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

World's Most Useless Machine, now with more uselessness

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I could watch this all day.

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Crazy tricks by guy wearing inline skates on his hands

Mirko Hanßen puts inline skates on his hands and insanity ensues. (YouTube via Laughing Squid)

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Watch this ice cream vendor in Turkey blow tourists' minds with magic

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This sidewalk sweets vendor in Istanbul loves playing tricks on customers. Watch one of them turn the tables on him.

5 videos that prove helium makes opera singing more fun to listen to

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No, really. Read the rest

Watch how some restaurants sneakily craft “steaks” from lesser parts using “meat glue”

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Some lower-quality eateries are actually passing off 'formed steaks' melded from lower-quality scraps as the real deal. Here's how they do it.

WATCH: New episode of 10 Amazing Bets You Will Always Win

I love Richard Wiseman's "10 Amazing Bets You Will Always Win" videos. Here's #12 in the series! Read the rest

Video: billiards trick shots

Amazing trick shots by Ziemowit Janaszek. Read the rest

Eugene A. Zanger, master cup flipper and roadside attraction proprietor

Last weekend, my family had a wonderful meal at Casa de Fruta, an RV resort, motel, candy shop, wine store, gas station, and restaurant in the Pacheco Valley of Northern California. There is also an operational scale model train for the kiddos to ride. The terrific painting at right hangs in the restaurant. I posted it to my Instagram feed and included the full caption of the plaque above it: "Eugene A. Zanger, co-owner of Casa de Fruita, flipped over 3 million cups 1969-1999. Appeared on David Letterman Show 12/23/87. Enjoying retirement." Above is video of Mr. Zanger's appearance on Letterman. Read the rest

Preload YouTube videos

ISP throttling YouTube half the time? Proxy IP-blocking tricks not working anymore? Here's the latest incantation to get video running. [Lifehacker] Read the rest

Win a lobster in classic lobster claw game

We've all played one of those arcade "claw" games where a mechanical lobster claw is rigged to let go of prizes. But have you ever played with the prizes being live lobsters? [The Atlantic] Read the rest

The tech secrets behind advertising food porn

How do they capture slow-motion footage of beer as it sensually swirls in a glass? Where do videos of liquid chocolate splashing in dark ripples come from? Smithsonian has an answer, with a long video about a company that builds the high-speed cameras (and fake stage food) behind the commercials that make you thirsty and hungry. Read the rest

Science tricks to impress/distract your family

This morning, NPR brought on Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, of the depressingly small House Civility Caucus, to offer advice on how to defuse the now-traditional Thanksgiving political spat. As you might suspect, given the Civility Caucus' record of success, this was not the world's most helpful interview.

Probably the best bit of advice Congresswoman Capito had was to offer up a distraction when things get too tense. "It may be the perfect time to bring in dessert, she says, or to announce that someone should take the family dog out for a walk."

I've got a better suggestion. Every year, Richard Wiseman releases a set of easy-to-do and highly impressive science stunts that you can perform using things you probably already have around the house.

My suggestion: Combine Capito's awkward segue with Wiseman's awesome tricks. Not only will you actually get your family focused on a new topic, they might even be delighted enough that they decide to ignore the fact that you just passive-aggressived them out of a heated debate. Happy holidays! Read the rest