Famed Indian Skeptic Sanal Edamaruku Launches Rationalist Journal

Sanal Edamaruku — a.k.a. “the Indian James Randi” — has debunked a lot of sacred cows in his life. Last year, after explaining how a statue of Christ could be dripping water seemingly on its own, he was charged with “hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community.” The “crime” could have resulted in a prison sentence of up to three years in addition to a fine, so Edamaruku fled from his home before he could be punished (or physically attacked).

For the past year, Edamaruku has been in Finland. And recently, from his base in Helsinki, he announced the launch of an international journal (published quarterly) aptly called Rationalist:

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In Iceland, Construction Projects Are Being Held Up Because They Might Hurt the Elves. (Seriously.)

I don’t know how to put this any more bluntly: In Iceland, a lot of people believe in elves. Like, more than half of them. And these Hulduf√≥lk live in rocks.

If this were just a silly belief, we could leave it at that.

But construction projects are being delayed in the country because protesters don’t want the rocks these magical elves live in to be destroyed.

Dear god, I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence…



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The Power of Psychics Explained in One Graph

(via the amazing Jessica Hagy)

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After Showing Up to His Live Event, Skeptics Debunk Promoter of ‘Touchless’ Karate

Master Jukka Lampila is a Finnish con artist who claims to be able to teach you a form of karate that requires no kicks or punches. All you need is your mind and your opponents will be defeated. It’s called “EFO” or Empty Force and it’s all a trick.

Last week, Lampila was giving a demonstration of the technique in Spain (you bet your ass there was a pricey entrance fee) and a few skeptics decided to pay him a visit. I seriously don’t know why Lampila allowed cameras to be there…

While he “demonstrates the power” for the first couple of minutes, the fun begins at 2:28 when the skeptics decide to allow Lampila to use his powers on them:

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This is What a Celebrity Psychic’s Obituary Should Look Like

The New York Times, yesterday, published an obituary of “psychic” Sylvia Browne that is strikingly accurate without giving her more credit than she’s due.

What makes it worth reading aren’t the descriptions of the major details of her life, but how the reporter suggests that her claim to fame was suspect all along.

This is how William Yardley puts it:

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