I’m fed up. There have been 5.5 Amaz!ng Meetings with James Randi, and I haven’t gone to a single one…yet. That’s finally going to change, though, as I’ve been invited to speak at TAM6, in Las Vegas, on 19-22 June. Who else is going? Maybe a few of you will think about marking your calendars and making the pilgrimage for the first time this summer, so that I’m not the only TAM virgin there?

I haven’t quite settled on what I’ll be talking about, just yet, although I have a few ideas. Maybe Phil and I should have a joint session in which we publicly play the dozens? He did just get back from TAM 5.5, so there is a little seething jealousy that needs an outlet.


  1. #1 Alric
    January 30, 2008

    TAM 5.5 was wonderful. Finally got to meet Randi and thank him for his work. I specially enjoyed the talks by Mark Roberts, 911 conspiracy theory debunker, and Robert Lancaster. The latter is particularly heroic as he debunks the claims of psychics that prey on families with missing children. This is me with Randi acting like a bumbling 10 year old..

  2. #2 Blake Stacey
    January 30, 2008

    Anybody have a ballpark figure for the cost of the trip? I figure it’ll be just slightly beyond my means.

  3. #3 Bad
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll be happy to go if:

    1) You pay my way
    2) You find me a better job so I can afford to pay my own way

    Any takers? No, didn’t think so. So I’m outa luck for another year. 🙁 Come on folks, Cleveland would be a much more exciting place to hold this thing we’ve got… well we’ve got a first class symphony, right? No gambling tho…

  4. #4 Brownian, OM
    January 30, 2008

    If you speak on the 20th, I’ll do my best to make it down as I would consider that a very nice birthday present for me.

  5. #5 snex
    January 30, 2008

    ill be there, and you will be signing my “god is fake” shirt.

  6. #6 MartinM
    January 30, 2008

    I figure it’ll be just slightly beyond my means.

    In previous years, there have been funds to help out those who couldn’t quite afford it; my girlfriend was looking into it for TAM3, IIRC. Might be worth checking out.

  7. #7 Jen
    January 30, 2008

    Ooh! TAM is just a state away? And for my birthday, no less! (Well, okay, just after). I may actually get to go to one of these shindigs!

  8. #8
    January 30, 2008

    My wife and I will be there for the first time this year, as well. Super excited about it!

  9. #9 Mark Roberts
    January 30, 2008

    Great to hear that you’ll be at TAM 6, PZ. TAM 5.5 was my first, and was such a fun and educational experience that I can’t believe I passed up on going to TAM 5 last year.

    @ Blake Stacey: for details on cost, check this JREF forum thread in a week or so:

    Registration for TAM 5 was about $350, with the hotel at $100 per night, but TAM 6 is expected to be a bit more, since it’s at a different hotel in a different time of year. Well worth it, IMO.

  10. #10 holbach
    January 30, 2008

    Has anyone noticed the photo of James Randi on the rostrum
    in front of Ellen Johnson during her speech on Madalyn
    Murray O’Hair at the 2006 TAM 4 ? There he is, ready to debunk the possible fundy plants in the audience!

  11. #11 Joshua
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll be there! It’ll be my first TAM as well.

    Perhaps we need a TAM Cherry-Popping Party?

  12. #12 Rebecca Watson
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll be there, of course! TAM 5.5 was a blast, and yet a mere appetizer.

  13. #13 Phil Plait
    January 30, 2008

    I bet if we jello wrestle we could raise a lot of money for the JREF. I even bet Rebecca would buy the jello.

  14. #14 Greg23
    January 30, 2008

    Yes, Yes, Yes. Do go.

    Will be looking forward to seeing P.Z. spar with Phil.

    I have been to T.A.M.s 2 through 5 and every one was a winner! Flights to Vegas are fairly cheap and the organizers always pick a moderately priced hotel to have it at. This year it is the Flammingo.

    I know the math guy will be there. There’s a video of him on T.E.D. .com. Penn & Teller, Phil Plait and Richard Wiseman are usual attendees as well. Adam Savage from the Mythbusters has become a great fan and attends if possible. He is also a super friendly guy. Another great thing about T.A.M. is the speakers are almost without exception available for social intercourse.

  15. #15 Lledowyn
    January 30, 2008

    I really wish I could go this year, but I have my graduation looming in October 24th, so I am going to be held hostage in the lab until then. 🙁 Next year though, I think I will finally be able to go to Vegas. 🙂

  16. #16 Jolly Bloger
    January 30, 2008

    Oh, awesome! I had already decided to attend TAM6, but this just strengthens that commitment. See you there PZ!

  17. #17 Jason
    January 30, 2008

    I’d love to go to one of these.

    I’m trying to convince a friend to come with me at the moment, not sure about crossing the Atlantic for just 3 days, still maybe we could stay a week.

  18. #18 Smart_Cookie
    January 30, 2008

    Woo Hoo!!! Just got back from TAM 5.5, and it was fabulous. Got to tour the JREF headquarters and enjoyed some “face time” with Randi, and he was as charming as ever. Definitely going to TAM 6, and hearing that PZ’s going to be speaking? Even better!

    However, who’d be jello wrestling exactly? Phil and PZ? I dunno… I might skip that event. *lol*

    Unless, of course, it was nude jello wrestling…

  19. #19 Blake Stacey
    January 30, 2008

    Hey, waitaminnit. . . PZ says that he’s got a face and voice made for blogging, and then he turns around and announces he’s going to speak to a live audience? Flip-flopper! What sort of professor does he think he is?

    Unless his “talk” will actually be some guy with a laptop plugged into a projector, opening a Pharyngula post in his web browser and hitting “Refresh” over and over again as the comment thread unspools.

  20. #20 bug_girl
    January 30, 2008

    Aw, maaaaaannnnnn.
    Now I’m gonna miss PZ too?

    I wish I could afford to go!

  21. #21 JoshH
    January 30, 2008

    This may be a dumb question but is there an admission fee? I’m a Vegas resident and have known about this for a while but there still aren’t any details on the JREF site. My wife and I will more than likely attend.

    This will give me a reason to go down to the Strip again. With acts like Toni Braxton, Bette Midler and Carrot Top as popular acts, I tend to avoid the place (okay, we have Penn & Teller too but that’s it!).

  22. #22 Evolved
    January 30, 2008

    Is anyone volunteering to pay for me to go?


  23. #23 MikeM
    January 30, 2008

    You lucky bastard.

    I am officially jealous.

    Make sure you go visit Hoover Dam. Still one of the most impressive engineering feats ever. Yes, I’m sorry that it screwed up the natural balance of the area, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive as a geek attraction.

  24. #24 c l p iwan
    January 30, 2008

    my husband and i are planning on attending…
    hey–we should get a bus! it could start on the east coast and wend its way toward vegas, picking up little pharyngulites along the way. party!

  25. #25 Toddahhhh
    January 30, 2008

    Yay! Looking forward to getting my Tam, Penn and Teller show AND Vegas cherry popped as well! See you there. 🙂

  26. #26 Greg23
    January 30, 2008

    JoshH – If my memory isn’t totally shot I think it’s around $250 for the event. That includes breakfast and lunch on Fri. & Sat. (breakfast on Sunday as well?). The breakfasts are continentals and the lunches are pretty good buffets. It runs Fri. Sat. (morning & afternoon)and Sun. (morning). There is usually a Fri. night and a Sat. night optional ($$) show (or two) of some sort (at least one of them being magic). There is also usually a big party on one of the nights. After last year I’m not sure but since it’s a different hotel the party is probably back on.

  27. #27 Tressa
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll be there and it will be my first TAM as well.

  28. #28 Sastra, OM
    January 30, 2008

    I have been to TAM 1-5, and plan to be at #6. I’ve been suggesting you as a speaker on the Suggestion Forms for the last couple years now — said you’d be particularly good on Creationism and Intelligent Design. Perhaps you and Phil could do something together on religious attacks on science, from your own perspectives. Or give some of the highlights on how Scienceblog and sciencebloggers have dealt with pseudoscience.

  29. #29 H. Humbert
    January 30, 2008

    I’ve been suggesting you as a speaker on the Suggestion Forms for the last couple years now — said you’d be particularly good on Creationism and Intelligent Design. Perhaps you and Phil could do something together on religious attacks on science, from your own perspectives. Or give some of the highlights on how Scienceblog and sciencebloggers have dealt with pseudoscience.

    Good, but that’s just what everyone is expecting PZ to do. I think he should stun everyone by performing a screaming karate demonstration on a cardboard cutout of Chuck Norris. PZ should also yell out the word “science!” after landing each blow, then bow and walk off the stage. Everyone would want to pose for photos with PZ after something like that.

  30. #30 Wilson
    January 30, 2008

    I’ll be there – got the plane tickets already! (flying from Australia, these *really* have to be bought with some advance…) It will be my first TAM as well, and I expect it to be something to tell my grand-children about some day…

  31. #31 G
    January 31, 2008

    While I’d LOVE to see you and Phil have at each other in your own inimitable good-natured way, academic advisors don’t get to take time off in the middle of freshman orientation season.

    *le sigh*

  32. #32 gerald spezio
    January 31, 2008

    I love James Randi and all that he stands for as much as anybody.

    But at this critical time of global heating and anthropogenic CO2 production, we should consider NOT FLYING to Las Vegas no matter how titillating the party.

    As scientists, we must consider the disastrous consequences our carbon footprint.

  33. #33 Reed
    February 1, 2008

    Phil’s usual foil will be likely be absent on TAM6.

    It’ll be most excellent of you to fill that role.

  34. #34 alice
    February 1, 2008

    For all you new to TAM, welcome, it’s a total blast. I’d suggest checking into the JREF forums, under the Amazing Meetings, for party & trip plans (there will be many). It’s easy to meet & greet, even if you’re not a people person. Last year we spent $300 on books & about $8 gambling, so there is something for everyone.

    PZ, some young women may contact you about getting naked. Phil’s already done it, so . . .

  35. #35 PZ Myers
    February 1, 2008

    PZ, some young women may contact you about getting naked.

    <sigh> Yeah, happens all the time.

  36. #36 a.real.girl
    February 1, 2008

    So, I’m that young woman, although I prefer being called a real.girl.

    As I recall, although the esteemed Bad Astronomer lost the bet, you did agree to pose for the Skepdude calendar. True? If so, the time has come.

    In the recent survey over on Skepchick, PZ got more votes than anyone else for “who you’d like to see naked.” Well, more votes than anyone but Rebecca and Phil, but we’ve already seen them.

  37. #37 Sexy Celebrities
    November 18, 2008


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