Archive for November, 2009

‘CIA Manual’ impresses book columnists

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The magic community isn’t the only group to be intrigued with a book about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and its hiring of an illusionist. Book columnists are captivated, too.

The book is “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception Declassified,” compiled by H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace. Wired News featured a brief writeup of the book and how it was linked to the agency’s efforts at mind control.

The Boston Globe posted its story of the title almost a month ago, and also put together this great image gallery. The Globe coverage was also praised in a review from the L.A. Times, which is intrigued with the book’s connections to the Cold War.

No ninjas, but plenty of eel on Japan tour

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Lee Asher has sent us the third video-diary installment of his Japanese lecture tour. The video includes a bad joke based off a Michael Jackson song, a rickshaw tour, some more tasty sushi, an awesomely named train and a magic bar. Man, do we need more magic bars stateside.

Give crowd a twist with Titanas’ new effect

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Allow us to recommend an alternate, less rude way to give your spectators the finger. They won’t be insulted, but they will stare with disbelief…

With Twist, Titanas has created a sickeningly realistic effect that lets you twist your finger in a way fingers shouldn’t be twisted. A gross feast for the eyes and ears, your spectators will hear and see you twist a finger 180 degrees.

Yes, we said “hear.” Twist (a.k.a. Titan’s Finger) packs an audible crunch as you perform it (not as loud as portrayed in that video, but you’ll hear it). Here’s how it works: Show them your index finger. Breathe deeply, because this is going to hurt. Then twist like your index finger is the starter on your car, and you’re revving it up. You’ll move your hand away and they will see your fingernail IN A PLACE IT JUST SHOULDN’T BE. Then, with another gag-inducing pop, you’ll move your finger back and show your hands completely clean.

  • Twist is easy and painless. Perform it with the appearance of as much pain as you like.
  • Twist involves no palming, pulls or must-ditch doodads.
  • You’ll end as clean as you start, which — judging from the trailer — is pretty flippin’ clean.
  • Twist is practical and angle-proof for most normal performances.

Twist will fingerpoint your audience toward a darker place. It’s also easy to do: No palming, pulls or ditchable doodads here. Just a simple, clever gimmick engineered by Mark Allen. It works with fingers of all sizes and colors. With minimal setup and practice, you will grab all of your spectators’ eyeballs with just one finger.

Twist is the latest offering from the Paul Harris Presents line, so you know it’s solid. Check out more right about here. Oh, there’s some blatant, misleading copy on that page: It says it will be released in December, but it will be available this week. Sorry about that.

Classic vid: Martin amazes as ‘Flydini’

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

We browse the ‘net like you wouldn’t believe and find all kinds of stuff. Check out this classic video that Brad found — it features Steve Martin on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Awesome stuff… bet you never thought of doing the egg basket this way.

McBride’s Wonderground to return to Vegas

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

As promised: Jeff McBride is bringing back the Wonderground to Vegas.

The club offered a unique magic nightlife experience after McBride’s Vegas show, but he put it on hiatus and took it with him through an Asian tour. It featured magic, dancing, a live DJ, performance art and much more.

Wonderground will be held at 8 p.m. every third Thursday at The Olive (McBride’s favorite Mediterranean restaurant and hookah bar). It will include magic, variety, performance art, DJ Master Diaz, the Mojo A Go-Go Girls and close-up magic performed by students of McBride’s magic school. If you can’t make it, you can always watch it.