Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

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Richard Kaufman
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Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 22nd, 2010, 7:43 pm

Just had an e-mail from Meir Yedid with the sad news that Martin Gardner died yesterday at the age of 95. There will be no formal service.

I knew Martin well from hanging around up at Tannen's as a kid, and when I approached him about doing a big companion book to The Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic, which would eventually be called "Martin Gardner Presents," he was enthusiastic and worked very hard on the project.

He was an extraordinary man: intelligent, kind, and with little patience for [censored]. He saw and thought clearly.
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » May 22nd, 2010, 7:51 pm

That's a drag; another great mind lost. But, at 95, what a great run he had!

My condolences to his family and friends.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Diamond Jim Tyler » May 22nd, 2010, 9:13 pm

He started off as a mentor from his books and later became a friend that I would visit frequently at his place or chat on the phone with. I will miss him dearly.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 22nd, 2010, 11:05 pm

Also posted this over in "greenland" -

He leaves behind an invisible city where paths crafted of words permit travel from our mundane world up, across Plato's Divided Line, into and around some of the wonders discovered in Mathematics.

Who knows, some of them may have read the Italo Calvio book and recall the Allegory of the Cave.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Descartes » May 22nd, 2010, 11:16 pm

There's hardly a word about his death on google news. I would have expected some news outlet to report on this. Martin Gardner was well known for much more than his magical contributions (most notably for his recreational mathematics contributions). Another great intellect passes on.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Meir Yedid » May 23rd, 2010, 1:53 am

For the official Associated Press obituary go to:

Associated Press Obituary http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100523/ap_ ... _gardner_3

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » May 23rd, 2010, 2:41 am

There is nothing more to say save for the obvious. We've lost one of our great thinkers.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby mrgoat » May 23rd, 2010, 5:26 am

Sad day.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby CardioloJest » May 23rd, 2010, 5:42 am

Prolific mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner, known for popularizing recreational mathematics and debunking paranormal claims, died Saturday. He was 95.
Gardner died Saturday after a brief illness at Norman Regional Hospital, said his son James Gardner. He had been living at an assisted living facility in Norman.
Martin Gardner was born in 1914 in Tulsa, Okla., and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy at the University of Chicago.
He became a freelance writer, and in the 1950s wrote features and stories for several children's magazines. His creation of paper-folding puzzles led to his publication in Scientific American magazine, where he wrote his "Mathematical Games" column for 25 years.
The column introduced the public to puzzles and concepts such as fractals and Chinese tangram puzzles, as well as the work of artist M.C. Escher.
Allyn Jackson, deputy editor of Notices, a journal of the American Mathematical Society, wrote in 2005 that Gardner "opened the eyes of the general public to the beauty and fascination of mathematics and inspired many to go on to make the subject their life's work."
Jackson said Gardner's "crystalline prose, always enlightening, never pedantic, set a new standard for high quality mathematical popularization."
The mathematics society awarded him its Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition in 1987 for his work on math, particularly his Scientific American column.
"He was a renaissance man who built new ideas through words, numbers and puzzles," his son, a professor of special education at the University of Oklahoma, told The Associated Press.
Gardner also became known as a skeptic of the paranormal and wrote columns for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He wrote works debunking public figures such as psychic Uri Geller, who gained fame for claiming to bend spoons with his mind.
Most recently he wrote a feature published in Skeptical Inquirer's March/April on Oprah Winfrey's New Age interests.
Former magician James Randi, now a writer and investigator of paranormal claims, paid tribute to Gardner on his website Saturday, calling his colleague and longtime friend "a very bright spot in my firmament."
He ended his Scientific American column in 1981 and retired to Hendersonville, N.C. Gardner continued to write, and in 2002 moved to Norman, where his son lives.
Gardner wrote more than 50 books.
Gardner was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte. Besides James Gardner, he is survived by another son, Tom, of Asheville, N.C.


NOTE FROM RK: THIS IS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS OBIT AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN CREDITED AS SUCH.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Doug Thornton » May 23rd, 2010, 7:49 am

Very sad to hear this.
When I was young I loved to take out puzzle books from the library. Mr. Gardner's books were my favorites. Later when I learned that Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic was compiled by the same man, it was quite a revelation.
Not to mention his thoughts on philosophy and life. Genius that inspires.
Thank you, Mr. Gardner.
My condolences to his family.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Tom Frame » May 23rd, 2010, 11:14 am

Very sad news indeed.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Mats Kjellstrom » May 23rd, 2010, 2:33 pm

I love his books, they changed a lot in my life.
Not long time ago I had a vivid chat with a math guy and that was about Mr Gardner...

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby mai-ling » May 23rd, 2010, 4:16 pm

our condolences to his family.
my father told me more about him a few
years ago when i showed him the
make magazine he was in.
you will remember my name
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » May 23rd, 2010, 5:33 pm

Diamond Jim Tyler wrote:Here is a show I found on Youtube called Martin Gardner: The Nature of Things in five parts:


I found this ion one complete and uninterrupted video and posted it at www.MagicNewswire.com this morning

It is approx 45 minutes long and very well done.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 23rd, 2010, 6:54 pm

Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Bob Farmer » May 23rd, 2010, 7:56 pm

I once called Martin late at night -- immersed in the research I was doing, I had lost track of time. We talked for about half an hour on the 10-Card Deal (he had published the early work) -- and then he said he'd turn on the light and look something up -- only then did I realize it was so late and I must have wakened him. He was a great guy, even to eager, time-challenged magicians.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 23rd, 2010, 11:15 pm

NY Times obit (which has more mentions of magic than any other I've read so far):
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/us/24gardner.html?hpw
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Matthew Field
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Matthew Field » May 24th, 2010, 6:20 am

In the 1980s I recorded a radio series with the publisher of Scientific American magazine which was distributed to about 150 stations nationwide. I didn't get paid any extra for doing the series, and I asked the publisher, Gerard Piel, if he might be able to arrange for me to meet Martin Gardner, who was writing the Mathemnatical Recreations column and whom I very much admired. The publisher (Gerard Piel) said it would not be possible. Mr. Gardner did not take meetings with people arranged by the magazine.

Richard Kaufman did give me a chance to be associated with Mr. Gardner, when I edited "Martin Gardner Presents." That remains one of the great experiences in my life.

A great man with an enquiring mind. He will be missed.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby 000 » May 24th, 2010, 7:11 am

He wrote a lot on Magic Squares for said publication.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Diamond Jim Tyler » May 24th, 2010, 11:33 am

Here is a somewhat recent picture of Martin sitting in front of his famous domino portrait and holding his best-selling book of all time.

[img:center]http://www.squaring.net/history_theory/gfx/martin-gardner-annotated-alice.jpg[/img]
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 24th, 2010, 1:12 pm

Jeez, Matt: if you wanted to meet Martin, all you had to do was ask me!
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Geno Munari » May 24th, 2010, 6:29 pm

I am really sorry to hear of his passing. I was so appreciative of his willingness to be involved with The Expert project. I will always remember him.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Bill Mullins » May 24th, 2010, 6:47 pm

I wrote a short note about him on another forum:
HERE.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » May 24th, 2010, 7:06 pm

Here's an essay that was just posted in Scientific American which was originally read at the first Gathering For Gardner and was reprinted with the permission of Douglas Hofstadter : www.bit.ly/SAGardner

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » May 24th, 2010, 7:09 pm

Here an show from NPR: www.n.pr/NPRGardner

Michele Norris talks to Dana Richards, professor of computer science at George Mason University, about the legacy of Martin Gardner. Gardner, who died over the weekend at the age of 95, wrote the column "Mathematical Games" for Scientific American, and introduced the public to a lot of new mathematical ideas.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Magic Newswire » May 24th, 2010, 7:10 pm

And one discussing the Gathering for Gardner here: www.bit.ly/GardnerNewScience

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Kevin Connolly » May 26th, 2010, 8:33 am

Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » May 26th, 2010, 1:48 pm

Anyone have a hi-res photo of Martin Gardner (color or black and white; any age) that they can e-mail to me for use in the Genii obit? Please send to moobooks@verizon.net ASAP. Thanks.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Richard Stokes » May 28th, 2010, 12:44 pm

I enjoyed his novel - The Flight of Peter Fromm - about a young priest who gradually loses his faith.

Magicians may not realise it but Gardner was the first outsider to publicise the revolutionary technique of public-key cryptography. In his Scientific American column (August 1977) he revealed to the world "A New Kind of Cipher that Would Take Millions of Years to Break".
Gardner was way ahead of the pack. That short tantalising article obsessed me for years...
Was there such a thing as a perfect unbreakable code? I delved into the whole field of modern cryptography from Bletchley Park to the NSA.
Little did I realise that the British experts at GCHQ had secretly developed the idea of public key cryptography five years before the American mathematicians!
But the Brits for reasons of national security were unable to take commercial advantage of their discoveries.
Ouch! The millions in lost royalties!

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Gerald Deutsch » May 29th, 2010, 5:00 pm

There's a nice piece about Martin Gardner in the June 7 issue of Time Magazine under "Milestones"

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby AnthonyBrahams » June 10th, 2010, 5:04 am

The Times (London) on Tuesday June 8th had the first page of it's obituary section (in "Register") devoted to Martin Gardner, with a large picture. May be accessible on Net via The Times.
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby AnthonyBrahams » June 10th, 2010, 8:21 am

Sorry, could not edit out the ' in "its" in my last post!
Anthony

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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Jim Martin » June 10th, 2010, 10:09 am

Thank you Anthony.

Here's the link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/commen ... 145560.ece
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Re: Sad News: Martin Gardner has Died

Postby Bill Mullins » June 10th, 2010, 7:11 pm

AnthonyBrahams wrote:The Times (London) on Tuesday June 8th had the first page of it's obituary section (in "Register") devoted to Martin Gardner, with a large picture. May be accessible on Net via The Times.


It's a nice article except for a dig at Americans and their religion.


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