Video: fantastic playing card flourishes

Captivating montage of playing card flourishes recorded in Singapore.

Video: Ferdinando Buscema on "The Magic of Breaking Ideas"

At the recent TEDxCaFoscariU in Venice, our co-conspirator Ferdinando Buscema, magician/author/engineer, explores "The Magic of Breaking Ideas." And don't miss Ferdinando's Boing Boing feature, "The Magic of Hacking Reality!"

Tablecloth trick++

Mat Ricardo improves on his signature tablecloth trick (in which he puts the tablecloth back under the place-settings) with a new trick that's quite a stunner!

The Magician and the Cardsharp: The Search for America's Greatest Sleight-of-Hand Artist

A Gweek listener recommended The Magician and the Cardsharp to me (I can't remember who - sorry!) and I'm thankful he did. It's a well-told story about two men with intersecting lifelong goals. The first man was Allen Kennedy (1865–1961) a professional card cheat who spent many years perfecting his technique to deal cards from the center of the deck undetected. The second man was Dai Vernon (1894–1992), one of the most highly-respected sleight-of-hand magicians in history.

Vernon, who worked as a silhouette cutter in department stores, had been interested in card tricks (especially ones involving sleight-of-hand) since childhood. By the time he was an adult, he'd gained a reputation for being one of the best card handlers in the world. From time-to-time, Vernon would heard rumors that there was a professional cardsharp somewhere in Missouri who'd mastered the mythical Center Deal, a move that almost every magician dismissed as an impossible fantasy.

Vernon had his doubts too, but the rumors continued to spread, and his curiosity got the better of him. He embarked on a years-long quest, involving much travel and encounters with scary characters, to find out if there really was someone who had invented an undetectable center deal and, if he existed, to convince the man to teach him how it was done. This book is not only the story of Vernon's search for, and eventual meeting with, the man behind the rumor, it is also a history of the American midwest's rough-and-tumble past, replete with illegal gambling dens, speakeasies, con-men, whorehouses, and mobsters. Author Karl Johnson does a fine job of bringing the dusty, dangerous, boisterous, exciting atmosphere of small city vice to life.

The Magician and the Cardsharp

Video below shows a sample of the genius of Dai Vernon:

The magic of hacking reality

As humans, we search for ways to escape reality. For centuries, magicians have fucked our minds in the blink of an eye. Magic experience designer Ferdinando Buscema tells us how.

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Slo-mo yo-yo trick: uh-oh!

Showman Mat Ricardo sends us "a little clip of one of the new tricks in the 2014 tour of my one man show 'Showman.' We've been touring it around the world over the last year, and can't wait to return for a limited run at the Edinburgh Fringe in August."

Ventriloquism's past and present

155264560 ventriloquist dummy in dolls bears

At The Wire, performance artist Sarah Angliss explores the weird history and present state of ventriloquism, from the 16th century exorcism of a demonic dummy to Angliss's own robotic stage companions.

Crowdfunding to send injured "How to Cheat at Everything" author to UK for free healthcare


I've written over the years about Simon Lovell's How to Cheat at Everything, a must-read encyclopedia of cons.

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Huge crop circle in Italy

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This magnificent crop circle appeared last night in Poirino, Italy.

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Pesco speaking at WebVisions Barcelona on June 21

Cabinet of Curiosities 1690s Domenico Remps

I'm thrilled to be speaking about the intersection of science, art, and magic on Saturday, June 21, at the WebVisions Barcelona conference taking place 6/19 - 6/21!

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Pesco speaking in Barcelona in June

Cabinet of Curiosities 1690s Domenico Remps

I'll be speaking at WebVisions in Barcelona, June 19-21, about "Science, Art, and Magic"; please come if you're in the area!

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Video: stunning art installation of thread and light

Video of a magical architectural installation of an illuminated web of threads, titled "Line Segments Space" (2013), by Seoul design studio Kimchi and Chips.

The Oversight: conspiracies, magic, and the end of the world

The clever blendings of history and imagination in Charlie Fletcher’s new novel are satisfying enough to make resolution of its loose ends worth waiting for, writes Cory Doctorow

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Magical ring juggling

Hypnotic and astonishing contact juggling of rings by Lindzee Poi.

Magician makes dogs' treats vanish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okuwB9zrncg

Magician Jose Ahonen confounds canines with some sleight of hand. "By the way, all the dogs got treats before and after the trick," states the video description on YouTube.