Meet Elliott Terral, Director of Magic

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Every now and then I meet people who seem to possess superhuman powers.  Elliott Terral is one of those individuals and his official title is Director of Magic at a company called Art of Magic

How cool is that?!

After speaking with Elliott for a few minutes, I asked if he was a performing magician to which he didn't answer.  Instead, he began patting down his pockets for a deck of cards.  I beat him to the punch and handed him my very own deck of Erdnase 1902 Green Acorn Playing Cards.  One thing to know about this deck, is that you either own it because you're a genius with a deck of cards, or you're a poser. 

And for the record, I am not a genius with a deck of cards.

Elliott took my fancy cards and did the impossible.  He showed me a King of Hearts and slowly flexed it back and forth as the card changed from king to an ace and then back again.  His movements were slow and it was real magic to everyone that was with me.  If you'd like to see the effect performed by the guy who invented it you can watch it here. 

And if you'd like to purchase the method, it's only $5.00 but you need to know it isn't a trick you can do just because you bought it.  There's a reason an "EXPERT LEVEL" descriptor is attached.  But the good news is that there are other effects and concepts on the website that are far more approachable and equally satisfying.  Read the rest

University student scientists study: "Who’s the best-equipped superhero?"

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University of Leicester students spent 7 years using math and physics principles to answer "Who’s the best-equipped superhero?" They've published a series of papers on the subject in the university's "Journal of Physics Special Topics" and "Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics." The answer? Superman, followed by Wolverine, Mystique and Thor. From the University of Leicester:

Whilst Black Bolt, ruler of the ‘Inhumans’, may be the most destructive of the superheroes (capable of planetary annihilation), the student work suggests that, based on the range of superpowers at his disposal and the only limiting factor seemingly being the planet’s Sun, the ‘Last Son of Krypton’ Superman is likely to be the best equipped to win in an epic clash between all of the studied superheroes.

Boasting a super-powered array of skills, Superman, if obeying the ‘Law of Energy Conservation’, could exhibit a calculated stored solar energy output of 7.07x105 Joules per second for his ‘Super Flare’ attack. It is also shown that the ‘Man of Steel’, in theory, could have higher density muscle tissue than the average human which could aid in several of his superhuman abilities.

This incredible display of power makes Superman the number one candidate for ‘most powerful superhero’.

Honourable mentions go out to X-Men duo Wolverine and Mystique who were close contenders for the title of world’s finest in the student papers with their multitude of mutant abilities – including increased regenerative capacity and, in the case of Mystique, a mastery of gene manipulation to aid in disguise.

The superhero Thor, based off of the Norse god of the same name, would also be one of the most formidable superheroes, having high energy efficiency and explosive powers.

Read the rest

The origin story of a fungal super hero

In comic books, radiation exposure always leads to awesome superpowers. In reality, not so much. Except in the case of Cladosporium cladosporioides, a fungus exposed to high doses of radiation during the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. Not only did C. cladosporioides survive it gained a superpower — the ability to "eat" radiation. Read the rest