Blog Posts

James “The Amazing” Randi, RIP

Filed under: Illusion and Magic, Practical Jokes and Mischief, Prank News, The History of Pranks, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction, Urban Legends

The world of social activism has lost another warrior.

I had the pleasure of meeting James Randi, a magician and great debunker of fake psychics and other charlatans, in 1986 when we both appeared on The Afternoon Show, a San Francisco TV talk show on KPIX. We both performed magic tricks. He removed the male host’s watch from his wrist. I removed the female host’s panties. (Having prepared ahead of time to appear on the show along with him, I had hidden a pair of female panties in my pocket and pulled them out to top Randi’s magic trick.) Riotous laughter ensued.

He later was the narrator of an Arts & Entertainment documentary called Scams, Schemes and Scoundrels which covered numerous dead scoundrels and me. You can watch the clip here.

Read his Obit in The New York Times

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
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.

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:

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 …


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

    3D Printing 101

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    From Linda as seen on Magical engineering…

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

    More 3D Street Art

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

    Street artists step it up with 3D
    by Leslie Katz
    July 26, 2010

    You don’t need special glasses to view the 3D street art in the gallery below, but you do need to approach it from just the right vantage point to see or photograph the full effect.

    The mind-bending images are inspired by anamorphism, a centuries-old technique used in frescoes and other drawings to create the illusion of height and width (as such, 3D street painting is sometimes called anamorphic or illusionistic).

    Scroll through the pictures to view vivid imagery that turns 2D asphalt into amazing 3D art. (more…)

    The Magic of Liu Qian… Exposed

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    Filed under: How to Pull Off a Prank, Illusion and Magic, Instructionals

    An amazing magic trick performed on CCTV for Chinese New Year 2010:

    Liu Qian – Magic Show on 2010 Chinese New Year

    Within hours, the trick was exposed online. So much for the keeping the magic of the mystery!

    thanks Linda

    The Egg Trick

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    Johnny Carson and Dom DeLuise egg each other on…

    thanks Don

    The Science of Magic

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    The Science of Magic: Not Just Hocus-Pocus
    November 1, 2009

    Neuroscientists and Magicians Are Studying How Sleight of Hand Affects the Brain, and Its Potential to Diagnose Autism

    image5483766g-200Las Vegas can be a magical place. It certainly is for Penn and Teller, who have been performing magic in their own Las Vegas theatre for almost eight years.

    The house is packed every night – a testament to both Penn and Teller’s draw . . . and to the universal appeal of magic itself.

    “What makes for a successful trick?” Blackstone asked Teller, who never says a word on stage. He broke his silence for our interview (but insisted that we not show his moving lips).

    “The core of a successful trick is an interesting and beautiful idea,” he said, “that taps into something that you would like to have happen. One of the things we do in our live show is I squeeze handfuls of water and they turn into cascades of money. That’s an interesting and beautiful idea.

    “The deception is really secondary,” Teller said. “The idea is first, because the idea needs to capture your imagination.” (more…)

    Grandpa Japan

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    Filed under: Illusion and Magic

    Japanese illusionist/street magician at work:

    thanks Carol Lena