JREF followup

By Phil Plait | August 6, 2008 12:00 pm

Well, it’s been a couple of days, and I have to say I’m still just as excited about taking on the mantle of JREF President as I was when Randi first asked me. The JREF folks have really been making me feel like part of the family… but they’ve had years of practice. I’ve been part of that for years, but I’ve just never been legal.

And let me say how overwhelming the response has been! The emails, the IMs, the comments in the post, even a Fark thread. I am so happy and proud and humbled. This is quite a thing.

To answer some of the questions: Randi is not retiring. He’s just making me do all he grunt work so he’s freed up to do fun things. He’ll continue writing his books, writing the weekly SWIFT newsletter, working on the megabuck challenge, and many other things. He’s not really passing any torch; we’ll be working together to make sure JREF keeps fighting the woo. I don’t plan on moving from Boulder; we just bought the house here a year ago! No, I won’t learn magic: I stink at it. But we have others who are pretty good at it, world-class at it. I’m in good company.

… and I have to say, I noticed another frequent comment: people saying my beard isn’t long enough or white enough. Well, I suppose that used to be true, but maybe you just haven’t seen a recent enough picture of me:

Picture courtesy J.D. Mack of the National Capital Area Skeptics, clearly from here and here.


Comments (51)

  1. Harold McTestes

    Freakin’ classic.

  2. Max Fagin

    And of course only the president of the JREF would wear a baseball cap with a suit an tie.

  3. Shoeshine Boy

    Do I detect a slight increase in the size of your head, too? 😉

  4. BMcP

    Well the picture made me smile. 😀

  5. Michelle


    Too much chocolate for me.

  6. Charly

    Wow! How did you grow that beard so quick? Obviously, it’s real since you have photo documentation….oh wait, this isn’t the thread about the Mitchell stuff…..nevermind.

  7. Viewer 3

    “He’s just making me do all he grunt work so he’s freed up to do fun things.”

    Oh Jesus… is that a mistake??

    Speaking of Jesus, I think I see his image within that beard. I swear.

  8. Bad Albert

    So is that what the President of the JREF does? Sit at a computer and play with Photoshop? I could handle that job.

  9. bigjohn756

    Phil, you don’t have to learn magic, but, I think you need to study magic so you know how it works.

  10. Haaa ha ha ha! The picture is so awesome.

  11. Andy Beaton

    Did Randi shave off his Official JREF Beard so you could glue it on?

  12. hale_bopp

    All I want for Christmas is no creationists!

  13. Fritriac

    […] even a Fark thread.

    Well, someone had to! 😉

  14. RAF

    That is one freaky picture.

  15. IBY

    Hahaha! Cool picture, you finally “have a beard.” :)

  16. Mark

    Seriously, folks … that’s why scepticism so often fails, and people believe in woo. Because they have teh 1337 photoshop 5k1llz. :)

    (unlike me, sadly. I just couldn’t resist :)

    (Images from flicker, by andyi, under a CC licence.)
    Source 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyi/2406653820/
    Source 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyi/2406654062/

  17. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Just keep your hands off the interns, Mister President. 😉

  18. Wish I knew photoshop. I’d hunt down Phil’s famous Calendar pic. The one with the telescope and have a go at that! (hint hint)

  19. Davidlpf

    For some reason an old commercial tagline has been flaoting around in my head “I am not only the president but a member.”

  20. LOL!! Priceless!

  21. zer0

    That pic cracks me up. The angles on the faces make it look like you’re breaking your own jaw… I rofled at work.

  22. Tyler

    Nice beard Phil! But your lower jaw could use some SERIOUS realignment.

  23. DrFlimmer

    I’m thinking about having a new wallpaper….. maybe I found one! 😉 This pic of “Phandy” is Hawesome!!!!

  24. Skipper

    Phil… when are you gonna be done posting useless stuff and get back to answering everyones questions about everything? Honestly.

  25. Ed

    Phil! Once again, congratulations!

    When I was a kid, we all used to head to Red Bank to Doug Keller’s House of Magic,
    to see if Randi was there that day..

    He used to hang out once in a while and talk to all of us, and show us the most
    incredible close up magic I had ever seen.

    Truly an Amazing man!

  26. llewelly

    The JREF folks have really been making me feel like part of the family… but they’ve had years of practice. I’ve been part of that for years, but I’ve just never been legal.

    There you have it folks. A bald admission that Phil Plait was living in sin with the JREF for years.

  27. Blu-Ray-Ven
  28. Grand Lunar

    Good to see no move is required, Phil.
    Compared to Boulder, you probably wouldn’t like Fort Lauderdale; no mountains, bad light pollution, and from June to November, you better make sure you have plywood, a working chainsaw, extra fuel, and a generator on hand, just in case.

    You look like Dr. Hammond from “Jurassic Park” in that photo! Well, sort of.

    Anyway, have fun with the grunt work!

  29. Skipper: To quote the good Captain Kirk… when this becomes a democracy, I’ll let you know.

  30. Congratulations!

    Do you suppose this will put an end to all the complaints from unsuccessful JREF challengers that “Randi’s not even a scientist!”?

  31. Hey, Phil, in your search for an app for twitter, did you consider using Digsby (If you use windows, that is)? http://www.digsdy.com/

  32. Bigfoot

    A late congrats on your new formidable JREF position. I just hope you don’t get fired for blogging!

  33. Bigfoot

    BTW, nice beered.

  34. J. D. Mack

    Thanks for the positive photo comments! I *never* got that reaction for any of my submissions to Fark.

    J. D.

  35. Greg Hilliard

    Sentcha this at your badastro e-mail, Phil, but figured I’d repeat it here:
    So does this make you Dmitry Medvedev to Randi’s Putin?

  36. Now it’s time for the Height Reduction Surgery…

  37. Davidlpf

    More like Phil is more like Cheney to Randis Bush.

  38. Congratulations! The foundation will live on. :)

  39. Robbie

    That picture gets more hilarious the more times I see it.

  40. Since I didn’t comment earlier, I’ll take the opportunity now to congratulate you on this very important position.

  41. So are there going to be any other changes over at PPEF… er, JREF?

  42. madge

    LMAO! Awesome photo. CONGRATULATIONS ( again & again & again….) :)

  43. Genuinely Doug


    This is a bittersweet moment for me. I have been an avid follower of you and your blog for many years, and I am very excited to see that you will be president of the JREF. But at the same time it makes us all too aware that our beloved Randi is beginning to slow down. He is such a wonderful leader of the skeptical community. He is irreplaceable.

    All the best. Love the beard!
    – Doug

  44. Walkiria

    I haven’t had the time to congratulate you!!!! You don’t know how proud of you I am. Hope one day I can meet you and say that I actually know you. Wow, just wow.

  45. SteveG

    wow, great beard.
    with photoshop skills like you could fake – oh I don’t know, a moon landing!

  46. Congratulations from Poland on your taking over things in JREF. I’m a keen reader of both SWIFT and BA site, and I much admire your efforts to stay sober in that crazy world. I’ll help as much as I can. Cheers for Randi’s 80 and BA’s JREF presidency. And many further skeptic successes in the future!

  47. marko

    Great image!
    Badmazing indeed!


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