Featured Posts

Boston Skeptics in the Theater & Pub | Bill Nye: Science... Come join the Boston Skeptics at the Brattle Theatre on December 3, where we’ll be attending a screening of a new film about Bill Nye, aptly named “Bill Nye: Science Guy.” We’ll go somewhere nearby...

Read more

October 2017 Organizational Meeting Updates Thanks again to everyone who attended our October 2017 organizational meeting. There were a few items we had drafted and captured more ideas around that we would love to open up for comment and feedback...

Read more

SitP: Heina Dadabhoy from Islam to Atheism. [caption id="attachment_2139" align="alignright" width="239"] A ninja warrior welcomes guests to Convergence/Skepchickcon[/caption]Boston Skeptics welcomes our January guest speaker, atheist feminist secular...

Read more

Book Club: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha... [caption id="attachment_2131" align="alignright" width="197"] The Emperor of All Maladies[/caption]This month's book is The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist...

Read more

  • Prev
  • Next

Book Club: “The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards” by Jim Steinmeyer

Posted on : 01-07-2012 | By : John | In : Book Club

Tags: , ,

0

7/6: See UPDATE below.

Our month of midsummer magic continues with the book with the longest title in Book Club history: “The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards” by Jim Steinmeyer.

Thurston poster holding Yorrick's skull, surrounded by Cotswald fairies

Proof that A. Conan Doyle was right!

Howard Thurston was the most prominent stage magician of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, much more popular than Houdini. He ran away to the circus as a child and soon started up a close-up magic act doing card tricks. At the peak of his career, he required an 8-car railroad train to move his show from city to city. He must have invented feature creep.

Jim Steinmeyer is a magician, a designer of magical tricks, a former imagineer for Walt Disney (possibly the best.job.ever) and the author of many books on magical practice and history. A real life Professor Cuthbert Binns, except he’s not a ghost and not at all boring. I’ve only read the 1st couple of chapters so far, but the book seems highly readable and Steinmeyer does a good job of transporting us to a time and place beyond our personal experiences. This book promises to be interesting and enjoyable.

We will be meeting at our usual time and place, on July 28 at 3 PM in the Northwest Science Building at Harvard. (We might move outside if the weather is nice, but our usual spot between the Science Center and Memorial Hall, in the shade of the huge green pepper, is currently a construction site. Stay tuned for updates.)

You can RSVP on Facebook if you are a member of the Boston Skeptics Facebook group (or maybe even if you are not, I’m not sure how this works, and they keep changing it, so there is no point in learning</end rant>.)

UPDATE:

Just a reminder that if you can’t make it to Book Club, you can still read the book and discuss it the next day on Skepchick, where Mary’s always wonderful summary and notes and recipe will appear.

Skeptics in the Pub with Dezrah the Strange

Posted on : 27-06-2012 | By : John | In : Event, Skeptics in the Pub

Tags: , , ,

1

Traditionally, midsummer (which was almost a week ago now) is a time of magic. Of course, fall, winter and spring were also times of magic. But since none of it is real, we as skeptics can celebrate magic whenever we want. So July’s theme is Magic.

First up is our old friend and fellow Boston Skeptic (he joined the Facebook group last week, which is as official as it gets) Dezrah the Strange. Dezrah last astounded us in April 2011, when he walked on glass, slept on a bed of nails (while a block of concrete was broken on his chest by a large sledge hammer), told the mandatory “No, it’s not” joke, and took almost an hour to find the Queen of Hearts I had cleverly enlarged several times and hidden in an envelope high above the stage. (You can see how he did it here.

Dezrah demonstrating psychic surgery, perhaps

Dezrah demonstrating psychic surgery, perhaps

We will be meeting at our usual place, Tommy Doyle’s Pub in Harvard Square at 7:00 PM on Monday July 2, 2012. RSVP to receive any last minute updates.

Stay tuned for our next Magical Event…