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Re: Excusing bad writing?

For me, the keys to good explanatory writing are anticipating what the reader needs to know, putting the information in the right order for best comprehension, and anticipating how readers will understand your sentences so you can avoid confusion. And, of course, extensive knowlege of the subject. I...
by Eric Fry
11/22/13 08:11 PM
 
Forum: Light From the Lamp
Topic: Excusing bad writing?
Replies: 17
Views: 1581

Re: Help Us!

The Metamorphosis. It removes $50 from your wallet and replaces it with a playing card.
by Eric Fry
09/12/13 08:10 PM
 
Forum: Light from the Lamp ONLINE.
Topic: Help Us!
Replies: 66
Views: 6291

Re: Prakash Puru in NY

The sponsored nature of the article explains the puffery in the sub-headline. Still, it's nice that the gin company thinks it's cool to associate itself with a magician.
by Eric Fry
09/08/13 01:47 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Prakash Puru in NY
Replies: 2
Views: 502

Prakash Puru in NY

by Eric Fry
09/06/13 06:54 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Prakash Puru in NY
Replies: 2
Views: 502

Try being a skeptic in India

by Eric Fry
08/26/13 06:52 PM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Try being a skeptic in India
Replies: 0
Views: 422

Still persecuting "witches"

by Eric Fry
08/19/13 04:12 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Still persecuting "witches"
Replies: 1
Views: 357

Re: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss

Does that mean you understood what Jonathan said? What did he say?
by Eric Fry
08/17/13 11:32 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss
Replies: 18
Views: 1828

Re: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss

Houdini always made a distinction between religious beliefs, such as belief in the afterlife, and mediums, who used trickery to deceive bereaved people. He didn't quarrel with spiritualism, even, as a religion; only with mediums. And I think he recognized that some people who claimed to contact the ...
by Eric Fry
08/17/13 02:41 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss
Replies: 18
Views: 1828

Re: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss

OK, the title was censored. Just go to http://www.thedailybeast.com
by Eric Fry
08/16/13 06:49 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss
Replies: 18
Views: 1828

Skeptics including Randi & Swiss

by Eric Fry
08/16/13 06:48 PM
 
Forum: Link Watch
Topic: Skeptics including Randi & Swiss
Replies: 18
Views: 1828

Re: Magic 1400s-1950s

Thank you for the detailed comparsion of the two editions. If only the publisher could be so helpful.

I would say that in an illustrated book the illustrations are part of the content, so to me the content of the two editions is not the same.
by Eric Fry
07/17/13 12:15 PM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Magic 1400s-1950s
Replies: 17
Views: 2241

Re: Magic 1400s-1950s

That's interesting, John. It sounds like Taschen gave me the wrong info, and my original supposition was correct.
by Eric Fry
06/08/13 12:34 PM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Magic 1400s-1950s
Replies: 17
Views: 2241

Re: Magic 1400s-1950s

Well, I did hear from Taschen. They said there is no difference in content between the original edition and the new one. They said there are fewer pages in the new one because pages were re-formatted.
by Eric Fry
06/06/13 10:57 PM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Magic 1400s-1950s
Replies: 17
Views: 2241

Re: Now you (can) see first few minutes

It's not so bad. It's an action movie. A bit long. Mediocre script. No characterization except what Woody Harrelson can create out of nothing. Maybe his acting is the only magic here. Nice to see a very old technique put to good use in the card trick. I'll bet a lot of people in the theater mentally...
by Eric Fry
06/04/13 02:24 PM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Now you (can) see first few minutes
Replies: 26
Views: 4169

Re: Magic 1400s-1950s

Take a look at Taschen's own web page. It shows pictures of some pages in the book and refers to the edition as multi-lingual. It looks like the text in all three languages is in the less-expensive edition. Also, if you have the original edition, you can see that the layouts are the same but the pag...
by Eric Fry
06/03/13 02:54 AM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Magic 1400s-1950s
Replies: 17
Views: 2241

Re: Houdini real?

I wonder if "Lindorst" is Will L. Lindhorst, aka Chandu. Houdini wasn't a great speller.

http://blog.modernmechanix.com/chandu-reveals-his-magic-secrets/#more
by Eric Fry
04/12/13 06:12 PM
 
Forum: Collector's Marketplace
Topic: Houdini real?
Replies: 5
Views: 305

Re: Dolts in the Media and Royal Road to Card Magic

What kind of person? The kind who thinks Royal Road has overly long explanations.
by Eric Fry
03/26/13 03:10 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Dolts in the Media and Royal Road to Card Magic
Replies: 10
Views: 471

Re: Magic as Theatre: An Academic Struggle

Given that Matthew's proposed thesis was precisely to examine whether magic is theater, you'd think the professor would allow it as a legitimate thesis. A thesis is supposed to be about an open question. The professor seems to have peremptorily closed the question. It's a good thing he doesn't teach...
by Eric Fry
03/18/13 12:50 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Magic as Theatre: An Academic Struggle
Replies: 14
Views: 905

Re: Card to case

In The Commercial Magic of Roger Crosthwaite, he uses the Kelly/Ovette move to put a card into a rear palm in his right hand. The card is then slid into the case as his right hand approaches to open the case, which his left hand holds. The case can then be opened cleanly.
by Eric Fry
03/07/13 04:09 AM
 
Forum: Magicana
Topic: Card to case
Replies: 9
Views: 2552

Re: ERDNASE

The drawings for the Hoffmann and Roterberg books are examples of the clutter of too much information.
by Eric Fry
03/01/13 05:28 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319823

Re: ERDNASE

I agree that the drawing of the Bee ace of spades shows that Erdnase was using a Bee deck. But there would be no need to draw the backs with accuracy. That kind of detail is not relevant to conveying hand positions on a deck of cards. It would muddy the drawings, as Chris said. It has nothing to do ...
by Eric Fry
02/28/13 11:58 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319823

Re: ERDNASE

Right. I made my comment because some posters seem to be discussing whether the illustrations are of this or that back design. My point is the illustration doesn't represent any back design at all.
by Eric Fry
02/28/13 03:25 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319823

Re: ERDNASE

I don't think the illustrator is portraying a back design. I think he's found a very efficient way of showing a surface in perspective.
by Eric Fry
02/28/13 01:49 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319823

One way to memorize a deck

by Eric Fry
02/07/13 07:51 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: One way to memorize a deck
Replies: 19
Views: 1190

Re: Roy Walton Books REPRINTED!

The numbers in my set are on the first title page, which is the first page to have printing on it. The other side of this page has a portrait of Walton. Then there follows a full title page with author, illustrator, copyright, edition, and publisher. I noticed this is the same format of title pages ...
by Eric Fry
12/30/12 01:11 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Roy Walton Books REPRINTED!
Replies: 36
Views: 4174

Re: Big Book of Magic by Caveney & Steinmeyer next April

I haven't seen Taschen's small circus book that sells for about $45, but I looked it up on Amazon. It's about 15 X 10 X 2 inches. 544 pages. Maybe it reproduces everything from the giant book but smaller and on cheaper paper. These editions sound like a good price for nice books.
by Eric Fry
12/03/12 02:29 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Big Book of Magic by Caveney & Steinmeyer next April
Replies: 16
Views: 1268

Re: "too perfect" theory

Some language mavens will accept degrees of perfection under the principle that nothing is truly perfect. Jefferson referred to a "more perfect union." Also, they'll accept the human tendency to hyperbole and emotional expression. "That looks so perfect on you," for example, has ...
by Eric Fry
10/23/12 06:41 PM
 
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: "too perfect" theory
Replies: 72
Views: 3800

Re: The Chinese Water Torture Cell at 100

The guy with the horns is clearly intended to be Chinese. It matches cliched images of pigtails, eyes, moustaches, robes. It conveys a devilish person, not a nonhuman.

Also, I think the blue figure isn't blue. It's dark-skinned. The blue represents highlights on dark skin.
by Eric Fry
10/16/12 07:37 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: The Chinese Water Torture Cell at 100
Replies: 61
Views: 3428

Re: The Water Torture Cell at 100

I always figured that Houdini had heard the phrase "Chinese water torture" and either didn't know what it referred to or didn't care. It is odd that he used the phrase for his trick, given that he made no effort to decorate the cell as a Chinese object or present the trick in a Chinese-ori...
by Eric Fry
10/15/12 12:43 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: The Chinese Water Torture Cell at 100
Replies: 61
Views: 3428

Re: Jumping Gemini Trouble

Sent a PM
by Eric Fry
08/31/12 01:25 PM
 
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Jumping Gemini Trouble
Replies: 9
Views: 426

Art and Artifice at the Scrabble Table

by Eric Fry
08/20/12 05:54 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Art and Artifice at the Scrabble Table
Replies: 1
Views: 366

Reformed medium

I was One of America's Top Psychics

It's all starts with a dancing cane...
by Eric Fry
08/12/12 05:59 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Reformed medium
Replies: 0
Views: 255

Re: New Novel featuring the Herrmann family

Correct. It's not a legal question but perhaps an ethical question. Do authors of fiction owe anything to the reputations of dead people they incorporate in their work?
by Eric Fry
07/09/12 07:04 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: New Novel featuring the Herrmann family
Replies: 5
Views: 637

Re: New Novel featuring the Herrmann family

I've read it now. It's a shame the novelist didn't simply invent fictional magicians rather than use the names of Compars, Alexander and Adelaide Herrmann. He choose to drastically misrepresent their characters and history. In the novel, Compars is like a villain from a melodrama, seeking to destroy...
by Eric Fry
06/30/12 06:25 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: New Novel featuring the Herrmann family
Replies: 5
Views: 637

Re: NY Times review of Alex Stone's FOOLING HOUDINI

Those are good points, Mr. Regal. But one of the reasons that laymen underestimate magicians' skill is that in many cases (not all) we hide our skill in order to create a mystery. In most cases, we want there to be no solution, including human expertise. In other words, magic's foundation really is ...
by Eric Fry
06/24/12 03:53 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: NY Times review of Alex Stone's FOOLING HOUDINI
Replies: 118
Views: 15123

Re: NY Times review of Alex Stone's FOOLING HOUDINI

To the extent that magicians are obsessed with secrecy, it's in relation to laymen, not other magicians. There are plenty of exchanges of information among magicians and plenty of innovation in magic. If some magicians are stuck in a rut, it's not because of secrecy but their own inclination not to ...
by Eric Fry
06/21/12 06:07 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: NY Times review of Alex Stone's FOOLING HOUDINI
Replies: 118
Views: 15123

Re: What's the best magic book you've found at a bargain books store?

A paperback copy in excellent condition of "Cards as Weapons" for one dollar in a used-book store. Top that.
by Eric Fry
05/29/12 07:15 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: What's the best magic book you've found at a bargain books store?
Replies: 29
Views: 2405

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Sheesh. You'd think Watson would have gotten tired of hearing this. I prefer the quote about the residuum containing the truth. It seems to acknowledge that there might be many solutions that are improbable, not just one solution.
by Eric Fry
05/22/12 05:46 PM
 
Forum: Book of The Month Club
Topic: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi
Replies: 133
Views: 27255

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

Thanks for the additional information. You are correct. I hadn't realized the same idea cropped up again. Eric
by Eric Fry
05/22/12 04:02 PM
 
Forum: Book of The Month Club
Topic: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi
Replies: 133
Views: 27255

Re: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi

The quote isn't quite accurate. I wonder if Giobbi translated it from a non-English text. It occurs in "The Sign of the Four." Holmes is trying to explain how criminals entered a room whose door was locked and whose windows were inaccessible from the ground and which didn't offer a place o...
by Eric Fry
05/22/12 11:19 AM
 
Forum: Book of The Month Club
Topic: Book for a Year – Secret Agenda by Roberto Giobbi
Replies: 133
Views: 27255
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