Review: Skull card deck by Bicycle

As skulls are a beloved design motif at Boing Boing, it is no wonder this deck quickly became a favorite!

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Andrew Mayne: magician, maker, and the author of five bestselling mystery and thriller novels


Our guest on the Cool Tools Show this week is Andrew Mayne. He is a magician, maker, and the author of five bestselling mystery and thriller novels. He’s the star of A&E's magic reality show Don't Trust Andrew Mayne, and he’s worked for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine. His latest book is a thriller titled Name of the Devil.

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Would you like to learn from Andrew how to invent and make cool stuff? You can! Register here to join us at Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder.

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A $5 magnetic ring for magicians

Strong Magnetic Ring

For $5 this simple ring, with some elvish-style script, is a pretty strong magnet!

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"I do magic tricks and hammer nails up my nose" - the life of a magician/sideshow performer


"There was a whole line of women in my dating life who refused to date me because I was a magician." Read the rest

Bicycle's Tragic Royalty playing cards


The delightfully expressive, quasi-macabre faces on Bicycle's Tragic Royalty deck also glow under blacklight.

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Purple Bicycle Riderback 808s with a double backer

Because purple is an awfully great color.

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The Haunted Key, repeatable magic

The Haunted Key is one of the few tricks I can perform over and over without getting caught.

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Bicycle Spectrum deck

The beautiful Spectrum deck, by Bicycle, with 52 different colored backs, is wonderful for magicians and terrible for card games.

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Magic trick: The Bite Out Quarter

Impress your friends by taking a bite out of a normal seeming US Quarter! This simple trick is such fun!

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Gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo at London's South Bank Centre

Mat Ricardo sez, "Completely thrilled to announce that, in what must surely be some kind of administrative error, my one man show 'Showman' will have a three night run at The Purcell Room in London's South Bank Centre on the 19th, 20th & 21st of January." Read the rest

Turn a balloon into a phone case in seconds

Woosung An demonstrates an excellent technique for adding a layer of rubber protection to your phone in seconds, by deflating a balloon around it. Read the rest

Beautiful brain images take over Times Square

Brain City, this beautiful film by Noah Hutton made from neuroimagery collected at leading brain science labs, will screen in New York City just before midnight on Times Square's massive electronic billboards every night this month. Read the rest

Teller's latest video about living in a zombie world

Since 2008 Teller (Penn's partner) has been making a video show about living in a zombie infested world. His latest episode, the fifth in the series, was posted today. Read the rest

Our Magic: Documentary about magic, by magicians

Our Magic is a feature documentary that pays homage to an ancient and mostly underground performing art, piercing through the thick layer of commonly held stereotypes. By Ferdinando Buscema

History of the Ouija Board

In 1891, Kennard Novelty Company, makers of the first commercial talking board, needed a name for their product, so they asked the board to name itself. Smithsonian's Linda Rodriguez McRobbie looks at "The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board." Above, my favorite Ouija Board moment in film. From Smithsonian:

Contrary to popular belief, “Ouija” is not a combination of the French for “yes,” oui, and the German ja. (Ouija historian Robert) Murch says, based on his research, it was (Kennard Novelty Company co-founder) Elijah Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters (who was, Bond said, a “strong medium”), who supplied the now instantly recognizable handle. Sitting around the table, they asked the board what they should call it; the name “Ouija” came through and, when they asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good luck.” Eerie and cryptic—but for the fact that Peters acknowledged that she was wearing a locket bearing the picture of a woman, the name “Ouija” above her head. That’s the story that emerged from the Ouija founders’ letters; it’s very possible that the woman in the locket was famous author and popular women’s rights activist Ouida, whom Peters admired, and that “Ouija” was just a misreading of that.

The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board" Read the rest

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