“Putting magic at the center of a play about a magician doesn’t seem like that radical a choice,” explained Teller’s co-director and co-adapter Aaron Posner. "But in the history, at least the modern history of producing 'The Tempest', it is a radical choice."
The drought in California has brought about a number of things, from exposing part of Mormon Island, an old mining town that has partially emerged from Folsom Lake (news coverage clip; aerial view of a re-emerged bridge with overly dramatic music; a tour of the exposed ruins), to being good news for gold prospectors. But if there's too much of a crowd in the Sierra Nevada foothills, you can always dig for gold in New York City (alt: YouTube), in the cracks of Midtown's Diamond District with Raffi Stepanian.
Tim's Vermeer - how a Texas inventor might have reconstructed the methods used by Dutch baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. [more inside]
Stealing magic has become a commonplace crime. Teller, a man of infinite delicacy and deceit, decided to do something about it. Putative thief, Gerard Bakardy, tells the story differently.
An oldie, but apropros for Earth Day. Join Penn & Teller in banning the nefarious Dihydrogen Monoxide!
In 1989 Rob Pike, Penn & Teller, and Dennis Ritchie (one of the creators of UNIX), prank Arno Penzias, with a funky speech recognition demo.
In the summer of 1897, the Devil transported a minor Decadent poet named Enoch Soames one hundred years into the future to see what posterity would make of his work. The only witness to the affair was the parodist Max Beerbohm, whose account of Soames and his journey ensured that at 2:10 P.M. on June 7, 1997, some dozen pilgrims waited in the Round Reading Room of the British Museum to see the poet appear...
There's been plenty of Bullshit! on MetaFilter before, and now there's more: Boy Scouts [1, 2, 3] ("Duty to God ahead of country, others, and self, is the credo of suicide bombers."); Wal-Mart Hatred ("Wal-Mart is one of the great anti-poverty programmes in the country."); Circumcision ("By the end of this programme, one of these three will drop their pants and show us the restored foreskin on their penis."); and The Best ("Stupid? How many of you are searching for it on the web right now?").
"After our transparently bogus story and our impossibly shitty video appeared on the website... we received a flood of messages from big-shot bigfoot hunters who were dying to find out about [the] footage. Our plan was working." So, Penn and Teller faked the Sonoma bigfoot footage. But only the BFRO fell for it. Conveniently, they deleted the evidence of that. With so many sasquatch enthusiasts expressing doubt about the video when it was released, can our favorite Libertarian and mime really use it to prove that bigfoot is bullshit?
"A Helpful Hand" - Penn & Teller call Bullshit! on the "bestselling book in the world," the Holy Bible. (link is to entire episode approx 29mins - *language, flash)
this i believe: there is no god. the inimitable, outspoken penn jillette (of penn and teller fame) takes a hell of a brave stand in today's climate of blind faith.
"I'm a sucker for serial killers." - Teller (of Penn and Teller) wrote something way back in 1994 about Jeffrey Dahmer that is still interesting, though short, after all this time. "One day when he was driving home, Dahmer gave a lift to a hitchhiker. I've done that. He saw beauty and wanted it in his power, utterly, as only a well-placed blow to the head can deliver. OK, I confess, I've wanted that as well -- but I chose not to pick up a sawed-off baseball bat and make my wish come true. That's why I can drive to the beach whenever I feel like it, while Dahmer has to live in a prison and talk to Stone Phillips. "
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Federal V.I.P. Penn Gillette almost gets his "crank grabbed." Not quite as concerning as the pregnant woman who got her breasts groped by security at the airport but it's an interesting read.