28 January 2011

Forbidden Geller

No, I won't comment on Egypt, except to say that Mubarak does want Israel to give the Syrio-palestinians "East" Jerusalem, and this is completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, the big angry mob that wants to get rid of him (and probably behead him too) likely holds the standard Arab position of "KILL ALL JEWS!!!!!" so I would have to say that the US should at least publically condemn the rioters, as we would be better off with Mubarak in power than some jihadist.

On to the main topic. I read one of the articles a reader, Steve, brought to my attention in regard to Uri Geller, nitionl, and the controversey here at The Urban Mystic involving myself and Bob Couttie. Seems John L. Randall and C.P. Davis performed a similar experiment involving an eleven year old boy, who was also a metal bender, where they gave him nitinol and he produced a permanent deformation. Randall and Davis tried to remove the bend, using high voltage and tension clamps and the metal never did return to its rightful shape. The R&D article seems to agree with the original Byrd assessment that nitinol was uncommon during the time Byrd tested Geller (a claim Couttie disagrees with) and that permanent deformations cannot be created using trickery such as tying the metal in a knot and heating it with a match (one of two ways Couttie says it can be done in his book).

Who is correct? Is Couttie or are Byrd, Randall, and Davis? I will only say this one time, so pay attention: I Don't Know. Reading through the other article provided by Steve I will keep tabs on how many people agree with which position. Admittedly, just because lots of people agree on something doesn't make it true, but we can perform an interesting little game here. Sure, it won't tell us anything, but it will be a lot more fun than having to clean up the weekly blizzards that climate change has been dumping here since December.

So far, Bob Couttie stands along in the group of people who claim Geller could have cheated with the nitinol. Eldon Byrd, John Randall, C.P. Davis say Geller could not have cheated. R&D also mention a Dr. G. Rowlands who provided them with samples of nitinol and the specs of the material, and while his opinion regarding Geller is not mentioned his specs are the same as those provided by Byrd, so we can count him as half a point in the "not cheated" category. As of now the score is 1 for cheated and 3 1/2 for not cheated. Again, let me be clear that this little exercise is not a scientific assessment in any way and cannot tell us who is right. The issue likely can never be solved. Only two people know if Geller cheated or not, Geller himself and God, and neither seem to be providing us with what really happened, but this exercise can provide at least circumstantial evidence toward figuring out what happened.

Prediction: After reviewing all four reports, Byrd's, Couttie's, R&D's, and Martin Gardner's, I predict that we will be no closer to knowing whether or not it was possible for Geller to cheat with nitinol than we did when we first began.