Posts Tagged 'James Randi'

Grand Canyon Pereidolia

When we were in Vegas for The Amazing Meeting 7, we went on a day trip to the Grand Canyon. At one point I noticed a rock formation that looked like a statue:

God...or James Randi...or Moses...or Charles Darwin...or rocks...

God...or James Randi...or Moses...or Charles Darwin...or rocks...

Jerry Andrus, Remembering the Magician/Inventor

Before The Amazing Meeting 7, I had never heard of Jerry Andrus, but I’m glad I learned about this fascinating man. Stephen Bauer, the attourney who administered Andrus’s estate, spoke in memory of Andrus who died in August of 2007.

Bauer “managed the labourious step-by-step decompilation of Jerry’s famous 118-year-old Victorian household. Located in Albany (Oregon) and popularly known as the ‘Castle of Chaos,’ Jerry’s house sheltered an 80-year collection of personal property – a staggering array of magic paraphernalia, optical illusions, inventions, and surprises large and small.” -Quoted from the Speaker Biographies list at TAM.

Here‘s a cool video of The Amazing Randi speaking about Jerry Andrus.

Andrus was a really interesting guy, I encourage you to google & youtube him because I promise you you’ll be entertained! But before you do that, see if you can figure out this illusion created by Andrus:

Jerry Andrus Illusion

The Amazing Meeting 7 in Las Vegas

I haven’t posted much new lately, but I have a very good reason for that!

I’ve been in Las Vegas for the past week for The Amazing Meeting 7 (TAM 7), an annual conference on critical thinking.

It was a fantastic experience! I met some cool people, saw some of the skeptics I admire most speak, and also had a fun visit to Vegas.

I’ll be posting lots about what I learned at the meeting, so watch for that over the next couple of weeks!

TAM7

SCEPCOP – A Steaming Pile of Kookiness

I’ve been having some fun in the last little while looking at this website:

SCEPCOP

SCEPCOP: The Scientific Community Exposing Pseudo-Skeptical Cynicism of the Paramormal is a shining example of what skepticism is not.

Being skeptical means looking at the evidence before accepting something, but the M.O. of this website seems to be to believe everything unless it’s backed up by science. The logical fallacies abound.

The SCEPCOP team explains the reason for starting up this site: “After all, if the pseudo-skeptics can form organized groups to attack the paranormalists, why can’t we form an organized group to attack them too?”

Unfortunately it is a misconception that skeptics are out to get believers of the paranormal. The real goal of the skeptical movement, however, is to  demand evidence and to shoot down bad arguments. It is not to attack anyone.

If SCEPCOP wants to be taken seriously, all they need to do is present some evidence for the paranormal. Instead, they rant about wonderful skeptics such as Steven Novella and James Randi.

I have fun laughing about the poor arguments and the clear bitterness all over this site, but it does sadden me to see yet another group that mistakes skepticism for cynicism or denialists or closed minded.

I really like Brian Dunning’s response to these types of criticisms, so I invite you to have a read (or a listen): Skeptoid: Who is Closed Minded, the Skeptic or the Believer?

[Note: Thanks to @SkepticZone for tweeting about SCEPCOP…follow me on Twitter @EnlightningLinZ]


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