[Houdini] took the scare away from what a lot of people felt about technology, by mastering it, by breaking the shackles, by defying natural laws, by doing something that seemed humanly impossible. But he was a human. He was a man, and he did it. It didnt happen in test tubes. It happened in front of them, and a man did it. That was rather assuring. That was rather comforting to the audience. At the same time, it mystified them. So there was this kind of odd dichotomy between being comforted by what they saw, and at the same time being totally in awe.