Sunday, September 02, 2007

Perry DeAngelis is dead

I am way behind on this, but I have not been listening to many podcasts these days. I went on iTunes today to fill up my iPod for my flight home when I found that Perry DeAngelis, one of the voices of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast has died. He was ill, but I didn't know how ill. I was really looking forward to his triumphant return to the show after the last two weeks' absence due to illness.
Perry was the irreverent member of the skeptical rogues on the podcast. Imagine what it takes to be 'the irreverent one' in a skeptical organization.
Perry was not a scientist, and he provided a perfect counterpoint to host Dr. Steve Novella's steely scientific view of skepticism, showing that there's a passion to skepticism that persists side by side with it's logic.

Here are some choice quotes from Perry.

Listen to this audio clip of Perry reacting to a question about bacteria and birds. Perry will always be remembered for his staunch support of monkeys in the age-old 'monkeys versus birds' debate.

'The amount of years that she will live longer than us because of her [vegetarian] diet is directly proportional to the horror of her life.'

'Astrology is as vacuous as the space it worships.'

'And remember, "chi" spelled backwards is "crap"'

'How can two mathematicians come to two different conclusions? Well, one of them's a dick.'

From an essay Perry wrote about an illness induced hallucination:
'Stemming, I suppose now, from the dance number that had been on the television, there were two alien woman that haunted me during this time. One was a tall slender Latin woman in a pink body suit, and the other was shorter and heavier. They ridiculed me endlessly because I knew they were aliens, but since I was Executive Director of a Skeptical Society, I couldn’t tell anyone! It was like they were trying to upset me to illicit a reaction. I tried to remain stoic, but I think eventually I broke down and cried.'
I strongly recommend that you go to the iTunes store, search for the words 'Skeptic's Guide' and subscribe to the show or subscribe from their website, and just start at the beginning and work your way up to the present. I have only recently started writing about logical fallacies specifically, but I've been listening to the skeptical rogues gallery talking about them since last April, and it has invaluably enriched my life. And all that time Perry has been a big part of that.

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