Harry Anderson, TV's 'Night Court' star, has died at 65 in Asheville, N.C.

Actor Harry Anderson, best known for presiding over NBC's 'Night Court,' has died. He was 65. Read the rest

Short film about an incredible 19-year-old card magician, Franco Pascali

There are two kinds of magic tricks. One kind makes the spectator think: "That magician must have a lot of skill to pull off such a difficult trick." The other kind makes the spectator think: "That was impossible." I saw Pascali perform at the Magic Castle in Hollywood last year, and he does impossible magic. Enjoy this brief film about Pascali, directed by Jacob Rosenberg.

When I met Franco Pascali, I was struck by how much I felt like I was meeting and hanging out with a young street skater. However, instead of witnessing skate tricks he destroyed me by his usage of cards. Much like the world of skateboarding that I was raised in, magic and cardistry are intensely personal and individually orientated in terms of the endless practice that is required to master them. Tricks are performed with decks and each person embodies a style that is distinctly their own. That style is reflective of the influences they devoured when they were coming up and their intrinsic sensibility that they develop as they mature. As I spent time with Franco I immediately wanted to point my camera at him to capture the way he dressed, the way he talked, the breathtaking way he moved cards and the feeling I had in encountering such raw talent. This is our first film.

Franco Pascali is 19 years-old and lives in Los Angeles. He is a director of magic at Theory11.

Photos by Stephen Vanasco Read the rest

Watch: Magician Cyril Takayama works the streets of Tokyo

Cyril Takayama is American-Japanese magician who started his career as a teenager busking on the streets of Shinjuku in Tokyo. Today he is regarded as one of the best magicians in the world. The entire one-hour video above is worth watching, but I've queued it to his signature card-through-the-window trick.

[via] Read the rest

What magicians, con-artists, and scammers can teach us about humility and humanity

Before we had names for them or a science to study their impact, the people who could claim the most expertise on biases, fallacies, heuristics and all the other recently popularized quirks of human reasoning were scam artists, con artists, and magicians.