These cards are for throwing

These Banshee playing cards are made for throwing!

Made of plastic, heavier and stiffer than my normal US Playing Cards Bicycle 808 style decks, the Banshee cards sail through the air. The cards also have some cuts in their face to make them scream!

Made of tougher stuff, these cards last a lot longer than a paper deck and are a bit easier to learn with. You will need to practice, however, these cards do not instantly imbue you with skill.

Talk about useful skills to have at a party!

Banshees: Cards for Throwing via Amazon Read the rest

Tiny magic shop on roadside in Arizona

Emory Williams Sr., 82, has been performing magic for 70 years. He owns and operates a tiny roadside magic shop east of Tucson, Arizona. Scott Craven of the Arizona Republic profiled Williams, and took photos of his place. He also took a video of Williams performing a trick.

Calling it a shop is giving it the benefit of the doubt. It is nothing like the store the 82-year-old once owned in Tucson. That brick-and-mortar spot held more than 6,000 tricks in roughly 2,000 square feet, a destination for amateur and professional magicians throughout southern Arizona.

This shop, parked on a dusty gravel lot roughly 50 feet back from the road, is a 13-foot by 18-foot trailer, modified with solar panels providing power to the TV, radio, computer and air conditioner. Inside are 1,000 tricks and novelties. Some visitors can’t quite believe what they are seeing, as if the bold black letters that say “Magic Shop” must be, well, an illusion.

But it's no mirage, as shown by the tourists who stop just long enough to take a photo, as if Instagram posts could pay Williams' bills.

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Teller on how magicians "alter your perceptions"

Teller, the silent half of the Penn & Teller magic act, explains seven cognitive biases that magicians exploit in order to "alter the perceptions" of their audiences and achieve impossible-seeming feats. Read the rest

Why magicians should never snap their fingers as part of a trick

Andy from The Jerx (previously) continues to develop the theory of "audience-centered magic" with an excellent post on the deficiencies of snapping one's fingers to mark the moment at which some magic effect is meant to be happening. Read the rest

The Haunted Mansion Ghost Post wins a Themed Entertainment Award!

When I wrote about the Haunted Mansion loot crates ("Ghost Post") last March, what I couldn't say was that I was a writer on the project, penning the radio scripts, newspapers, letters, and associated gubbins and scraps that went along with the three boxes of custom-made props and merch, tying them together into a series of puzzles that the boxes' 999 owners solved together over the internet. Read the rest

Beyond Brookledge, May 19-21st at the iconic Mission Inn

Erika Larsen curates the best live shows I have ever seen. Bob Self puts on the most amazing events. Once a year the two of them throw Beyond Brookledge, an amazing private weekend of magic and mayhem. Read the rest

That jumbo size deck of cards you've been needing

Doesn't everybody need a jumbo sized deck of cards?

These are great for the jumbo sized magic tricks I'm playing with

Gameland Super Jumbo Playing Cards (Humongous 8-1/4" x 11-3/4" Cards) via Amazon Read the rest

10 easy toothpick magic tricks

Magician and magic instructor Evan Era of EvanEraTV demonstrates 10 easy toothpick tricks to impress your kids, your friends, or just yourself. Read the rest

Towards an empirical theory of performing Tenyo tricks and other magic gadgets

For decades, the Japanese magic trick company Tenyo has delighted amateur conjurers with their little magic gimmicks, which can be very clever indeed, but which are nearly guaranteed to fall flat when performed for friends and strangers. Read the rest

Get yourself thrown out of this show, if you can

In & Of Itself is the fantastic brainchild of three-time Academy of Magical Arts Award winner Derek DelGuadio. Though it stopped running in Los Angeles a few months ago, the lucky folks in New York will have 10 weeks to catch it at Union Square's Daryl Roth Theatre from April 5 - June 18.  A few months ago a good friend took me and the next block of 48 hours was filled with surges of amazement, fear, pride and relief - and I guarantee that my experience was different from the other attendees. Read the rest

Some delightfully sweet Valentine's magic for you to perform

Andy from The Jerx (previously) shows how you can use Thomas Bloomberg's Konami Code effect (which allows the performer to force an observer to pick a certain square in a grid, despite a seeming free choice) to perform a baffling and delightful effect using a box of assorted chocolates this Valentine's Day. Read the rest

This Wand Remote makes couch surfing magical again

Do you remember the first time you used a remote control on your television set or favorite toy? It was incredible right? I can honestly say that making my sister believe I had telekinetic powers was fantastic! But as I’ve accumulated more and more remote controls in my life, I’ve become jaded. 

And then, I got a package from The Wand Company that brought back my old feelings of wonder.

Do I care that my wife won’t touch it because it makes her feel silly? Of course not - it just means more magical gestures for me.  Now, to turn on my TV, I swipe the wand from vertical to horizontal position and to increase the volume, I simply point it at my receiver and twist.

The Kymera Wand has 13 slots into which infrared commands can be stored, and the beautiful thing is that it’ll control ANY infrared device. Right now, I’m only using 4 of the 13 slots and I can’t wait to fill the rest up.

PROSGreat packagingEasy to SetupMakes you feel like a wizardEveryone (except for my wife) loves it

CONSSometimes you need to repeat a flourish in order to send the proper signal to the target, but the same thing happens with my regular remotes.The wand is made of plastic and would feel much better if it was made out of mahogany and crystal - but then again, the price would be sky high.The Apple TV interface doesn’t lend itself well to the Kymera wand because there are so many flourishes needed to get from the home-screen to the episodes you want to watch. Read the rest

Watch Zach Mueller's card wizardry from California

Cardistry wizard Zach Mueller works his magic on the Santa Monica Pier. Special guest appearance by cardist CJ Ocampo.

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Magician tricks doggie

This little dog patiently waits for its treat, but its impish human companion would rather trick it. Read the rest

Meet Elliott Terral, Director of Magic

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

A magician debunks the Great Wall of Drumpf

MagicPeaceLove writes, "Magician Justin Willman makes the case for why Donald Trump's proposed border wall between America and Mexico is a bad idea -- physically, emotionally, spiritually and (of course!) magically." Read the rest

Daniel Martin Diaz's new art show inspired by science and magic opens in San Francisco tonight

My friend Daniel Martin Diaz's exquisite paintings lie at the intersection of science, art, and magic to provoke questions about technology, physics, theories of mind, and the nature of reality. He has an exhibition of spectacular new works opening in San Francisco today at the wonderful science/nature/curiosity shop Paxton Gate. The show is titled titled "Atomic Enlightenment." Indeed. Get illuminated.

Daniel writes:

Over the past few years, I have become immersed in scientific and philosophical concepts, such as Anatomy, Computer Science, Math, Cosmology, Biology, Quantum Physics, and Consciousness. I have been particularly fascinated with scientific diagrams, which explain theories and properties through imagery. Although these rudimentary images are without any leanings towards aesthetics, I find them to be beautiful, though that is not the intention. All of the projects I have created begin as drawings, which I feel has a beauty and intimacy that painting cannot capture. The subtle lines that graphite creates, and the quickness in which one can capture an idea makes this medium alluring.

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