Million Dollar Challenge and P+T

Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am writing this at the airport as we are waiting for our flight to Miami then on to Washington D.C. Given the lack of blogs the past few days, I will do them gradually and catch up to the current date.

The last day of TAM featured different TAMers presenting papers that related to skepticism. For instance we had one talk about airport security and another about teaching rational thinking processes to kids from broken households. Given that the speakers wern't professional speakers as such, the quality was quite good and most were interesting to listen to. After the paper presentations we broke up for lunch and the Million Dollar challenge was set up. The million dollar challenge is basically a challenge to anyone to test whether they have paranormal abilities. The challenger was a retired police officer from Norway who claimed she could dowse for anything. In this particular case she had to dowse for particular playing cards from a deck. She had a 1/1000 chance of getting all three correct and progressing to the next round. Whilst unlikely, it certainly wasn't impossible. Sadly and painfully she failed to get a single card correct and seemed to take the process pretty well even though she was pretty much humiliated in front of 1000 people. We guess that she probably would be happy enough getting a free ticket to Las Vegas and all.

That night, Dad and I went to Penn and Teller, famous skeptical magicians (who also attended TAM). It was quite amazing. The tricks they do (which they openly admit are tricks and involve no paranormal abilities) are spectacular and mind boggling. Such tricks involve catching bullets in their mouths and cutting a flower into pieces by cutting its shadow and not the flower! It was a throughly enjoyable night and I'd recommend anyone who visits Las Vegas to see their show. At the end I got to meet both Penn and Teller and had a picture taken with each.

Pictures of this night along with the next blog will come as soon as possible but obviously its difficult with no internet and limited time.

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