plane!" Many walked away in disgust.

Angela Thompson Smith, In The Eyes of the Beholder

Kreskin had set up this show with a promise to donate $ 50,000 to charity if no UFOs showed up - when he declared that they had indeed shown up in some footage of moving lights shot by a cameraman after the event, Art Bell banned him, on air, from his Coast-to-Coast AM radio show - see Amazing Kreskin's Promise.

Kreskin does have a 'sealed envelope' trick running right now where he is supposed to have the name of the winner of the US Presidential elections written down in an envelope and kept in a safe. If you consult books on magic written for children, you can find ways to make this trick work. ( You can also find out how to bend a spoon ).

Funny how he didn't just make the prediction on CNN....... oh, right, they have transcripts and videotapes.

moving again

Yahoo 360! doesn't seem to be working so I'll continue over here... I've had a blog since 1998!