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article imageReview: Breaking the Magician's Code

By Alexander Baron     Sep 24, 2013 in Entertainment
The Internet has revealed many uncomfortable truths and exposed many a crook, big and small. There is though one group of people who might rightly take umbrage at being exposed: magicians.
In Exodus, the second book of the Bible, there is a passage in which Aaron throws down his staff in front of the Pharoah, and it turns into a snake. What is the response of the wise men and sorcerers of Egypt? Suppressing a yawn, they repeat the trick. This may have been the reason so many people were unimpressed with the great JC when he began performing his miracles before admiring crowds. Even two thousand years ago, they'd seen it all before.
That being said, stage magic, sleight of hand and illusions have long had the capacity to instill wonder in us lesser mortals, and magic tricks and acts can be found especially on many video sites. So now can the secrets behind them.
We begin with one of the simplest yet most spectacular tricks in the magician's repertoire, the vanishing handkerchief. It's so simple that even Uri Geller has been known to use its prop now and again. Here is a somewhat garrulous young fellow explaining it in around three minutes. And just in case Tim Wise is reading this, white privilege has nothing to do with it. Here is a young Asian kid performing the same trick with the same flesh coloured prop but without the verbosity.
Levitation is likewise one of the most spectacular tricks any magician can perform, and there is more than one way to do it. Here is professional magician Criss Angel explaining one way. If that is impressive, how about a real Biblical trick? Here is the famous Masked Magician walking on water. Here he is again materialising a fully grown elephant in an empty parking lot. More impressive than a handkerchief, eh? But can he make it vanish again? There is actually a trick that involves just that. This was performed by the legendary Houdini; here is some fascinating background to this together with a few words of warning about the so-called supernatural.
There are also less sophisticated versions of the parking lot trick that can be done in a fairly small room without either an elephant or a bus load of "volunteers".
Quick change magic can be extremely impressive; this video has been annotated by someone who thinks he may have solved most but not all of the amazing changes performed here. Did you notice by the way the woman's hair also changes colour?
Finally, one of the latest uploads is by one of those smart kids you probably know from school. Here he is passing a coin through a balloon. Or is he? Here is another and even more impressive version of the same trick using a mobile phone instead of a coin.
Now you know that ordinary people even the very young can perform dazzling magic tricks, there is no need for you to fall for scam artists like psychics ever again. Is there?
More about Magic, magician's code, Levitation, vanishing handkerchief, vanishing elephant
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