Just a little note to say that tonight is the last performance of the enigma tour. Many of you have emailed to ask if there will be a second tour. Derren will be busy until late in 2009 but plans for a second run will be announced closer to the time in 2010.
I was amazed to see that this book only has 3 reviews on Amazon so I decided to start a campaign about it.Â Out of the 3 reviews one of them is 5 stars – a second is a glowing review but only 3 stars, and the third is just plain weird. It’s an easy read and makes me think of Randi as a sort of Indiana Jones of new age spiritualist debunking.
In this book, Randi explores and exposes what he believes to be the outrageous deception that has been promoted widely in the media. Unafraid to call researchers to account for their failures and impostures, Randi tells us that we have been badly served by scientists who have failed to follow the procedures required by their training and traditions. Here, he shows us how what he views as sloppy research has been followed by rationalisations of evident failures, and we see these errors and misrepresentations clearly pointed out. Mr. Randi provides us with a compelling and convincing document that will certainly startle and enlighten all who read it.
If you have enjoyed Derrens Portraits book then do head over to Amazon and leave a review. If you hate it and have used it for toilet paper then do get in touch first to let us know why – but also head over and review it – we take it all.
We need some quotes for a small project we’re doing and should yours (you’ll know about it) be used we will send you a free special edition A3 signed, mounted and framed print, a spit sample from Coops and a “sailors favour” voucher from Phillis.Â This is not a competition as we do not wish to encourage false reviewing from biased sources. Not that I would accuse you lot of that. 😉
Be sure to head over to Richard Wisemans facebook group for some secret experiments, trickery and interesting psychological stunts. When you get there tell him you’re “from the Derren Brown Army and you know about The Box”. say “Hello” and be polite.
So yesterday, Richard Wiseman and I went for a private guided tour around one of the Natural History Museum’s storage units in South London. It was quite extraordinary: acres of taxidermy and enormous skeletons, and some very special pieces: the skeleton of the Thames Whale, for example, is set out in a glass cabinet. We had a smell of a phial of whale oil extracted from the creature. It was quite a pleasant, unusual, soft smell, rather difficult to describe. A little like white tea, perhaps. By which I mean actualÂ white tea, not PG with milk. If you don’t know what white tea smells like, you’re on your own. We also met Guy the Gorilla, the erstwhile London Zoo attraction who now sits on a shelf surrounded by lesser known apes; elsewhere amongst some glassy-eyed deer, an antelope discovered by Darwin as the first recorded of its sub-species, which was then many years later visited by the teary-eyed grandson of the extraordinary naturalist; and the arse-end of the actual bear who, they found out later, was featured on the California State flag:
That one there. That actual individual bear. I bet you didn’t even know they had a flag. I didn’t.
I did take some pictures, but I’m awaiting some clearance forms to be able to put them up here, so you’ll have to wait too.
Next, we’re hoping to go and visit Archie, the giant squid.
Today, I’m meeting with the gallery-owner who will be showing and selling some of my pictures. For any of you wishing to see them, the exhibition will run from 6-21st August at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Charlotte St, London W1. Just opposite a sensational Japanese restaurant called Roka, which will round off your trip perfectly. More news on all of this as we firm up details: you’ll be the first to know.
Finally, as I’ve been writing solidly, it’s been a long while since I did any reading, which is rather upsetting. However, I thought I’d mentionÂ The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt. This is a fascinating and challenging tour through the principles of positive psychology: an overview of empirical research into what genuinely makes us happier (as opposed to the misleading, short-term effects of much of ‘self-help’). I hugely enjoyed this book.