Showing posts with label James Randi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Randi. Show all posts

21 October 2020

Broken wand: James Randi

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news Tweeted earlier today by the Randi Foundation.  James Randi passed away Tuesday October 20th, 2020.  Our condolences to his family and friends at this impossible time.

From the Randi Foundation Twitter feed:

29 October 2019

Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape

From the August 18th post "Dean Gunnarson recreates Houdini's L.A. escape in 1987" by John Cox at Wild About Harry:
On October 29, 1987, escape artist Dean Gunnarson recreated Houdini's 1915 suspended straitjacket escape in Los Angeles to promote the live Halloween television special, The Search for Houdini. Dean was introduced as James Randi's protege, and Randi was on hand to assist in the stunt.

Read more.

12 August 2018

The Amazing Randi in the media

James Randi celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this week.  Here are a couple of pieces from the internet.

From the August 6th post, "Magician the Amazing Randi has dedicated his life to promoting critical thinking" by Troy Lennon in The Daily Telegraph:
The interview on August 13, 1980, ended with Lane throwing to a commercial, telling Randi to “piss off” before storming out, flicking away Randi’s bent cutlery as he left. Randi was flustered but largely maintained composure. Lane later apologised for swearing but insisted the American had failed to prove anything. But the controversy made the sceptic more famous in Australia.

Read more.

From the Twitter feed of Interval Magic:

14 January 2018

James Randi winner of the 2017 Philosophy Now Award!

From Philosophy Now:
The fourth Philosophy Now Festival will take place all day on 20 January 2018.

As in previous years, the Festival will include talks, debates, workshops, and philosophical games for the whole family. There is no need to book for the Festival or for most of the individual events within it. However, you do need to book in order to attend one of the children’s philosophy workshops, as spaces are limited.

Read more

From the Philosophy Now Twitter feed:

07 September 2017

The Magician James Randi on the Importance of Skepticism

From Holy Koolaid's YouTube channel:
James Randi, the legendary magician, skeptic, and paranormal debunker talks about the importance of scientific skepticism and how his work as a magician has shaped the way he views the world. James "The Amazing Randi" has spent decades in show business as a magician, but as a psychic investigator and debunker of the paranormal, Randi stresses the fact that it's all an artful deception and not supernatural at all - earning him the nickname "An Honest Liar." In this interview, James Randi discusses his work as a magician and the importance of being skeptical.

07 April 2017

James Randi and Matt Dillahunty

From the Pangburn Philosophy YouTube channel:

Pangburn Philosophy ALL ACCESS presents "The Amazing James Randi TRICKS Matt Dillahunty." This moment occurred in a hotel, prior to the CONJURE THE NIGHT event which took place on April 2nd 2017 at the UBC Chan Centre in Vancouver BC Canada. James and Matt spoke together about conjuring, skepticism and the life of James Randi. James and Matt later performed some conjurations followed by illusionist Murray Hatfield and 2 time world champion of magic, Shawn Farquhar.

15 March 2017

Vancouver: James Randi In Conversation With Matt Dillahunty

There will also be a show with Shawn Farquhar with Camilo The Magician and Matt Dillahunty!

From UBC:
Sunday 02 April 2017

Matt Dillahunty is thrilled to return to the Chan Centre stage to share the evening with one of his great idols in magic and skepticism. Matt is well known for his role in the Atheist community, but he also dabbles in magic! The amazing James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

Read more and buy tickets.

 From the Pangburn Philosophy Facebook page:

10 July 2016

Television magicians from decades long gone

Two Canadians in the top 8!

From Me TV Chicago's article "8 Magicians Who Dazzled Us on TV as Children":
With his bedazzled overalls and beaming smile, Henning was the perfect man to introduce children to the world of magic, a lovable character akin to Gallagher or Slim Goodbody. The Canadian first broke in this country on Broadway, earning a Tony nom for his 1974 production, The Magic Show. A year after that opening, 50 million viewers tuned in for the TV special Doug Henning's World of Magic. The escape artist and lover of Houdini went on to create stage tricks for Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson tours.

James Randi is as well known for his skepticism as his illusions. The performer famously offered $1,000 (then $10,000, then $1,000,000) to anyone who could prove the existence of the supernatural. He's still waiting to pay out. Randi, seen here on the cover of Dynamite magazine, had a mission to expose charlatans posing as naturally gifted psychics. He would especially work to debunk the following man, his nemesis…
 Read more.

28 March 2016

James Randi's "An Honest Liar" on PBS TONIGHT

Check your local listings.

From PBS:
For the last half-century, James “The Amazing” Randi has entertained millions with his dazzling feats of magic, escape, and trickery. Along the way he discovered that faith healers, fortune-tellers, and psychics were using his beloved magician’s tricks to swindle money from the credulous. Fed up with the fraud, he dedicated his life to exposing con artists with a wit and over-the-top showmanship all his own. An Honest Liar is part detective story, part biography, and a bit of a magic act itself.

Read more.

22 March 2016

James Randi on W5 Extended

Last week W5 ran a show about Fortune tellers giving questionable advice.  As part of their web extras, they have a bit with The Amazing Randi showing an example of mentalism to Sandie Rinaldo.

Watch the clip below:

Watch the part one of the show, part two of the show, and read more about it at the CTV website.

07 February 2015

Randi retires from JREF

At 86 years of age, I feel that it’s now well time to officially retire, so I’m stepping down from my position with the JREF – the James Randi Educational Foundation. 
This doesn’t mean that I’m retiring from my battle against the so-­called psychics, faith healers, paranormalists, and the assorted frauds I’ve encountered in my worldwide wanderings. I’ll in no way relax the critical attention I’ve given to them over the last busy 73 years, I promise you. I’ll still lecture and write, here and abroad – but now on my own time – not on the exhausting schedule that I’ve had these past few years. 
Read more.

03 December 2014

Randi in Australia

From Think Inc:
THE AMAZING JAMES RANDI is a magician and scientific skeptic best known for his challenges to paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the co-founder of Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician named The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls “woo-woo.” 
Held in five cities, An evening with James Randi will feature a discussion with Richard Saunders (Australian skeptic, podcaster, and professional origamist) or Lawrence Leung (comedian, writer and director), a Q&A session with the audience and a meet and greet with selected guests. 
Adelaide: Monday 1 December 2014, 6pm  The Science Exchange, 55 Exchange Place, Adelaide 
Perth: Wednesday 3 December 2014, 6pm  Octagon Theatre, UWA, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley 
Brisbane: Thursday 4 December 2014, 6pm  Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southbank, Brisbane.
Melbourne: Friday 5 December 2014, 6pmMelbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southwharf, Melbourne 
Sydney: Sunday 7 December 2014, 6pmThe Metro Theatre, Sydney.
Read more and buy tickets.

For more Randi goodness, watch this YouTube video of his post-show Q&A and performance after the screening of his film "An Honest Liar" at the  Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival:

[video via iTricks]

14 November 2014

Randi in the NY Times

A reminder that Randi is scheduled to appear at the Calgary Undergraound Film Festival later this month.

From the New York Times:
The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi 
A few minutes before 8 o’clock one Sunday evening last July, around 600 people crowded into the main conference hall of the South Point casino in Las Vegas. After taking their seats on red-velvet upholstered chairs, they chattered noisily as they awaited the start of the Million Dollar Challenge. When Fei Wang, a 32-year-old Chinese salesman, stepped onto the stage, they fell silent. Wang had a shaved head and steel-framed glasses. He wore a polo shirt, denim shorts and socks. He claimed to have a peculiar talent: from his right hand, he could transmit a mysterious force a distance of three feet, unhindered by wood, metal, plastic or cardboard. The energy, he said, could be felt by others as heat, pressure, magnetism or simply “an indescribable change.” Tonight, if he could demonstrate the existence of his ability under scientific test conditions, he stood to win $1 million.
Read more.

12 November 2014

An Honest Liar at CUFF

From the Calgary Undergraound Film Festival:
November 21

A biopic of renowned magician James “The Amazing” Randi, AN HONEST LIAR chronicles the magician’s 50-year career, from performing jaw-dropping feats to exposing the simple tricks that have been co-opted by con artists. Featuring interviews with Penn Jillette, Bill Nye, Allice Cooper, “Mythbuster” Adam Savage and more, AN HONEST LIAR reveals Randi’s classic debunkings and explores his rivalry with Uri Geller, famed spoon-bender and psychic.

James “The Amazing” Randi in attendance!

Read more and buy tickets.

[via Gwyn Auger

10 September 2014

James Randi in the Miami Herald

From the Miami Herald:
For a guy who has spent most of the past 40 years busting treacherous telepaths, spurious spoon-benders and fake faith-healers, James Randi can do some pretty impressive psychic tricks himself. When I visited his home in Plantation last week, he read my mind.

“Pick any two books off the shelves,” he said, waving at his library of 4,000 volumes on UFOs, witchcraft, the Kennedy assassination and pretty much any subject that lends itself to exploitation by grifters and wackos.

Read more and watch videos.

[via iTricks]

10 August 2014

Random thoughts about "An honest liar"

From special correspondent Derek, who was at the screening of "An honest liar" on Friday night:
  • The film sketched Randi's early career and then moved on to detail his high-profile debunking of Uri Gellar, faith healers, the channeling movement and paranormal research. It concluded with the deception is his own life: the identity fraud committed by his partner.
  • It shone a light on the ethics of disproof by deception.
  • It contrasted his public face proclaiming honesty, and his private face where he kept a couple of big secrets.
  • It's interesting, go see it!

In addition:
  • Randi performed a quick rope tie routine.
  • There was a meet and greet as well as photo ops.
  • Birthday cake was involved.

08 August 2014

Winners to see "An honest liar"

A quick reminder that "An honest liar" is playing various times at Toronto's Bloor Cinema until August 21st.

The contest to win tickets to see "An honest liar" in Toronto tonight closed last night at midnight.  Here's the official list of entrants:
  1. Dan McLean Jr
  2. Mark Campbell
  3. Magic Mike Segal
  4. Mark Lewis
  5. David Olson

I digress for a moment and encourage everyone to read the entry by Mark Lewis.  I wish I could offer a prize for best entry!

Random draw results:

Congratulations to Mike, Dan, and Mark Campbell!  I've sent you an e-mail with the name of the contact person and instructions on how to claim your tickets.  Enjoy the show tonight and be sure to tell me all about the Q&A with Randi!

Thank you all for playing!  A special thanks to Hannah from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival for generously making these tickets available to you!

07 August 2014

Win tickets to see "An honest liar" in Toronto

Great news! I have been offered three pairs of tickets to give away to my readers, to attend "AN HONEST LIAR" at the Friday, August 8, 6:30pm screening in Toronto, Canada.  (I understand that there's a Q&A with Randi at that screening.)

I will be holding a random draw for each pair of tickets.  (There will be three winners. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets.)  The draw results will be posted on Friday August the 8th.

To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me your favourite Amazing Randi memory (from a personal encounter, an interview, a performance etc).  (You do not need to be a magician to enter the contest.)(Your favourite memory could be entering this contest!)
  2. Leave your name, along with a way that I may contact you (e-mail address, phone number, website, Twitter handle etc.) so that I can notify you if you win.
  3. If you win, you must be willing to provide your full name and contact information for me to share with Hannah from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

The fine print:

  • To participate in the contest, you must be 18 years of age or older.
  • One entry per person.
  • This giveaway is open to Canadian residents, excluding residents of Quebec. (Je m'excuse!)
  • This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.
  • If you experience difficulties leaving a comment, you may e-mail it to me for posting.  (I am not responsible if your e-mail is misdirected or gets stuck in my Spam folder.)
  • You must be able to use the tickets as offered.  (No cash value will be offered if you cannot use the tickets.)
  • Photo ID will be required to claim the tickets at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema box office prior to the show on your way into the screening.
  • The odds of winning depend on how many people enter the contest.
  • Contest closes on Thursday August the 7th, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.

With thanks to Hannah from Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival for generously making these tickets available to you!