Monday, July 12, 2010

Babbler Infiltrates The Amazing Meeting 8. Exclusive team coverage

Last weekend, The James Randi Education Foundation held their annual Amazing Meeting. The Babbler managed to send a team of reporters to the meeting. Here are their stories.

Anti-psychic Kitty speaks at TAM

Anti-psychic Kitty became the first non-human to openly speak at The Amazing Meeting. He made history again with one of the most controversial speeches in TAM history.

James Randi introduced Anti-psychic Kitty. He said AK was created by the James Randi Educational Society and Skepchick as a prototype for pets that radiate anti-psychic energy. AK’s energy is so strong, that instead of suppressing psychic energy, it causes psychics’ heads to explode when they try to use their powers. Randi said they ended the anti-psychic pet program, but added they would never abandon AK.

“At the JREF, we take care of our own. Anti-psychic Kitty, you are one of our own. I hope you’re enjoying you’re king-sized bed. You do know that you are the only pet allowed in the building this week?”

AK, rather than using a facilitated communicator, addressed the conference by walking on a computer keyboard. His words were then projected onto several screens.

AK thanked Randi, then said that the skeptical community should do more to fight “woo” among animals.

“My aunt Sidney, for example, believes that she a goddess, and above her human companion. This is common feline misconception. By helping cats like me educate my fellow felines, we can help cats and humans have healthy and loving relationships.”

AK did stop to thank humans for their work to stop animal cruelty. However, he added that some humans go too far with their love.

“There is nothing wrong with eating meat.” Said AK. “My diet requires meat. We understand that in nature, it is eat, or be eaten. We don’t mind if you kill a bird to eat. Just don’t eat us, please.”

Later in the speech, AK criticized Karen Stollznow for showing displaying a web page during a talk called, “Cats that look like Hitler.”

“There was no reason to exploit these poor cats to make a point about human woo.” AK then showed a picture of a male bodybuilder with a Hitler mustache drawn on him.

“How would you feel if I did this to Brian Dunning? By the way, this is not Brian Dunning. He’s too puny to use in my slide show."

Stolznow responded to AK during the question and answer session.

“It was bad enough that I could barely get a word in during the Paranormal Investigations Panel. I am not going to sit by and let a Frankencat  attack my sense of humor! I will post a blog about you!”

Dunning also responded to AK.

“How dare you make fun of my appearance! I’m not some ugly female cosmonaut. I’m Brian Dunning! The host of Skeptoid!”

AK said he would thinking about apologizing after his two afternoon naps.

Before returning to his room, AK started to have a brief conversation with Jeff Wagg of the JREF. A woman walked up to them, and asked Wagg about her application for the Million Dollar Challenge.

“Oh, my powers are telling me that this cat is hungry. Now when will I be tested.”

“That was the test.” Said Wagg. “You failed.”

The JREF has joint custody of AK with a family in the Bolingbrook area. AK will only see JREF officials once a year at TAM.

JREF shows off anti-psychic powers at TAM 8

Supporters of Anita Ikonen say she failed to select a person with a missing kidney because of all the anti-psychic energy present in the room.

“Think about it.” Said a man who only described himself as Donny. “There were only 5 people there. So in the beginning, she had a one in five chance of winning. Plus she was there for the entire convention, and was  allowed to speak with anyone she wanted to. Heck, she could have gone to skeptics in the tub and looked for people with scars. So even if she didn’t have x-ray vision, she had a decent chance of winning this demonstration of the Million Dollar Challenge.”

Added another supporter, Ray, “With all the anti-psychic energy in that room, I’ll bet they could have asked her what 2+2 was, and she would have given them a wrong answer.”

The JREF officials laughed when asked to be interviewed about this claim.

Alien skeptic takes Moon Landing deniers to Apollo 11 site

By Reporter X

Minutes after disrupting Adam Savage’s speech, and arguing with skeptics in the hallway, Dischum, an alien skeptic, abducted the two moon landing deniers.

“I was trying to enjoy a week with reasonably intelligent aliens.” Said Dischum, who is also a magician and administers The Billion Dollar Challenge. “Instead these two were harassing Phil Plait and Adam Savage about humanity's moon landing. Since humans can’t go to the moon anymore, I decided to help the JREF out.”

According to Dischum, he took the two Australians to the Apollo 11 landing site.

“I said, ‘here is the site of your species greatest achievement.’ They said they were only looking at models. I gave them space suits, and beamed them outside. They said I took them to a movie set. I pulled the hoses out their suits and let them suffocate for a few seconds. After I reattached the hoses, they said they were in a giant vacuum chamber with a movie set inside. I was tempted to leave them outside, and tell them to find the exit. But I’m not a killer. I took them back to TAM instead.”

When asked to comment, one of them replied that he was satisfied with Savage’s answer. Then he ran away when a tall man approached them.

Religious skeptics call for ‘Holy Debunking” of Richard Dawkins

Sources say at a secret meeting, the religious skeptics at TAM 8 called for a ‘Holy Debunking’ of Richard Dawkins, the keynote speaker.

“We have a lot to offer skepticism.” Retired Lt. Col Hal Bidlack is alleged to have said. 
“Thanks to my connections, I was able to help get the ADE 651 out of the US Military, and get the inventor arrested. Those things were worthless. People died because militaries trusted these dousing rods! Dawkins thanks me by saying that it’s more important to be an atheist than to be skeptical. I can’t help it if I reasoned my way to God. I can still help out with fight again unreasonably dangerous woo.”

“Exactly!” Astronomer Pamela Gay allegedly said. “Skeptics go to my sites to learn about science. But when I tell them I’m Christian, they treat me like I’m a creationist. Science and Christianity can go together. I’ll think I’ll post a tweet about that.”

TAM officials could not confirm the existence of the “Proclamation of Holy Debunking” but stressed off the record that religious people are welcome within skepticism.

When ask to comment, Gay replied, “Leave me alone or I will tweet about you. I’ll bet I have more followers than you do.”

Bidlack replied. “Get out of my face, or I will have you thrown out. That’s not my good joke. I’m serious!”

Dawkins also refused to comment.

“I don’t have time for trivial questions. I am going to the Sex and Skepticism Workshop to do research. Oh, I will be fully clothed, and I will keep my hands to myself and away from my private parts.”

Million Ghost Slaughter: CSI detonates nuke in the Las Vegas Underworld

A source within the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry accepted responsibility for detonating a nuclear device in the Las Vegas Underworld. An estimated 1 million ghost were temporarily obliterated in the blast. The ghosts were planning to march on TAM and disrupt Las Vegas.

“I’m sure the blast hurt them.” Said the source. “But it can’t kill them. They’re already dead.”

The source, who asked not to be named, explained that CSI believed that using an atomic device was the only way to protect TAM.

“So our investigators located the Trinity bomb relic in the underworld. We moved it to Las Vegas, and then set it off. Ghosts should really do a better job protecting things like that.”

No Las Vegas area ghosts could be reached for comment. Mediums consulted by The Babbler say the ghosts should become corporeal by the end of the week.

When asked to comment, CSI Lead Investigator Joe Nickell replied, “Keep talking to me, and I’ll practice my new Karate chop on you!”

Babbler unable to photograph DrJen

Despite several attempts, The Babbler was unable to photograph DrJen, the mysterious leader of Chicago Skeptics.

“Every picture we tried to take was either blurry, or she walked out of the shot.” Said photographer Steve Salford. “It’s like something is ruining our shots. I swear it has nothing to do with my old digital camera. It’s always worked before.

An anonymous expert at White Wolf says that DrJen might have the “Old World of Darkness” power of arcane. By spending a “point” of the power, she can ruin photographs of her.

“We are talking about the Old World of Darkness Camarilla venue, right?” Asked the expert.

As a photographer tried to take her picture, this reporter confronted DrJen and managed to get her to stand still.

“You can’t take pictures of me?” She replied. “Um.” She paused. “Hooray?” Then she walked off. None of The Babbler’s photos of her turned out.

No causalities reported at TAM 8 Skepchick Party

Amazingly, no one was arrested or taken to the hospital following the TAM 8 Skepchick Party.

“Finally,” Said Rebecca Watson, founder of Skepchick. “We can have a party and not disturb anyone! We still don’t have enough room inside the house, and if anyone gets lost, they’ll have to pay the authorities to rescue them. Still, you can’t knock progress.”

There was concern when members of The Skeptics Zone tried to walk back to the hotel.

“Everyone said we were crazy.” Said Richard Saunders. “We’re from Australia. The walk back to the hotel is nothing. Trying to box a kangaroo, eating toast without Vegemite, or not getting your vaccines. That’s crazy!”

The rest of the guests enjoyed a wild west costume party, lots of beer, and appearances by two ninjas. While there were many popular male visitors to the party, like DJ Grothe, Anti-psychic Kitty stole the party.

“He’s so cute and soft!” Said Skepchick Carrie. “I wish more men could be as respectful to women as my husband and kitty are!”

Skepchick Tracy drew attention to herself because she had a male genitalia drawn on her face. When asked if it was to protest Phil Plait’s “dick speech,” she said it wasn’t.

“Oh a drunk guy breathed on me, and I became tipsy. That’s how rarely I drink. One of my friends said it would be a good idea to put a (expletive deleted) on my face. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

The only complaint came from a man who wished not be identified.

“When they said it was a Wild West Bordello Party, I thought they were literally creating a bordello for the night. After I got smacked a couple times, Rebecca said it was just a costume party. They should have been clearer in their advertising!”

Randi tricks Babbler Columnist

Babbler Columnist Dale Onofrey thought he was going to speak on a panel about pork products.

“I thought it was odd when everyone else had musical instruments, scripts, and wooden boards.” Said Onofrey. “Maybe it was a skeptical thing.”

Onofrey was told he would be the first person to speak.

“First I was introduced by an Ed Sullivan impersonator. I thought that was really odd. So I read my speech about the mystical powers of pork. There was dead silence. I thought I’d impressed them. Then a person sitting behind the oddly placed table said, ‘You do know this is the talent show.’”

Onofrey said he saw Randi in the very back, laughing.

“He tricked me! The panel was really, ‘The HAM Talent show!’ He made me look like a fool in front of a hundred people.”

When contacted by The Babbler, Randi denied that he had tricked Onofrey.

“I told you guys were in for a surprise. You assumed that HAM was a panel discussion, and in the conjuring business, you know what happens when you assume!”

As Randi hung up the phone, he said, “I have wooed a practitioner of woo!”

Also in The Babbler:

Skeptical Chicago Resident sees UFO
Mayor Claar bids for TAM: Bolingbrook
Sources: Penn and Teller deported to London
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/17/10

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

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