In Jewish folklore, a golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, magically created from inanimate matter. The word was used to mean an unformed material in Psalms and medieval writing; the most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late-16th-century rabbi of Prague. There are many tales differing on how the golem was afterward controlled. According to Moment Magazine, "the golem is a mutable metaphor with limitless symbolism, it can be Jew or non-Jew, man or woman -- or sometimes both. Over the centuries it has been used to connote war, isolation and despair." The word golem occurs once in the Bible in Psalm 139:16, which uses the word גלמי, that means "my light form", "raw" material, connoting the unfinished human being before God's eyes. The Mishnah uses the term for an uncultivated person: "Seven characteristics are in an uncultivated person, seven in a learned one,". In Modern Hebrew, golem is used to mean "dumb" or "helpless", it is used today as a metaphor for a brainless lunk or entity who serves a man under controlled conditions but is hostile to him under others.
"Golem" passed into Yiddish as goylem to mean someone, stupid or lethargic. The oldest stories of golems date to early Judaism. In the Talmud, Adam was created as a golem when his dust was "kneaded into a shapeless husk." Like Adam, all golems are created from mud by those close to divinity, but no anthropogenic golem is human. Early on, the main disability of the golem was its inability to speak. Sanhedrin 65b describes Rava creating a man, he sent the man to Rav Zeira. Rav Zeira spoke to him. Rav Zeira said, "You were created by the sages. During the Middle Ages, passages from the Sefer Yetzirah were studied as a means to create and animate a golem, although there is little in the writings of Jewish mysticism that supports this belief, it was believed that golems could be activated by an ecstatic experience induced by the ritualistic use of various letters of the Hebrew Alphabet forming a "shem", wherein the shem was written on a piece of paper and inserted in the mouth or in the forehead of the golem.
A golem is inscribed with Hebrew words such as the word emet written on its forehead. The golem could be deactivated by removing the aleph in emet, thus changing the inscription from "truth" to "death". Rabbi Jacob ben Shalom arrived at Barcelona from Germany in 1325 and remarked that the law of destruction is the reversal of the law of creation. One source credits 11th century Jew Solomon ibn Gabirol with creating a golem female, for household chores. Joseph Delmedigo informs us in 1625 that "many legends of this sort are current in Germany."The earliest known written account of how to create a golem can be found in Sodei Razayya by Eleazar ben Judah of Worms of the late 12th and early 13th century. The oldest description of the creation of a golem by a historical figure is included in a tradition connected to Rabbi Eliyahu of Chełm. A Polish Kabbalist, writing in about 1630–1650, reported the creation of a golem by Rabbi Eliyahu thus: "And I have heard, in a certain and explicit way, from several respectable persons that one man close to our time, whose name is R. Eliyahu, the master of the name, who made a creature out of matter and form and it performed hard work for him, for a long period, the name of emet was hanging upon his neck, until he removed it for a certain reason, the name from his neck and it turned to dust."
A similar account was reported by a Christian author, Christoph Arnold, in 1674. Rabbi Jacob Emden elaborated on the story in a book published in 1748: "As an aside, I'll mention here what I heard from my father's holy mouth regarding the Golem created by his ancestor, the Gaon R. Eliyahu Ba'al Shem of blessed memory; when the Gaon saw that the Golem was growing larger and larger, he feared that the Golem would destroy the universe. He removed the Holy Name, embedded on his forehead, thus causing him to disintegrate and return to dust. Nonetheless, while he was engaged in extracting the Holy Name from him, the Golem injured him, scarring him on the face." According to the Polish Kabbalist, "the legend was known to several persons, thus allowing us to speculate that the legend had indeed circulated for some time before it was committed to writing and we may assume that its origins are to be traced to the generation following the death of R. Eliyahu, if not earlier." The most famous golem narrative involves Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the late 16th century rabbi of Prague known as the Maharal, who "created a olem out of clay from the banks of the Vltava River and brought it to life through rituals and Hebrew incantations to defend the Prague ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks" and pogroms.
Depending on the version of the legend, the Jews in Prague were to be either expelled or killed under the rule of Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor. The Golem was known as Yossele, it was said that he could summon spirits from the dead. Rabbi Loew deactivated the Golem on Friday evenings by removing the shem before the Sabbath began, so as to let it rest on Sabbath. One Friday evening Rabbi Loew forgot
Audrey L. Flack is an American artist, her work pioneered the art genre of photorealism. Flack has numerous academic degrees, including both a graduate and an honorary doctorate degree from Cooper Union in New York City. Additionally she has a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Yale University and attended New York University Institute of Fine Arts where she studied art history. In May 2015, Flack received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Clark University, where she gave a commencement address. Flack's work is displayed in several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Flack's photorealist paintings were the first such paintings to be purchased for the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, her legacy as a photorealist lives on to influence many American and International artists today. J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville, organized a retrospective of her work, Flack’s pioneering efforts into the world of photorealism popularized the genre to the extent that it remains today.
Flack attended New York's High School of Art. She studied fine arts in New York from 1948 to 1953, she earned a graduate degree and received an honorary doctorate from Cooper Union in New York City, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Yale University. She studied art history at the Institute of New York University. 1953 New York University Institute of Fine Arts, New York City 1952 BFA, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 1948-51 Cooper Union, New York City Flack's early work in the 1950s was abstract expressionist. The ironic kitsch themes in her early work influenced Jeff Koons, but Flack became a New Realist and evolved into photorealism during the 1960s. Her move to the photorealist style was in part because she wanted her art to communicate to the viewer, she was the first photorealist painter to be added to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in 1966. Between 1976 and 1978 she painted her Vanitas series, including the piece Marilyn; the critic Graham Thompson wrote, "One demonstration of the way photography became assimilated into the art world is the success of photorealist painting in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It is called super-realism, radical realism, or hyper-realism and painters like Richard Estes, Chuck Close, Audrey Flack as well worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs."Art critic Robert C. Morgan writes in The Brooklyn Rail about Flack's 2010 exhibition at Gary Snyder Project Space, Audrey Flack Paints a Picture, "She has taken the signs of indulgence and excess and transformed them into moving symbols of desire and emancipation." In the early 1980s Flack's artistic medium shifted from painting to sculpture. She describes this shift as a desire for "something solid, tangible. Something to hold and to hold on to." Flack has claimed to have found the photorealist movement too restricting, now gains much of her inspiration from Baroque art. Flack is represented by the Louis K. Meisel Gallery and Hollis Taggart Galleries, her work is held in the collections of museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Allen Memorial Art Museum, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Australia.
She was awarded the St. Gaudens Medal from Cooper Union, the honorary Albert Dome professorship from Bridgeport University, she is an honorary professor at George Washington University, is a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught and lectured extensively both nationally, internationally. In 1986 Flack published Art & Soul: Notes on Creating, a book expressing some of her thoughts on being an artist. Flack works in New York City and Long Island. Audrey Flack is best known for her photo-realist paintings and was one of the first artists to use photographs as the basis for painting; the genre, taking its cues from Pop Art, incorporates depictions of the real and the regular, from advertisements to cars to cosmetics. Flack's work brings in everyday household items like tubes of lipstick, perfume bottles, Hispanic Madonnas, fruit; these inanimate objects disturb or crowd the pictorial space, which are composed as table-top still lives. Flack brings in actual accounts of history into her photorealist paintings, such as World War II' and Kennedy Motorcade.
Women were the subject of her photo-realist paintings. Audrey Flack's sculpture is overlooked in light of her better-known Photorealist paintings. In this interview, Flack discusses the fact, she incorporates religion and mythology into her sculpture rather than the historical or everyday subjects of her paintings. Her sculptures demonstrate a connection to the female form, including a series of diverse, heroic women and goddess figures; these depictions of women differ from those of traditional femininity, but rather are athletic and strong. As Flack describes them: "they are real yet idealized... the'goddesses in everywoman.'"In the early 1990s, Flack was commissioned by a group called Friends of Queen Catherine to create a monumental bronze statue of Catherine of Braganza, in whose honor the borough of Queens is named. The statue, which would have been the height of a nine-story building, was meant to be installed on the East River shore in the Hunters Point area of Long Island Cit
Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc. Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 the common name in the Golden Age was Timely Comics, by the early 1950s, had become known as Atlas Comics; the Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others. The Marvel brand had been used over the years, but solidified as the company's only brand with in a couple of years. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Deadpool, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Midnight Sons, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, supervillains including Galactus, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places. Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by already popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he held the titles of editor, managing editor, business manager, with Abraham Goodman listed as publisher. Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1, included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch, the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features; the issue was a great success. While its contents came from an outside packager, Inc. Timely had its own staff in place by the following year; the company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1.
It, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc. beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941. While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, the Angel. Timely published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper", as well as a line of children's funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. Goodman hired his wife's cousin, Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939; when editor Simon left the company in late 1941, Goodman made Lieber—by writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely.
Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff. One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55; as well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12, were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than Timely had published, featuring horror, humor, funny animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster and war comics, adding jungle books, romance titles and medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports. Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned, on comics cover-dated November 1951 though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.
This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications. Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and other comic books the EC horror line. Atlas published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost and Homer Hooper. Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America. Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work cheaply, at a passable quality; the first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand w
DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. since 1967. DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, produces material featuring numerous culturally iconic heroic characters including: Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern,Aquaman,Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman and Supergirl. Most of their material takes place in the fictional DC Universe, which features teams such as the Justice League, the Justice Society of America, the Suicide Squad, the Teen Titans, well-known villains such as The Joker, Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Brainiac, Black Adam, Ra's al Ghul and Deathstroke; the company has published non-DC Universe-related material, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, many titles under their alternative imprint Vertigo. The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series Detective Comics, which featured Batman's debut and subsequently became part of the company's name.
In Manhattan at 432 Fourth Avenue, the DC Comics offices have been located at 480 and 575 Lexington Avenue. DC had its headquarters at 1700 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York City, but it was announced in October 2013 that DC Entertainment would relocate its headquarters from New York to Burbank, California in April 2015. Random House distributes DC Comics' books to the bookstore market, while Diamond Comic Distributors supplies the comics shop specialty market. DC Comics and its longtime major competitor Marvel Comics together shared 70% of the American comic book market in 2017. Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications in autumn 1934; the company debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935. The company's second title, New Comics #1, appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with larger dimensions than today's.
That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic-book series. In 2009 DC revived Adventure Comics with its original numbering. In 1935, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the future creators of Superman, created Doctor Occult, the earliest DC Comics character to still be in the DC Universe. Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936 premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date; the themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27. By however, Wheeler-Nicholson had gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld—who published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News—Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners.
Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, he was forced out. Shortly afterwards, Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction. Detective Comics, Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, the premiere of which introduced Superman. Action Comics #1, the first comic book to feature the new character archetype—soon known as "superheroes"—proved a sales hit; the company introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman. On February 22, 2010, a copy of Action Comics #1 sold at an auction from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lesser condition, the previous year. National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics, Inc. forming National Comics Publications on September 30, 1946. National Comics Publications absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines' and Liebowitz' All-American Publications.
In the same year Gaines let Liebowitz buy him out, kept only Picture Stories from the Bible as the foundation of his own new company, EC Comics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics into National Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, Independent News, their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity, National Periodical Publications". National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961. Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the company began branding itself as "Superman-DC" as early as 1940, the company became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977; the company began to move aggressively against what it saw as copyright-violating imitations from other companies, such as Fox Comics' Wonder Man, which Fox started as a copy of Superman. This extended to DC suing Fawcett Comics over Captain Marvel, at the time comics' top-selling character.
Faced with declining sales and the prospect of bankruptcy if it lost, Fawcett capitulated in 1953 and ceased publishing comics. Years Fawcett sold the rights for Captain Marvel to DC—which in 1972 revived Captain Marvel in the new title Shazam
Milton Arthur Paul "Milt" Caniff was an American cartoonist famous for the Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon comic strips. Caniff was born in Ohio, he was an Eagle Scout and a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Caniff did cartoons for local newspapers while studying at Stivers High School in Dayton Ohio. At Ohio State University, Caniff joined the Sigma Chi Fraternity and illustrated for The Magazine of Sigma Chi and The Norman Shield. Graduating in 1930, Caniff began at the Columbus Dispatch where he worked with the noted cartoonists Billy Ireland and Dudley Fisher, but Caniff's position was eliminated during the Great Depression. Caniff related that he had been uncertain of whether to pursue acting or cartooning as a career and that Ireland said, "Stick to your inkpots, actors don't eat regularly."He died on May 3, 1988 and was buried in the Mount Repose Cemetery, New York. In 1932, Caniff moved to New York City to accept an artist job with the Features Service of the Associated Press.
He did general assignment art for several months, drawing the comic strips Dickie Dare and The Gay Thirties inherited a panel cartoon named Mister Gilfeather in September 1932 when Al Capp quit the feature. Caniff continued Gilfeather until the spring of 1933, when it was retired in favor of a generic comedy panel cartoon called The Gay Thirties, which he produced until he left AP in the autumn of 1934. In July 1933, Caniff began an adventure fantasy strip, Dickie Dare, influenced by series such as Flash Gordon and Brick Bradford; the eponymous main character was a youth who dreamed himself into adventures with such literary and legendary persons as Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe and King Arthur. In the spring of 1934, Caniff changed the strip from fantasy to "reality" when Dickie no longer dreamed his adventures but experienced them as he traveled the world with a freelance writer, Dickie's adult mentor, "Dynamite Dan" Flynn. In 1934, Caniff was hired by the New York Daily News to produce a new strip for the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate.
Daily News publisher Joseph Medill Patterson wanted an adventure strip set in the mysterious Orient, what Patterson described as "the last outpost for adventure," Knowing nothing about China, Caniff researched the nation's history and learned about families for whom piracy was a way of life passed down for generations. The result was the strip which made Caniff famous. Like Dickie Dare, Terry Lee began as a boy, traveling with an adult mentor and adventurer, Pat Ryan, but over the years the title character aged, by World War II he was old enough to serve in the Army Air Force. During the 12 years that Caniff produced the strip, he introduced many fascinating characters, most of whom were "pirates" of one kind or another. Introduced during the early days of the strip was Terry and Pat's interpreter and manservant Connie, they were joined by the mute Chinese giant Big Stoop. Both he and Connie provided the main source of comic relief. Other characters included: Burma, a blonde with a mysterious criminal, past.
But Caniff's most memorable creation was a pirate queen. During the war, Caniff began a second strip, a special version of Terry and the Pirates without Terry but featuring the blonde bombshell, Burma. Caniff donated all of his work on this strip to the armed forces—the strip was available only in military newspapers. After complaints from the Miami Herald about the military version of the strip being published by military newspapers in the Herald's circulation territory, the strip was renamed Male Call and given a new star, Miss Lace, a beautiful woman who lived near every military base and enjoyed the company of enlisted men, whom she addressed as "Generals", her function, Caniff said, was to remind service men what they were fighting for, while the situations in the strip included much'double entendre', Miss Lace was not portrayed as being promiscuous. Much more so than civilian comic strips which portrayed military characters, Male Call was notable for its honest depiction of what the servicemen encountered.
Another strip had her dancing with a man in civilian clothes. Caniff continued Male Call until seven months after V-J Day, ending it in March 1946. In 1946 Caniff ended his association with Terry and the Pirates. While the strip was a major success, it was not owned by its creator but by its distributing syndicate, the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News, a common practice with syndicated comics at the time, and when Caniff, growing more and more frustrated with the lack of rights to the comic strip he produced, was offered the chance to own his own strip by Marshall Field, publisher of the Chicago Sun, the cartoonist quit Terry to produce a strip for Field Enterprises. Caniff produced his last strip of Terry and the Pirates in December 1946 and introduced his new strip Steve Canyon in the Chicago Sun-Times the following month. At the time, Caniff was one of only two or three syndicated cartoonists wh
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, is a program within the transnational American non-profit educational organization Center for Inquiry, which seeks to "promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims." Paul Kurtz proposed the establishment of CSICOP in 1976 as an independent non-profit organization, to counter what he regarded as an uncritical acceptance of, support for, paranormal claims by both the media and society in general. Its philosophical position is one of scientific skepticism. CSI's fellows have included notable scientists, Nobel laureates, psychologists and authors, it is headquartered in New York. In the early 1970s, there was an upsurge of interest in the paranormal in the United States; this generated concern in some quarters, where it was seen as part of a growing tide of irrationalism. In 1975, secular humanist philosopher and professor Paul Kurtz had initiated a statement, "Objections to Astrology", co-written with Bart Bok and Lawrence E. Jerome, endorsed by 186 scientists including 19 Nobel laureates and published in the American Humanist Association's newsletter The Humanist, of which Kurtz was editor.
According to Kurtz, the statement was sent to every newspaper in the United States and Canada. The positive reaction to this statement encouraged Kurtz to invite "as many skeptical researchers as could locate" to the 1976 conference with the aim of establishing a new organization dedicated to examining critically a wide range of paranormal claims. Among those invited were Martin Gardner, Ray Hyman, James Randi, Marcello Truzzi, all members of the Resources for the Scientific Evaluation of the Paranormal, a fledgling group with objectives similar to those CSI would subsequently adopt. RSEP disbanded and its members, along with others such as Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, B. F. Skinner, Philip J. Klass, joined Kurtz, Randi and Hyman to formally found the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Kurtz, Randi and Hyman took seats on the executive board. CSICOP was launched at a specially convened conference of the AHA on April 30 and May 1, 1976. CSICOP would be funded with sales of their magazine, Skeptical Inquirer.
According to the published correspondence between Gardner and Truzzi, disagreements over what CSICOP should be showed how volatile the beginnings of the organization were. Truzzi criticised CSICOP for "acted more like lawyers" taking on a position of dismissal before evaluating the claims, saying that CSICOP took a "debunking stance". Gardner on the other hand "opposed'believers' in the paranormal becoming CSICOP members" which Truzzi supported. Gardner felt that Truzzi "conferred too much respectability to nonsense"; the formal mission statement, approved in 2006 and still current, states:The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry promotes science and scientific inquiry, critical thinking, science education, the use of reason in examining important issues. It encourages the critical investigation of controversial or extraordinary claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community, the media, the public.
A shorter version of the mission statement appears in every issue: "... promotes scientific inquiry, critical investigation, the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims." A previous mission statement referred to "investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims", but the 2006 change recognized and ratified a wider purview for CSI and its magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, that includes "new sciencerelated issues at the intersection of science and public concerns, while not ignoring core topics". A history of the first two decades is available in The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal published in 1998 by S. I. editor Kendrick Frazier. In 2018, Frazier reemphasized the importance of the Committee's work by saying that "e need independent, evidence-based, science-based critical investigation and inquiry ow more than at any other time in our history." Paul Kurtz was inspired by the 1949 Belgian organization Comité Para, whose full name was Comité Belge pour l'Investigation Scientifique des Phénomènes Réputés Paranormaux.
In 1976, the proposed name was "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and Other Phenomena", shortened to "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal." The initial acronym, "CSICP" was difficult to pronounce and so was changed to "CSICOP." According to James Alcock, it was never intended to be "Psi Cop", a nickname that some of the group's detractors adopted. In November 2006, CSICOP further shortened its name to "Committee for Skeptical Inquiry", pronounced C-S-I; the reasons for the change were to create a name, shorter, more "media-friendly", to remove "paranormal" from the name, to reflect more the actual scope of the organization with its broader focus on critical thinking and rationality in general, because "it includes the root words of our magazine's title, the Skeptical Inquirer". In order to carry out its mission, the Committee "maintains a network of people interested in critically examining paranormal, fringe science, other claims, in contributing to consumer education.
Fantasy Island is an American television series that aired on the ABC network from 1977 to 1984. It starred Ricardo Montalbán as the mysterious Mr. Roarke, who grants the fantasies of visitors to the island for a price; the series was created by Gene Levitt. A revival of the series aired on the same network 14 years during the 1998–1999 season. Before it became a television series, Fantasy Island was introduced to viewers in 1977 and 1978 through two made-for-television films. Airing from 1978 to 1984, the original series starred Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke, the enigmatic overseer of a mysterious island somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, where people from all walks of life could come and live out their fantasies, albeit for a price. Roarke was known for his white suit and cultured demeanor, was accompanied by an energetic sidekick, Tattoo. Tattoo would run up the main bell tower to ring the bell and shout "Ze plane! Ze plane!" to announce the arrival of a new set of guests at the beginning of each episode.
This line, shown at the beginning of the series' credits, became an unlikely catchphrase because of Villechaize's spirited delivery and French accent. In seasons, he would arrive in his personal go-kart, sized for him, recklessly drive to join Roarke for the visitor reception while the staff scrambled to get out of his way. From 1981 to 1982, Wendy Schaal joined the cast as a beautiful brown-eyed blonde assistant named Julie; the producers dismissed Villechaize from the series before the 1983–1984 season, which ended up being its last, Tattoo was replaced by a more sedate butler type named Lawrence, who pressed an electronic button to ring the bell rather than climb the tower himself. A Grumman Widgeon aircraft was used for the series. Just prior to the guests debarking from the plane, Mr. Roarke would address his assembling employees with the phrase "Smiles, everyone! Smiles!". As each visitor exited the plane, Roarke would describe to Tattoo the nature of their fantasy with a cryptic comment suggesting the person's fantasy will not turn out as they expected.
Roarke would welcome his guests by lifting his glass and saying: "My dear guests, I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island." This toast was followed with a warm smile but sometimes his eyes would show concern or worry for a guest's safety. Little is known about the man known only as Mr. Roarke. Many people close to him, including past lovers, have referred to him only as "Roarke", he is the sole proprietor of Fantasy Island. Roarke's actual age is a complete mystery. In the pilot film, he comments how the guests who come to his island are "so mortal" and there are hints throughout the series that suggest Roarke may be immortal. In "Elizabeth", a woman from Roarke's past appears, but it is revealed that she died over 300 years ago. Other episodes suggests that he was friends with Helen of Cleopatra; however old he is, Roarke has come to know many seemingly-immortal beings over his time on Earth, including ghosts, a genie, the mermaid Princess Nyah, the goddess Aphrodite, Uriel the Angel of Death.
In "The Devil and Mandy Breem" and "The Devil and Mr. Roarke", Roarke faces the Devil who has come to the island to challenge him for either a guest's immortal soul or his, it is mentioned this is not the first time they have confronted each other and Mr. Roarke has always been the winner. In the second story, the Devil was one of the island's guests, claiming he was only there to relax and had no interest in Roarke's soul at the time. However, this turned out to be yet another ruse. Roarke had a strong moral code, he tried to teach his guests important life lessons through the medium of their fantasies in a manner that exposes the errors of their ways, on occasions when the island hosted terminally ill guests he would allow them to live out one last wish. Roarke's fantasies were not without peril, but the greatest danger came from the guests themselves. In some cases, people were killed due to their own aggression or arrogance; when necessary, Roarke would directly intervene when the fantasy became dangerous to the guest: For instance in one episode when Tattoo was given his own fantasy as a birthday gift, which ended up with him being chased by hostile natives in canoes, Mr. Roarke appeared in a motorboat, snared Tattoo's canoe with a grappling hook and towed it away at high speed to help him escape.
Another instance was in "The Victim" where a female guest seeking to fall in love with her dream man ends up as one of his sex slaves. When she and her fellow slaves managed to get free, they are saved by Mr. Roarke and Tattoo who have arrived with the police who arrest the two men responsible. Another instance was in the 1980 episode "With Affection, Jack the Ripper" when a female guest intent on researching Jack the Ripper's crimes was sent back in time to that of 1888 London and would have become one of the Ripper's victims had not Mr. Roarke physically intervened. With only a few exceptions, Roarke always made it quite clear that he was powerless to stop a fantasy once it had begun and that guests must play them out to their conclusion. In seasons, there were supernatural overtones. Roarke seemed to have his own supernatural powers of some sort, although it was never explained how this came to be. In the episodes "Reprisal" and "The Power" he temporarily gave th