Illusion and Magic

Blog Posts

The Best Trick Wins the War

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Illusion and Magic, Political Pranks, Prank News, Propaganda and Disinformation, Sociology and Psychology of Pranks

Infaltable decoys come of age with military sleight of hand. [Thanks Peter M.]


“A New Weapon In Russia’s Arsenal – And It’s Inflatable”
by Andrew E. Kramer
October 12, 2016
The New York Times

russianmilitarydecoysDeep in the Russian countryside, the grass sways in a late-summer breeze. In the distance, the sun glistens off the golden spires of a village church. It is, to all appearances, a typically Russian scene of imperturbable rural tranquillity.

Until a sleek MIG-31 fighter jet suddenly appears in a field, its muscular, stubby wings spreading to reveal their trademark red star insignia. A few moments later, a missile launcher pops up beside it.

Cars on a nearby road pull over, the drivers gaping in amazement at what appear to be fearsome weapons, encountered so unexpectedly in this serene spot. And then, as quickly as they appeared, the jet and missile launcher vanish.

“If you study the major battles of history, you see that trickery wins every time,” Aleksei A. Komarov, the military engineer in charge of this sleight of hand, said with a sly smile. “Nobody ever wins honestly.” Read more.


Now You See the Louvre Pyramid, Now You Don’t

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Filed under: Art Pranks, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, Illusion and Magic

“JR at The Louvre” at Musée du Louvre, Paris from May 25 – June 28, 2016, presented by French Street Artist JR


This Summer, the Louvre’s Pyramid Will “Disappear”
By Erin Blakemore
Smithsonian.com
March 15, 2016

A French street artist promises a tantalizing trick of the eye

Louvre Pyramid

I.M. Pei’s grand pyramid brought controversy, modernity and a new entrance to the Louvre. But is it time for the pyramid to disappear? Kind of: As Henri Neuendorf reports for artnet News, a French artist will eliminate the pyramid through a mind-bending optical illusion this summer. Read the full story here.


How to Fakebook Your Vacation

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic, Media Pranks

Dutch Girl Fakes a Trip to South East Asia
by Will Jones
GapYear.com
September 9, 2014

Fakebooking taken to a new level on this ‘gap year’ in South East Asia

Fakebooking Your Vacation

If you’ve ever spent a rainy evening thumbing through your Facebook newsfeed glaring with scarcely controllable envy at the seemingly endless torrent of pictures posted by unbearably smug friends who are backpacking through some country with scenes so vibrant you wonder if the saturation setting on your screen is faulty, relax.

It could all be a backpack of lies.

For five weeks Dutch student Zilla van den Born subjected her Facebook friends to the above, claiming to be travelling around South East Asia, when in reality she had never left her home city of Amsterdam. She went to extraordinary lengths to perpetuate the illusion, which was fed to her friends and family alike. The only person who knew the truth was her boyfriend.

During her 42 day ‘break’ she did all the things you would expect of someone in her position.
(more…)

World’s Fastest Sex Change

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic

Criss Angel BeLIEve: Criss Rips Bodies Apart (On Spike)

Criss Angel BeLIEve

Watch the video:

Make-up Art To Die For

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic, Parody

Join Me In Death, by Ignacio Espejo on DeviantArt:


joinmeindeath-425

via BoingBoing

Fake Nature Footage

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic

From Joe King:


Nature scenes filmed in ‘controlled conditions’, BBC admits after cameraman says small animal footage was ‘faked’
by Liam O’Brien
Independent.co.uk
October 8, 2013

Doug Allen said the infamous Frozen Planet polar bear incident wasn’t the only specially-arranged shot on a BBC wildlife show

bbcnature-425

Scenes involving small mammals on the BBC’s flagship nature programmes were faked, according to a cameraman who worked on Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet.

Speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Doug Allen claimed that filming animals “smaller than a baby rabbit” necessitates a specially set stage.

Following the claim, The BBC said animals were sometimes filmed in “controlled conditions” to accommodate the careful consideration of “animal welfare, health and safety, practical factors and the biological accuracy of the story”.

The corporation said such scenes were “recreated to be as close to the natural setting as possible”.

The biggest controversy surrounding faked footage came in 2011, when it emerged that Frozen Planet’s scenes of a polar bear and her newborn cubs were actually filmed in a zoo.

Sir David Attenborough defended the scenes at the time, saying that flagging up the fact that some parts of the programme were filmed in a controlled environment would “ruin” the atmosphere. (more…)

Unnatural Nature

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Illusion and Magic

Pseudo-nature Photographers translated a Chinese article that analyzes the ethics of a certain form of macro nature photography, a large amount of which emanates from Indonesia. The original author is not known, however the content is riveting. Here’s a sampling of photos from the article.

frogsumbrellas

frogs1

frogs2

More photos here and here.

Related links:

A Fake Makes it to the Smithsonian’s Photo Contest Finalists, Scientific American

Macro Photography Ethics, sgmacro.blogspot.com

6 Famous Documentaries That Were Shockingly Full of Crap

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Hype, Illusion and Magic

6 Famous Documentaries That Were Shockingly Full of Crap
by Amanda Mannen
Cracked.com
August 12, 2013

200154-425

On some level, we all know that almost everything we see at the movies is bullshit, from the amount of bullets a person can take without dying to what the job of pizza delivery boy actually entails. Except documentaries. Documentaries are where we turn off the snark and open our minds to learn about distant lands, alarming realities, and how much McDonald’s a dude can eat.

However, it turns out that some of the most acclaimed documentaries ever are about as real as Borat.

Read the full story about Super Size Me, Waiting for “Superman”, Religulous, Searching for Sugar Man, Winged Migration & Nanook of the North!

Digital Beer You Can Actually Drink

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic

From Chris: At last, a sensible use of an iPad!


iPad Beer at Hofbraeuhaus with Simon Pierro


Patrick Hruby on Sports Conspiracy Theories

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Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Illusion and Magic

The Truth Is Out There: From The 1985 NBA Draft Lottery To The Olympics To Game-Fixing … Which Conspiracy Theory Can You Believe?
by Patrick Hruby
The Post Game
May 30, 2012

“You know,” says the magician, “it’s very easy to fix flipping a coin.” For instance: The tosses before football games. Turns out they’re totally riggable. Even with a straight coin. Con men know how. So does the magician, Richard Kaufman. He’s in his 50s, has dark, curly hair, works as the editor of Genii, the nation’s leading magic magazine. Specializes in card tricks. Only now, here in the sunlit kitchen of his suburban Washington, D.C. home, he’s talking tumbling coins.

Heads or tails. Even odds. As indifferent as the universe itself, like the flips that sent Lew Alcindor to the Milwaukee Bucks, Bill Walton to the Portland Trail Blazers, Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon to the Houston Rockets.

Unless …

(more…)

Dynamo Walking on Water

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic, Publicity Stunts

The Magician Dynamo Walks on Water:

Read more about this here.

Marco Tempest: A Magical Tale (with Augmented Reality)

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Filed under: Illusion and Magic

From TED TALKS about the role of the magician as storyteller, exploiting the way audiences think, and about why it’s fun to be fooled.


Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity — all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.

A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini.

Related link:

  • iPhone Magic
  • , by Marco Tempest, July 7, 2007

    LG Optimus Hyper Facade event in Germany

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic, Publicity Stunts

    From Cheryl: 3D marketing stunt in Berlin from LG for the Optimus…



    John Chamberlain, R.I.P.

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    John Chamberlain, Who Wrested Rough Magic From Scrap Metal, Dies at 84
    by Randy Kennedy
    The New York Times
    December 21, 2011

    John Chamberlain, who almost singlehandedly gave automotive metal a place in the history of sculpture, smashing and twisting together a poetic fusion of Abstract Expressionism and Pop from fenders, fins, bumpers and hoods, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 84.

    His wife, Prudence Fairweather, announced his death but declined to give a cause. He had spent his last years mostly in Shelter Island, N.Y.

    In a restless career of almost half a century, Mr. Chamberlain worked with a broad range of materials, some as pliant as foam rubber and as ephemeral as brown paper bags. But he returned again and again to the more substantial stuff of the scrap yard, explaining the attraction as one of practicality. “I saw all this material just lying around against buildings, and it was in color,” he said, “so I felt I was ahead on two counts.” (more…)

    3D Printing 101

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    From Linda as seen on teleomorph.com: Magical engineering…


    Scan and print industrial tools with moving parts in minutes. Great introductory video to 3D printing: