Well, I have to admit that The Amazing Meeting did live up to its name in yesterday’s afternoon session. The grand daddy of all the skeptics, James Randi, was there. (Where’s there? The Grand Lodge of the Freemasons – The Masonic Centre in Castlereagh St., Sydney, of all places.)
Randi’s age is up there in the mid-80’s or so, and he’s got a story or two or twenty to tell about busting the woo-woo out of any unscientific or new age thinking/inventions going around. He’s smart and funny and, with a glint in his eye, he will show you a magic trick just at the moment your attention span is wobbling.
In the “workshop” section of the program, we met some heavyweight scientists as well as some passionate Aussie civilians who have taken on a group called the anti-vaxers, in the spirit of protecting the general population from almost-eliminated diseases spreading. Whooping cough is one of these, and I personally know some individuals who have been laid low by it, unnecessarily it would seem, if everyone would just be vaccinated.
The anti-vaxers are passionate, work tirelessly, and,  importantly, have had some success.
The highlight of yesterday’s program had to be Karl Kruszelnicki. He is hilarious, brilliant, and gave a description of the possibility of Australia being a world leader in producing photovoltaic, wind power and geothermal energy that made Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” film pale in comparison. I would buy the dvd recording of this weekend’s events just to see a reprise of his presentation.
Am I going to convert to Skepticism? No wouldn’t that be something!