Monday, August 25, 2008

Your Brain on Magic

Here's a link to an article that pushes my scientific and my entertainment buttons:


The authors, who include the magicians Teller and James Randi, argue that neuroscientists can learn a lot by studying what happens in our brains when we're fooled by magic tricks.

It has nothing to do with this article, but both of those fellows were kind enough to let me be photographed with them last year at The Amazing Meeting.

In addition to being a brilliant entertainer, Teller is somewhat taller than me. He only looks small when he's standing next to Penn!

On the other hand, it's easy to tell Randi from me because he's the one with the magnificent beard. Of course he's also a guy who has done more than anybody I can think of to promote science and reason. If you're not familiar with James Randi, you can see what he does at

Saturday, August 23, 2008

About This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to discuss science, reason, and the ways art and other creative endeavors may be able to contribute something to human understanding of the natural world. While we live in a time of unprecedented technological and scientific achievement, many of us understand little about the workings of the universe. Plenty of people all around the world hold onto beliefs that have no basis in fact. Sometimes this is harmless, but in other cases, it's disastrous. With the explosive growth of new media such as blogs and podcasting, there are lots of ways for people who are interested in science-and-society topics to exchange ideas.

I'm interested in science, and I'm also interested in mass media, so I've always looked for ways in which those two topics might fit together. At times in this blog I'll share some stories about my attempts to pursue these diverse interests. Not every one of these attempts has been successful, which of course makes for much better anecdotes.

I make my living shooting and directing TV commercials and other videos, and I enjoy the creativity this involves. Naturally, I'm also working on a documentary which I'll describe in future posts. thanks for reading.