A legend passes
More hearts are broken than are singing this Valentine's season, and we appreciate how Charlie Brown must feel at times. The sad news of course is the passing of Doug Henning on February 7 and the passing of Charles Schulz on February 12. In both cases, more than a little magic has gone out of the world.
Note: For all the products mentioned below, check the appropriate site on our Favorite Links.
ADIEU -- He was a waif, a sprite, a believer in magic, an Age of Aquarius child People recently called "more hippie than Houdini." Doug Henning transformed magic, opening doors to golden possibilities. He was the first of any era to elevate the status of a magician to that of a movie or rock star. A few personal memories:
Like the Beatles, Doug vanished for a spell behind the mystic curtain of TM. Sadly, unlike the Fab Four, he didn't emerge until late in 1999, full of promises of new magic. But it would be too late for us to re-experience the childlike wonder with him. He was lost to magic long before his untimely death, a victim, perhaps, of his own innocence.
SHAZAM -- When Uri Geller first achieved fame by bending teaspoons, my engineering friends and I speculated on the idea of constructing spoons of two metals, with different coefficients of expansion. But we didn't envision the wonder of Shape Memory Alloy, or Nitinol (for Nickel, Titanium, and Naval Ordnance Lab, where it was discovered). Dip this straight spoon into hot coffee and it violently reverts to its bent, locked and remembered shape. $40 pp from Grand Illusions, one of many wonders available from that most interesting web site. The site features a "Carbon Dioxide" stunt I guarantee you'll perform the next time you're at a bar. Check the new listing on our Favorite Links.
DUFFIE DISTRIBUTED -- For several years now, Peter Duffie has supported himself by producing small printed collections of card tricks, all of his usual high caliber. The manuscripts typically sell for about $20. Recently, Peter has taken the bold step of making his works available by direct download over the Internet, for the reduced price of $14. I sampled this forward-looking distribution system by purchasing Area 52. This virtual book arrived the next day, in Word format, with a navigable table of contents and color headers. Most impressive. The contents are equally impressive: I especially enjoyed "Automated Diamonds," which achieves Elmsley's "Diamond Cut Diamond" effect with no moves and no touching the deck. See Favorite Links, as usual.
|Little Egypt Magic is the erratically updated web site of Steve Bryant, spawned (the site, not Steve) by a former internet magazine known as The Little Egypt Gazette/for magicians only.
Steve Bryant is an obscure magician and writer who generates this site from a computer in Bloomington, Indiana. He frequently journeys to and performs magic in Little Egypt, the local name for extreme southern Illinois, where the towns bear such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Karnak.
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