He has been a professional magician — The Amazing Randi — for more than seven decades, and the skeptical scourge of practitioners of the paranormal for more than four.
He escaped from a straitjacket dangling over Niagara Falls and survived. He chopped off goth-rocker Alice Cooper’s head, and Cooper survived. He sent millionaire faith-healers into bankruptcy, ruined Israeli mentalist Uri Geller’s act in front of a national television audience on The Tonight Show, and wrecked a government research project on psychic powers.
Circa 1950 – probably post WW2 – Martin Gardner was the principle “magician” in a series of television shorts demonstrating tricks. These were designed to accompany an advertising campaign – e.g., Martin demonstrated a trick/illusion, then they cut to a “brought to you by Zingerman’s furniture store, where this week’s special is…,” followed by Martin revealing the trick.
Apparently, according to Martin’s son Jim, someone had the video files of these performances, which he loaned to a local magician years ago, and they were then lost. Now Jim is trying to find them, and has asked me to inquire on SWIFT when/where these videos were produced. New York? Chicago? – and who might have the originals.
Yes, the updates are few these days but I wanted to post to let you know that we are working behind the scenes to improve the current website to make it more user friendly and easier to read.
We decided not to add new content to the existing layout but take a bit of an online rest to plan out new content for the site.
If you are interested in being a Swift blog contributor, send your proposal to the Editor (that would be me) at Editor@randi.org. I will start lining up contributors and articles regarding critical thinking education, skeptical activism, investigations, commentary and news. Also note that Doubtful News content will be coming to the JREF.
Each year at The Amazing Meeting, a presentation is made remembering the people of skepticism who have died since the previous year’s event. Advocates and supporters of skepticism and science are remembered of course, in the "In Memoriam" section of the presentation. But we also remember our cultural competitors who have passed on as well, in the "Passages" section. This year we also included some individuals who had died in previous years but who had been missed in previous presentations.
Here is the presentation as it appeared at TAM 2014 this year.
The presentation was designed and produced by Daniel and Cheryl Loxton. The information was researched by Tim Farley with help from Tim Binga, Kendrick Frazier, Sharon Hill, Jim Lippard, Hemant Mehta, Lei Pinter, Robert Sheaffer and Jamy Ian Swiss, among others.