Wiseman’s TAM6 spoon-bending video

Richard Wiseman has posted the video of the spoon-bending stunt he performed at TAM6, with the assistance of 800 attendees in the crowd. It’s funny to watch it again, but nothing like being part of seeing it done live. For one thing, the video is fairly shaky, and the shots from different angles of the crowd don’t fully communicate that, yes, in fact, there are 800 people in that room, all doing a more-or-less synchronized spoon-bending trick with 800 pre-stressed spoons. (That’s a detail that’s already being commented upon over at YouTube. A lot of folks think the spoons would have to have been pre-cut, when in fact they were all simply pre-stressed, repeatedly bent until just ready to snap.)

So, while I don’t think the whole gag really plays on video as well as it could, it’s fun to watch. And for all you skeptics out there who’ve been unable to make TAM before, maybe it will prompt you to make a special effort to get there next year and join in the fun.

Home from TAM6…

…and boy, are my arms tired. (rimshot) It was a perfectly wonderful experience, even my lunatic decision to make a road trip out of it — which totaled over 2600 miles in the end. But as I’ve already told many folks, it was just my desire to gafiate* for a while, and by taking a little highway tour of the Desert Southwest (a part of the country I love anyway), I could take things at my own pace, not feel like I was rushing through airport check-ins, or anything of that nature. A vacation, not a trip, was what I was after, and that’s what I got. Thoroughly enjoyable in every way, despite coming home to the bittersweet news of George Carlin’s passing.

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I’m not going to compose my full report of the thing just yet. I’m still fairly tired and just want an evening or two to decompress. But in the interim, here’s my Flickr set for the conference, complete with at least one of my road-diary shots. And I simply have to give a shout-out to my Aussies, Lloyd and Rachel McAlpine and Alan Conradi, who made an already enjoyable conference even more special and memorable. Apart from being fantastic people, they are quite possibly the biggest AE fans in the whole world. I look forward to seeing them all again next year, and I’m sure we’ll all be in touch frequently between now and then.

Off to play with my dogs now…more later.


*gafiate: (v) Neologism I discovered in the world of science fiction fandom, comprising an acronym for “Get Away From It All.” Gerund: gafiating. “Are you in town on business?” “Nope, I’m just gafiating.” (Confused stare.)

Tammity-tam-tam-TAM!

Sweet! TAM 6 is coming up this week, so I’m heading out to Sin City for the skeptical festivities. This will mean a slowdown in my own posts between now and the time I get there — gotta prep and all — so hopefully Kazim and the others will take up some of the posting slack between now and Thursday, when I start blogging the conference. I know I will be meeting a few AE readers there, so wave if you see me saunter by.

For a bit of headdesk-inducing irony, take a gander at who’s appearing at the conference’s hotel, the Flamingo, just about one month after.

Yes, I know, it’s been rather quiet

That’s because it’s been a rather busy last week or so for me. But I can announce at least one exciting thing to look forward to in June, which is that I am, in fact, attending The Amaz!ng Meeting 6 in Vegas!

Last year’s meeting was an experience I’ll always remember (and you can read my reports about it — which I sadly didn’t get to complete fully, but still — here), not just listening to such fantastic speakers as Phil Plait, Scott Dikkers, Neil Gershenfeld, Mike Shermer, Lori Lipman Brown, Adam Savage, Penn & Teller, plus South Park dudes Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but also getting to meet and chat with Phil, Richard Wiseman, and old Randi himself. This year, guys like Shermer, Savage and Wiseman are back, while PZ will be one of the speakers and the keynote address is given by none other than Neil DeGrasse Tyson! Yes, I’ll be blogging the whole conference once more, with photos.

It’s an expensive vacation to take, especially in this year of soaring gas (and everything else) prices, but it’s one I’ll try never to miss, as it’s simply too fantastic to get to hang out with such a great group of skeptics, scientists and thinkers from all over the world in one spot. Onward to Lost Wages!