"A wonderful brain interprets something differently from what it actually is, but it doesn't mean it's made a mistake. It took the information it had and did it's best job
." Those are but two tricks from Jerry Andrus
(1918-2007), self-taught magician and illusionist, and one of great renown
amongst other magicians
. But he was more than a slight-of-hand man: he was also a poet, philosopher, inventor, humanist, agnostic, and skeptic
. There are an impressive number of videos of him online, these are but a few to get you started down the rabbit hole: Jerry Andrus is visual poetry
(Google video / YT
, 28 minutes) :: Jerry Andrus at the Magic Castle
(G.vid, 49 min), Jerry Andrus at 83 his Optical Illusions
(G.vid, 41 min) :: Jerry Andrus and Ray Hyman on Uri Geller
(YT, 26 min) :: James Randi on Jerry Andrus
(YT, 5 min) :: James Randi - who was Jerry Andrus?
:: James Randi describes Jerry Andrus
. The last two clips are from Rex Young
, a young illusionist who has recreated many of Andrus' illusions on his YouTube channel
, and made some of his own
Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.
From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style.
), at age 81, has come out. He discusses the announcement in more detail on the JREF
podcast For Good Reason
on why atheism needs feminism. [more inside]
On April Fools Day 2009, the James Randi Educational Foundation
announced the Pigasus Awards for 2008
for the worst in pseudoscientific irrationality. The Scientist award was given to Dr. Colin A. Ross
for his claims that he can shoot electromagnetic energy beams from his eyes
. The Funding Organization award went to Walt Ruloff
and his co-producers for bankrolling the Intelligent Design documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
. The Media award went to cable channels such as Comedy Central
that still run ads for Enzyte
even though the company's owner is now serving a 25-year sentence for fraud
. The Perfomer award was typically awarded in the past to cheesy psychics such as Uri Geller
or Sylvia Browne
, but this year the (dis)honor goes to actress/spokesmodel Jenny McCarthy
for her antivaccination activism
, a stance that inspired the Jenny McCarthy Body Count
. Finally, a new award for "most persistent refusal to face reality" was presented to infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau
, who continues selling his books on "natural cures"
despite a judge slapping him with a $37 million fine
for false claims.
James Randi to end the Million Dollar Challenge in 2010.
Nobody's won it in 10 years, and the money would work better if it wasn't tied up waiting for the impossible. Many have tried, none have succeeded.... and just so this isn't a single link, here's Randi owning Uri Geller
, and Randi owning James Hydrick (using only styrofoam!) [YouTube links]
Journalist Accepts $1 Million Challenge: Do $7250 Cables Sound Better or Not?
(Or they could use these $43,000 cables instead
). At least, it sounded like acceptance, even to James Randi.
But then... maybe not.
So while you're waiting to find out if you should spend that much for cables, maybe you can buy something from this collection
of fine audiophile products. $400 for a pair tweeters
may not be too bad. You can use them with your $350,000 amplifier,
and your awesome-looking $100,000 turntable.
Make sure you set aside $13,416 for a decent power cable
, though, or you're just wasting your money.
Nostalgia and skepticism collide in this short video
of Uri Geller's legendary failure on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, introduced by frequent MeFi subject James Randi. More context and nostalgia in this longer version
, which features Geller with a young Barbara Walters, and on The Mike Douglas Show, along with Randi's expose of "healing evangelist" Peter Popoff.
If you want to waste even more time, just start clicking on these YouTube search results.
"The watch shown could not exist."
Would Neiman Marcus
spend $200,000 to advertise an expensive watch that doesn't, and couldnt, exist? Magician James Randi
thinks so. I am skeptical.
I'm Skeptical. UFO
, or miracles
got you down? Consult the Skeptic's Dictionary
. Debunker James Randi
is online as well, while psychic Sylvia Browne just refuses to take $1 million dollars
How much does a worm's soul weigh?
Dr. Amrit Sorli thinks it's around 90 micrograms
. "It appears that to determine the average weight of a worm's soul, Dr. Sorli only needs to divide 90 micrograms by the number of worms he murdered..."
says James Randi
(scroll down the Randi page until you see the worms)