Today (August 7, 2012) marks the 84th birthday of the one and only James Randi, the man loved (some might say worshipped) by skeptics the world round and squarely hated by just about everyone who claims to have a paranormal power of some kind.
Randi, a magician by trade, set up the James Randi Education Foundation in 1996, an organization that offers a whopping one million dollar prize to anyone who can demonstrate their extra-human powers under watchful scientific eyes. This challenge has never been bested and remains the bane of psychics, spoon benders, healers, and even ghost hunters.
Sure, Randi might not be well liked by those claiming superpowers, but his contributions to the field of paranormal research are valuable and necessary, even if those contributions consist of saying “no” more times than we care to tally. In a forest of extraordinary claims, it’s nice to know there’s someone pulling weeds.
It seemed fitting that today, on his birthday, we should look at one of the very few instances that James Randi was presented with an incredible feat.. and instead of shaking his head and uttering that word he’s so familiar with, widened his eyes and said “yes”.
The Man Who Stared at Notes
Dr. Arthur Lintgen, a physician from Pennsylvania, is a man who claims a seemingly extraordinary, if somewhat less than useful, talent. He doesn’t read minds, tell the future, or talk to the dead, but can he can tell you what songs are on a vinyl record just by staring at it, and no, he doesn’t need the label. Lintgen claims he only became aware of his strange ability when challenged at a party in the 70′s, and found, to his surprise, that he could correctly identify records just by looking at the grooves.
- Happy birthday, James Randi! (randi.org)
- JREF Welcomes New Communications Director (randi.org)
- Top 10 Psychic Debunkings (illuminutti.com)
- Day 195 – The Amaz!ng Randi (neophytephotographer.wordpress.com)
- Secrets of the Psychics (Full Version: Playlist) (undergrounddocumentaries.com)
- Priceline.com: Will You Prove Your Spokesperson Worthy for a Million Dollars? (randi.org)
- D.J. Grothe: Priceline.com: Will You Prove Your Spokesperson Worthy for a Million Dollars? (huffingtonpost.com)
- TAM – Register by July 1 and Save $125 – - – James Randi Educational Foundation (richarddawkins.net)
- James Randi exposes Uri Geller and Peter Popoff (ritholtz.com)
- Getting a star! (episyllogism.wordpress.com)