inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #76 of 89: Rick Brown (danwest) Sat 19 Jan 08 17:06
Paul H's thinking is great -- It's been fun watching the evolution of

I don't know if this is the Penn and Teller routine -- but this is one
of my favoriate P and T things,

Thank's for the links to the Jeff McBride and Max Maven stuff. Great

inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #77 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 19 Jan 08 19:53

I love Penn and Teller, and oddly enough, I still love them after seeing 
this, although gopod knows I will never be able to see that, or similar 
illusions the same way again.  [My goodness Regis is tiny.]

Thanks also for those links, Richard.  I was just watching the videos with 
Jeff McBride.  He is amazing with cards, and his philosophy of magic that 
he discusses in the second video totally captivated me.

At the Magic Castle, there are caricatures on the walls of famous and 
member magicians; in fact, there was a magician here on the WELL who gave 
me a pass many years ago - I believe his login was <howardjr> and I don't 
know if he's still around, but he got quite a kick out of the fact that 
his caricature was in the little booth where the valet parking attendant 

One of the things I noticed about the carticatures was how few of them 
were women.  It seems like all the notable magicians are men.  The 
assistants are usually women, but not the magician, and I've always 
wondered why.  

To refer to the last video on that page, Richard, What knd of magic *does* 
arouse you now?
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #78 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 20 Jan 08 14:11

I was going to post one other thing about the Jeff McBride video.

Several years ago, I saw a show on TV called Learned Pigs and Fireproof
Women, which I guess came from a book by Ricky Jay with the same name.  
It's been so long, though, since I saw that, I can't recall exactly what
he did that impressed me so much, although I do recall that one trick had
something to do with a watermelon.

There was one segment of that show that had to do with not being able to 
budge someone no matter how hard you try, and I've also seen David Blaine 
do that on his television show, and I am very curious about this because 
it doesn't seem that it could be an illusion.  Either you can push someone 
or you can't.  I seem to recall that in both instances, the person was 
able to be pushed at first, but later they couldn't.

What's your take on that particular trick, Richard?
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #79 of 89: It's all done with mirrors... (kafclown) Sun 20 Jan 08 17:41
The ricky Jay trick is when he peirces the skin of a watermelon with a 
playing card.  Demonstrated in his very rare book CARDS AS WEAPONS (which 
I happen to own a copy of!)

The pushing hands thing I have seen demonstrated as part of aikido (where 
you can not move the guy's arms
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #80 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 20 Jan 08 21:06
    <scribbled by castle Sun 20 Jan 08 21:06>
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #81 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 20 Jan 08 21:27

I remember that he pierced the skin of the watermelon, but it just seemed
like there must have been more to it!

Although, maybe not.  Maybe just sticking it into the watermelon was the 
point.  Here's an episode of Mythbusters on which Ricky Jay appears, 
throwing cards:

As for the other trick, it wasn't just pushing the hands or trying to move
the arms, it was trying to move the entire body.  The people appeared to
be immoveable, although I suppose someone strong enough could come and
pick them up.
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #82 of 89: Lisa Harris (lrph) Mon 21 Jan 08 05:52
My Tae Kwon Do Master can do the pushing thing.  I was one of 50
people trying to push him over, but he didn't budge.  

I know there must be a logical way David Blane can do all those weird
tricks - the one when the playing card ends up inside the plate glass
window is the one that always gets me.  
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #83 of 89: Richard Wiseman (r-wiseman) Mon 21 Jan 08 07:37
hi there
what kind of magic excites me now?  Mainly anything that is really
well done.  You can just tell when a performer has done an item lots of
times, and just knows exactly what he or she is about.  As the
magician Eugene Burger puts it, there is no 'wobble'.  So, rather than
liking an genre, I just like stuff that is wobble free.
I am not a fan of magic on TV, so I guess live is important to me. 
And I am huge fan of the Blue Man Group - I have seen their show many
times and I love the energy there.
Penn and Teller are great.  Very thoughtful.  I met up with them when
I was vegas last year because we have some common interests, and they
were very kind with their hospitality.
Re the levitation, my understanding is that it is physics.  If you
search for The Little Georgia Magnet, you will see that the act has
been around for a very long time!
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #84 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 21 Jan 08 15:38

I guess so!  Here's an article written in 1895:
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #85 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 22 Jan 08 15:57

Richard, as our discussion here is winding down, did we cover everything 
that you would have liked to talk about?  More magic?  More jokes?  More 

And please also let us know what's on the horizon for you so that we can 
make sure to keep our eyes out for any upcoming events, studies, books, TV 
shows, interviews, etc.
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #86 of 89: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 23 Jan 08 09:13

I'm sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to note that we've launched a new
author interview here in Inkwell.vue. This doesn't mean, however, that this
conversation must end. The topic will remain open and available for further
comments indefinitely and we welcome continued discussion.

However, I know that you're a busy man, Richard, and we appreciate the time
you've been able to give to your Inkwell interview over the past couple
weeks. If you must move on to whatever's next on your to-do list, I thank
you, and I hope you'll be able to find the time to give us answers to 
Linda's last questions above.

Also, thank you, Linda, for overseeing this dicussion. It's been great
having you here!
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #87 of 89: Richard Wiseman (r-wiseman) Wed 23 Jan 08 15:27
Thanks for having me.  It's been fun.  Re the next few projects, I am
doing a big interactive experiment on laughter with the South Bank in
London, then the dancing in the dark event with the Science Museum,
then up to Edinburgh for their science festival and a quirky experiment
on stereotypes, then over to Spain to launch the Spanish language
version of Quirkology.  In terms of US activity, I will be over in
Vegas at TAM, so if anyone is going, please come and say hello.
Anyway, nice chatting to you all.
Have a good time in the other conversations
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #88 of 89: Rick Brown (danwest) Wed 23 Jan 08 19:12
Have fun at TAM. I wish I could go this year!
inkwell.vue.318 : Richard Wiseman, "Quirkology"
permalink #89 of 89: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 4 Mar 08 15:43

A new experiment to participate in:

Thanks for your continued interested in our work.
We have two new online experiments on the quirkology site and need lots of 
people to participate, so I hope that you will join in.  The Name 
Experiment is being carried out with the Edinburgh Science Festival and 
looks at the influence of people9s first name on their lives.  The 
Laughter Experiment is being carried out with The Hayward Gallery and 
examines contagious laughter. Both of them are on the quirkology homepage 
For those of you in the UK, March is also a busy time for talks.  I am
speaking about

.the psychology of humour and The Laughter Experiment at The Hayward 
Gallery (11 March, 7pm, Southbank, London)

.on Quirkology at the Cambridge Science Festival (18 March, 8pm, Babbage 
Lecture Theatre, Cambridge University)

.on Quirkology and The Name Experiment at the Edinburgh Science Festival 
(25 March, 6pm, Reid Concert Hall).
If you do come along, please come and say hello.
Best wishes

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