What is this principle called?

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Bob Farmer
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What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » May 30th, 2012, 7:54 am

I'm doing research on a principle but I can't find a name for it. I spent last night combing through T.A. Waters, MIND, MYTH AND MAGIC, but couldn't find anything really on point.

Here's a simple example.

The spectator gives you any number from 1 to 5. You pull out a list that is numbered 1 to 5 and opposite each number is a card (e.g., 1 = AS, 2 = 4H, 3 = 10D, etc.). So, if he picked 2, his card is the 4H.

What he doesn't know is that you forced the 4H because you have 5 lists. On list 1, the 4H is opposite #1, on list 2 it's opposite #2, etc. So no matter what number is chosen, you can pull out a list that forces the 4H.

The only precursors I could find for this principle (and they are not right on point) are Al Koran's "Insight Spectacular" (in AL KORAN'S LEGACY) and in MIND, MYTH AND MAGIC, "Symbo Chart (510) and Symbold (713).

In these tricks two separate "documents" are consulted to provide a result (usually a prediction), but the combination, though it looks unique, can be adjusted to produce any number of results.

I'm also interested in any uses of the "Magic Stamp Book" principle (i.e., short pages, long pages) for mentalism.

Any assistance would be most appreciated.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Doc Dixon » May 30th, 2012, 8:19 am

There's something similar to that principle in Barry Richardson's first book. I don't have it in front of me now, but it's a routine involving three participants and six possible outcomes. I'll try to find it later today.

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Joe Pecore
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Joe Pecore » May 30th, 2012, 8:56 am

Bob Farmer wrote: I'm also interested in any uses of the "Magic Stamp Book" principle (i.e., short pages, long pages) for mentalism.


Checkout the review of DAVID GARRARD'S SKETCH-O-MATIC in December 1997 Genii, in which it is used for a prediction effect of an illustration.
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » May 30th, 2012, 9:03 am

Hi Doc:

Thank you. I looked it up, it is called, "The Lazy Mentalist" (pp. 152-156, THEATER OF THE MIND). It is based upon a Vosburgh trick in The Jinx ("Pay Day", #128, p.738).

This is definitely a related principle (and one I've used before) but it is a more complicated mathematical idea.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Joe Pecore » May 30th, 2012, 9:09 am

Bob Farmer wrote: I'm also interested in any uses of the "Magic Stamp Book" principle (i.e., short pages, long pages) for mentalism.


ANOTHER BOOKANOTHER WORD in Linking Ring July 1964 by someone named Bob Farmer.
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » May 30th, 2012, 9:57 am

Oh yes, I invented that when I was 11 or 12. I was sitting in church bored to death on a Sunday morning and started thinking about a stamp album with multiple short pages. I worked it all out in my head and then went home and found it all worked.

At the time, I was fascinated by codes and I'd read that the words, "been," "some" and "which" could be found on any page of text, so I figured that could be used. I still have the magazine I used, a "Fate" -- notable for one other thing: a psychic predicted (sort of) President Kennedy's assassination (she actually said he wouldn't finish his term in office).

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » May 30th, 2012, 12:11 pm

A couple of things:

1. When the LR published my trick they didn't publish the full method -- i.e., the construction of the book.

2. Mark Williams has come up with the following reference: the trick is entitled, "A Novel Force For A Series of Names" (FURTHER MAGIC OF THE HANDS, PP.97-98, published 1946). Victor uses six cards with six names on each numbered 1 to 6. "Wellington" is the force name (#1 on card 1, #2 on card 2, etc.).

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » May 31st, 2012, 10:34 am

I just found an early reference to using the Stamp Book principle for a mental effect in here:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/WESTMINSTER-WIZA ... 0874209768

This was published by Will Goldston Ltd., London, Undated probably circa late 1920's. Probably 1928. Hardcover, bound in decorative printed paper boards with black title to cover and spine.

The trick is, "Spirits In Parliament" (pp. 28-35)and uses the principle to force a page in a book (i.e., all the force pages are duplicates and cut short).

This is a very good book and well worth a look.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 13th, 2012, 12:19 pm

I just received another reference yesterday. The trick is "Mental Miracle" by Eric Impey and predates Edward Victor. The idea is this: the spectator is given a piece of paper on which there is a prediction. Three cards are selected from a deck (forced). Any one is chosen. the prediction is shown: it has a coded word on it. When the coded word is decoded using the decoder it names the chosen card.

The secret: three decoder cards, one for each card. You remove the one that will decode the prediction for the selected card.

So: in principle, the same idea as Victor--two pieces of information are used to produce a result, except the result can be variable by (secretly) changing one of those pieces. With Victor's list, the audience doesn't know there is more than one list and similarly here the audience doesn't know there is more than one decoder.

-Eric Impey's Mental Miracle in his booklet Conjurer's Choice(1930)
-Charles Wicks, The Sphinx May 1931, Prophecy (uses a coding wheel to decode a prediction)

These are direct precursors to Al Koran's effect, however, it would seem that Edward Victor was the first to use a list for the principle. Or maybe the list idea is so different (since it's faster and no decoding is required) that it should be considered a completely separate principle.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 13th, 2012, 3:22 pm

The "stamp book" principle is used in "The Book of Enchantment" effect by Bert Douglas in _The Sphinx_ Jan 1923 p 217. However, this is more of a straight conjuring effect than mentalism.

It is also used in "The Card Trick Without a Deck" by Allan Lambie (force a notebook page bearing the name of a "predicted" card) in _Tops_ Jan 1941 p 12.

And in "Design Projection" in _Magic at your Fingertips_ (1947) by Milbourne Christopher and Hen Fetsch, in which the principle is used to force one of several geometric designs.

And in Bruce Elliot's "In the Record" (book test) from the _Linking Ring_ Oct 1945 p 46

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 13th, 2012, 3:32 pm

Hi Bill:

Thank you. Excellent references. I'd love more details on the Lambie trick.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bill Mullins » June 13th, 2012, 3:42 pm

Check your email

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Brad Henderson » June 13th, 2012, 3:43 pm

The list principle was also used by Brian Flora in a routine in Bascom's Magick. It's a great routine and one that I performed years ago. And I believe Ned Routledge also exploited that principle in one of his effects, though do not have that file handy to look.

As to the stamp book, Georges Proust put out a lovely flik book mentalism item which I do happen to have. Three objects are on the table, a watch, a pen, and keys. The audience picks one. The magician fliks through the book and a hand reaches out and grabs the chosen item.

I realize neither of these take you to the source, but they are notable markers on the path the principles have taken.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Danny Archer » June 13th, 2012, 7:15 pm

Hey Bob,
just today I downloaded a free trick from Mental Underground that had a list of top ten songs from the 60's... a number is selected by the spectator, the list removed from the performers wallet (which has been in plain site) and the song noted... the spectator picks up the performers ipod and presses play and the song is heard.. same principal is used, nothing about who invented it...
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 13th, 2012, 7:15 pm

Thanks for the notes Brad. I'd be interested in knowing the effects for the Magick items. I'll look in my Rutledge books -- I think I only have one (Between Two Minds).

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Andrew Pinard » June 13th, 2012, 9:04 pm

I'm curious about the Brian Flora piece, as my compiled index for Magick (as yet unreleased by Collectors Workshop) doesn't list an entry for him. Brad, is it possible you are thinking of another contributor or did he publish under another name?

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Joe Pecore » June 13th, 2012, 9:38 pm

Andrew Pinard wrote:I'm curious about the Brian Flora piece, as my compiled index for Magick (as yet unreleased by Collectors Workshop) doesn't list an entry for him. Brad, is it possible you are thinking of another contributor or did he publish under another name?
Andrew


Could it be "Flora-Mental" by David Douglas (Magick 94), which uses a Ned Rutledge concept?
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Andrew Pinard » June 13th, 2012, 10:09 pm

It certainly looks like it might be what Brad is describing...

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Brad Henderson » June 13th, 2012, 11:40 pm

Just checked. My bad. Flora-mental by Douglas. Haven't read that since 1996 or so. Was surprised I remembered flora at all! But that's the one.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Brad Henderson » June 13th, 2012, 11:44 pm

Just FYI:

Magi shows list of flowers and places it in pocket. Demonstrates thought projection. 3 people are chosen to mentally receive a number. These become a price. The spec on stage reaches into bag and removes receipt. It's from a flower shop. It is in the amount as that determined by the volunteers.

Stage spec is asked to choose a number from 1-10. He or she looks at the list and calls out the flower next to that number. Spec reaches into bag to find that flower which was purchase by the magi for the determined amount.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Max Maven » June 14th, 2012, 1:35 am

To clarify the sequence of invention: "Flora-mental" was a regressive and inferior version of Ned Rutledge's "Minding the Store." Ned's trick was a marketed manuscript released in late 1969.

Regarding the variant lists idea, an item you can add to your bibliography is "Your Choice," from The Red Book of Mentalism, 1977.

As for coded messages with variable interpretations, an early entry is Edward Bagshawe's "The Message That Can't Be Read" in Twenty Magical Novelties, 1930. Subsequent related entries include Tom Sellers' "Novelty Card Trick" in 21 New Card Tricks, 1936; Stanley Collins' "Cryptogramagic" in Pentagram, February 1948, and my own "Windowcleaner" (three versions) in Linking Ring, April 1992.

And you can find yet more related material in the "To Half and Half Not" chapter of The James File, 2000.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 14th, 2012, 7:28 am

Thanks Max, those are excellent notes.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Doug Conn » June 14th, 2012, 10:06 am

>I'm also interested in any uses of the "Magic Stamp Book" principle (i.e., short pages, long pages) for mentalism.

This is a fun use of the stamp/flip book applied to a mental effect:
http://www.mjmmagic.com/store/mentalism ... 13911.html
http://youtu.be/3PWzaZ3DC88

*might make a nice combo with one of the 'free will' routines
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Bob Farmer » June 14th, 2012, 10:30 am

Doug, that's a goofy idea, but I like it for that reason. Three objects make it rather unimpressive -- if it was, say, 52 objects ( a deck of cards spread on the table) it would be much better.

For example, you could have a deck made of three force cards repeated. It is spread face down on the table and the spectator takes any card. The cards on either side are shown to "prove" the randomness of the selection. Now flip the book and show the spectator's hands moving towards the deck and taking card, your hands turning over the random cards, and finally the spectator's hands turning over his card.

I think that would be so much creepier. For patter: I have here a book that was written tomorrow but can be read today.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Q. Kumber » June 14th, 2012, 11:32 am

Bob, that is really quite brilliant. What a great premise.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Max Maven » June 14th, 2012, 12:00 pm

Unfortunately, the three-object flip-book prediction shown on the MJM site appears to be a knock-off.

In an earlier post on this thread, Brad mentioned such a book that was marketed in France by Georges Proust some years ago. (I believe the inventor was Bernard Bilis.) Well, this is the very same trick, except that the graphics have been redrawn.

If the rights had been purchased, there's no reason why new artwork would have been necessary. So, unless there is a backstory that I don't know about, the one demonstrated in the linked-to clip is not legitimate.

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 14th, 2012, 12:21 pm

Max, folks
Has the (Dan Harlan?) trick with the animated figure on the back of a pack of cards been extended slightly to where the selected card can be removed (ie you flip over the neighbor) and then you riffle the deck to see the animation of a stick man reveal the selection?
:)
J

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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Doug Conn » June 15th, 2012, 9:05 am

Whoops, didn't mean to post dupe info... especially one that directs anyone to a knockoff (I had read through most of this thread and simply missed the Henderson reference)
I thought that flip-book on the MJM vid looked a lil large. (If memory serves correct it was a very small / squarish book.) I first saw the effect when Racherbaumer returned from a trip overseas (with said book in hand) Anyhoo: thanks for the head's up.
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Re: What is this principle called?

Postby Alan Wheeler » November 18th, 2012, 3:11 pm

The selected card in CardToon has been designed to be removed at least since 2002.


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