A flurry of quick hits to start your day:
- Magic helped cure an addiction to poker, and gave a new career to a Colorado resident. KUSA-TV featured this report on Chris Kobayashi, (pictured, above) a former University of Northern Colorado student who has now become a magic inventor. He used to spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about the game from the night before, until a friend at a party showed him a life-changing bill switch.
- “The Great Buck Howard” got its first screening last week in New York City. The movie, directed by Sean McGinly, is the story of a mentalist trying to revive his career. The mentalist character is loosely based off of The Amazing Kreskin (McGinly and Kreskin are featured in this podcast on iTricks). There’s some weirdness, however: Tom Hanks loved the script so much that he muscled in to play a father character alongside his real son, Colin Hanks.
- The tributes pour in for magician Ali Bongo, who died last week. Paul Daniels wrote in the Guardian why Bongo was one of the greatest. A close friend said he could turn anyone into a star.
- The Independent has an interesting report cast in its “Big Question” feature. Stemming from Bongo’s death, the report asks what the next big step for magic is. The whole article is interesting, but it features this gem near the end:
Can it really be possible to keep tricks a secret in the internet age? In a word, no. Even the Magic Circle agrees with Mulder and Scully’s X-Files thesis: the truth is most definitely out there. But in a bizarre quirk of human nature it seems audiences are not greatly interested in unravelling the great mysteries of magic in cyberspace, preferring instead to enjoy the illusion as spectacle and entertainment when it is served up before them – just as they have done for centuries.