I just thought I would write a quick review after signing up for Cogitations. I have never met or conversed with Steven Youell, this is an unbiased review.
I should point out that I work 3 nights a week in restaurants, primarily with cards. I have worked for the past 12 years at one restaurant, and have waded through hundreds of books looking for the right material. It is very rare now that a new routine makes it into my repertoire.
Upon joining, I first downloaded Steven's lecture notes WMD and read them. It is easy to see that the routines are workers that have been tested before many live audiences. I have already added two tricks from these notes to my repertoire and so far the audience reactions have been terrific. Not only are the tricks well constructed, but the presentations are extremely well thought out. A good example is The Image Fades. What technically is a very simple trick, with the added presentation, this trick gets amazing reactions.
Included are some extremely good articles that will make you think of the magic you do, and HOW you do it as well as some very interesting stack work. These lecture notes are a workers dream. Very top quality, with some real gems. I would have easily paid $20.00 for the notes alone.
The current articles on the site contain some very entertaining magic, including video clips to go along with some of the explanations. The articles do not focus solely on tricks, but also contain detailed explanations of sleights, as well as a bit of theory.
I look forward to more additions, comfortable in the knowledge that I have already gotten my money's worth. Anything else is gravy! I think one thing that would be beneficial is have a forum set up for members where they can discuss the content, maybe this can be used as a brainstorming forum.
I highly recommend cogitations to any card worker. Although the information on this site is not aimed at beginners, it will give most everyone at any skill level something to work with. I look forward to new additions to the site.