Phil, about your astrology article.
A few points to make about this. I think the arguments you make are pretty weak, and are unlikely to change the minds of anyone who actually believes.
Carl Sagan once refused to sign a statement called "objections to astrology." He sets out his reasons in The Demon Haunted World ch 17. I suppose that he would find your essay equally objectionable, because you use some of the same arguments.
In Sagan's words "The statement stressed that we can think of no mechanism by which astrology can work. This is certainly a relevant point, but by itself is unconvincing." And he then goes on to explain why it's a weak argument. You use the same argument, so Sagan's opinions apply to your essay too. I'm sure you have a copy, you should check it out. Sagan's own arguments against astrology are rather stronger than yours, IMHO.
The other thing wrong with the essay is that you make the error of invoking James Randi. This is always a bad idea. People who do so always shoot themselves in the foot.
You say the following:
I've seen a film of the demonstration on YouTube. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it didn't happen the way you describe it. The children were asked to score their horoscopes out of five. About one third of them gave a four or five. The rest gave it three or less. The certainly did not "overwhelmingly [rate] the horoscopes as accurate." Not by a long chalk. I've seen him do this stunt twice, and the second time was even worse, with only one single person thinking that the profile was accurate.My friend and master skeptic James Randi performs a wonderful demo of how easily people are fooled by astrology. He went into a classroom, posing as an astrologer, and cast horoscopes for all the students. He had them read and rate the accuracy, and they almost overwhelmingly rated the horoscopes as accurate. The kicker? He had them pass around the horoscopes, and the students saw that every horoscope was exactly the same. It was worded vaguely enough that nearly everyone in the room thought they were being well-described.
Randi is an awful magician. He keeps on messing up the tricks. People tend to notice this. His stunts only ever make the astrologers and psychics look good, next to him. That is why you should not cite hi9m in your essay. Other magicians have done the same stunt with much better results. You could cite Derren Brown's performance instead. He did it right.
You describe Randi as your friend. I think you probably won't like hearing this, but it's true nonetheless.