A Different Toy Story, Part Deux

The scientific among you might see a water molecule (H₂0), but Philip Yam, former editor of Scientific American, writes that the magazine handed out these balls to explore the science of juggling.

Scientific American Branded Juggling Balls

Back in 1995, Philip also got a souvenir from the late James "The Amazing" Randi while interviewing him at a hotel over breakfast.  In Philip's words: "the magician had in particular made a name for himself by going after grifters and debunking claims of paranormal ability, especially by Uri Geller, who claimed he could bend spoons using the power of his mind. Randi pulled the same illusion on me over breakfast — in fact, he bent two spoons, breaking one. I pocketed the spoons so that our waiter wouldn’t notice them."

Spoon bent mentally by The Amazing Randi


Continuing on the theme of magic, Philip received a trick pen from Martin Gardner: "I visited Martin Gardner, the longtime Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, in his home in Asheville, NC, to do a profile of him in the 1990s. He had loads of little toys and trinkets he collected over the years, most math and magic themed. (Mathematicians regularly beat a path to his door.) He gave me this trick pen, a video which I posted back in 2014:"





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