Drone filmmaker captures Children's Fairyland from the view of a flying fairy — and it's downright magical

There's still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy's-eye view of Children's Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California.

You might remember that when I'm not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL... months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at Fairyland. He wanted to know if he could come in and capture the park by drone. He showed us some of his work samples (um, wow) and told us he was a lifelong fan of the park. He also told us the finished product would be a gift to us, no strings attached. OF COURSE we said yes! Naturally, none of us realized at the time that it would be the first comprehensive look our community would get from inside the park for months. But that's part of what makes it extra special. We premiered the video on Thursday evening, with great success, as the "cherry on top" to our reopening fundraising announcement.

At my request, Stephen shared his inspiration and thoughts on creating this video:

I grew up in Oakland and went to Fairyland as a kid. Now I have two young kids of my own, so Fairyland is a really special place for me and my family.

I've been working as a professional photographer and filmmaker in the Bay Area for many years, and lately I've been experimenting with building and flying custom camera drones with amazing acrobatic capabilities for specialized filming applications.

Read the rest

North Korea state media officially admits that Kim Jong Un did not teleport or time travel

To my disappointment, North Korean state media stated that Kim Jong Un did not use his family's mastery of magic to teleport or time travel out of the public eye.

“In fact, people can’t disappear and reappear by folding space," stated a report in the Rodong Shinmun, the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. From Mysterious Universe:

Chukjibop, literally a “method of shrinking the earth,” is described as the ability to quickly move towards the blind spot of an enemy at a speed so fast that the attacker seems to temporarily disappear. The mythical version of a concept in East Asian martial arts has been attributed to several figures in Chinese and Japanese mythology, and more recently depicted in Japanese animation, or through the use of special effects in Chinese Kung Fu movies.

According to myth, [Kim Jong Un's grandfather] Kim Il Sung was able to use the chukjibop technique to win a battle against imperial Japanese soldiers during the time when Korea was a colony of Japan (1910-1945), when he was purportedly leading Korean guerillas in exile[...]

[Last week's] report marked the first time that state media flatly denied that a Kim family myth was true, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.

“We need to pay attention to the current leader’s denial of the mythification of his predecessors, including his criticism of them in October, at Mt. Kumgang,” a ministry official told reporters.

Read the rest

Ferdinando Buscema and Erik Davis on our pandemic house of cards

Boing Boing pals, magician Ferdinando Buscema and writer Erik Davis (High Weirdness), have created a really lovely and provocative little four-minute “visual meditation” based on the PK Dick essay, How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later

Ferdinando says he put the piece together "to alchemize the anxiety and distill something magical from unhappy times."

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Watch this wondrous "house of cards" illusion about COVID-19 and our tenuous realities

Magic experience designer Ferdinando Buscema and High Weirdness author Erik Davis, both Boing Boing contributors, created this wondrous illusion--a "visual meditation" on the ongoing pandemic, disorder, and the opportunity emerging from the entropy.

In the piece, Ferdinando manipulates the cards while Erik takes us on a trip with his words. Italian mentalist Francesco Tesei made the video with a soundtrack by Bluetech. Read the rest

How to make chocolate out of nothing

Fearful that I may run out of chocolate during the shelter-in-place mandate, I revisited Mariano Tomatis's demonstration of how to magically create chocolate out of nothing.

Here is his explanation of this wonderful phenomenon, known as a missing square or vanishing area puzzle. (Thanks, Ferdinando Buscema!) Read the rest

Behold, the "invisible" Rube Goldberg Machine!

But will it make breakfast? The fun starts at the 1:47 mark.

(Pee-wee Herman, Geekologie)

screenshot via YouTube Read the rest

"Pick a number and I'll guess it": the math behind the magic

On Vsauce2, Kevin Lieber explains the mathematical magic that enables mentalists to confound audiences by correctly guessing the number they've picked. Even though I know how it's done, it still confounds me.

Read the rest

Mark Mothersbaugh visits 'Other Side with Zabrecky'

This time, on Other Side, Zabrecky and Mark Mothersbaugh go in search of Oscar Kiss Maerth, author of The Beginning Was The End. Read the rest

Celebrate by watching the 'Other Side with Zabrecky Thanksgiving Marathon'

This holiday we are entertained!

The master magician who spends his spare time communicating with the dead, Rob Zabrecky, has decided to host a Thanksgiving Marathon of his amazing seance series 'Other Side with Zabrecky.'

A cavalcade of colorful characters join Zabrecky to contact spirits of their choice. Guests include Will Forte, Kate Flannery, Jack Black, Jeff Grossman, Neil Hamburger, Jason Sudeikis, and David Arquette. Also featured are two commercials, a mail bag episode, and lots of music by the band Monitor.

I understand Zabrecky hides secret messages in every video.

Read the rest

David Arquette and Zabrecky seek out "Macho Man" Randy Savage

David Arquette is my new fashion hero.

After you watch every episode of Other Side with Zabrecky, you will want to read his book. Read the rest

Watch Teller almost get SHOCKED by dangerous jugglers The Passing Zone, on 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us!'

This is a great clip. If you're into jugglers doing funny things or 500-volt stun guns, you're in for a treat. Read the rest

Incredible optical illusions

The brilliant optical illusions of stop motion animator Kevin Parry. Read the rest

Visualizing what happens when you shuffle a deck of cards

Nathan Davis writes, "When you shuffle a deck, it rearranges the order of the cards and I got wondering what that looked like. Read the rest

Footage of Houdini preparing for a straight jacket escape

Wild About Houdini shares the details of Houdini's suspended straight jacket escape in Los Angeles.

For years I've been trying to uncover details of Houdini's first suspended straitjacket escape in Los Angeles. While his 1923 escape is well represented in photos and newspaper clippings, his 1915 escape has proven strangely elusive. This would have been a major event with a massive crowd and snarled traffic, yet there's no mention of it in either the Los Angeles Times or the Herald. How could that be? If fact, the only clue that it ever happened at all is this short undated film clip:

This has been especially vexing as L.A. is my home and I've tasked myself with uncovering all the Houdini connections I can. I've actually been entertaining the idea that the above film is misidentified and there never was a 1915 Los Angeles escape. Maybe this is Oakland? We know Houdini did an escape there before coming to L.A.

But on a recent visit to the Magic Castle, librarian Joe Fox finally helped me crack the case. He showed me a flyer from the 1987 televised séance The Search For Houdini. Joe wondered if I had ever seen it. I told him had. In fact, I own one myself. But I haven't looked at it in years, so I popped it open anyway. There, much to my astonishment, was a paragraph about Houdini in Los Angeles with key details about the 1915 escape. As if to mock me, it referred to it as one of Houdini's "best documented" escapes.

Read the rest

Watch these cars and motorcycles drive into another dimension

Where they're going, they don't need roads. Read the rest

Penn Jillette remarks on (mostly phony) magic tricks in pop culture

"But remember, I lie."

In this video, legendary magician Penn Jillette watches clips from TV and movies that feature magic tricks of one kind or another, and then gives his honest opinion about what's actually going on. ("Instant Stooging" is totally going to be my next band's name.)

Why is he doing this? Well, Penn & Teller are teaching the art of magic in a new MasterClass (which looks terrific!).

Here's the full clip of him and Teller doing that magic trick upside down on Saturday Night Live that he talks about at the end of the video:

Read the rest

Watch: Magician performs close-up tricks at a maximum security prison

In the latest episode of Scam Nation, magician Nate Staniforth went to Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa to perform magic for the inmates.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

More posts