Science Friction

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.
Pete McCabe
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Science Friction

Postby Pete McCabe » October 6th, 2011, 2:33 pm

I saw this product advertised in Genii, but I haven't heard from anyone who's tried it. It was supposed to be previewed at Magic Live and released in September, but the website still says "pre-order." Was it released? Is it so great that everyone is keeping it secret? (If so, PM me secretly.)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Evan Shuster » October 6th, 2011, 3:39 pm

The last I heard was that they ran into a snag with the wallets that were to be included in the package. Supposedly they will have it all worked out and be shipping by the end of the month.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Science Friction

Postby erdnasephile » October 6th, 2011, 3:59 pm

Good grief! I just looked this up on the green place and there seems to be a great deal of hysteria about this stuff. I look forward to reading the professional reviews before throwing down a hundy.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jeff Haas » October 6th, 2011, 4:03 pm

I chatted with them about this and got to try out some treated cards at Magic Live. It's nice stuff, it does what they say it will do.

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » October 7th, 2011, 5:24 pm

I pre-ordered this and received an e-mail saying it should ship on the 15th.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » October 7th, 2011, 7:09 pm

The Card shark has a history of playing fast and loose with claims and credits. He came to my attention when he asserted that the effect of Get Sharky was never before possible. I found that problematic as the EFFECT is identical to one performed by Max Maven as early as the late 80's. He then asserted that the method had never before been possible. Except it's basically a Taylor Peek Deck, and that idea goes back to Ford Rogers at the beginning of the 1900's. Even when presented with sources prior to his own, he refused to acknowledge that the product owed at least a mention to the people on whose shoulders he was standing. He became very rude and dismissive. Many of those posts no longer exist of course as Brooks always protects his advertisers.

As I understand it, (according to him) he and Max eventually spoke and a correction to the instructions would be made. Nevertheless, his devoted fan boys (one of them is a self described groupie) use every opportunity at the Cafe to clutter the historical record with claims that are simply inaccurate. It saddens me when one's ego or quest for sales is so great they would put those desires over that of preserving the historical record or acknowledging those whose work was truly innovative.

(FWIW I thought Weber's line at Magic Live was fitting when he lamented that it would be nice for Christian to feel what it was like to have something stolen from HIM for a change.)

So, that was the context in which Science Friction was announced. As part of the marketing hype, Christian claimed that unlike others products, "no secret would be kept hidden" regarding his latest release. Several people began asking questions at the cafe, in the section in which it was announced, the section devoted to asking questions and speculation. It quickly became apparent that his promise of openness was an over statement, to say the least.

Concerns were raised over whether or not this was an original product, or merely a repackaging of an existing non-magic material. Further, some took issue with the claim that the product actually uses "nanotechnology" as advertised.

Rather than admit to being over zealous in his hype - hype used to collect customer data at his site - he stuck to his position and the conflagration ensued.

I have seen the product, and it's a plastic type coating which, when applied to a single card, allows one to create a temporary bond with another. It's like roughing fluid in that pressure must be exerted for the bond to be maintained, but unlike roughing fluid it need be applied to only a single surface.

Zip pens or avery restickable sticks would also do the job, and while a little pressure would be required to separate those surfaces, is that so much worse than pressure being required to keep them together? At least with these substances the double can be handled with complete freedom.

There is a "sheen" on the card, when held at an angle in the light, and while one could possibly detect a tactile difference on the treated area, most audience members probably won't care enough to look. Having said that, if you are working for aggressive audience members - the kind who try to split a single card because they think that may explain how it changed - then you might be in trouble.

the package comes with routines on DVD. I have not seen them, but the many of the comments on the cafe (by cardshark supporters) lead me to conclude that a competent card handler would probably not get their monies worth. I read several posts from people claiming they were using it as a crutch for their double lifts, for example.

for do it yourselfers, there was many posts (in the section devoted to speculation) addressing a substance called Plasti-dip. Plasti-dip comes in many incarnations, and several believed that one of these may turn out to be Science Friction.

Of course, many of those posts mysteriously vanished, as well as those having the temerity to voice an opinion contrary to Brooks'.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Pete McCabe » October 8th, 2011, 4:00 am

Brad,

Thanks for the information. Very helpful.

Pete

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Farmer » October 8th, 2011, 9:50 am

Check out these references:

REFERENCES
Ford Rogers Greater Magic 451
Fulves Jordan Book 238
Fulves Ellis Stanyon Book 212 (?)
Tarbell 244
David Britland
http://cardopolis.blogspot.com/
Sunday, December 20, 2009:
Annemann's Nightmares

The Dr. Ford Rogers Ever Ready Forcing Pack consisted of 26 different cards and on the back of each card was gluedat one end only a short card. All the short cards were of the same value. This deck could be shuffled freely at any time. By riffling the non-glued end, any short card could be forced.

When described in Tarbell as part of The Telepathic Deck of Cards, the construction was changed, the regular card was cut short while the force card was not. With this arrangement, the spectator would be asked to lift up the non-glued end of the deck with his thumb and look at a card. This always resulted in him seeing a force card.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 8th, 2011, 7:44 pm

The methodology for "Get Sharkey" is not the same as Max's effect, and is reliant upon the extra thin cards of the double-decker type that Card Shark has been producing. Ford Rogers' Ever-Ready Forcing Deck can only be handled and shuffled by the magician because of the 26 pairs produce a clumpy feel that would be obvious to almost any laymen. The double-decker has 104 cards yet feels like a normal deck. When I was given the deck to spread between my hands, I had no idea it had 104 cards rather than 52.

So it uses the Ford Rogers' idea in a new way--and it also combines that with the Koran idea (or whoever proceeded him) of using a small repeating stack on the hidden force cards. AND it also includes something else in the method that allows you to know which card was seen by the spectator. It's the combination of all these ideas into one method that makes the trick so perfect. And while the effect is undoubtedly the same as Max's, the method is not--it's much easier. Of course Max's name should have been mentioned, and in fact it would have been better if Max had been asked for permission before the effect was marketed.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 8th, 2011, 9:23 pm

Is this about a one-way forcing (peek style) or a four-way pack? With the latter you either need to watch where they peek or get a few bits of information.

Either way if it's already in one person's working act and been shown to magicians - what's with the copying?
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » October 10th, 2011, 5:20 pm

I do not see anyone making the claim that Get Sharkey uses the same method as Max's effect. The problem resulted from Christian's unwillingness to acknowledge, let alone credit, any existence of ANY of those ideas prior to his own sale of the item. (In truth, he regularly passed the buck onto Christian Borer, the person who allegedly released the idea in a set of lecture notes - notes released shortly AFTER Max had performed the effect at FISM and another German magician (Santos) had published his unauthorized version in the Magie.) Not only did Christain make statements which innacurately reflected the historical record, he seemed to encourage others to do so as well. Even after a concise and congent history of the effect and its methods were presented to him, he refused to acknowledge it - he and his fans taking steps to have any mention of said history stricken from Steve "Wormtail" Brook's Cafe.

While I am happy that Max's confrontation has resulted in an acknowledgment that not all ideas were born with the inception of Cardshark's company, it saddens me that so many will put ego and money ahead of the history of our art.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Max Maven » October 10th, 2011, 5:45 pm

Richard, given that you do not know my method, how the hell would you know whether or not it's easier than the Borer method?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 11th, 2011, 10:15 am

Max, I assume that your method is more difficult and requires skill on your part.
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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » October 27th, 2011, 3:01 pm

I received my "Science Friction" order yesterday and I thought I would share my impressions.

I am quite pleased. The box contained 4 phoenix decks (2 red & 2 blues), a deck of gaffs, a wallet to hold prepared cards, 3 cardboard templates to control the application of the science friction spray, an instructional DVD and a large (11 oz) can of Science Friction spray. All the materials seemed well made and of high quality.

The spray itself enables a performer with a previously treated card (or cards) to naturally push off the deck and present one, two or three cards as one. The cards can be casually examined by a spectator. The deck can be shuffled. The cards are not at anytime "stuck" together.

The DVD is well produced and informative. It is clear to me that Christian Schenk has put a lot of thought into the techniques/best practices for using the Science Friction spray. Because I look at at this spray as a utility rather than an effect I found these insights most helpful.

He also presents a number of ways to perform some classic magic effects using Science Friction (ambitious card, collector, invisible palm, etc.). I was less impressed with this. That is probably because I generally try combine subtleties, gaffs and slights so as not to rely on any one exclusively. So to rework classics in magic by relying heavily on the science friction spray does not make sense to me. Never the less, his routines were instructive on ways to use this spray!


DOES CARD-SHARK OVER HYPE SCIENCE FRICTION?

I can not address any issues of of crediting as I frequently do not know the proper names and histories of some of the slights I perform :-(

As far as marketing hype, as a magic consumer and a magician I expect and tolerate a certain amount of hype from magic companies - as long as it does not go too far. In other words, I am not shock that there is gambling in "Ricks" casino. IMO Christian Schenk's marketing for "Science Friction" is as honest as most marketing for magic.

IS SCIENCE FRICTION NEW?

I DO think that in practice "Science Friction" is different than anything I have worked with before. Unlike roughing fluid, only one surface needs to be treated. Unlike double stick tape, or "tacky spray" the cards are not "stuck" together - they can be separated easily and naturally at any point. Two or three cards can also be shown as one just as naturally.

The buy in for Science Friction is about $100. For me it was worth it, I have already thought of a couple of changes to my color chaining deck routine.

bagelsandlox
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Re: Science Friction

Postby bagelsandlox » November 9th, 2011, 5:22 pm

Science Friction has very pretty packaging. They makes a pretty lure for the hobbyist that can't get the hang double lifts and Ghost Counts.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 9th, 2011, 6:55 pm

Science Friction can be very handy for tricks in which you're spreading the deck either in your hands or on the table. Nothing to do with Double Lifts or Elmsley Counts.
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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » November 9th, 2011, 6:57 pm

"Science Friction has very pretty packaging. They makes a pretty lure for the hobbyist that can't get the hang double lifts and Ghost Counts."

Maybe, but I perform a pretty good double lift & Elmsley count 6 to 10 times a week in front of audiences of about 20 people just about every week of the year and have done so for decades. I suppose that does not tell you if I perform them well, but I and my audiences are satisfied.

Having said that, I think this is an interesting new principle and I am enjoying experimenting with it :-)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » November 9th, 2011, 7:25 pm

Many participants at the cafe have specifically stated (or at least at one time did - you never know with posts disappearing constantly)that they were using SF to improve their double lifts and elmsley counts.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 9th, 2011, 9:08 pm

Oh. Thanks for filling in the background, Brad. That's actually pretty sad!
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erdnasephile
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Re: Science Friction

Postby erdnasephile » November 9th, 2011, 11:40 pm

As an FYI, this text was reported as being on the Science Friction website as one of the selling points for the spray:

"Simplification of Classic Sleights
Just imagine doing Double or Triple lifts with ease. Pushing several cards over as one is just a breeze. With Science Friction you will never again telegraph these sleights"

Clearly one of the attractions of this spray to some is to bring these sleights within the reach of their current skill level.

While it would be nice for people to actually master the sleights in question, I guess it's better to use this stuff than to perform the sleights poorly and expose them.

bagelsandlox
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Re: Science Friction

Postby bagelsandlox » November 9th, 2011, 11:52 pm

If they don't like books, some guy named Coughingman or something like that, has a lovely video ( now on DVD ) called "Basic Basic Card Magic". It teaches the proper way to do the essential sleights, without using sprays.

Magic has a way of standing still, but it's sad when it goes backwards or in circles.

Anthony Vinson
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Anthony Vinson » November 10th, 2011, 6:51 am

Isn't it a sad state of affairs when someone is willing to shell out $100.00 for a product rather than investing the necessary to learn and properly use a sleight? Takes "self-working" and "no skill required" to new levels. What's next? Insta-Palm - The amazing new adhesive product that eliminates the stress of actually palming an object. After that, perhaps someone will develop personality and misdirection chips tucked inside a thumb tip...

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Re: Science Friction

Postby mrgoat » November 10th, 2011, 7:15 am

Anthony Vinson wrote:Isn't it a sad state of affairs when someone is willing to shell out $100.00 for a product rather than investing the necessary to learn and properly use a sleight? Takes "self-working" and "no skill required" to new levels. What's next? Insta-Palm - The amazing new adhesive product that eliminates the stress of actually palming an object. After that, perhaps someone will develop personality and misdirection chips tucked inside a thumb tip...


Indeed. Yesterday a friend showed me the Any Card To Any Wallet gimmick. Oh god. :(

Just learn a palm.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Science Friction

Postby erdnasephile » November 10th, 2011, 9:23 am

I don't disagree with you guys; however, there are some very legitimate reasons to develop alternatives to certain sleights.

For example, physical limitations: see the first 30 seconds of this David Regal video for Passport David Regal video for Passport

Another reason is one Michael Close has written about: faro alternative procedures for those whose dimming close-up vision makes perfect cuts for multiple faros a little dicey. (Yes, yes, I know--Richard Turner is blind and Rene Lavand has one hand, but most of us are neither Turner nor Lavand).

While method absolutely affects effect, I take the "by whatever means necessary" approach. If the best method is a sleight, perfect. If it's a gaff or subtlety, so be it. It doesn't matter as long as the it's the most optimal approach for me.

That's why marketing hype about making things easy doesn't really play into my purchasing decisions. (My current favorite dealer line is: "self-working so you can concentrate on your presentation" Huh?)

(OTOH the word "practical"...that's what gets my attention these days.)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Anthony Vinson » November 10th, 2011, 9:47 am

Point taken, erdnasephile. A bit of minor arthritis occasionally negates my use of the classic pass, but fortunately there are other controls. My rueful mini-rant was directed more toward those who would choose to purchase a "no skill" method rather than make an attempt to learn a sleight because of laziness, lack of discipline, etc.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 10th, 2011, 10:14 am

Just a dab of wax (or substitute) can get you some impressive results. The old photo mounting ovals were quite useful. Updating the ovals to the post-it type adhesive is also useful.

Still not appealing as a crutch - but intriguing as "find the killer app" avenues of investigation.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 10th, 2011, 10:15 am

Did they rename the Ascanio (snake) spread?
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Murray Hatfield » January 16th, 2012, 5:58 pm

Just watched Stephen Bargatze absolutely fry several magicians including some excellent card guys, using S.F. Thank (appropirate deity) that he let us in on the secret. We'll be ordering some.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » January 16th, 2012, 6:22 pm

Get some plasti dip. It does the exact same thing and it's only about 6 bucks. (and some well known card guys who have examined both have confirmed that plastidip works equally well).

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 4th, 2012, 5:26 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Get some plasti dip. It does the exact same thing and it's only about 6 bucks. (and some well known card guys who have examined both have confirmed that plastidip works equally well).


I bought a can of clear Plasti-Dip and compared it to Science Friction. IMO, Plasti-Dip does not just DO the same thing as Science Friction, but it is EXACTLY the same substance. I applied both substances as a horizontal strip on the back of two cards. The two cards are visually and functionally identical.

I like Science Friction and am using it a couple of effects, but I think that Brad is right. The smart thing to do is to purchase it as "Plasti-Dip" instead of the much more expensive Science Friction.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LN ... 00_details

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » February 4th, 2012, 9:50 pm

That's what I have heard too - but the Cardshark acolytes on the Cafe swear up and down, after rigorous side by side testing, that they are different. Good to know they are the same.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Tom Gilbert » February 5th, 2012, 12:12 am

It was quite amusing the number of people on TMC saying their double lifts and Elmsley Counts were so much better, with the $100 can of spray. Maybe just a little more time practicing would have saved them the money.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » February 5th, 2012, 12:44 am

It makes me wonder that if their doubles and elmsleys were so bad before the spray, do they really posses the critical eye to tell if they have actually improved anything as a result of the spray.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 5th, 2012, 1:11 am

Might make a cute setup for the Paul Harris solid deck routine.
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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 5th, 2012, 2:06 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Good to know they are the same.


Thanks for the tip to point us that direction!

On a more general note, I think it would be a shame not to explore this stuff just because some idiots need help with their double lifts or Elmsley counts :-(

For myself, I am using Plasti-Dip/Science Friction in my color changing deck routine. I can show 4 different odd cards (which appears to be the whole deck), and have three individual cards change color before the deck changes color. The routine ends with the changed deck being ribbon spread and examinable (in a VERY limited way).

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Steven Keyl » February 6th, 2012, 11:21 am

Call it what you will, but this is a new tool in the toolbox that some magicians may find to be of value. As far as the ECs and DLs, you could probably fool some knowledgable magicians by replacing your standard sleights for this in certain situations. That makes it worth it for some right there.

Personally, I think the greatest applications for this have yet to be unearthed. I'm working on a few routines now that make use of this and I look forwad to seeing what others can come up with.

Slagging off a product simply because its existing supporters are not using it in a way that you personally find redeeming does NOT mean it has no redeeming value.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » February 6th, 2012, 11:47 am

I'm not convinced that anything has "worth" because it fools magicians, knowledgeable or otherwise.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Steven Keyl » February 6th, 2012, 12:11 pm

Not to you perhaps, but there are plenty of magicians out there that seem to base worth on that sole criteria.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 6th, 2012, 12:18 pm

Steven Keyl wrote:Not to you perhaps, but there are plenty of magicians out there that seem to base worth on that sole criteria.


The cure for that particular vain fantasy is to recall that all and sundry are aware of the product and few and far between are truly less well informed.

Taking the next few steps to be aware of what the audience expects and knows and then use that knowlege as part of your method is ... nontrivial.

Wasn't there a sone with lyrics like that??? "Science Friction, double lifting..." Picture an extreem closup of the Geico Gecco with green lips.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » February 6th, 2012, 12:29 pm

Good point JT

Steven, is the value system you reference good for the growth of magic as an art, or the perception of magic in the culture? If not, should we be encouraging it?


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