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The mystery of magic


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I was thinking about different things today and came across a YouTube channel that teaches card and coin magic tricks. Have any of you guys dabbled in the art? Have you ever tried to figure out how they did it? Was there ever a moment when you thought you had it figured out but then they threw you off?

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I've always enjoyed magicians and even checked out a book in the library on how to do tricks as a kid, but didn't really learn anything.


Nowadays I still enjoy magicians, but spend most my time figuring out how they do it as they do their tricks. 

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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What I like the best is when a kid is skeptical and tries to ruin the trick but the magician gets them good. There's something really magical in seeing the faces of children reacting to magic. I guess it was from when I was a kid the arcade near my house was called Abra Cadabra, they would do magic shows instead of the animatronics. Merlin would amaze you while you ate pizza and then hit the games.

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About 20 years ago (seems like yesterday), I worked with a magician. He blew our minds for a couple of months until we finally wore him down & he started sharing some of the secrets with us. The joy was still there, especially watching when he would unleash some tricks on people that didn't know how it was done.


I've forgotten most of the specifics for the basic card tricks, although I still remember a couple.


I'm pretty sure the main reason my friends & I were so interested was seeing how it helped him talk to girls.  ;)

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I had the magic rings set when I was younger..... of course it was all in the slide-of-hand.....


Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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Had an aspiring magician phase somewhere in the pre-SW years (around '75).

Maybe it came from Bill Bixby's show The Magician, or the subsequent pop culture interest in the arcane which produced a plethora of comic books and toys on the subject, but I just had to try out all those card and prop tricks such as the one Dan posted above.


Started with card tricks, which eluded me in their need for slight of hand.


Got the Remco Magic Hat, which was terrific but had specific triggers to produce the desired effects.

This turned out not so good with a trick involving a disappearing glass of milk.

They shoulda put it down as water.


Also got a large Magic Box set which was amazing.

It had the glittery gold tubes, huge and tiny kerchiefs, a few extra large playing cards for spectacular reveals, trick cards that I actually managed to use properly a few times.


The best thing in those years was the line of small boxed sets of single magic tricks, with the required equipment (magic rope, disappearing coin trick, magic wallet, and - my fave - ghost cards with spectral images with a special picture frame).

These were great. Googled the heck out of it but I dunno which company made these.

Might still have a manual around here somewhere with that info.


Learning tricks was fun, and as Alamo stated, magicians will reinvent the tricks every decade. So we had Doug Hennings's fun illusions, then David Copperfield's mind-bending vanishing events (and his awesome role in Terror Train!), then Penn & Teller's provocative tricks, which remain impressive and lotsa fun, and then we got the Blains (bleh) and Chris Angel type of trickery, which kinda repeats the Copperfield era less successfully.


Today, I'd recommend 'Penn & Teller's Fool Us' which is all about originality in magic for this modern digital age.




Love these guys.

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