Magic lifts the spirits. Read the rest
Pedro Volta, an escape artist from northern Spain, was paying tribute to Houdini at an international magic festival near Madrid by trying to get out of a water tank while wearing a strait jacket. In the video, it's not clear at first that he is struggling, but he later told reporters that he had trouble with a buckle to release his arms. "I made an effort and managed to release the buckle but the energy and oxygen used in doing so was too much."
It wasn't until he lost consciousness and his body went limp that onlookers realized he was in serious trouble and people rushed to rescue him. Once they lifted him out he quickly regained consciousness.
This weekend I'm camping in a secret location with a bunch of nutty geniuses. Two of them are Jon Wee and Owen Morse, a comedy juggling team who work together as The Passing Zone. They're performing Saturday night, September 8, 2018, at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in St. Joseph MN, not far from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Read the rest
Netflix has a new magic six-part series called Magic For Humans. The show's star, magician Justin Willman, worked with an audience to help him pull off the trick in this clip. Working together, they make two guys believe they've become invisible, and they really, really do believe they can't be seen. (I was a little worried about the second guy. I think "being invisible" broke his brain.)
“When I was a kid I put a tooth under my pillow, went to sleep, and in the morning there was money there. That tangible evidence was more than enough proof to make me believe in the tooth fairy. To find out how far I could take that premise, I set up a large flash-mob style social experiment all to convince one guy he had turned invisible.” - Justin Willman.
New PhD student Samuel Gillis Hogan and colleagues at the University of Exeter are launching a deep study of 15-17th century spell books to understand how people attempted to summon fairies throughout history.
"Fairies were thought of as wondrous and beautiful, but mostly dangerous. But people wanted to summon them and harness that power for their own gain," Hogan told the BBC.
Hogan, a lifelong fan of the supernatural (see photo above) and, yes, Harry Potter, received a fellowship to move to the UK after completing his master's degree at the University of Saskatchewan. His thesis topic? The history of chiromancy, aka palm reading.
From the Canadian Press:
Gillis Hogan said taking a closer look at the magic people believed in gives us an intimate window into how they understood the world.
The way we see the world now, he noted, is just one perspective among many.
“I think that should give us a bit more pause when we have a tendency to look at past cultures, or even other cultures than our own that exist right now, and look down our noses at it as being backwards or strange.”
Last week, Aretha Franklin died at the age of 76 in her hometown of Detroit.
On Tuesday, during a pregame moment of silence at Detroit's Comerica Park dedicated to her memory, a full rainbow appeared.
Some pictures say it all. pic.twitter.com/abFKT7gsQM
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 21, 2018
According to his website, Ryan Hayashi is the "world's most famous samurai entertainer." He's also a helluva magician, as evidenced by this video. In it, he performs a mind-blowing coin trick act (at times one handed!) that leaves both Penn and Teller left wondering what they just watched. The best part of the video might be when Hayashi, a fan of the magic duo since he was a boy, is given the big F.U. award at the end. I don't think he can believe that his childhood heroes have just acknowledged his skill.
There's nothing like a bloodless decapitation to get someone's attention. Read the rest
A Fata Morgana is a spectacular optical illusion in which you may see boats floating above the sea or city skylines in the clouds. (The term is named after the Arthurian sorceress Morgan le Fay as her castle was said to hover above the coast of Sicily.) In the video below, Seeker explains the science behind the magic.
(via Daily Grail)
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Actor Harry Anderson, best known for presiding over NBC's 'Night Court,' has died. He was 65. Read the rest
This elegant, yet faux-distressed set of playing cards is just lovely.
A bit more shocking, while every bit as lovely as the Arch Angels or Skulls I have been using, these offer a bit more a gonzo element. Perfect for magic, this is a deck of US Playing Cards with the Bicycle Airflow finish.
Red provides a nice change from the black and white I've been so focused on.
Images via Amazon Read the rest
This purple and black deck of cards is absolutely lovely.
I like to tell myself that decks with lovely and unexpected art work distract people from mistakes as I'm performing sleight of hand. Mostly, I just like fancy decks of cards.
Image courtesy Amazon.com Read the rest