Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Demystifying Adventures of the Amazing Randi

From "The God of Skeptics" by Michael J Mooney:
On stage in a spacious Las Vegas banquet hall sits a nervous-looking, dark-haired Danish woman named Connie Sonne. The 46-year-old retired police officer has made a name for herself as a psychic in Europe, claiming she knows the whereabouts of famous missing British toddler Madeleine McCann. Sonne also says she can read playing cards through sealed envelopes using only a crystal. If she can successfully demonstrate her skills in this controlled experiment at the South Point Hotel Casino & Spa, she'll receive $1 million.

A broad-shouldered security guard enters dressed in a standard-issue black polyester uniform. He walks toward the stage, carrying the precious cargo he's been hired to protect: a large manila envelope sealed with duct tape.

The 700 people in the audience — famous magicians, television personalities, mind readers, scientists, and garden-variety nerds — sit in silence, their eyes fixed on the package. The guard passes VIPs: magicians Penn and Teller, astronomer Phil Plait, psychologist Dr. Ray Hyman — and there, at the end of the first row, with a bald head and a beard as long and white as Darwin's, James Randi. For more than 60 years, "The Amazing Randi" has been performing magic, debunking psychics, and discussing the perils of all things paranormal. Now 81 years old, he heads the Fort Lauderdale-based James Randi Educational Foundation.
Read more

No comments:

Post a Comment