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September 2006
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21 entries from October 2006

Le Googlie

I was browsing through a certain magic website (I won't name it or you may be tempted to look it up and cheat) and I clicked the button to have Google translate it from French to English for me. Google does many things extremely well... translation is not one of them. It got me thinking though, can you identify any of the following well known magic effects from the Google interpreter's descriptions of them?

ITEM #1
An effect which will delight all the public ones! You present an empty paper bag at your public. Without any handling nor suspect gestures, you leave three enormous there limp transparent containing two splendid flowers!

ITEM #2

You receive: swell it, it stem, it black scarf. Short very to start to work this traditional of conjuring.

ITEM #3

A duck with appearance silver walk like any other duck with appearance, only difference it is metallized from top to bottom, it is not more need for oiled.

ITEM #4

The traditional scarf supports throat is proposed to you in red scarf of size 45cm x 45cm, supports it throat is black.

ITEM #5

Great classic of the magic! The bag is of a very beautiful realization, it makes neither “gadget”, nor faked and will allow you to carry out your routines as well in closed-up in living room/scene.

ITEM #6

Ideal for a specatcle of scene, living room. “Master key passes bottle” will emrveillera the large ones and small all while amusing them.

ITEM #7

Become thanks to this play a virtuoso of ornament in chart.

ITEM #8

The charts of handling Norm Nielsen are fine, flexible. They have a back color pulpit. It is ideal to hide any overflow of chart.

ITEM #9

This article enables you to reveal a pink of nowhere, either directly at sight, or with wire flash, a scarf, etc…

ITEM #10 (I think they gave up trying to translate this one!)

Come directly from Japan, here Handy! This hand kellar has come interest to d´avoir the fingers drawn aside, d´être provided d´un system allowing you l´acrocher, to easily take down it with l´endroit your choice.


JB, you've done it again!

MinidiscYesterday the prediction that Minidiscs are on the way out really hit home. I went into JBHiFi at the Northland Homemaker Centre and asked the girl behind the counter for some blank Minidiscs. She said, "For your camera?" I said "No, they're for my Minidisc player, it's an audio device." She said "They're for your camera, I'll take you to the camera department."

I tried to protest but she'd already left the counter and headed off to the back of the store. I followed her and she left me with the camera lady. I said "I don't know why I've been brought here, I just want to get some blank Minidiscs". The lady said nothing, but lead me back to the front counter and pointed out the very small stack of Minidiscs tucked amongst the recordable CDs.

Now I know how it must have felt all those years ago to go into a video store and ask to buy a blank Beta tape....


Two Negatives & One Overwhelming Positive

Last week we got an invitation to be guests at a magic convention in China. Unfortunately, we already had gigs booked on two of the days involved, but I called the agents to check just in case. On one day, the gig was still happening... they thought... because the person who booked it had left the company so nothing would be clear for a week or so at least... hmmmm. The other gig was definitely on, assured the agent. So it was no go to China.

A few days later I did a site check for the venue of "the other gig". The venue owners kept asking me about where I'd be patching in my keyboard, and asking me not to be too loud on the night etc. They mentioned the name of the contact they'd been dealing with and, because I knew her, I gave her a call. She was representing the client and she assured me the client had not booked our act (simply no room in the venue to have our large show). I explained that I had a contract... with the agent, and she explained the client had no contract with the agent. I asked her to get the client to call the agent and sort it out. Sure enough the next day I got a call from the agent apologising and saying that the gig was cancelled.

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Also last month we were approached to supply magicians around Australia for the launch of a new high-end perfume with a magic theme. We gave them several proposals at different levels but, in the end, they said it was out of their budget. I wondered what budget they had to work with... A few weeks later I found out when a colleague told me that her male model friend was asked to do a card trick for a gig where he's handing out new perfume samples. Yep. They hired a male model at $50 an hour and THEN told him "by the way, you need to do some magic as well."

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As irritating as these little things are in our day to day life, they are really nothing when compared to one overwhelming positive. Three days ago Tammii and Tim You became the proud parents of baby Jasmine Star. When you see the joy of a brand new life, full of hope and possibilities, and the transformations it makes in the lives of those around it, it really helps you put things into perspective.


Derren Brown - The Greatest Mentalist Ever

I don't know if you caught it, 10.30pm last night on UKTV, but they played two episodes of Derren Brown's series 'Trick of The Mind'. After watching Derren cause an orchestra to play a tune a conductor was merely thinking of, and later turn himself invisible... I can honestly say Derren Brown IS the greatest mentalist ever.

Not only am I in admiration of his ability to come up with methods for these effects that are totally confounding, but I am amazed that he can even think up the plots for the effects. True artistry in every sense of the word.

If you've never seen Derren Brown, tune in Sunday night, 10.30pm, UKTV.

Alternatively, take a look at some clips of him in action on YouTube here.

And here's the scene from last night's show where he becomes invisible, truly magic!


Spin Doctor At Work

Brendan Croft pointed this out to me. The following statement is from a company that ADMITS to having ripped off another product (the Wizard PK Ring) but then goes on to say:

Note on Competition & Rip-Offs

Our guess is you are an educated consumer or you would not be reading this.

There are a number of products on the market that can serve you well just like our ring. After all, your goal is to produce wonderful PK effects for your audience. In this respect, what you need is the best ring that suits you and your act.

One, which you may already be aware of is called the Wizard PK Ring. Without question, it was the first 100% Neodymium ring marketed for the magic community, but obviously not the first magnetic ring of its kind.

To suggest that we or indeed Jim "invented" these rings would be an illusion at best. What Jim deserves credit for is his foresight to bring this product (one used in another area) over to the Magic community. For that, we are grateful and we wish him and others like him well.

But the fact is that the alternative health community has been producing, marketing, and using these rings for over a decade and EVERY product can be improved upon. Our particular manufacturer has been producing variations of our models for over FIVE years and still we made improvements.


Yes, we did directly challenge the PK Wizard Ring because it is the most visible one in the magic market. That is business and it is also the reason why you might drive a Porsche instead of a Ford, wear Calvin Klein jeans instead of Levis, use Dove soap instead of Coast, and drink Pepsi instead of Coke.

To suggest otherwise is not only myopic but hypocritical. You deserve the best product at the best price coupled with phenomenal customer services. Our goal is to do just that regardless of politics. Competition is a good thing.

Why settle for the status quo? If you demand the best quality at a great price with wonderful customer service, someone will rise to the challenge. We have and we challenge Jim and every other magic manufacturer to do the same thing: make improvements, grow, build on ideas, and the Magic Community will be the benefactors.

So in a nutshell, we should not be punishing them for stealing another person's idea and riding on the coat-tails of his success... we should be THANKING them for it!

Your thoughts???


Prison Break LIVE!

The current big attraction at Melbourne's Luna Park is the walk-through 'Prison Break Live!'. Having done 'The Mummy Returns' walk-through at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast a few years ago, which I was told was created by the same company, I was quite excited about this and dragged quite a few people down to St Kilda to do the 'Prison Break Live!'.

It costs $8.50, which seemed reasonable, and the wait in line wasn't too long. But, to be honest, it was a huge let down in comparison to 'Mummy'.

We were sent into the large marquee in small groups, single file, hands on the shoulders of the person in front of us. We went inside after being eyeballed by a prison guard at the entrance, then another, much meaner prison guard gave us a briefing explaining that visiting hours were almost over, and if we don't touch the prisoners... they won't touch us.

Inside we went and, basically, that was it. The interior of the marquee was and mirror and mesh fence maze, filled with haze and strobe lighting, and random scary looking prisoners jumping out and scaring us.

Then we found the exit and it was over.

Regardless, here's an interesting article about the Australian creator of 'Prison Break Live!'