Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Project 365 (13/365), And Standup Fail...

.:13/365: James Randi:.

Bored and jaded? Think again.

If we talked about Uri yesterday, I figured it was a good idea to talk about his arch-nemesis today, in contrast.

James Randi is a pretty crazy guy, to say the least. He’s gained a lot of enemies over the years, as one of the leading skeptics and as a stage magician willing to expose some key secrets of the art if he feels it necessary in his quest to uncover hackery and deception beyond the realms of entertainment.

Randi is also famous (or infamous, if you’re so inclined) for the “1 Million Dollar Challenge” that he offered, pretty much telling any psychics out there that if, under test conditions, an individual can demonstrate psychic abilities, then they will be awarded a million dollars for proving what has only been theorized and perhaps fantasized about for centuries.

Randi’s notoriety is his doggedness at exposing deception no matter the cost. Purists in the magic industry certainly don’t like what he does, but he feels that it’s a necessary thing to do in the face of the likes of Uri Geller and Sylvia Brown. At the same time, he has plenty of enemies in the parapsychological community, particularly when he masterminded what has come to be known as “Project Alpha”, which we’ll discuss sometime this week.

This week seems to have taken a turn into the controversial side of mentalism, and I guess that’s a good angle to investigate. As what is considered to be the last and truest bastion of magic, mentalism’s results have often been put under scrutiny because the feats mentalists can achieve often seem beyond the scope of what is possible to the human mind.

For the skeptic, perhaps the best option is to see for themselves. For the believer, well, I guess they would want to keep seeing more of these demonstrations. Either way, the world of mentalism is far from being fully explored, and Uri and Randi are but two people from opposing schools of thought in the industry, and both men’s contributions to mentalism cannot be denied.

By the way, did you know that he had a cameo appearance in the classic “Penn And Teller Get Killed” film? He was one of the guys holding the ropes during Teller’s supposed failed escape from the buzzsaw.

.:Standup Comedy Fail Last Night...:.

Due to the party going on in Alchemy (A Christmas Party on January 12. Crazy.), I ended up not doing a comedy set tonight.

That’s okay. If I keep count, this year, I’ve done only one set so far...

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