Skeptics everywhere!

Last Friday I plugged Wendy Chao’s appearance on Good Morning America. You can now read a wrap-up of how things went by checking out Wendy’s web site. She even has a link to a clip of the show on YouTube. My favorite line from Wendy’s summary:

I was confused — I didn’t think you could ever be too skinny for television.

Nicely done, Wendy! I look forward to the day when I, too, can fit in size 00 jeans.

Also, check out Skepchick friend Mark Duwe take on Derek Ogilvie on GMTV in this clip on YouTube (thanks to Sid at The Skeptic for the link). Mark is an awesome guy, though I almost didn’t recognize him in this clip. I didn’t even think the color black existed in his wardrobe. Anyway, good job Mark!
In other news, yesterday marked the anniversary of the birth of one of my favorite people ever, James Randi. He’s the guy who inspired me to get into this whole skepticism thing. Seeing him on television, reading his books and weekly online commentary (yeah, he was blogging before it was cool), and participating in his forum led me to eventually create this web site and perform other random acts of skepticism.

Randi has had a tough year, considering his hospitalization after TAM4 for heart trouble. Whenever I talk to him, though, he’s just as entertaining and awesome as ever. He’s still writing his weekly commentaries, planning future events, and preparing for at least another thirty or forty years of skeptical ass kicking.

Check out Randi’s site at for more info on TAM, the forum, and his weekly commentary.

Image from the JREF Photo Archive

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. It's a pity they didn't get more into things on GMTV, I'd love to hear what Mark thought about Derek's reading. Mark was very diplomatic when he was talking about Cold Readings etc, nicely skeptical and not saying "this is how you do it" but "this is how it can be done". The mother seemed very convinced and the fact that her husband was also convinced seemed to give her a lot of happiness.

    And to think that the Scots used to be reknowned for engineering and science!

  2. The whole thing was only five minutes long and was a vehicle for Derek, not a balanced view. By law, they have to have a skeptic before the 9pm watershed if there's any paranormal stuff shown on TV.

    I had a list of things I wasn't allowed to say (such as calling him a liar or fraud) and I didn't want to come over as too adversarial, just to point out a few things that can explain what psychics do.

    There's a full write-up about it here:… including some of what happened backstage…

    Also, to defend my shirt – I was banned from wearing one of my usual shirts as apparently it would interfere with the cameras. I had to get it especially for the show!

  3. Can't we still agree that Scots might be great scientists? All cultures spit out crazies after all…

    And Mark, whom I've never met, was indeed very well spoken, firm but polite. Unfortunately he wasn't given the time to really show how a cold reading is done. He explained it very well, but the problem with explanations of cold reading is that they inevtiably can not convey just how subtle and powerful they can be.

    And since when did being a police officer make you immune to charlatans? I guess the police I know are indeed more skeptical, but not in the sense that we mean it, they are skeptical of human nature, they tend to be pragmatic and cynical, but they are just as likely to be taken in bu huxters as everyone else. but of course this woman wants to know they she can know what her kid is saying.

    I didn't catch it, but did she mention that her son is getting actul speech therepy? Two kids in my extended family were very late talkers and both got appropriate speech therepy and came away with great results. I couldn't care less if this moronic couple employs this guy as long as they are also doing the right thing and addressing this little boy's actual issue at the same time.

  4. Are you the Mark from the show? If so, well done! In the short time you were given you did very well.

  5. I am – thanks. And thanks to our esteemed hostess for promoting my only black shirt to the whole of Christendom.

  6. There was nothing wrong with your first choice, they just wanted you to appear dour and foreboding.

  7. Mark, I was going to post a pic to illustrate your usual shirt choice (the Flickr photo of you and Sid), but wasn't sure if you'd mind.

    Thanks for the link to the write-up!

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