July 12-15, 2012 South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa Las Vegas, NV
TAM was already the skeptics’ event of the year, and now, it just got even better.
Saturday Keynote Event: We are thrilled that our good friends Penn & Teller will be delighting us with a special hour long keynote presentation titled "38 Years of Magic & BS: A Conversation with Penn & Teller."
Also on Friday night, Penn is hosting his second Private Rock & Roll, Doughnut and Bacon Party. Be forewarned: This really is Penn’s private party. He’s paying for everything and JREF has nothing to do with it. Everyone at TAM is invited, and there is a suggested twenty dollar donation to attend, with proceeds going to the JREF.
Wait, there’s more! We’re also pleased to announce the addition of the following speakers:
In 2007, The Amaz!ng Meeting 5 took on the theme "Skepticism and the Media". In this video from our archives, the creators of South Park, Trey and Matt, take questions from the audience and thank James Randi as the inspiration for their John Edward episode. Penn Jillette gives the introduction.
You can check out JREF's other videos from The Amaz!ng Meetings, which have been viewed nearly 1.5 million times since we started making them available online for free, at YouTube.com/JamesRandiFoundation.
UPDATE:According to the LA Times, the sentencing has been pushed back until June 11th. Maybe some sanity will settle out by then.
Randi takes a different tone this time as a recent letter has shown that his adopted country is sometimes less than compassionate. Are politics more important than people? Maybe, but it shouldn't be that way.
From Randi -
Understand this: I heartily endorse and accept marijuana use for medical purposes; research has clearly shown that it works efficiently in that role, and brings comfort and relief to the suffering. As a result of this stated conditional acceptance, I have been approached by those who advocate general use of the substance on the same level that tobacco enjoys. Generally, this makes sense to me, except that if its use were to bring with it the same dreadful health penalties that accompany tobacco, I would be reluctant to accept that. I am not a drug user, I have never even been inebriated. That is my personal choice, and I feel that other persons should also enjoy freedom of choice, even if taxes are imposed on that freedom in order to legislate it; I don’t want out-of-control drivers threatening my safety, for example.
In today’s China, it appears that ancient superstitions are rising to the top of the politicians’ agenda for serious attention. The official view, their explanation for the series of misfortunes they believed to be threatening their careers last year, centered around a pair of Imperial guardian lions, traditionally known in Chinese as “shi,” and often called "Foo Dogs" in the West. They’re a pair of fierce-looking stone lions that guard so many homes and businesses, including the state-owned China Tobacco building just across the street from the government Land Bureau offices.
Well, a Land Bureau official has revealed that the secret weapon the Bureau used was “feng shui,” the ancient practice of how to arrange objects and to design architecture to supposedly improve health, prosperity and luck. For proof, he pointed at a stone wall in their parking lot that was built to block the feline statues’ harmful “qi,” or energy.
It’s a fact that Marxist ideology is fading in China, but as I’ve so often noted, ancient mystical beliefs once banned or shunned tend to gain ground and even replace one sort of nonsense with another; this happened in Russia within recent years when abandoned churches began to fill again as the grip of Communism relaxed.
Chinese fortunetellers are now eagerly offering costly sessions in astrology and numerology, and business people are consulting feng shui masters for financial guidance.
In an effort to make our extensive video library available online free of charge, The James Randi Educational Foundation is posting high quality digital video lectures and sessions from previous Amaz!ng Meetings and other events on randi.org. Check back often to see the latest video content.
This esteemed panel, featuring some of the leading figures in science and skepticism, addresses audience questions at The Amaz!ng Meeting 2. The panel covers women and minorities in skepticism, skepticism and faith, critical thinking education, and more. Panel participants include Penn & Teller, James Randi, Phil Plait, Eugenie Scott, Michael Shermer, Steven Barret, and others.