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Wonder Thunder

Episode #1 : Why saw a woman in half? What is the connection between a deck of cards & the calendar. Remote card location.

Episode #2: Espionage, jealousy & murder among magicians. Adam calls his arch nemesis Richard Vegas.

Episode #3:The first aircraft pilot down under was a magician and a live random number challenge via phone.

Episode #4: Bar stunts, Alice Cooper as a magician and magic used in pop concerts.


Ricky Jay Stars on New Mamet Film "Redbelt"

ricky jayIt will come as no surprise to anyone that is as big a fan of Ricky Jay as we are here that the new Mamet film features magician Ricky Jay. (See movie trailer below.)  Cinematical says of the trailer, ..."far from straying from his usual milieu with the mixed martial arts angle, Mamet seems to have used it to create another of his shady underworlds where nothing is as it seems. For fans of the man's work, watching this trailer is like settling into a comfy old recliner." The film also stars Tim Allen, Children of Men's Chiwetel Ejiofor, Emily "Brittle Bones" Mortimer, City of God's Alice Braga, 300's Rodrigo Santoro, Crank's Jose Pablo Cantillo, David Paymer, Joe "Fat Tony" Mantegna and Rebecca "Mrs. Mamet" Pidgeon. Because of the martial arts theme of the film, also featured are Randy Couture, John Machado, Danny Inosanto, Enson Inoue, and Ray Mancini. Play The Trailer for Redbelt:[qt: 320 240] 

Houdini Straight Jacket Auction

Among the 850 pieces recently of the Pugliese pop culture collection recently auctioned by Guernsey's of New York was this floor length canvas and leather straight jacket style bag originally brought to market by Butterfield & Butterfield in 1999. According to the article from ABC News, "This burlap, leather-front jacket was used by legendary magician Harry Houdini in his straightjacket escape act, but the buyer could not escape the five-figure auction price: It sold for $26,950."      ARTICLE ::  A Pop Culture Auction

Lost in the Shuffle

21Jon Hirschtick may have performed magic to make a few bucks while growing up in Chicago, but he's not known for saying "Pick a card.. any Card." He's more likely to have been heard in Vegas casino's saying "Hit me!" His Vegas adventures as a member of the MIT Blackjack Team were documented in the Ben Mezrich book "Bringing Down The House" which has been made into a film starring Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne opening on March 28th. In an interview published in the Daily News, he says of the book and film, "Generally, they're both very well done, if you don't look at them too closely. They tell our story, and I'm grateful for them telling our story in a very professional way. As for '21,' I think it's a really good movie in terms of the quality of the production and the quality of acting." He is less complimentary of the lack of factual information put forth in the film with regard to the manner in which they put their knowledge to work. "(The filmmakers) wanted to create tension so they invented some things," he says. "I understand they wanted to add dramatic fiction; fine...but characters doing weird things like playing slots, shopping and sleeping with strippers?  Then there's drinking and playing - that's a no-no - and the way they lose control and bet without counting - no. It's definitely out of character."
  1. ARTICLE::  Lost in the shuffle

David Blaine Appears at College

David BlaineStudents at Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pennsylvania were pleasantly surprised by the appearance of street magician David Blaine during a lecture hosted by his friend William Kalush on Wednesday. Kalush, the author of the 2006 book "The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero," was present at the school to deliver a lecture on his, and Blaine's favorite topic, Harry Houdini. The lecture was part of  a program presented by Dr. Lawrence Haas entitled ''Theory and Art of Magic 2008." Blaine has often been compared to Houdini for his ability for self promotion and stated during his appearance that Houdini had been a lifelong role model. Several articles from the Allentown Morning Call presented details on the lecture and quote Blaine as saying, "Houdini's stunts verged on believability" and that they influenced the nature of his own undertakings, which he summarized as ''being able to survive on nothing in an age of excess.''   Kalush calls Houdini ''an absolute master of publicity'' and pointed out that he ''manipulated and created'' the challenges that made him famous. That's why his name will be in our language for hundreds of years. According to the Morning Call, "Blaine said he probably would try to surpass the record for staying awake -- more than 11 days -- in mid-September. He added the Guinness Book of Records stopped listing the mark because of concerns the effort carries the risk of permanent brain damage."
  1. ARTICLE :: Magician surprises college audience
  2. ARTICLE :: Poof! Magician David Blaine to appear at Houdini talk 
  3. ARTICLE :: Lecture on magic conjures up one of today's superstars 

The Man in the Iron Mask Escapes

Iron MaskMuch like the many challenges faced by Houdini during his career as an escapologist, British magician Danny Hunt was dared by a local fabricator to escape from a contraption or original design. In an article from the Scarborough Evening News, Chris Deighton, manager of Nor-Wal Fabrications said, "I thought I could make something which he would find hard to get out of so I made the mask for him. It is very heavy and when I made it I thought there was no chance he could get out of here." Hunt was first padlocked into the mask then handcuffed. He agreed to wear the mask for a full twenty four hours if he failed to free himself from all constraints in under five minutes. Two minutes and forty five seconds later, he was free.
  1. ARTICLE ::  Head-turning feat from man in iron mask

Don't You Want to Fool Your Friends?

Mike Prestby tells the Times Republican that he's always been mesmerized by magic. The release of his new book "Magic Tricks to Fool Your Friends" is the subject of the article in which the former youth pastor and juvenille detention tracking supervisor is interviewed. Discussing his lifelong passion for the craft, Mike says, ‘‘I know that if you find something you love it’s not a job. And I love this. I still love the looks of astonishment, the question, 'How did you do that?' ''
  1. ARTICLE ::  Mason City magician full of tricks

Jillette Vanishes from Dancing with the Stars

Magician Penn Jillette was revealed as one of the first competitors to be eliminated from the popular celebrity competition Dancing with the Stars. During the episode, the Las Vegas Magician staged a mock protest in front of the audience saying, "I want to be clear, we are not giving up. We're going to rehearse all week, and we will be back there dancing in the parking lot." In an interview on Good Morning America, the 6 foot 6-inch-tall Penn joked, "It's very odd to be doing this the best way you can with somebody and not be able to see them. You know, Kym's here"pointing to his chest.  In other articles he discussed physical limitations which he felt contributed to his loss. "Both of my feet are broken and that's true. I broke one in high school. And I broke one in '83 on stage at the Roxie; so, each of them is broken. I'm also huge. I'm the biggest person that's ever been on the show in terms of weight and height." Penn lost fifty pounds before joining the show's cast.
  1. ARTICLE :: Seles, Jillette Booted From 'DWS'  

Death Defying Movie

Death Defying ActsOne can only wonder if Harry Houdini would recognize himself in the new film from Gillian Armstrong starring Guy Pierce and Catherine Zeta Jones. Having only opened in Australia to date, one must rely on such reviews as appear at ABC North Australia. According to the reviewer, "The two strands are melded together by a rather unbelievable romance plot. Zeta Jones and Pearce do have a chemistry together, that's not the problem. It's more to do with a script which seems to take Houdini for a love sick fool who's entranced in an instant by a woman who doesn't care for him until he performs some magic tricks, like making coins disappear and balancing off high buildings. It's all a little corny. And the sad thing is that there's the kernel of a very exciting story, or stories, buried within it."
  1. ARTICLE :: Death Defying Acts 
View The Movie Trailer Below:


Pamela Anderson Gets Burned

Numerous articles on the net are reporting that Pamela Anderson was injured while assisting Illusionist Hans Klok during a performance in Berlin. Pam said, "I got scorched and I think I may have thrown a rib out. There's one trick... where the spikes go through the box and it got really close and I ended up going backstage and going, 'Woo, that was close. ' " Pam and Klok worked together for much of 2007 until their Las Vegas show "The Beauty of Magic" was canceled in December.  One of the illusions from that show can be seen in the video below. READ:: Pamela Anderson Injured and Scorched while Assisting Hans Klok