This has nothing to do with anything, just caught my eye. As a naturalist and a skeptic, nothing angers me more than the claims of so-called psychics, paranormals, alternative healers, new agers, and frankly most self-help gurus as well. My dad spent a significant part of his career detecting fraud, so I guess I come by it honest:-)).
I do, however, appreciate watching good magicians. Why? Because although their performances involve fooling the audience, they are honest about their skills. Note the use of the word skill--real working magicians don't claim to have 'supernatural' powers. They have actual skills which they honed over thousands upon thousands of hours of practice--one hundred minutes of practice for every minute on stage, or so I've heard. I enjoy watching magicians like Penn & Teller or James Randi who from time to time show you exactly how they did what they did--which astounds me all the more when they do it again and I *still* can't see them doing what they did. It's the same pleasure I get from watching skilled ballroom or tap dancers or basketball players or opera singers. It's just that, that kind of skill is natural--not supernatural. I don't doubt that there are 'psychics' who are, in fact, very good at cold reading--that they have indeed mastered a skill which allows them to make on-target guesses about a person whom they've just met, using physical clues that most people simply overlook. But that is a *natural* skill--and to claim otherwise is simply fraudulent.
The other day, though, over at Break.com, I watched, for the first time, a real magician. This man has powers that all the psychics, paranormals, aura-aligners, homeopathers, chackra-openers, lucid dreamers, and astral projectors can only dream about....
Incredible Magician Performs Miracles - Watch more Funny Videos
You know, if you or I could travel back in time with nothing but a bottle of aspirin in our pockets, we'd be Gods and Shamans, too ;-)).