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← How to bend a spoon with just your mind

How to bend a spoon with just your mind - Comments

rodviking's Avatar Comment 1 by rodviking

Looking forward for more on this series, nice start and a great idea!

So let me give a shot at the last one, with the bar: it was already bent, but Shermer showed it horizontally at first, so we wouldn't notice the angle..then he slowly rotated it. IS that right?

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:21:00 UTC | #299708

milt's Avatar Comment 2 by milt

Yup that's right for the bar, they are all quite clear - but am not entirely sure for the last spoon trick. Is he just bending it when saying "barely touching it" - or am I missing something really obvious?

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:24:00 UTC | #299713

Galapagos's Avatar Comment 3 by Galapagos

I love watching Michael Shermer talk. On top of being a brilliant debunker and skeptic, he is a very talented entertainer.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:26:00 UTC | #299715

Isaksson's Avatar Comment 4 by Isaksson

The last spoon trick you have to prepare ahead of time, the one that falls apart, for example when dining or some such. I wont say more, but I assure you its all basic physics.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:38:00 UTC | #299727

Ygern's Avatar Comment 7 by Ygern

I love the way he inserted the words 'atoms' and 'quantum mechanics' to show that telekinetic psychic power is Real Science ;-)

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #299740

DoctorE's Avatar Comment 6 by DoctorE

How do I know this is not a camera trick, perhaps this is not even Shermer ;)

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #299738

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 8 by NewEnglandBob

That Amazing Randi doll looks an awful lot like the Darwin doll on the first Stanford evolution video.

Maybe Randi is Charles Darwin in handcuffs.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 13:58:00 UTC | #299745

cam9976's Avatar Comment 9 by cam9976

I have a theory: I believe that the steel bar was already bent, and he was just turning it in his fingers so that it was angled upwards (and therefore visable) instead of towards the camera, which would have made it appear flat. Ya think I'm right?

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 14:42:00 UTC | #299786

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 10 by Styrer-

Comment #314804 by cam9976 on January 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Without doubt. You can see the magnificent 'rising of the thumb' twisting it on its way!

Best,
Styrer

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 14:58:00 UTC | #299803

HourglassMemory's Avatar Comment 11 by HourglassMemory

This is a great video.
There should be more of this kind, where some expert just takes the time to explain SOMETHING.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:18:00 UTC | #299821

Pierre-Simon Laplace's Avatar Comment 12 by Pierre-Simon Laplace

The bar was obviously already bent. While watching the video, cover up the left side of the bar and watch only his hand. You will see the thumb slowly starting to rise as the bar is rotated along its axis. It's the same illusion with the fork. While he has the fork pointing up, you can't see the bent thingy (what's that called??). As he rotates the fork downward, the bend becomes obvious.

I wish I knew how he did the last spoon trick, though.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:44:00 UTC | #299844

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 13 by Apathy personified

Ha - magic.

Can't wait for the other videos - Josh, can you tell us who the other hosts will be, or is it still being finalised and sorted out?

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 15:58:00 UTC | #299852

Virgil's Avatar Comment 14 by Virgil

Fairly good stuff.. how did the last spoon trick go? He must have weakened it before..

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:17:00 UTC | #299862

ANTIcarrot's Avatar Comment 15 by ANTIcarrot

I've seen this trick done with a 'solid lump of metal' too.

Hold it up to the light, bang it on the desk to show it's real, but breath on it and it goes all floppy. The secret? Compressed hex-cell aluminium foil: the aerospace material they use in helicopter blades.

No doubt in another fifty years they'll be doing the same trick with body-temperature memory-plastic and nano-technology. And it'll still be a trick.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:40:00 UTC | #299876

Icipher's Avatar Comment 16 by Icipher

Michael Shermer is also a good writer. I recommend especially his "Why people believe weird things". Regarding the last spoon trick, I'm pretty sure that the spoon had already been weakened. If I remember correctly, there was a video with Randi where he talks about how he was consulted by... the name of the old late night show escapes me, when Uri Geller was going to be on. They asked him how they could reveal that it was fake and Randi suggested that they supply the spoons instead of letting him use his own. During the show they brought in a cart full of cutlery and Geller didn't feel "the force" that night so he never attempted any bending.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 16:50:00 UTC | #299882

Quine's Avatar Comment 17 by Quine

Comment #314804 by cam9976:

I have a theory: I believe that the steel bar was already bent, and he was just turning it in his fingers so that it was angled upwards (and therefore visable) instead of towards the camera, which would have made it appear flat. Ya think I'm right?


Yes, you just watch the thumb and first finger of the hand holding the rod, and you can see him rotate it. The trick would have been better if he had trained himself to do the rotation with the fingers hidden in the closed hand.

P.S. I think I would have locked the bar in a vise and only used the tip of one finger to "bend" it (rotation device hidden in vise).

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 17:03:00 UTC | #299888

DWLehning's Avatar Comment 18 by DWLehning

This was a fun video to watch. As someone already said, Shermer is a great debunker and is quite entertaining. I also liked the quantum mechanics part. That is good poke at the New Agers and psychics who invoke quantum physics as the "science" behind their various woo woo beliefs.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 17:19:00 UTC | #299894

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 19 by Rob Schneider

I hate to be a critic of a skeptic, but the amazing Randi is here "in absTentia" ??

That doll is refusing to vote? Bastard!

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 19:22:00 UTC | #299932

chuckg's Avatar Comment 20 by chuckg

On the last spoon trick, yes he did pre-weaken it, and the trick sort of failed, as it wasn't really supposed to completely break, but he over weakened it, via fatigue from stress reversals, so that it actually broke. A better trickster than Shermer(Randi, or Uri) would be an expert at pre-weakening his spoons.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 21:09:00 UTC | #299941

Bernstein's Avatar Comment 21 by Bernstein

Library of the Skeptics Society? For a moment I thought the video was shot in Shermer's house.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 22:00:00 UTC | #299948

beebhack's Avatar Comment 22 by beebhack

My favourite bit of Shermer is his demonstration of why people hear (and, implicitly, see) just what they want to hear, or in this case what's been suggested to them that they hear, using *Stairway to Heaven:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=nypTBLLu18Q

*My grandfather tells me that this is was a song for young people, back in the day.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 23:35:00 UTC | #299968

DKPetersen's Avatar Comment 23 by DKPetersen

Comment #314903 by Icipher

"Regarding the last spoon trick, I'm pretty sure that the spoon had already been weakened. If I remember correctly, there was a video with Randi where he talks about how he was consulted by... the name of the old late night show escapes me, when Uri Geller was going to be on."


That was done on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. On a separate appearance on the same show, Randi exposed the faith healer Peter Popoff (Randi had intercepted radio transmissions from Popoff's wife... she was providing him specific information on audience members she had collected previously. Popoff claimed to be getting the information from god, and was conning money from loads of people.)
There are several videos on Youtube and Google video featuring James Randi, I have to say they are some of my favorite skeptical videos online.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 23:57:00 UTC | #299977

Bernstein's Avatar Comment 24 by Bernstein

Anyone with a genuine telekinetic ability to bend metal objects probably doesn't want to be found.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 00:22:00 UTC | #299984

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 25 by MMAtheist

DKPetersen:
"There are several videos on Youtube and Google video featuring James Randi, I have to say they are some of my favorite skeptical videos online."

Same here.
Geller and Popoff are classics, but my favorite is probably Randi exposing James Hydrick. That clip is just too funny.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 00:23:00 UTC | #299985

squinky's Avatar Comment 26 by squinky

Love Shermer and I've seen several of his lecture series at CalTech. The best were on Consciousness and the debate over global warming (I believe available on skeptic.com and youtube).

He's good friends with Randi and Penn & Teller. I highly recommend their "Bullshit" series. Very entertaining public display of science and better than Mythbusters in my opinion.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 06:00:00 UTC | #300184

FatherNature's Avatar Comment 27 by FatherNature

Many years ago, I worked at an NPR radio station (KCRW) where Uri Geller was interviewed for a talk show. After the show Geller did his shtick for some of the staff. Whatever else he may be, he's a very talented magician.

He bent a spoon that we gave him (no chance to pre-bend) and had one of us hold it while he lightly stroked it. Even more impressive, he bent a solid brass key (that we supplied and held). Afterwards, I couldn't bend the key, even slightly, using both hands. I was standing right next to him, watching very closely, and still couldn't figure out how he did it.

What was unique about Geller was that he didn't present himself as someone doing tricks or illusions. He claimed, in apparent sincerity, to have a "special gift" that began one day when he saw a UFO (cue Theremin). He seemed like such a "nice" guy that it was hard to believe that it was fraud.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 08:52:00 UTC | #300281

soarwing's Avatar Comment 28 by soarwing

The falling apart spoon is easy. The spoon is bent back and forth numerous times ....ahead of time.... it's already nearly broken. The quick taps he give the spoon to show you how "solid" it still is, makes the trick seem even better. But these taps don't BEND the spoon any more. When he starts wiggling the spoon back and forth, the spoon "magically" falls apart in his hand.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 12:44:00 UTC | #300431

soarwing's Avatar Comment 29 by soarwing

If Geller could make watches start and compasses move without touching them, why does he need to touch keys/spoons to make them bend? Why doesn't he bend the little metal rods contained in the plastic cylinders and collect the $1,000,000 U.S.? Are we to believe that magic forces come shooting out of his fingertips, but yet these magic forces are thwarted by pieces of plastic? Personally, I don't think Uri Geller is that great of a magician, but I do know that MANY people do... especially when the tricks are done right in front of them.

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 12:53:00 UTC | #300438

Roy_H's Avatar Comment 30 by Roy_H

How does Uri Geller make a compass needle move?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=VmTxf9XP36M&feature=related

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BJSxsbToLeE&feature=related

Thu, 08 Jan 2009 14:51:00 UTC | #300501