This unique


festival is a

tribute to 

science and

art in the 

spirit of 


da Vinci. 



Year-end Report on O4R Activities
 By Jeanine DeNoma 
O4R’s annual meeting is coming up and it's a good time to look back at the year’s activities. It has been one of the busiest years since our founding in 1994. Last year kicked off with two lectures by Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, which drew audiences of more than 250 at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon; a lecture by Dr. Victor Stenger in Ashland; and an investigation of Dennis Lee’s “300% efficient” engine (see Pro Facto V.5 No.4). Throughout the year we sponsored lectures on “The Keys to Critical Thinking” by Dr. Ray Hyman and “Secrets of the Psychics: Twelve Years of Research Among Extraordinary Claims” by Massimo Polidoro, Italian researcher, author and magician. We also held several roundtable socials and two summer potlucks.

     Possibly our most successful activity of the year, however, was our newest: the O4R booth at the Corvallis da Vinci Days festival. This unique summer festival is a tribute to science and art in the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci. Booths are allocated by invitation only and are suppose to educate and entertain—not simply promote the sponsoring organization, although we were allowed a banner and brochure explaining who we are. This year’s festival theme was “Time: Gateway to the Imagination.” Our booth, titled “LOOK AGAIN,” drew large crowds throughout the two-day festival. Not surprisingly, Jerry Andrus’ illusions, including his “make your own Paradox Box,” were a huge hit.

     A big thank you goes to the members who prepared materials for our exhibit: Jerry Andrus presented a collection of his optical illusions; George Andrus created a unique colorful video of oil slicks, fire, and soap bubbles; and Phil and Keturah Pennington provided a collection of mind-challenging puzzles. Thanks also to the members who volunteered their time to set up and man the booth: Jim Wilcox (who set the standard for enthusiastically drawing people in to look at and make Paradox Boxes), Mark Cowan and Jey Wann (whose pictures of the booth appear on the O4R webpage), George Slusher (who tirelessly stood in the hot sun guiding kids of all ages through the challenges of puzzle solving), Peggy Dearing and her son James Dearing (adding youth to our booth), Phil Pennington, Keturah Pennington, Janet Schmidt, Josh Reese, Jerry Andrus, and George Andrus. The booth was chaired by Jeanine DeNoma.

     Next year’s theme is “Bridges.” We’d like to make next year’s booth bigger and better—and more closely connected to the festival’s theme. We’d also like to include illusions for all the senses, not just vision. We learned this year that visitors needed some guidance with each illusion, both to help them see the illusion and to understand why it deceives. Consequently, we hope to increase the number of volunteers working the booth. The work was demanding, but it was also fun. And it comes with perks. O4R receives up to eight free festival passes (good for all events, including the human powered Kinetic Sculpture Race, film festival, lectures, and much more) and an unlimited number of passes into the booth arena. These are made available to booth volunteers.

     If you would be interested in helping at the booth next July, please drop a word to Jeanine DeNoma.

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© 2001 Oregonians for Rationality