Many of the guests who we interview at Big Think can be described as "giants" in their fields, but this week we actually hosted our tallest guest ever. John Amaechi, the 6'10" former basketball pro, made headlines in 2007 when he announced that he was gay—a first for the NBA. Amaechi is also one of a very small handful of basketball players with a Ph.D; he completed a graduate degree in psychology after retiring. During his interview, he spoke candidly about being gay in the NBA, about reconciling black identity and gay identity, and about the troubling lack of emotional illiteracy among adolescent males.
Mitch Horowitz, a scholar of all things esoteric, also came by the Big Think offices this week to regale us with stories of America's occult past. Because of its religious freedom, the United States became a laboratory for all sorts of religious and spiritual experiments, he told us. And that influence has reached as far as the White House: Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd are reported to have had more than one séance in the presidential abode, hoping to conjure the spirit of their dead son Willie. Horowitz also gave us an academic history of the Ouija board.