Meet The Skeptics!

Penn & Teller describe Jamy Ian Swiss as James Bond with a deck of cards for a gun. If you ever have the chance to see Jamy perform card magic, you'll be hard pressed to disagree. Not limited to simply cards though, Jamy Ian Swiss performs just about every type of magic there is, with the exception of kids birthday parties.

Jamy has been on the forefront of the Skeptics movement for many years, even holding the distinct honor of being the very first person to speak on stage at the very first TAM. He has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Today Show, and several television specials.

Jamy has worked as a consultant for Penn & Teller and for the recent book Sleights of Mind. He also proudly bears the moniker "The Honest Liar."

During our interview we talked about magic, con games, active skepticism and traditional Italian cooking.

Shattering Illusions: Essays on the Ethics, History, and Presentation of Magic

Direct download: Meet_Jamy_Ian_Swiss_2.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Jim "Dr. Dim" Fitzsimons is the host of Dimland Radio, a show on the internet radio station Z-Talk Radio. Z-Talk Radio is a bit unique as the programming is largely paranormal. Jim is sort of their token Skeptic, which means that his show is often the sole voice of reason.

Unlike many of us, Jim is regularly surrounded by those who believe in the paranormal, so he has gotten used to hearing their claims and challenging without offending (usually). He is also an artist and a father, both of which we had a chance to talk about. You can check out his show and his work at:

The Dimland Blog

Z Talk Radio

Download episodes of Dimland Radio here at the Dimland Show Archives

Direct download: Meet_Jim_Fitzsimons_2.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

I’ve always taken a bit of pride in my Canadian roots having been born in the same city as James Randi himself (Toronto). Of course, I have actually lived in the USA for almost my entire life and I am thoroughly Americanized, but I shall always have a special fondness for the Great White North.

Needless to say, I was incredibly excited when I stumbled across the SkepticNorth website and saw that there seems to be a growing movement toward Science and Skepticism in the land of my birth. Some further reading brought me to a few columns by Steve Thoms, which further brought me to his personal website “Some Canadian Skeptic.”

Steve’s writing is to the point, well thought out, and definitely thought provoking. I knew I had to get him on here, so I touched base and luckily landed the interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Follow Steve on Twitter at @SomeCndnSkeptic or follow me at @MeetTheSkeptics

Direct download: Meet_Steve_Thoms.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

You can ask 100 self identified Skeptics what motivates them and you'll likely get 100 different answers. Some people are looking to stop con artists. Some just love science. Some people are fascinated with psychology while others just want to make the world a more rational place.

If you grew up watching Scooby Doo like I did, you'll probably be incredibly jealous of Ben Radford. Except for the talking Great Dane, Ben essentially tracks down ghosts & goblins for a living. Not surprisingly, it usually turns out to be the guy who runs the roller coaster at the amusement park, or something along those lines.

Ben works with the Center For Inquiry (Formerly PSICOP) and is the Managing Editor of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. He has also written several books, most recently "Tracking The Chupacabra."

Some Books by Ben Radford:

Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore

Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries

Media Mythmakers

Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World's Most Elusive Creatures

Ben's Website:

We talked about his books, his history of investigations, what it's like hanging out in jungles, and his scientific approach to investigations.

Direct download: Meet_Ben_Radford.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Michael Blanford has spent the last 15 years promoting science literacy, science appreciation, and critical thinking. Michael has developed science curricula, programs, and informal content for a number of institutions, including schools, community centers, museums, and Camps. Before coming to the JREF, he was coordinator for the Saint Louis Science Center’s Life Science Lab. Michael is also founder and president of the Skeptical Society of Saint Louis.

In our conversation we talked about Michael's goals for the JREF's Educational wing and methods that we can all use for spreading critical thinking skills and scientific literacy.

Twitter: @MichaelBlanford

Follow Me: @MeetTheSkeptics

Direct download: Meet_Michael_Blanford.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT