This past Tuesday, October 20, we lost one of the great defenders of the skeptical mind. James Randi, also known by his stage name The Amazing Randi, was a stage magician (amongst other things) who devoted much of his life to debunking pseudo-science including spoon-bending and the paranormal. He touched many lives and was an inspiration to many in the LGBTQ community when he came out in his 80s. I had the opportunity to meet him at the 2017 North Eastern Conference on Science and Skepticism. We spoke briefly about Hitchens, whom he greatly respected. For more on that event, see the posting I did at the timeas well as his NYT Obituary and the 2014 documentary An Honest Liar.
Had an impromptu meeting of the Hitchens Fan Club with a fan from Berlin at Cafe Minerva in New York City. Yes, that is a bust of Hitchens along with “Arguably”. I insisted that each person with comments address the bust directly (OK, kidding, but it’s a fun thought).
From left to right are art dealer Sten Nordenhake from Berlin, Professor Sheldon Krimsky (who is a colleague of Hitchens friend Dan Dennett at Tufts) and Tom Casesa (your blog author).
Playwright Carolyn Borris-Krimsky with Professor Krimsky, Sten with the Bust! and filmmaker Hector Carosso. Carosso’s recent film, Kayan Beauties, sheds light on the problem of human trafficking in Burma – well worth checking out.