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How to bend a spoon with just your mind

Michael Shermer and I met up last month to do some tests for a new "Science Video Vignette" series that RDFRS is going to be creating this year. Each 5-10 minute video will feature a different host, explaining a chunk of science suitable for YouTube viewing and forwarding to your friends. This is one of the "test" videos I shot at the Skeptic's office. - Josh

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Most skeptics know that self-proclaimed psychics such as Uri Geller, who claim to be able to bend cutlery with just their minds, are actually using magic and trickery to do so. Of course, if they could really bend metal with just their minds you have to wonder why at some point they always have to touch the spoon. The answer is obvious to skeptics: because the only way to bend a spoon is by physically bending it! But how?

In this video demonstration I bend spoons and forks and give you just enough information so that you can figure how how to do it yourself (without actually providing a full reveal of the trick). This video demonstration was inspired by James “the Amazing” Randi, whose miniature likeness supervises the entire process (you have to watch the video to see what I mean). As Randi likes to say, “if psychics are bending spoons with psychic power they’re doing it the hard way.”

This video demonstration was shot in the library of the Skeptics Society and was filmed, edited, and produced by Josh Timonen, the highly talented web designer and videographer for Josh has produced a number of excellent DVDs with Richard in conversation with a number of thinkers (e.g., “The Four Horsemen” with Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens, and Harris). Go to to check them out.

So watch this video and then go to a restaurant tonight where they use relatively cheap cutlery (i.e., easy to bend) and amaze your friends and family! (HQ version at YouTube link)

Quicktime version



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