IIG Public Update #6
December saw an influx of inquiries, and it also saw the 2007 CFI
Solstice party. With Christmas happening shortly after our visit to the
Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, a thought occurs to us: why
don’t these biblical literalists insist that the celebration of Christ’s
birth be moved to Spring?
Here’s an update on our activities:
PHENOMENAL STUPIDITY (Part 3):
“Phenomenon” is off the air for the time being, although the current WGA strike increases the possibility of unscripted “reality” shows finding their way back to the airwaves in 2008. While this show has been as unimpressive as most of the networks' pap, host Criss Angel’s performance has been extraordinary. When last we left our hero, he had offered Jim Callahan, Uri Geller (and in fact, any psychic) one million dollars if they could discern the contents of his envelope. In December, Criss revealed that the envelope’s message read “9-11.” This was intended as an object lesson for the viewers – why didn’t any of these amazing psychics predict such an extraordinary event?
Well, we in the IIG put our skills to the test. At the November general meeting, we all made our best guesses as to the contents of the envelope, and sealed them. Our envelope was unsealed on December 11th for the cameras of KCET – the L.A. PBS affiliate. No one in the IIG had even come close to guessing “9/11,” although since no psychic had either, we kind of consider it a positive result.
The full story of Criss Angel's challenge will appear in the upcoming issue of “Skeptical Inquirer” – our organization’s fifth contribution to that august publication. We will make it available on our site at that time.
IIG ON TV:
What’s this about KCET, you may say? Well, L.A.’s veteran newshound Val Zavala brought her landmark “Life and Times” crew to CFI-LA to do a story on the IIG. The completed piece appeared on the December 19th episode of the series, which, unfortunately, turned out to be in the final week of the long-running news magazine. With all of the celebrity-driven L.A. based news magazines, it was refreshing that Val and her team brought the other side of tinsel-town to the airwaves, and we hope to see her spot-light science and reason through her future projects.
If you missed the show, or don’t live in L.A., never fear! The unedited piece is available on our website. The bottom-line: “Life and Times” made us look great!
DAUGHTER WHO SEES IN THE DARK:
This is our new code name for the daughter of Tomas C. in Arizona, who claims that his daughter can see in complete darkness. We are currently struggling with the scientifically valid limits of human vision as we evaluate her case. The very definition of “paranormal” must sometimes be evaluated with these claims; after all, we’re not dishing out $50K for someone who is merely human.
We are still trying to schedule a preliminary demonstration, but with the applicant's family living in Arizona it has been tough. This leads us to . . .
APPLICATION UPDATE 2008:
The influx of applicants has forced us to alter our application. The new application will issue a reminder that demonstrations will not be possible unless the applicant can make it to L.A. on their own steam. Sorry folks, but we are funded by membership dues, so we are definitely not paying for plane tickets.
Also added to the application is a question we always need an answer to, but never bother to ask: How did you discover your ability? The applications will be on-line as soon as our legal department approves the language.
Ray T. from the Volunteer State has come forward with the claim that he can project his thoughts. In other words, other people can read his mind. We have received an application from him, and we are working on a testing protocol.
DR. GREER, I PRESUME:
At last! Our report on Dr. Steven Greer is on-line. Check it out.
UFOS ON DVD:
"The Silent Revolution Of Truth" - Michael Horn’s new DVD on the Billy Meier UFOs has been released, and believe it or not, this credulous account of the grandfather of UFOs contains a skeptical response from the IIG’s own Derek Bartholomaus (though it's been edited out of the main film and appears in its complete form in the special features supplement). The complete presentation from Derek will soon be made available on our website, and if you prefer to see Derek live, he will be giving the presentation live at CFI-LA sometime in 2008. Stay tuned.
VISION FROM FEELING:
Anita I. of “Vision From Feeling” has applied for the $50,000. She claims to be able to diagnose health conditions psychically. See her website at http://www.visionfromfeeling.com/.
We are still designing a test protocol for her, and we have tentatively scheduled her to be tested during her spring or summer break, as she is a university student.
Well that’s the end of 2007. Now we can look forward to a presidential election featuring candidates who don’t believe in evolution, CourtTV’s resurrection as “TruTV,” and, of course, an extra day in February to ponder all these things.