Meet The Skeptics!

Milton Mermikides started his life with a love for science as only a young child, being distinctly lucky to be born to a Particle Physicist father. While he was keenly interested in science himself, he was gradually diverted by his love for music which he embraced fully. He even composed the intro music for this podcast.

A few years back Milton came down with Leukemia and wrote about his ordeal. The essay won him a scholarship to TAM London and put him on the map within Skeptical circles. That essay can be found at the link below.

A Life Examined

Visit Milton online at www.MiltonMermikides.com

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

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.

www.JamyIanSwiss.com

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:

http://www.radfordbooks.com/

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.

www.Randi.org

Twitter: @MichaelBlanford

Follow Me: @MeetTheSkeptics


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

MTS: Meet Brian Brushwood

Brian Brushwood is a Magician, sort of. He breathes fire, pounds freakishly long nails into his nose and teaches people how to scam free drinks at the bar from soon-to-be-ex friends. 

His Internet show Scam School is watched over a million times a month. He headlines college campuses with his show "Bizarre Magic." His radio show "NSFW" is a huge hit and an incredibly popular podcast, and to top it all off, he co-hosts the "Weird Things" podcast which he describes as his favorite project. He has been called "Brilliantly Original" by Penn & Teller and "Amazing" by Jay Leno.

We talked about the development of his act, walking the line between entertainment and dishonesty, and the biggest problem with eating glass light bulbs.

Scam School: http://revision3.com/scamschool

Bizarre Magic: http://shwood.squarespace.com/live-shows/

Weird Things Podcast: http://weirdthings.com/

Brian on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shwood

ME on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/MeetTheSkeptics


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

Never heard of George Hrab? Oh, you have! My bad.

I’ve been a big fan of the Geologic Podcast ever since I realized that the title referred to the “Logic of Geo” as opposed to rocks. Nothing against Geologists, but it’s more fun to hear Geo’s mom reading Jay-Z lyrics than it is to hear about erosion of sandstone.

I had the chance to stop off at the Geologic Headquarters during a recent trip to Pennsylvania. It was definitely worth the detour. Well, to be fair, it was a very minor detour but HAD it been a longer trip out of the way it still would have been worth it. I think 43 or 44 minutes further would have pressed the issue a bit but anything less than an additional 40 minutes was definitely worth the sidetrack. Well, then again Ms. Information gave me an apple for the road, so that perhaps was worth the extra 5 minutes so maybe 45 minutes would have been a sufficiently appropriate venture time to obtain the audio, digital bits contained herein. Now that I think of it, I would have likely stopped for a McFlurry at about that time anyway just to break up the trip so I’d have to account for about 8 - 9 minutes anyway so maybe a 53 - 54 minute drive would have satisfied my sense of balance. But wait, Geo didn’t make me an ice cream treat so I’m not sure if the whole 8 - 9 minutes should count. Oh hell, just press play.

Follow Geo on Twitter at @GeorgeHrab and follow me @MeetTheSkeptics.

www.GeologicPodcast.com

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

Mike Meraz could well be described as the Dale Carnegie of the Skeptical world. A few years back, he recognized that while critical thinking skills and Skepticism are essential tools for navigating society effectively, very few of us are putting forth an effort to effectively and attractively communicate those skills. Mike created a podcast, "Actually Speaking" to deal with this exact topic. Each episode is concise and full of real world examples and well balanced advice for topics such as "The Human Nature of Prejudice," "Managing and Aggressive Tone," and "The Art of Listening."

If this weren't enough, Mike also works on a podcast with his young son Aaron, who actually hosts the show! If you have kids into science and especially dinosaurs, you HAVE to let them have a listen.

www.ActuallySpeaking.com

Aaron's World

You can also follow Mike on Twitter at @factually, and don't forget to follow me too at @MeetTheSkeptics!

Direct download: Meet_Mike_Meraz_2.m4a
Category:Science and Skepticism -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

MTS: Meet Sid Rodrigues

Sid Rodrigues is best known as the organizer for the London Skeptics in the Pub group. The Skeptics in London have consistently proven to be some of the most active and effective groups in the world. 200 - 400 people regularly show up to skeptics meetings where they get to hear great presentations from Scientists, Activists, and even in one instance, a Creationist.

Sid and I talk about how to organize your own group, how he deals with such large groups, his background as an escape artist, his involvement with the Little Atoms podcast, and much more.

Follow Sid on Twitter at @sidrodrigues and don't forget to follow me too at @MeetTheSkeptics.

http://www.sidrodrigues.com/

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