Tag Archives: Magic

Magic Tricks

Two very impressive magic tricks, both from British Television. First, a chess trick:

This is a video cut from “Trick of The Mind” series aired in the UK. The clip here is taken directly from Season 1 — Episode 1.

And a card trick:

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Genie

[via Cyanide and Happiness]

Symbolism and Beliefs Behind Thai Blood Protest

BBC has a great explanatory piece on the spectacle currently unfolding in Thailand. Red-shirt protesters there have donated blood to have it poured in protest in front of the home of the current Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejajjiva. In a country where a majority of the population regularly consult astrologists before making decisions, there is a lot more spiritual nuance involved in the blood spilling than a simple expression of violence, as some have claimed:

But red-shirt leaders said the blood spilling was a sacrifice for democracy and a curse on the government.

In the battle for Thailand’s political soul – played out over several years by “yellow” and “red” waves of protesters – symbolism is probably the most important weapon.

A powerful belief in astrology and the supernatural (‘saiyasat’) co-exists alongside an increasingly commercial, globalised culture.

This is not just a frame of mind found in far-flung rural areas. Many of the country’s top leaders, civilian and military, have actively participated in magical rituals to seek special powers and enlist them on their side.

Symbolism and Beliefs Behind Thai Blood Protest [BBCNews]

Magic Wand Universal Remote

Kymera-Magic-Wand-Universal-TV-Remote

The Kymera Wand Universal TV Remote has a built-in accelerometer which allows it to recognize a total of 13 “magical gestures” to change the channel and more.

Kymera-Magic-Wand-Universal-TV-Remote-1

[via LikeCOOL]

Reboot Universe

Reboot!

I love it when buttons get new meanings! Like from this set on Flickr. Another great idea are these stickers, from xkcd.

The Magic of Mystery

Mystery

Wired Magazine’s Mystery issue, guest edited by J.J. Abrams of Lost fame, carried an incredible article by the same. He talks about the magic of mystery. I read it earlier today in hard copy and considered copying it out to share, but that would be wrong. Fortunately, it’s up in it’s entirety on the Wired website, so you can read it there! I love his views on the Age of Immediacy. From the article:

What I’m getting at is hardly news to anyone: We’re smack dab in the middle of the Age of Immediacy.

True understanding (or skill or effort) has become bothersome—an unnecessary headache that impedes our ability to get on with our lives (and most likely skip to something else). Earning the endgame seems so yesterday, especially when we can know whatever we need to know whenever we need to know it.

People often ask me how Lost is going to end. I usually tell them to ask Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who run that series. But I always wonder, do they really want to know? And what if I did tell them? They might have an aha moment, but without context. Especially since the final episode is a year away. That is to say, the experience—the setup for a joke’s punch line, the buildup to a magic trick’s big flourish—is as much of a thrill as the result. There’s discovery to be made and wonder to be had on the journey that not only enrich the ending but in many ways define it.

Think back, for example, to how we used to buy music. You would have to leave your apartment or house and actually move your ass to another location. You’d get to the store, where music would be playing on the stereo. Music you may not have heard before. Perhaps you’d ask the clerk what it was and she’d send you to a bin—those wooden containers holding actual albums or CDs—and you’d look through it, seeing other album covers that might catch your eye. You’d have a chance to discover something.

But wait, you say, iTunes gives you the chance to browse! To that I nod, concede the point, and say, “Bullshit.” Those little icons you scroll past mean almost nothing to most of us. Why? Because we didn’t get on the train, brave the weather, bump into strangers, and hear music we didn’t choose. In other words, we didn’t earn the right to casually scan those wooden bins. Lately I go to Amoeba Music in Hollywood just to watch people flip through albums. It’s a lost art.

The whole thing is here, and I really recommend checking it out!

J.J. Abrams on the Magic of Mystery [Wired]