Playing cards for marijuana enthusiasts

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Neither of these decks are smokable, but they bring two of my favorite things together: weed and magic! For sleigh of hand, and other tricks, I always prefer the Bicycle brand cards, but the rolling paper inspired cards are fun as well.

Bicycle's Hemp Deck has a hemp leaf on the back, but the cards are made of your typical US Playing Cards stock and finish.

RAW rolling papers aren't as iconic as Zig-Zag, but if you want to tell a joint rolling story to accompany a magic trick, this deck'll help convince people they are looking at something special. They also come with a bracelet.

RAW Rolling Paper Playing Cards via Amazon

Bicycle Hemp Deck Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

A better vanish technique

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Andy from The Jerx points out that the traditional conjurer's technique of tapping once, twice, thrice-and-VANISH is a fundamentally unsound way to do a vanish, because you're showing the audience what the tap looks like when you're doing doing the move, and no matter how much you practice that move, you'll do something a little different that third time. Read the rest

Just look at this magic chexmix-filled banana

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Just look at it. Read the rest

Long-lost H.P. Lovecraft manuscript found

Photograph: David Linsell

The Cancer of Superstition, a non-fiction treatise commissioned from author H.P. Lovecraft, was found in a memorabilia collection in a defunct magic shop.

Magician Harry Houdini asked Lovecraft to ghostwrite the text for a book project, but died shortly thereafter. Now it goes to auction.

The collection bounced around after Beatrice Houdini’s death in 1943 and was never truly catalogued or ‘mined’ in all that time. The papers were never researched or inventoried,” said Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri. “In all that time, no one seemed to realise the significance of the manuscript.”

Fajuri said the collection was recently bought privately, and when “the new owner began sorting through the mountain of paperwork, he began putting the pieces together, and in the process discovered the manuscript and its significance”

From the excerpts, it sounds exactly as you'd imagine a Lovecraft text about superstition to sound ('superstition is an “inborn inclination” that “persists only through mental indolence”' etc). There is some debate over the authorship, with S.T. Joshi identifying CM Eddy. If you want it, expect to pay $25,000-$40,000 for it. Read the rest

How to do impromptu magic tricks without being a dork

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If you're like me, you've learned a few "everyday magic" tricks that you can do with things normal humans carry around in their pockets, and if you're like me, you've discovered that it's hard to casually do an awesome, perfectly practiced trick without being kind of socially awkward and dorky. Read the rest

House resolution to recognize magic as national treasure

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US Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) introduced a House resolution to recognize magic as a "rare and valuable art form and national treasure." Yesterday, the bill (H.Res.642) was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Here is the Resolution of H.Res.642:

Whereas magic is an art form with the unique power and potential to impact the lives of all people;

Whereas magic enables people to experience the impossible;

Whereas magic is used to inspire and bring wonder and happiness to others;

Whereas magic has had a significant impact on other art forms;

Whereas magic, like the great art forms of dance, literature, theater, film, and the visual arts, allows people to experience something that transcends the written word;

Whereas many technological advances can be directly traced to the influential work of magicians;

Whereas futurist Arthur C. Clarke claimed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic;

Whereas one of the greatest artists of all time, Leonardo da Vinci, was inspired by magic and co-wrote one of the very first books on magic in the late 15th century;

Whereas modern cinema would not exist today without the innovative work of the accomplished magician Georges Méliès;

Whereas magicians are visual storytellers who seamlessly interweave elements of mystery, wonder, emotion, and expression;

Whereas magic is an outstanding artistic model of individual expression;

Whereas magic fulfills some of the highest ideals and aspirations of our country by encouraging people to question what they believe and see;

Whereas magic is a unifying force across cultural, religious, ethnic, and age differences in our diverse Nation;

Whereas magic is an art that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary;

Whereas the American magicians Harry Houdini and David Copperfield have been the most successful magicians of the past two centuries;

Whereas David Copperfield, introduced to magic as a boy growing up in New Jersey, has been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress;

Whereas David Copperfield, with 21 Emmy Awards, 11 Guinness World Records, and over four billion dollars in ticket sales, has impacted every aspect of the global entertainment industry;

Whereas David Copperfield, through his magic, inspires great positive change in the lives of Americans;

Whereas people consistently leave David Copperfield’s live magic show with a different perspective than when they entered;

Whereas Rebecca Brown of Portland, Oregon, left a David Copperfield magic show with a newfound inspiration to pursue her lifelong, unfulfilled passion for dance;

Whereas three months after Rebecca Brown attended the David Copperfield magic show, she performed her first choreographed recital in Portland, Oregon’s Pioneer Square;

Whereas programs such as Project Magic, created by David Copperfield, use magic as a form of therapy for children with physical, psychological, and social disabilities;

Whereas learning magic through programs such as Project Magic can help these children improve their physical and mental dexterity and increase their confidence;

Whereas learning magic through programs such as Project Magic helps these children realize that they are no longer less able than their peers;

Whereas programs such as Project Magic teach these children that they are more capable and have a newfound ability to do what others cannot;

Whereas cities such as Wylie, Texas, and its mayor, Eric Hogue, recognize and promote the art of magic with official proclamations, summer educational programs, and the first festival dedicated to the art of magic in the State of Texas;

Whereas Mayor Eric Hogue, who learned the art of magic as a child, continues to use those skills to teach elementary school students about the different roles and responsibilities of local government;

Whereas magic is timeless in appeal and requires only the capacity to dream;

Whereas magic transcends any barrier of race, religion, language, or culture;

Whereas magic has not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance;

Whereas there is not an effective national effort to support and preserve magic;

Whereas documentation and archival support required by such a great art form has yet to be systematically applied to the field of magic; and

Whereas it is in the best interest of the national welfare to preserve and celebrate the unique art form of magic: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure; and

(2) supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.

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A magic trick to try at the beach

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On The Jerx (previously), "Andy" describes a fantastic magic trick that you can only pull off under very special circumstances: a day at the beach. Read the rest

Thieves saw through bike-racks, cover the cuts with tape, wait for bikes to be locked to them

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PC Mark McKay, a police officer in Camberwell, London, tweeted this warning to locals to beware of bike racks that thieves have sawn through and camouflaged with gaffer tape; once the bikes are locked up, the thieves return, remove the tape, and make off with the bikes. Read the rest

Very black Bicycle playing cards

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Black decks of cards certainly get a lot of attention. This Bicycle reversed deck may is my current favorite. They rule, even outside of a 90s dance club!

The stark contrast over the reversed rider back, and the super black faces of the cards is wonderful. The deck comes with a blank, and a double sided ace of spades.

Bicycle Black Reversed Back Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

Amazing optical illusion makes black and white image appear color

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Stare at the dot. Enjoy the magic! (via r/gifs) Read the rest

An adorable magic trick

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(Thanks, Dimitrios!) Read the rest

How to make your shoelaces appear to tie themselves

A delightful and simple illusion. (DaveHax)

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A quick "fuck you" of a card trick

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Card manipulator Alix Becle:

A video posted by Alix Becle (@alixbcl) on Jan 2, 2016 at 7:16am PST

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The story of magic: how narrative destroys conjurers' effects, or elevates them to transcendence

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The Jerx is an anonymous, iconoclastic blog written by a heterodox magician who holds his fellow magicians in disdain for their terrible storytelling skills. Read the rest

Bicycle Big Foot playing cards

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I figured Pesco might enjoy my magic tricks more, if I was using Bicycle's Big Foot deck.

The backs on this deck are just lovely. An absolutely homage to the Bicycle Rider Back, but done with Big Foot. Each face card is an illustration of a specialized, geographical Big Foot, and you'll rapidly learn the names from Ucu to California Desert Sasquatch. The numbered cards each include some Big Foot trivia!

I'm trying to come up with a Yeti themed trick!

Bicycle Bigfoot Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

REVEALED: the trick behind magicians' baffling coin-vanishes

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The quickness of the hand deceives the eye. Read the rest

Podcast episode about creativity, paradox, and what if questions

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Last month I attended a lecture by David Ben, and became an instant fan. He's a fascinating Toronto-based magician and the co-founder of Magicana, a "not-for-profit organization dedicated to exploration and advancement of magic as a performing art." In this episode of the Face2Face podcast, Ben talks about his lifelong obsession with magic, creativity, paradox, and what if questions. Read the rest

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