Monday, February 7, 2011

Houdini's Skeptical Advice in February Scientific American

Arthur Moses alerts us to an article in the February 2011 issue of Scientific American, "Houdini's Skeptical Advice: Just Because Something's Unexplained Doesn't Mean It's Supernatural" by Michael Shermer.

The article talks about the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle visited Houdini in his New York City home and Houdini gave him a demonstration of slate writing.

You can read the article online, or pick up the issue from your local newsstand or bookstore.

Also know the current The New York Review of Books (February 10, 2011 issue) has a nice article by Robert Gottlieb about the Houdini Art and Magic exhibition called The Secrets of Houdini. And the February issue of American History has an article called, "Houdini Unbound."


  1. Interesting to see the readers' comments and explanations, such as assuming that Doyle couldn't be fooled by billet switching. The man was utterly gullible. Don't tell the magazine's readers which book about Houdini explains the trick.

  2. Doyle was also fooled by photographs of "fairies" taken by a couple of little girls in 1917...I'm sure Sherlock Holmes would have been appalled.

  3. I saw this issue the other day so will go back and get it. Or stand there and read it until told to move on .. either way.

    Doyle was blinded by belief - I could sympathise with him up to a point but when he turned against Houdini and went over to the dark side, he lost me.