29 July 2009

Spotlight on Penn Jillette

Yesterday, outspoken skeptic and atheist Penn Jillette made an apheresis platelet donation to United Blood Services in Las Vegas, a charitable act he practices often.

In fact, he and Teller host a blood drive - Penn & Teller's 13 Bloody Days of Xmas - every year.

SkeptiLove asked him if there's a particular reason why he donates blood so often.

I do it because it's a good thing to do. I'm also bone marrow typed, they asked me why I wanted to get that done and I was perplexed, 'To help?' I said. I guess most people don't think about it until someone in their family needs it. I said, 'I want to help some violent crack whore with my marrow.'

Take a page from Penn's book and donate blood. You can use this helpful search site to find a blood bank near you.

Also, if you missed my Warning Radio interview when it aired live, don't worry! You it has been uploaded, and you can listen to it now.


  1. Good on you, Penn! I donated blood myself this past Monday here in Oklahoma - pictures of the nasty swollen bruise I developed are on my Twitter feed @CelticGoddess13 for anyone who likes looking at bruises. I should add that I am absolutely TERRIFIED of needles, but I'm type O positive (almost-universal donor) so I try to get in to donate 3-4 times per year anyway - it's the right thing to do, so I do it (I'm a skeptic and an atheist). I'm also an organ donor, and I'd be willing to sign up and be typed as a bone marrow donor as well if someone can tell me how (I never thought of that, but I'm happy to help).

    I've also got a great story about the first time I ever donated (September 11, 2001, at a completely coincidental pre-planned blood drive at the University of Oklahoma, where I was a student at the time - that's Skeptilove, I think), if you're interested.

  2. Thanks and well done to everyone who donates, of course. But remember we can't all donate, sometimes for not very medically-sound reasons.

  3. Aside from saving lives, as a blood donor you also prove that you're clean of STDs and you care for other people, so it's a good place to pick up a date perhaps, and it's usually a good time spent when donating blood.

    As for bone marrow typing, marrow.org has plenty of information on that, and your local blood services can probably type you easily.

    Penn started me on donating blood, and I'm happy he got a spotlight for it.

  4. Sigh. Penn. He always makes my heart skip a beat! Very very cool!

  5. I've been donating for several years now. My big break was during college when I was so poor I had to sell my blood platlets twice a week for years. I donated whole blood a couple of weeks ago and try to donate as soon as I am eligible to donate each time. I am one away from either my fourth or fifth gallon donated.