Brian Brushwood – Scams, Swindles and Skepticism

September 3, 2010


Brian Brushwood began his career in magic “To get free drinks at bars and impress friends,” but ended up becoming a science communicator and skeptic.

The author of Cheats, Cons, Swindles & Tricks: 57 Ways to Scam a Free Drink and The Professional’s Guide to Fire Eating, Brian is a “Bizarre Magician”. Making side show tricks cool again, Brian hammers nails into his head and eats fire in his “Bizarre Magic Show”, “America’s Number One College Magic Show”. He also communicates critical thinking to the college market in his lecture “Scams, Sasquatch and the Supernatural”

In this episode with host Karen Stollznow, Brian discusses outreach to this important yet often overlooked demographic. They discuss tertiary-level courses in skepticism and the paranormal, and whether there is “age appropriate skepticism”

Brian explains the stereotypes associated with magic and magicians, and how the “m-word” (magic) has stigmatized. He also discusses the negative connotations associated with the “s-word” (skeptic), and how to combat the image problems with guerilla skepticism, hidden beneath comedy and magic.

Brian is a prolific personality on various internet shows including the Brian Brushwood Live Show, the Weird Things podcast, and NSFW on This Week in Tech TV. But he is best known for his show Scam School. Usually the ones who expose scams, Brian tells us when the skeptics should be the scammers. In this “Mythbusters” for the pool shark crowd, Brian pulls street cons, swindles and scams in the name of skepticism.  

Links Mentioned in this Episode

Brian Brushwood: Bizarre Magic
Scam School
Folllow Brian on Twitter