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Most skeptics know that self-proclaimed psychics such as Uri Geller, who claim to be able to bend cutlery with just their minds, are actually using magic and trickery to do so. Of course, if they could really bend metal with just their minds you have to wonder why at some point they always have to touch the spoon. The answer is obvious to skeptics: because the only way to bend a spoon is by physically bending it! But how?

In this video demonstration I bend spoons and forks and give you just enough information so that you can figure how how to do it yourself (without actually providing a full reveal of the trick). This video demonstration was inspired by James “the Amazing” Randi, whose miniature likeness supervises the entire process (you have to watch the video to see what I mean). As Randi likes to say, “if psychics are bending spoons with psychic power they’re doing it the hard way.”

WATCH the video at >

While you’re there be sure to read the blog posts of the other Skepticbloggers: Brian Dunning, Kirsten Sanford, Mark Edward, Phil Plait, Ryan Johnson, Steven Novella, and Yau-Man Chan.

Skepticality: The Official Podcast of Skeptic Magazine

Back Inside The Discovery Institute

On a recent episode of Skepticality, guests Kate Holden and Tiana Dietz proposed their joint project, “Visit Discovery,” which encourages people to visit Seattle’s Intelligent Design think tank The Discovery Institute. Is there hope of fostering better dialog between advocates of science and proponents of Intelligent Design?

This week’s guest, Maria Maltseva, a Seattle skeptic and practicing attorney, talks with Derek & Swoopy about her own recent visits to The Discovery Institute, where her talks with Institute insiders yielded a wealth of interesting information.

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The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure & Human Evolution
Denis Dutton in Conversation with Michael Shermer

Wednesday, January 7 at 7 PM
Mark Taper Auditorium
Central Library, Los Angeles

Combining two fascinating and contentious disciplines — art and evolutionary science — a philosopher professor and founder/editor of the popular Arts & Letter Daily, Dennis Dutton, argues that human tastes in art are shaped by Darwinian selection.

Presented by ALOUD. Program is free. Reservations are recommended.

photo of carnotaurus skull

skull of a Carnotaurus

January Geology Tour: It’s Our Fault!

Saturday, January 31, 2009   SOLD OUT
San Andreas Fault, Southern California

Contact us if you’re interested in an identical tour on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009.
(The February date is tentative depending on if there is enough interest to fill an additional bus).

READ more information
& DOWNLOAD the registration form

petrified sand dunes

Checkerboard Mesa on the road leading east out of Zion National Park. The horizontal cross-beds of this 200 million year-old Navajo Sandstone formation are petrified sand dunes, fractured by a vertical system.

June Geology Tour: Utah or Bust!

June 8–13, 2009
Dinosaurs, Trilobites & Geology Galore

Geologic wonders of southern Utah: Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef National Parks; visit richest dinosaur-bearing sites in the world ordinarily closed to the public; trilobite fossil dig. On site lectures by Dr. Donald Prothero.

READ more information
& DOWNLOAD the registration form


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Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

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