To: Subject: And I thought parapsychology was weird....! D

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From: James Randi --- Wizard To: Subject: And I thought parapsychology was weird....! Date: Wed, 14 Feb 1996 03:23:19 -0500 Okay. I finally discovered a profession in which the practitioners make less sense than their equivalents in Parapsychology. It's called Insurance. Let me lead you into this strange world with an example of bizarre terminology that is currently making its weary way through my lifeline. I have what the National Flood Insurance Program, through State Farm Insurance, sells as a Flood Policy. This covers my property here in Florida. In fact, by law I must have this policy. One would think, obviously, that if I experience a flood here, I might collect for damages. One would be wrong. The policy which I've paid premiums on for over eight years now, can never, under any circumstances in a real world, ever be collected on. Read on. I had a flood in October. That is to say, a whole lot of rain fell from the sky, the ground beneath didn't soak it up, and it ran into my studio, at the back of my property. Six inches deep. A lot of damage ensued, and I made a claim with State Farm. A charming gentleman came around, looked at it and tut-tutted a bit, then left. Two weeks later, I got a letter telling me that my policy required "flooding of two acres of the covered property," and that I could not be paid for the damages. That struck me as rather strange, since my property is just 1.3 acres. Apparently, I'd been holding a policy that could never pay off, no matter how deep the water. But there were even more weird developments to come. When I suggested to State Farm that since I didn't have two acres, and thus could not be paid, ever, and that my policy was therefore useless, the mavens there came up with yet another surprise to thwart my desire to extract money from them. In a letter received today, I read, under "Losses Not Covered": 1 B: Loss caused by rain . . . unless your insured property has been, at the same time, damaged by a flood. Well, that flood WAS caused by rain. And my property WAS damaged by that flood. But the rain-water that caused the damage is not eligible as a cause....? There's more. In that same strange letter, I read: The flood water would need to cover more than two acres of land or two adjacent properties. It appears that these intellectual giants believe that no other property in the town was rained upon, and that any rain that did fall, piled up on my property alone, just because I have bad luck? I'm reminded of that sad little character in Lil' Abner, a guy named Joe Btlfsptsgk (approximate spelling) who walked about with a small cloud raining over him all the time. ...................................................................... Penn and Teller are going to the UK to appear at the Sadlers Welles theater (I mean, theatre!) from April 23rd to May 4th. That will be a hoot, I'm sure. ...................................................................... And for those of you who see this on Tuesday night, look for an ABC-TV program called American Journal.. Another episode in the Quadro saga, featuring moi. James Randi ************************************************** ** PROVIDED FOR YOUR REFERENCE BY THE MODERATOR ** ************************************************** Requests to be added to or deleted from the randi-hotline mailing list, must be sent to the service address: Internet: PLEASE BE PATIENT. All requests are processed before each new mailing to the list and these can be widely spaced. You *will* be added if your request was sent to the correct address. Mail to James Randi can be sent to: Internet: The Amazing One reads all mail and will generally respond eventually. This can change with growing volume, of course... Thanks to Anson Kennedy, back issues of the randi-hotline are now available on the World Wide Web: Back issues of the randi-hotline are also available via anonymous FTP to: USA: directory: /pub/an/anson/Mailing_Lists/geller-hotline directory: /Randi Please try first, since is very busy. EUROPE: directory: /pub/Randi Our gratitude goes to Anson Kennedy and Massimo Macucci for providing the ftp sites at netcom and, respectively.


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