June 23, 2013 by kittynh
My first cruise just happened to be my first skeptic cruise. The JREF had a cruise to Alaska organized by Jeff Wagg. I was lucky to score a cabin. It was probably the cheapest on board, but who cared as I hardly spent anytime in the small windowless room.
On the ship I met Richard Saunders. Richard is now a friend, but I knew him then only by his reputation as one of Australia’s top skeptics. I found out on the cruise that Richard is also a talented origami designer. Richard isn’t just a designer, he’s talented at folding these intricate paper creations. He amazed everyone on the cruise by folding a small crane, behind his back!
My daughter Evelyn shows off Pigasus at MIT (in a very poorly done video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co9nqHBvHuI
I love origami, but am not very talented. I remember as a child getting a pack of folding paper, and puzzling how in the world you got from one drawing to another. No written directions is part of the fun, and frustration, of origami.
I did surprise Richard by folding an origami dove for him. It’s one of several very simple designs I’ve memorized from teaching origami to small children over the years. He said people don’t usually fold something for him in return.
Richard went home from the cruise, where he gave a terrific talk, and within a short amount of time had designed a pigagsus (the flying pig associated with the James Randi Educational Foundation). Richard has a video that enables those that like clear directions to fold a pigasus of their own.
Richard also folds incredibly tiny earrings. Whenever I wear mine, I have pigasus and mini dinosaurs, I get compliments. People can’t believe now small the earrings are.
My friend Natalie helps me run the “Forum Welcome Table” at The Amazing Meeting (it is amazing, and if you haven’t been, why not?), and we like to give out something to make people feel welcome. Natalie started folding origami pigasus. When people come they are allowed to pick their own pigasus. They are always a big hit, and Richard is very generous to let us give away so many of his wonderful design.
I’m hoping Richard will bring more earrings to TAM this year. If you see him, ask him if he has any for you to purchase. I’ve heard rumors he’s using colorful money from around the world. If nothing else, get a pair and remember they make a great gift. I have never given any as a gift, but I have received them as a gift!
If you need reasons to come to TAM, add Richard Saunders to your list. Please come by the Forum Welcome Table and pick up a pigasus, they are free as long as they last!
Also, don’t forget to grab Richard and ask if he has any earrings for sale.