Ehrich Weisz may not have had much formal education
, but he grew up to be Harry Houdini, self-educated stunt performer, escape artist, and owner of "one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc., some of the material going back as far as 1489." Houdini bequeathed much of his collection to the Library of Congress
, which received 3,988 volumes from his collection in 1927, including a number of magic books inscribed or annotated by well-known magicians. Archive.org has more of the Harry Houdini Collection online
. He also put a great deal of research into his tricks, as seen in his letter to Dr. W. J. McConnell, a physiologist at the U.S. Bureau of Mines
, written up after Houdini's watery grave stunt
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 3, 2012 -
Ted Serios and Psychic Projections
Thoughtographs-- "Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions: Paranormal Photographs from the Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios" features a series of images produced by Theodore Judd Serios (1918-2006), a bellhop from Chicago who appeared to possess a genuinely uncanny ability.
By holding a Polaroid camera and focusing on the lens very intently, he was able to produce dreamlike pictures of his thoughts on the film; he referred to these images as "thoughtographs," and many striking examples are on display in the exhibition.
The Chronicle commenters aren't convinced of this guy's ability. Nile Root
claims to have seen him in action.
posted by Ideefixe
on Feb 24, 2011 -
Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena was born in October, 2006 to help fight the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement.
Episodes feature such prominent MeFi discussion material as organic food myths, blood for oil, chiropractics,
Links are to podcast transcripts. Full episode guide.
posted by arcticwoman
on May 24, 2007 -
"Psychic Readings, Clairvoyant Readings, Graphology & Handwriting Analysis." An errant stab in the dark unearthed this amusing conflation. A site search reveled no doubles, so... what am i thinking?
posted by mwhybark
on Jul 30, 2006 -
Incredible -- but true coincidences
are fascinating, and pleasing, to the psyche. I tend to agree with John Littlewood (a University of Cambridge mathematician) that "...in the course of any normal person's life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month." In other words, statistically speaking, unusual coincidences are to be expected in a world teeming with billions of humans. Still, I find such coincidences stangely inspiring. More can be found here
posted by ember
on Jul 7, 2005 -
A group of psychics led by colourful 'SilverJade
', based in Johannesburg South Africa, have predicted
that a series of earthquakes and other natural disasters will strike the western coast of the United States on or around the 23rd of February 2005. The prediction is based on the interpretation of a series of dreams by SilverJade, and the technical analysis of earthquake patterns occuring worldwide throughout the month of January 2005. As of 11th of February 2005, they have successfully predicted a significant event, a 5.5 magnitude earthquake in south eastern Alaska, as being a first step in a series of smaller events
leading up to the big bang. The next step of the prediction is set to occur at some time on or around the 13th and 15th of the month.
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 13, 2005 -
[warning: pop ups] became well known for a few scientifically unexplained phenomena. They are Telepathy... Dowsing... Bending, breaking and softening metal and other solids with the power of the mind, e.g. spoons, keys etc, more rarely plastic and glass; Fixing broken watches and appliances, and using collective power, influencing the Big Ben to stop; Moving compasses with the power of thought; Erasing computer tapes and disks; and Sprouting, causing tiny seeds (mainly red radish) to grow a few centimeters in seconds." Why not thrill to a biography
of this favorite pseudo psychic of the 70s? To be frank, until just now, I wasn't even aware that he was back!
posted by Joey Michaels
on Mar 24, 2003 -
Finally, no more Miss Cleo commercials
as the Federal Trade Commission steps into to prosecute late-night TV's most popular psychic peddler. At first I thought if you dumb enough to call a psychic line, the gov't shouldn't be stepping in to block the charges, as the article notes the average call was $60, but they also note misleading "free reading" claims and crooked billing procedures. If you're making that kind of money, why resort to underhanded business practices? Even more obvious: why didn't she see this coming and change their ways?
posted by mathowie
on Feb 19, 2002 -
Belief in Astrology up 3% to 28% and belief in ghosts up 13% to 38%. I find the new Gallup Poll
on Americans' Belief in Psychic and Paranormal Phenomena depressing, but not surprising. Aren't we supposed to be headed in the other direction?
posted by quirked
on Jun 8, 2001 -