The other day, I was watching TVLand, and they were running a repeat of Happy Days. At first I was baffled about the scene, and then I realized what was going on: Richie, Potsie, and Ralph were talking to a guy hanging upside down from a rope outside the window. I couldn't see the man clearly, but I knew right away who it was: James "The Amazing" Randi.
I've written about him before (even just last week, in an entry that, for having a picture of a naked woman in it, didn't garner nearly as a many hits as I would have suspected). Randi is a skeptic, a magician, a showman, and a storyteller. Every year, he has a convention called The Amaz!ng Meeting, with tons of really cool guests. The next one, TAM4, is January 26-29, 2006. It's in Las Vega$, baby, at the Stardust Resort and Casino.
This meeting is one of the major highlights of my year (read my adventures at TAM 1 and TAM 3). The entertainment value is worth the price alone, with guests like Penn & Teller, Jamy Ian Swiss, and Jamie and Adam from MythBusters! But there is so much to learn! Michael Shermer gives a great talk every year. Carolyn Porco, leader of the Cassini spacecraft imaging team, will be there (and I get to introduce her!). And this year we get to see Shuttle astronaut Ed Lu and Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann. The President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, will be there. And Julia Sweeney, and Richard Wiseman, and ...
Oh, stop listening to me gush and go check out the guest bio page. Hey, who's that bald guy near the bottom?
It's not too late to go. Go! Sign up! You'll be able to get your Skepchick calendar signed, too. I know I am.
Oh, and that Happy Days episode? Randi played a magician who was doing a fundraiser for the group. He accidentally drank straight vodka and passed out, so Fonzie had to do an escape trick for him. I'm glad Randi doesn't water ski over sharks! That would have been plain silly.