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Re: Library Organization and Software Recommendations Please

I used to rely on BookCAT. At some point, it made more sense to me to store the data in the cloud. Now I use <a href="http://www.librarything.com">LibraryThing</a>, which is excellent in many ways. The first few hundred books I entered in an afternoon using a $10 barcode scanner.
by David Byron
11/04/12 07:03 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Library Organization and Software Recommendations Please
Replies: 45
Views: 5571

Re: The Water Torture Cell at 100

I'm really going to have to insist that you stop referring to him as the "American" Self-Liberator.
by David Byron
10/18/12 08:36 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: The Chinese Water Torture Cell at 100
Replies: 61
Views: 3426

Re: Sid Radner - A Legend Passes

My obit for Sid Radner, published privately last year, is now online. I hope those who knew him will recognize him in it.
by David Byron
09/15/12 10:20 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Sid Radner - A Legend Passes
Replies: 14
Views: 2538

Re: Houdini And Monkey Gland Transplants

Even if it doesn't lend support to the "Houdini said 'nuts' so he's not bashful/puritan/whatever" thesis, the letter still provides a fascinating glimpse into the kinds of ephemera (gonad grafting, reincarnation, etc.) that attracted his surplus attention!
by David Byron
08/25/12 01:39 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini And Monkey Gland Transplants
Replies: 16
Views: 1574

Re: Houdini And Monkey Gland Transplants

Some notes (also posted at Kevin's site): The letter doesnt say nut and nuts as Kevin suggets. It says mite and mites. You can see this in the terminal e s and in the fact that the i is clearly dotted. Houdini is indeed making a joke about the monkeys testicles, but his joke is a reference to the Pa...
by David Byron
08/25/12 12:02 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini And Monkey Gland Transplants
Replies: 16
Views: 1574

Re: Get a free copy of the 2012 US Magician Salary Survey

amakar wrote:I put together a short survey that we can use to create a market report for rates across our market segments.
...
let me assure you the survey is anonymous.
...
However, if you wish to receive a copy of the survey results, please enter your email address in the survey.

Good luck with that!
by David Byron
04/04/12 12:37 AM
 
Forum: Marketing & Magic Business
Topic: Get a free copy of the 2012 US Magician Salary Survey
Replies: 1
Views: 978

Re: Houdini's Height

Let's not discount Thurston's interest in levitation....
by David Byron
03/07/12 05:08 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

Back teeth, John. Back teeth.

Don't you speak Southern? :)

From the 50% grip strength in the left hand, it appears that the broken wrist continued to give him trouble for years.

(Also: Ale Hrdli&#269;ka is how that name should've come out.)
by David Byron
03/06/12 08:17 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

According to the Smithsonian Institution's physical anthropologist, Ale Hrdli&#269;ka, Houdini (just shy of his 52nd birthday) was 165.8 cm (5' 5.276") tall, with a wingspan of 172.8 cm, medium blue eyes with brown flecks around the pupils, black hair (graying), a resting pulse of 72+, very...
by David Byron
03/06/12 02:58 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Article by Houdini

You're right! Thanks for posting that.
by David Byron
01/25/12 12:46 AM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Article by Houdini
Replies: 15
Views: 1126

Re: Did Houdini's sister live until 1982?

It appears she was a trustee of, or donor to, the Met in 1930 (one of many), that she and Leo renewed the copyright to MatS in 1951, and that she renewed the copyright on Paper magic in 1951.

So she was definitely alive until at least 1951! :D
by David Byron
10/04/11 03:52 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Did Houdini's sister live until 1982?
Replies: 24
Views: 1120

Re: Did Houdini's sister live until 1982?

Here's where you're likely to find the answer:
[url=http://www.ssdmf.com/Library/InfoManage/Guide.asp?FolderID=104&SessionID={269F7E3C-EF3B-44E7-8803-807FEC40EF90}&RLMsg=&SP=]Social Security Death Master File[/url]
by David Byron
10/04/11 03:45 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Did Houdini's sister live until 1982?
Replies: 24
Views: 1120

Re: The Culliton Papers

So it appears that as of late February, Houdini was entertaining a [censored] scheme to fly across the Atlantic P->NY, and that by late May he had abandoned the idea. It's interesting that (even taking into account the speed of postal service in that day) the recipient of the note from Glasgow seems...
by David Byron
09/15/11 09:17 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Culliton Papers
Replies: 25
Views: 2921

Re: The Culliton Papers

Houdini's letter of 28 May 1920 says "We go to Paris June 27 via aeroplane!!" and "We return to America July 3rd on the Imperator". The newspaper clipping of 19 June 1920 says "The plan was for Houdini to depart London by air on June 27 for Paris. On July 2 he would fly from...
by David Byron
09/14/11 11:46 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Culliton Papers
Replies: 25
Views: 2921

Re: ...and now what is the best ACAAN ?

This one from Andrew Gerard is awfully purty. Not marketed, though, afaik.
by David Byron
09/09/11 02:21 PM
 
Forum: Mentalism & Mental Magic
Topic: ...and now what is the best ACAAN ?
Replies: 141
Views: 21524

Re: Ferguson fools the Magic Castle

I'm surprised to see that this guy is still trying. As a matter of trivia, I believe I was the first-- or among the first-- to link the names Donald Ferguson and "Hardeen Houdini". Here's how it went down. As I mentioned in my obituary/remembrance of Sid Radner in the most recent issue of ...
by David Byron
08/27/11 09:05 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Ferguson fools the Magic Castle
Replies: 60
Views: 7820

Re: ERDNASE

Sawyer mentions "promontory" as a sense of "Erdnase" that might be intelligible to a native speaker of German. It appears from 19th-century philological materials available in Google Books that this definition (in the sense of a peninsula) derives from a literal translation from ...
by David Byron
08/26/11 12:38 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319767

Re: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children

houdini's ghost wrote:Lila Lee (July 25, 1901 November 13, 1973). Sorry about that, David.

That makes more sense than Lila Leeds. Thanks for clarifying.
houdini's ghost wrote:And, David, don't give me shjt about the fact that Bing Crosby introduced my Aunt Mary to Houdini.

All ribbing intended in a friendly way! :D
by David Byron
08/25/11 11:30 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children
Replies: 41
Views: 6265

Re: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children

Wikipedia and IMDB give Lila Leeds a birth year of 1928. That's quite a trick, Mr. Jessel!

Maybe Bing Crosby introduced them. ;)
by David Byron
08/25/11 02:00 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children
Replies: 41
Views: 6265

Re: ERDNASE

Some of the other evidence is interesting, but I still find the "earth nose" idea a bit tenuous. Surely it would be almost too much of a coincidence if someone was able to rearrange the letters of his name to come up with an anagram that was an obscure reference to his profession in anoth...
by David Byron
08/09/11 11:33 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 2746
Views: 1319767

Re: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children

The claim about x-ray sterilization and the claim about amenorrhea are not mutually exclusive.
by David Byron
07/30/11 09:15 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The (medical) reason why the Houdinis never had children
Replies: 41
Views: 6265

Re: Sid Radner - A Legend Passes

Sid was kind enough to invite us to his home in Holyoke and to spend a long afternoon there among his treasures (and at a favorite cafe near Smith) talking shop. It was quite an experience for someone whose Houdini addiction was catalyzed by that early 70s documentary The Truth About Houdini . Quite...
by David Byron
06/26/11 10:13 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Sid Radner - A Legend Passes
Replies: 14
Views: 2538

Re: The Skirball does the right thing.

JohnCox wrote:Glad they removed that particular piece of art. Also glad they left that pigeon thing in New York.

Heh. I enjoy conceptualism as much as the next guy, but the bird room was underwhelming.
by David Byron
05/07/11 11:27 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Skirball does the right thing.
Replies: 18
Views: 1568

Re: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball

Richard Kaufman wrote:Now that everyone has had their say, discussion of censorship is FINISHED. Please.

Sorry. I replied to the message above yours before encountering yours.

Pity this forum isn't deemed an appropriate place for such a discussion.
by David Byron
05/06/11 02:03 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball
Replies: 94
Views: 6456

Re: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball

If the access is impeded (but not necessarily completely cut off) to the point that it's no longer practical (or sometimes even possible) for me to enjoy a certain work, then yes I'd say that's a form of censorship. Nonsense (for the reason explained below). this isn't about curators desires, But r...
by David Byron
05/06/11 01:55 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball
Replies: 94
Views: 6456

Re: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball

But the upshot here, in case I wasn't clear, is that I can't take this seriously because when something is removed under duress (as normally is the case in these museum censorship issues) it most definitely fits the definition of censorship. The censorship in question still exists, but the curator ...
by David Byron
05/06/11 10:22 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball
Replies: 94
Views: 6456

Re: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball

(a) Curatorial discretion is not censorship, just as editorial discretion is not censorship. Folks who confuse selectivity with censorship (as happens repeatedly in this thread) fail to differentiate private acts from public ones (i.e., the deeds of a foundation in contrast to the deeds of a state)....
by David Byron
05/06/11 09:54 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Astonishingly bad taste at the Skirball
Replies: 94
Views: 6456

Re: Houdini VS Thurston

JohnCox wrote:You brought your woman to Houdini! ;)

But not vice versa!
by David Byron
03/18/11 01:36 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Houdini VS Thurston
Replies: 14
Views: 1476

Re: Houdini VS Thurston

houdini's ghost wrote:My Aunt Mary was introduced to Houdini by Bing Crosby. Had she seen Houdini perform? "I didn't see him, but, I saw Thurston."

How did the relatively unknown Bing Crosby of Spokane and Chicago, 22 or 23 in 1926, come to know Houdini?
by David Byron
03/18/11 01:35 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Houdini VS Thurston
Replies: 14
Views: 1476

Re: A Play about Dai Vernon

We could start a movement: Put Jay in the Dai Play

Of course, that (regrettable) bit o' rhyme works only among east coast magi.

I can just see Vernon's own review of the play: "The Shadow Cutter? That's the biggest piece of s*** I've ever seen!"
by David Byron
03/15/11 10:42 AM
 
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: A Play about Dai Vernon
Replies: 17
Views: 2461

Re: Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.

That must be the photo spread about which this post complains.

It would be great to see a schematic of a Collins lock. It's hard to grok the details from the wonderful but muddy photo of the damaged goods in Houdini-- The Key.
by David Byron
03/14/11 01:42 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.
Replies: 34
Views: 4753

Re: Original Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.

Magic (May 2005), 73-75, has a feature on the post-fire restoration.
by David Byron
02/21/11 11:36 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.
Replies: 34
Views: 4753

Re: Original Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.

JohnCox wrote:More of the original cell survived the fire than most people think. The entire frame survived. Here's a pic of me inside the remains in 1999.

Is that in Sid Radner's garage?
by David Byron
02/18/11 01:59 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Water Torture Cell coming to L.A.
Replies: 34
Views: 4753

Re: Inscribed Houdini book on Antiques Roadshow

I found one of these in a bookstore in Florida back in the 70s, and I paid $12. It was a possession I prized until the morning when my infant sister climbed out of her crib, pulled it off a shelf, and tore two of the front pages out. :/ Byron Walker was kind enough to appraise it as sentimentally va...
by David Byron
02/16/11 12:57 AM
 
Forum: Collector's Marketplace
Topic: Inscribed Houdini book on Antiques Roadshow
Replies: 36
Views: 4020

Re: Houdini's Height

My mistake. I thought I heard the whisper of an earlier reference, but can't chase down the phantom. So I herewith embrace the date-confuddled Ma cohort.
by David Byron
02/06/11 06:07 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

And, David, what was that you said about the fact that Houdini's mother always wrote to him on April 6 doesn't prove she actually thought that was his birthday? When you read the letter, it is absolutely clear that Houdini is saying she did believe his birthday was April 6. I don't have it in front...
by David Byron
02/05/11 09:33 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

Kevin Connolly wrote:Houdini could write in German. Take a look at "Notes" cover by Silverman.

That said, his German (like his English) was far from polished.
by David Byron
02/05/11 02:43 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

Okito wrote about hearing Houdini and his mother converse in Magyar. That's neat. Do you recall where he wrote that? In fact, what's the best source for learning more about the Okito dynasty? It's true that Houdini's eyes are recorded as "brown" on that first, 28 May 1900, passport applic...
by David Byron
02/05/11 12:03 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

houdini's ghost wrote:Every citizen of Austria-Hungary had to learn German. Cecelia Steiner Weiss spoke German, Yiddish and the Hungarian language, Magyar.

Is there evidence of the latter two or is that just your surmise? Not every European Jew of the era spoke Yiddish, and not everyone in Hungary spoke Magyar.
by David Byron
02/04/11 10:59 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Houdini's Height

Eyes were blue. Of course. However, I'm referring to the item reproduced on p. 114 of Houdini- The Key . The caption states: In the only honest passport application he ever made out in his life, Houdini said he was 5'4". Later, he began giving his height as 5'6" or even 5'7" -- the C...
by David Byron
02/04/11 10:47 PM
 
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Houdini's Height
Replies: 68
Views: 6040
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