With The Amaz!ng Meeting approaching so quickly, and with so many exciting events, some of the fine details may have slipped right past! So, here are a few things you might find interesting and fun at TAM, and may not have heard about already.

Million Dollar Challenge

James Randi introduces Connie Sonne, a psychic from Denmark who will take her preliminary Challenge test LIVE in front of the TAM audience on Sunday, July 12th, at 1pm. Sonne will be tested by famous mentalist and friend to the JREF, Banachek, and the test will be attended by famous skeptics, critical thinkers, and magicians from all over the world. In fact, you may have already heard about the test from Penn Jillette!

This event is free of charge. However, the first couple of rows of the audience will be blocked off during this event for VIP guests, but don’t worry – there’s a way you can attend as a VIP too!


MDC Gurus

If you attend the Million Dollar Challenge workshop featuring Chip Denman and myself on Thursday, July 9th, you will be given the opportunity to become an MDC Guru. The second half of the workshop will cover protocol negotiation, test design, and we’ll be running a mock-test! If you register for the workshop and participate in the protocol design, you will be given a pin that says “MDC Guru.”

If you present this pin at the entrance of the preliminary test of Connie Sonne, you will be given special seating in the VIP section in the front rows and handouts that include the full Sonne protocol, application information, and background.

The Ham Party

You might’ve already heard about the talent show we’re having on Saturday, July 11th, featuring all sorts of talented individuals with George Hrab as emcee – but what you probably haven’t heard about is the judging!

The Ham Party talents will be judged American Idol-style by musician Sean McCabe, actor Richard Saunders, and Youtube star Alan Melikdjanian (who you might know as Captain Disillusion).

We’ll have a cash bar available if you need a drink, and of course I’ll be there at a table giving Love Fortunes dressed as an esoteric medium!

Entrance to The Ham Party is $15 per ticket, and you can either register in advance or pay at the door. The party begins at 7:30pm, and we might even have a Vegas magician or two stop in to say hello during the evening!

Auction Items

As usual, at TAM we’re going to have some really great auctions. Here are some you might like to know about in advance to save up some money, or to make sure you’re available for.

James Randi Straitjacket Package

Until now, we don’t believe James Randi has ever signed a straitjacket, so this truly is a one-of-a-kind auction. Be sure to bid on this canvas, hospital-grade straitjacket signed by James Randi. The straitjacket comes with a photograph of Randi wearing it, as well as a DVD of the Niagara Falls straitjacket escape (though this isn’t the same one he wore then). This is truly an Amazing item!

Penn & Teller Bullet Catch Display

If you’ve ever seen Penn & Teller’s show at the Rio, then you know precisely how cool the bullet catch is – but it’s never been presented like this before! Bid to own a handsome wooden display box, containing two rounds. The casings are signed by Penn and Teller, and the bullets are initialed. The box also contains a photograph of Penn & Teller performing the bullet catch, and all of it is displayed beautifully. This is a must-have for any Penn & Teller fan!

Lunch and Music with George Hrab

Skeptical musician George Hrab wants to meet YOU. Yes, he told me so. And because of this, we’re putting him up for auction! Place your bid and join George Hrab for lunch at a sit-down restaurant (location as yet undetermined) where you’ll enjoy stimulating conversation and delicious food. Afterward, George will help you write your very own song, which will be performed at The Ham Party! Either you and George can both perform, or he can go at it alone. Either way, The Ham Party is being filmed – so your song will be included on the TAM DVDs! To top it all off, a professional photographer will follow you on the way to lunch and take photographs to make sure you never forget this awesome time. After TAM, the photographs will be sent to George, who will sign them and forward them to you.

VIP Tickets to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Bid to win four VIP tickets to a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I don’t even know how to talk that up because it’s so cool all by itself – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart!! You’ll have to find a way to New York City for the filming, but don’t worry – you have plenty of time to pick a date that works with your schedule, as the tickets are good for some time and also flexible!

Planetarium and Observatory Trip with Phil Plait

The College of Southern Nevada has the only public Planetarium and Observatory in the area, and they’re opening just for you! Join Phil for a trip on Sunday evening (be sure your travel plans allow you to be there!) to the Planetarium and Observatory for an intimate discussion of the skies. Up to four guests can come on this trip, so combine funds with your friends to bid on this awesome adventure! You’ll be given a picnic meal and stop off on the way to enjoy it with Phil, who will then guide you through the skies at the observatory.

Signed TAM Posters

Did you miss a TAM? Is there one that’s your favorite? Well, we have the thing for you! Bid on TAM posters from previous years, signed by every single speaker that was present. These will look great on any skeptic’s wall!

Neil deGrasse Tyson Books

So you love Neil deGrasse Tyson? So do we! Bid on signed, hardcover copies of Death by Black Hole and The Pluto Files.

Death From the Skies!

Phil has been carrying around a very special copy of Death From the Skies! This copy is signed by all sorts of people, like Rusty Schweikart (Apollo 9), Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood (stars of "2001: A Space Odyssey", LeVar Burton, and astronomers Seth Shostak and Carolyn Porco. More signatures are coming, too!

We’ll have even more exciting auctions at TAM, but this is a taste of what we’re doing, and we do hope you’ll bid to support the JREF!

Check back on Swift or in the TAM subsection of the JREF Forum for more updates on events and opportunities!