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magic debunked, skeptic's special:





blackfish
1. this guy (chris angel) walks on water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBQLq2VmZcA
2. this guy puts a salt shaker thru glass: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6119531719408235115&q=japanese+magic

watch the videos before you read the explanations (below) if you want to try solving them yourself.

1. there's a couple of things that point out the obvious walking on water illusion:
a. the crowd is over acting, they don't seem genuinely awed.
b. he steps over the spot where he drops his shoe
c. he steps over the spot where the girl crosses his path
d. the girl that crosses his path very meticulously lines herself up to go thru a gap (her poor precision actually blows the whole thing for the illusionist).

debunked: there is clear plexiglass under the surface of the water that has the same index of refraction as water, thus appearing invisible from certain camera angles. there are gaps in the glass to allow the actors to swim thru and under.

2. salt shaker thru the glass debunked: this one is funny. unfortunately the sound will give him away. the coin trick is easy: duplicate coins - the top one is very noticeably lifted (he's no david blaine, that's for sure). the salt shaker is more interesting. this is how it's done:
a. plant the shakers so they have metal parts (conveniently there's only one table with an empty place for someone to join)
b. ask the lady to hold it close enough to the underside of the glass table top
c. use a strong magnet to attract the shaker to the top of the table (listen closely - you'll hear a click)
d. drag the shaker close to the edge of the table using the magnet, progressively hiding it under your hands to give the illusion that it's coming thru (getting shorter).
e. work on the your second shaker coming out the top to distract the audience
f. drop the shaker under the table (listen closely - you'll hear the thump as it hits the floor)
g. pull out the top shaker completely with a big stupid grin on your face.

both illusionists executed their tricks poorly. i'm still impressed with david blaine, although he is a little eccentric, his card tricks are phenomenal.
pll
I already saw the Criss Angel walking over water. Since the first time I saw him "walking on water" I knew there was plexi glass or some kind of glass under the surface of the water.
tony
Hahaha this is a bit off topic, but just in response to your signature, pll, I love it.

As for myself, that's the exact reason why I use linux :p
Magicman
I knew there had to be plexiglass or something the first time I saw the walking on water thing. I didn't notice the things you pointed out but now that you have, it is blatantly obvious how he did that. I did notice that there are some gaps in your explanation of the illusions in the second video though.
YungGunz
That Walking on Water trick was pretty good. I know it's fake, but you gotta admit, if you can fool someone like that, you're pretty good.
Afaceinthematrix
Okay... this doesn't really debunk anything. Everyone knows that it's an illusion. That's what makes magic fun to watch... it's always fun to try and figure out how the tricks are done.
daljirman
Of course that guy (Chris Angel) uses a glass on the surface of the water. That's bit tricky, but it's easily understandable. I've seen a guy walking on the air, it's the same, they used a hard glass surface... Loll
jsarnold
I used to work semi professionally as a magician, and I would always get the best reactions from people when the magic was performed right under their noses. Everyone knows big illusions are carried out miles away from the audience, and secret trap doors, compartments, mirrors etc are hidden. I worked for a couple of years as a table hopping magician in a restaurant.

Being able to take small objects, coins, keys, rings etc and make them vanish, transform, penetrate etc right under their noses was the biggest buzz for me, and I think most people enjoy that kind of mahic.

Obviously all magic is trickery, we all know that, but I think it's an art that is divided into two separate aspects:

1. The style/drama of presentation - it's a show, or performance after all
2. The skill of the magician, usually physically, in carrying out the sleight or manipulation

Many magicians tend to focus solely on the second point, and forget to present it as a show. people are generally very disappointed if they see someone simply trying to fool them. What most people enjoy isn't being fooled, but being entertained.

The fooling should simply be a part of the entertainment.

No one goes to the theatre to admire the skill of an actor being able to remember all those lines. It;s an accepted assumption that the actors will be able to do that. It's not the line learning we wish to be impressed with, but the way those learnt lines are presented in a dramatic and entertaining way.

Criss strikes me as one fo those people who is more concerned with number 2 than with number 1, leaving the entertainment to be generated by a stooged audience screaming their balls off. That doesn't do it for me.

There are very few magicians, and virtually no amateurs, that manage to balance both aspects in the right balance.
[FuN]goku
Hehe, I've figured that one that Criss did a while ago. On top of all this,
about a year ago I was into magic and whatnot. I got a bunch of DVD's showing you how to do some tricks.

I got 2 of Criss's , one showing you how to do levitation, or... at least one form of levitation, and then theres the other one showing you how to put a quarter through a soda/beer can, which by the way is a very amusing trick Wink

Then there was a bunch i got from ellusionist.com , uh Ninja 1 and 2, Stigmata by Wayne Houchin (thats a friggin sweet trick) , Street Magic, Kaos ( another amazing trick), Shapeshifter, and i think there was 1 or 2 more that i got ... i cant remember hehe, but it's highly amusing to learn.

The only thing i was really any good at was Card Magic aha. I used to do some card tricks when I'd go to my relatives houses on special occasions, like Christmas etc.. They'd get a kick out of it.
jsarnold
I think the worst thing to do if performing these tricks, or any other, is to tell your audience you're about to do a trick.

Never start with 'Do you want to see a trick?'

All this does is antagonise your audience and erect a barrier between you and them. It becomes a challenge - can you trick them? Can they see through your trick?

Instead, just do something weird.

I was in Macdonalds a while back, sitting at a table. My wife went to order, and I sat fairly bored. I got out a couple of coins, and started practicing a little sleight I was working on. I simply sat there, vanishing a coin and making it appear in the other hand, not really paying much attention to myself.

It was only after I'd done it a few times that I noticed the table of children sat a little way away watching, as fascinated as their parents. It was unexpected.

I've even done similar things in shops. Nothing like being asked for yoru money, taking a coin out of your wallet, and having it vanish on the way to the cashier's hand. Just don't say it was a trick, or make anythign of it.

People love these little moments. Did it happen or not? Did they just see thet right? What exactly did they see?

Magic should be about entertaining, not about the entertainer.
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