How to do Magic tricks

By James Wong

Have you ever seen the magic trick which the magician magically produce a handkerchief inside a transparent decanter? By using the same principle, we can do amazing magic tricks, too. We start off by using different objects, like a picture instead of a handkerchief. You can use whatever things to do the trick, but the object would decide what you can do with it. You would also need a proper hiding place for it, too. Like a picture, it can be rolled up and hide in the edge of a photo frame.

The picture is pulled by a thread. And the action to pull the thread can be incorporated in the action of turning the frame, like what Orrin does in his Spider Web Trick. The turning of the frame would provide a tension to pull the thread. We could decide whether to turn it vertically or horizontally.

The thread is attached to the picture. This is brought into view as the frame turns. Some experiment might be necessary to determine the best hiding place. More experiment will determine the proper type of rotation. Other details, such as insuring that the picture will not be caught, construction to insure smooth passage, stiffness of the picture stock and other' matters will develop the best general plan.

Methods of pulling the thread other than turning the frame would be using assistant or counterweight or some sort of mechanical device. The thread could be tied on a chair on stage and the magician holds the picture frame in hands. When he desires to execute the trickery, he can simply walk forward and the thread is tightened and the picture is pulled into view.

Or go back to the milk bottle. Use that instead of a decanter. Put it on a turntable. Provide a method of fastening the bottle so it will not fly off. Then spin it. This could cause a handkerchief, a flag, even a flower to appear, pulled into view quickly from a pocket concealed within the turntable top.

This thread pulling device can be applied to more than stage props. You can setup the system on your body and make things like handkerchief or cards to appear at your finger tips. Secure a thread on the object you want to produce. Fix the other end on a place like your belt. The object then can be hidden within your clothing. When you want to produce the object, hook your thumb onto the thread and extend the hand quickly to cause the object to fly into your hand.

Using this device, you can make a silk, a rose or other props to appear in your hands and get into another magic routine. - 30290

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The Outrageous Magician Who Made Me Question Reality Itself

By Miles Sunkest

So the other day I was walking down the street, just minding my own business. I had kind of a hangover, and wasn't quite sure where I was going. I just wanted to get out of the house, if you catch my drift. I passed by these really strange bar, and inside was this guy surrounded by beautiful women, so naturally I went inside to take a peek.

I looked inside and noticed this one guy doing all these random card tricks for the people inside. I walked in, and they seemed to be regular run of the mill card tricks that most people learn in second grade. He would have people guess a card, put it back in the deck, and then immediately tell them what card it was. Needless to say it was rather impressive.

After that he seemed to tap into the dark forces of evil. He used some kind of black magic to reach into peoples minds, and pull out information. Then he would go outside, and stop a random person on the street, and put them into some kind of hypnotic trance. Then under the hypnotic trance, they would tell everybody the secrets that this magician had psychically extracted from the first guy. Most people were shocked beyond expression.

After that, he started doing basic illusion tricks. Rabbits out of hats, birds out of shoe boxes, normal stuff that you'd find ads for in the back of popular science. He did make this girls bra disappear, which was pretty cool. I don't think she was too happy, though.

I decided to leave, and as I was walking out the front door, I heard a booming, mystical yet authoritative voice screaming from behind me. Like a cold desperate voice from the pits of eternal loneliness.

You must study the dark arts! You must explode magic tricks revealed and expose the secrets to all who wish to learn! It is up to you! Of course, I ran away as fast as I could, never to return to that strange place ever again. - 30290

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Here Be Dragons

By Zeeman Haus

To slay a dragon you must understand two things: what a dragon is and that you are wasting your time. There are no such things as dragons! However, the dragon does come in many forms in gaming, books, history and media. We will explore the dragon in these mediums and look at how the myth of the creature has evolved and why. Or, we'll just crack some dragon jokes and keep on going.

The image of the evil dragon, burning villages and eating livestock was standard to European literature. Many of these tales involved damsels in distress and vast treasure troves collected by the monsters. One interesting point though was how the "beasts" managed to carry coin if they were so large. Myths don't always account for everything.

Asian dragons typically, are the opposite. They are considered intelligent and benevolent, or good. Dragons in Asian myth will often take on human form and offer help to heroes in the form of guidance and offer wisdom. They are considered to be predominately a water elemental that take interest in the affairs of man beyond what they can eat and carry away from the local village.

One of the most famous historical stories involving dragons surrounds the story of Saint George, the patron saint of England. George was a Roman cavalry officer who converted to Christianity. To prove that Christianity was stronger than his Pagan roots, George found and slew a massive dragon. This led to the concept of knights slaying dragons all over Europe. This might explain all the burning and sheep eating that went on. If dragons had been real, it's not a considerable leap to think they would want some payback!

Mythical dragons span the entire globe in one form or another. In Europe they are pictured as very large, four legged lizards, later as the myth evolved, so did the dragon's wings. Asian dragons, when not in human form, were often pictured as large serpents with or without wings. The dragons of India looked somewhat dog-like, but there are no myths surviving of them ever chasing a ball.

J.R.R. Tolkien's book the Hobbit helped re-popularized the concept of a flying reptile laying waste to the countryside and eating sheep and burning villages. This dragon could speak though and is considered the template for the modern concept of dragons.

Dragons in western culture became even more popular with the advent of the game Dungeons and Dragons. Often players would game in a group hoping to take on dragons of a decidedly European look who had varying degrees of intelligence and malice. Tiamat being the deity of these dragons.

Dragons have been around in myths and legend for centuries. Their prominence in popular culture can be seen in media even today. They symbolize strength, power and the elemental forces of nature and what man sees in himself. Dragons will no doubt continue to do so for centuries to come. - 30290

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Invent New Magic Tricks with Old Magic Principles

By John Wong

New magic tricks are easily created by giving some twists to some classic magic tricks or principles. Take the old appearing handkerchief in decanter trick as an example. This could be converted into a new trick by substituting props other than those used in the original version. A milk bottle could be used instead of the conventional decanter. Or a whiskey bottle. Use a necktie in place of the handkerchief, or even a small collapsible snake. Or combine the milk bottle, alone, with any vanish of a flag, a handkerchief or a piece of silk wearing apparel-even a brassiere or a pair of panties.

Sometimes a very little change made in an old magic effect can make a huge difference. The change may be even smaller than using a different container. We now compare another trick that look completely different from the decanter trick, but in fact utilizes the very same thread pulling principle.

The Spider Web Trick is also to produce something by pulling the object quickly into view just as the decanter trick. The spider web trick still uses a thread which is the most important part of the trickery. But Orrin switched a card for the handkerchief. A cool spider figure is used instead of a transparent decanter. A disc decorated to look like a spider web is used instead of a plain table.

Another important change made to the tricks is the pulling method. Originally the thread is pulled by an assistant or a counter weight. But Orrin improved the pulling by incorporating the action into another flourish action which is turning the table. The turning of the table also helped in concealing the path of the card. So the effect becomes like this: the magician display a spider figure on a web. He then turns the web and the chosen card mysteriously appears at the mouth of the spider.

Orrin may not have been going through those steps to produce his famous spider web trick. But here we explain a possible way in which the reader can follow to change the old decanter trick into the new spider web trick.

The steps to change the old decanter trick into the spider web trick may be as the following. First, we make a different object to appear. We use a card instead of a handkerchief. Second, we change the appearing location from a transparent decanter to a spider figure. Third, we change the pulling method from application of a direct straight line force to a turning torque force. Forth, the appearing location is moved instead of the appearing object. Fifth, a disguising background is used to conceal the thread which allow the trick to be performed more close up.

From the spectators' point of view, the two magic performance maybe very different. But in fact, they use the very similar principle in substance. - 30290

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The Ability To Perform Top Magic Tricks

By James Anthony

Mastering magic tricks is a performing art. This form of art is designed to entertain people and create the illusion of what cant be possible happening in front of your eyes. The masters who create these illusions are called magicians.

Magic comes from the Latin word Magi. The Magi was a man who had the ability to predict the future by reading the stars. Possibly the best and most famous illusionists and was harry Houdini. He was an amazing magician and his magic tricks still amaze people today. He was also the greatest escapologists ever to live.

Magic tricks are successfully created with mis direction and sleight of hand. Sometimes mirrors or some other form of deception was used as well. Anything the magician could do to create a sense of wonder as he performs his seemingly impossible magic tricks.

However, magic tricks wouldn't happen without an audience who is willing to be tricked. These audiences go in knowing they are going to be deceived, yet they sit and watch the show in amazement, even though all they are watching is trickery. The act of magic tricks never fail to amaze audiences.

Houdini's main reason for success was because he earned the trust of his fans. He spent time debunking charlatans who claimed they had magical powers by showing how they performed their tricks but while also performing tricks of his own. Following suit today are magicians like Penn and Teller who perform the same stunts of magic and debunking.

During the twentieth century in the U. S., magic tricks were mostly thought of as a children's form of entertainment. This began to change however with the revival of Doug Henning. He began to bring back the old practices of magic tricks and began to amaze adult audiences once again on television and on stage.

In the twentieth century, many illusionists have emerged that are simply amazing. Performers like David Blaine perform Houdini style magic tricks like escapes and physical endurance displays for his fans. Most of these magicians we see on television perform their magic tricks in front of a live audience in order to gain the trust of their television audience.

Today's tricks are based on the old principals of magic tricks. The saying it's all done with mirrors was about magic tricks performed with mirrors. However, today magicians don't typically use mirrors anymore. They are very hard to set up as well as transport.

There are many types of magic tricks that can be done. Production tricks are where a magician produces something from nothing. Vanishing tricks are the opposite, where the magician makes something disappear. Transformation tricks are when the magician turns one object into another in front of your eyes. Restoration is where the magician first destroys an object then makes it whole again.

Teleportation tricks are when the magician moves an object from one place to another or when two objects change places. Escapology is when the magician is typically restrained and works his way to escape to safety. Levitation is simply where the magician appears to defy gravity and Penetration is when the magician is able to make one solid object move through another. Most magic tricks today that are successful are a mixture of forms, making an entire show for the audience. - 30290

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Getting a Feel for Dungeons and Dragons

By Zeeman Haus

Know ye now of days gone by where elves ruled and dragons flew? Know ye not? Well I'm going to tell you a thing or two about Dungeons and Dragons so you can impress all your friends.

Dungeons and Dragons was first on the scene nearly 36 years ago as a game. Invented in 1974, it saw several rules changes and some refinement of the last three and half decades, though it say it's hay day in the mid-80s when everyone short of your Grandmother tried the game at one point or the other.

Dungeons and Dragons could be considered a board game as well and a role playing game. It does, after all, have a "board" or map that players will have to navigate. There are game pieces to be used, but all similarity ends there. The dice used is the beginning of the divergence from the "normal" board game.

The game is heavily dependent on the roll of the dice. Unlike other games your game piece- pardon me, character can only move so many spaces a turn, or round. The dice determine combat scores (roll for a hit) and success of spells and other factors, such as whether or not your character will be turned into a goat and for how long. By goat, we mean literally, a goat, it's happened. The kicker is that the dice are not your standard 6 sided variety. They come in an amazing assortment of sides and colors.

Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Half-Elves and Halflings are all races that can be played through 99.9% of the mods; they are the base classes. Each of these races has areas of strength and weakness. Which one is chosen as the character to be played will help in determining the class of the character.

Class is the next major factor and entire websites have been dedicated to each class of character, but here's a basic breakdown of the different classes. Warriors will have no magic but strong close combat (melee) aptitude and roughed endurance. Mages or Wizards are weaker physically and cannot take as much damage as the warrior, but they do have a few tricks up their sleeves. Priests tend to be the healers of the group and are desired as playing partners, though a lot of players prefer not to play this type of character. Typically a priest is on par physically with a magic user. Thieves would be the final basic class. What a thief does is fairly straightforward; they pick locks, take things and have an ability to detect traps. Combinations of these classes exist and keep the game lively. A Paladin for instance is a priest/warrior combo. Race restrictions apply though. Some races just can't be certain types of classes.

The only two basic elements of the game that we've missed so far are levels and alignment. When the player completes a quest they will gain experience points. These points are added to the total experience of the character. Once a certain number of points have been gained, the character will go up to the next level and gain new skills and strengths. Alignment is how your character's morals fit into the game. There are basically three alignments: good, evil and neutral. All three alignments can be in the same group together and co-exist towards the same goals or quests. Having characters of different alignments in the same party can make for interesting game play to say the least.

Part of the lure of Dungeons and Dragons has been its ability to adapt and how the game will allow players to adapt it to their specific tastes. This brief article is but a sliver of the options and game play of the D&D realm. What's amazing is that the game is still alive in certain gaming circles and still played today, proving to not be a fad. So if you missed it at its pinnacle, you can still drop by the local comic book shop, check the bulletin board and buy what you need! - 30290

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How to Do Simple Production Magic Tricks

By Philip Wong

Sometimes magician can produce an object by pretending the required work has been done but in fact he only does the work while audience's attention is directed away. Somewhat similar to this is loading a new object in the act of taking away that produced. A familiar repeating cigar production illustrates this perfectly.

One cigar is produced and placed in the opposite hand. But while the right is placing it in the left, the left hand is loading another, unseen, into the right. There are probably nine hundred and seventy-five thousand ways this principle of secretly loading while attention is elsewhere might be disguised, cloaked, counterfeited or otherwise camouflaged.

To attempt to give a complete list of the various ways in which this method has been utilized in the past, not to speak of the possible applications in the future, would be impossible. And if you can't think of other things to use-I mean things that haven't been used before-you're wasting your time with this book. There are at least a million objects that have never been used with it. Get a Sears, Roebuck catalogue and check the items, new items, you see.

We often hear that "the hand is quicker than the eye", this is possible for magicians, but in a way differ from what people think. The hand is never fast enough to be invisible, instead the other ways of achieving great speed is used. Another common method that magicians use to produce an object is to bring it into view with a speed so high that people cannot tell where it came from.

In general, there are three classes of mechanical pulls that may bring an object into sight from a remote hiding place. They bring it into sight with the requisite amount of speed. These are the pulled thread, the elastic pull and the spring pull. Other mechanical power applications include released counterweight, electric motor, steam engine-come under this heading, if the subject of the production is brought into position with the proper amount of speed. In addition, there is the catapult that throws the object to production location.

Usually a thread is used to pull out the object. An perfect illustration would be the appearing handkerchief effect. The handkerchief is tied by a thread that runs from the neck of a bottle to the inside and through a hole at the side to an assistant or a machine. The bottle is put on a table and the handkerchief is hidden inside a secret pocket in the table. The assistant or the machine then pulls the string at the appropriate moment extremely quickly to produce the handkerchief inside the bottle or container. - 30290

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