Da Vinci Days
Oregonians for Rationality booth
click on the badge
How do our eyes 
fool us?

How do our ears 
fool us?
  How do others 
fool us?
    How do we 
fool ourselves?
This year, O4R's guest of honor was magician James Randi.
Some Magic of the Mind by Jerry Andrus . . .

Nutty nuts
as presented by The Amazing Randi.
And then Randi amazed everyone with his wonderful deceptions.

At his evening talk on Thursday July 18, Randi made clear that he can deceive us because things are not always what they seem.  We might even want to be deceived, especially if the deceit seems desirable.  We are accustomed to certain things, and the magician can fool us by making us think the customary is what he did while he did something very different.  Then . . . SURPRISE!

He surprised us often.  He also pointed out how deceit can be tragic...as when "psychics" claim to cure what they cannot and thier victims abandon cures which could possibly work.  Randi has a standing offer of over a million dollars to anyone who can prove, under adequately controlled conditions, any claims of the paronormal.  It has remained unclaimed for many years.

go to
Randi's amazing Web site.

Knowledge for Use supplied many new cube puzzles to illustrate many points about deception...self and otherwise.

The points of these puzzles are important to anyone interested in the subtle deceptions of pseudoscience. 

See the points
that reveal unseen dimensions of science

Quantum Leap?
Exponential growth?
The biggest, the best, the most?
What's cracking?
Endangered specie?
Can a quantum leap?
Things are seldom what they seem at first glance.
Seeing science comes from taking second glances
...and third, and fourth, and fifth, and...
Posters at Da Vinci Days asked visitors to examine their
understanding of some of the simple concepts of science.
The String Thing
Push on the top of the loop and the bottom of the loop jumps up off the table.  Swing the string like a pendulum and the loop goes in mysterious, and very un-pendulum, paths.  Wiggle the hand grip, and the string loops and twists and tries to tie itself into ornate knots unknown to any old-time master seaman.

It's new.  It's wild.  It's going to keep physics graduate students very busy and baffled trying to predict the motions of the string loop as it flies speedily through space.

Where to find it?  (It's manufactured by Can You Imagine, Chatsworth, CA 91311.)

Look in Spencer Gifts in shopping malls.  Try Toys R Us ("String FX")

Check it out at the Exploratorium science museum (San Francisco)  HERE

Nobel laureates discuss it
(Leon Lederman & Douglass Osherhoff)


Kinetic Sculpture Race
through mud, through sand, down the streets of Corvallis, down the Willamette River

Nothing, but nothing, is too outlandish.
More photos

See Da Vinci Days 2001

See Da Vinci Days 2003


X, the unknown