The Amazing Randi at the 2017 NECSS

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Randi with his signature skull-topped walking stick standing in front of a painting by his partner, artist Devyi Pena. This photo was used in a 2014 New York Times article.

James Randi was the keynote speaker at the 21017 North Eastern Conference on Science & Skepticism held on Friday, June 30th in New York City. I arrived a few minutes early and spoke with him before he took the stage. For anyone not familiar, he is a professional skeptic who has had a long career as a magician and an escape artist. He was a good friend to Issac Asimov, Carl Sagan and Johnny Carson, he inspired Penn & Teller to become magicians, and he was a friend and admirer of Christopher. After Hitch died, he wrote a touching tribute with We’ve Lost A Giant.  In 2014 he was the subject of the documentary An Honest Liar.  At 88 years of age, he is still going strong.

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Me (Tom Casesa) with Randi before his talk.

 

 

 

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Randi posing with a fan. Devyi is on the right (vest and white shirt).

 

 

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The address took place in the ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania

 

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Randi’s partner, artist Deyvi Peña.

 

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Randi was able to meet briefly with J. DeRiso of Howard Beach, who made an appearance at the conference

 

 

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Randi took the time to talk (and often) joke with everyone who wanted a signature.

 

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