James Randi --- Wizard (JREFInfo@ssr.com)
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 09:26:36 -0800 (PST)

We're told that National Handwriting Week begins Monday. This
important observation of a continuing mythology -- that one's
character, future, and professional aptitude can be determined from
how -- or if -- "i"s are dotted or "t"s are crossed, points up our
continued fascination with pseudoscientific flummery.

On my Granada-TV series a few years ago in the UK, I tested one of
Britain's most famed and prosperous graphologists. We presented him
with appropriate samples of handwriting from five women of
approximately the same age, and of widely different professions. His
claim was that he could sort them out according to profession. Not to
our surprise, he got exactly what we might expect by chance alone. As
we often find with these abject failures, the practitioner then tried
to retrofit his analyses, and insisted that his startling statement
about one sample clearly showing a back injury (?) was quite correct
despite the firm denial of the writer. Upon much probing of her
health, she did admit that a week previously she'd sprained her leg.
The graphologist immediately accepted that event as "close enough,"
and his art was once again validated.

Oh, I don't think so.

I've always preferred the reading of fortunes from shredded wheat,
rather than tea-leaves. But then I'm known as a difficult person, as
we alll know....

We're looking to expand our membership base at JREF, so I urge you
folks who have not yet joined up, to do so. We need to be officially
speaking for as large a number of people as we can. This helps our
status as a 501-c-3 not-for-profit corporation, and helps support the
JREF, as well. The web page has all the details.

I'm jockying for a late-night syndicated radio spot of my own. I've
had a lot of encouragement along this line, and many remember the
midnight-to-five nightly show I did on WOR radio out of NYC in the
60's. That was a lot of fun, and I really want to get back into the
field. It could be a great platform for the JREF, as well. We'll
keep you posted.


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