sunday life: in which I meet James Randi (magician, awesome guy, skeptic)

This week I’m awesomely skeptical

oddbirdout-1290489777I don’t know if you’ve ever had an ontological debate about what gives a squirrel’s life meaning with an 82-year-old skeptic… who also happens to be one of the world’s most famous magicians and escapologists, who broke Houdini’s record for remaining sealed in a metal coffin under water for 104 minutes, and who toured with Alice Cooper in the ‘70s performing the “guillotine routine” on stage?

It’s pretty fun.

I met Canadian James Randi, known in his magician days as The Amazing Randi, on Friday while he was here attending the Australian Skeptics’ annual Amazing Meeting (that’s seriously the name). In a moment of the kind of synchronicity that skeptics frown upon, it was the day after celebrity psychic John Edwards, a target of skeptical thinkers, spoke in the same room. Amazing!

The whole experience was rendered more surreal by the fact Randi looks like he’s stepped from warlock central casting – stooped and coming up to my ribcage he sports a long white beard, wireframe spectacles and a comically cocked eyebrow. And is delightfully enthusiastic.

James Randi and me

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