Hooker Card Rise

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Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 12th, 2007, 3:09 pm

I was there too, on Friday. Flew over just for that one half hour, and truly enojoyed it. I must admit that for me it was more of an intellectual challenge than a mystical and magical experience, but what can I say. On one hand there was so much hype about this series of effects, on the other, I am not a magician... I think Dr. hooker as a scientist would appreciate my efforts in trying to make some sense out of what I 've seen.

Well, I have done that. I wrote a small article (8 pages) with my observations, and with some ideas on how it might be done. It could be all wrong, but I've tried. I've submitted it last saturday to the LA Conference of Magic History, and shared it with no one else, yet.

To be honest, I feel like we are in a bit of an impasse here. On one hand, Richard Kaufman says that we are free to write whatever we want, on the other, there are folks here who do not want to read or hear anything about it, and prefer to live the dream forever. I think it's pretty much up to Mr. Kaufman to decide whether or not to allow the real discussion in his forum.

Carlo

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 12th, 2007, 3:15 pm

After seeing the effect I have some fairly substantial theories on how it operates but that wasn't the point of the experience. The atmosphere of sitting in a room and seeing something that collectively was fooling a host of knowledgeable magicians and magical thinkers was an amazing event. When you've been in magic a long time you sometimes miss the joy of those first experiences when you were mystified so badly. The Hooker rising cards revived that joy for many of us.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 12th, 2007, 4:36 pm

My wife and I went to see it on November 2. It was everything I expected and more. My wife was a bit non-plussed, though. She told me that she couldn't appreciate it as much as I did. After all, magicians are SUPPOSED to be able to do those things!

But neither of us figured it out.

I, for one, don't think that it would be of any value to me to figure it out. It is Art. Dr. Hooker's point may have been to create the perfect rising card, and thereby raise the bar for the rest of us. He may have even wanted us to try to figure it out, knowing full well that we won't be able to do so.

For me, the point was to see it. And I did, along with a great view of the back of Dr. Albo's head!

Michael Edwards
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Michael Edwards » November 12th, 2007, 5:52 pm

It was a wonderful experience...not because it had not been seen in over a decade, not because it is unlikely to be seen again, and not because it mystified some of the finest thinkers in magic today. It was wonderful because for twenty-five minutes we were back in Dr. Hooker's little theater in Brooklyn Heights watching cards behave as if truly enchanted by magic. Enchanted is a good adjective to express my feelings as well.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 12th, 2007, 7:25 pm

I love hearing stories like this. It reminds me of when I was new to magic, and everything was amazing! It's cool that there's still things that can utterly baffle us, even after years in the field. Thanks for all the reviews!

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 12th, 2007, 8:05 pm

Anyone is free to post anything about The Hooker Card Rise here on the Forum. If you want to speculate on methods, feel free! I just wanted everyone to wait until after the last performance was over. Now have at it.
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 8:18 am

So, I did not attend, but have a few thousand questions. Why is this not being brought to the East Coast? Too big? Where exactly has it been written up? I know that there was a picture of Johnny on an earlier Magic Magazine, and if I also recall, there was either a lens flare, or a hole drilled into this big glass (covery thing) that wasn't air-brushed out. Can anyone recall what issue this was? I would like to go back and re-read the article...Why are the audiences limited, angles? How did Johnny decipher, or buy into this illusion? Where was he during the performance?

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Pete Biro
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Pete Biro » November 13th, 2007, 8:38 am

Offer JOhn a huge check o bring it east?
The flare/glare in the MAGIC MAG photo was just that... NOTHING RETOUCHED.

JOhn walked all over during, someetimes standing near table sometimes in audience.

Believe me THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE SEEN. Room size dictated no. of audience. Could have done at Radio City music hall, but not many would b able to tell what value of cards (too far away0.

I also believe they wanted the room to rresemle the Hooker residence. Even had the original Hooker home drapes.

He got the apparatus from Dr. HOoker's grandson.

And as Ricky Jay said, "THE RIGHT PERSON OBTAINED IT."
Stay tooned.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 9:16 am

The MAGIC magazine with John Gaughan and the Hooker Card Rise on the cover is the January 1994 issue. There is a very good article by Jim Steinmeyer, with a complete description of the effects.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 9:22 am

I guess with the airlines losing so much luggage, the illusion would preferred to be driven cross country... I'm not too sure you could pay ME to drive cross country. What's with the teddy bear? Did this conceal any mechanics? How many people do you think it took to pull this off? How high did he levitate? Were any of the letters in the back from, say ten years ago?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2007, 9:35 am

Max, instead of asking a million questions, let some of the people who've been asking me privately whether they could write about this now do so.

As for the photo on the cover of MAGIC in the old article, yes of course it was retouched. It was taken by Bill Taylor and he retouches all his photos.

Unfortunately Pete is wrong, it could not be done at Radio City Music Hall. The routine was designed to be done for a small audience, and for a small audience it must be done. It has no commercial potential in current day theater.

It is also designed to be seen only once or twice by anyone, and then only years apart. So it will never be brought anywhere else, and it will likely never be performed again.
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Brad Henderson
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Brad Henderson » November 13th, 2007, 10:16 am

The problem I had was the battle between two minds. Not mine and Dr. Hooker's, but mine and myself.

If I had one magic wish it would be that I could have seen the Hooker rise twice, knowing I would be seeing it twice.

I don't care how much one wants to have a magical moment, there is always that little "how is this done" voice that creeps in. If course, that voice is necessary, without it we wouldn't experience the sensation of magic - it would just be something that happens.

But I found myself in an internal struggle: Part of me wanted to just let go and experience the wonder, but part of me kept asking 'how, where, and what?'

When that happens, I find it hard to get lost in the moment, which I so badly wanted to. Sure there were times when that happened, but the rational "magic dork" side of me would rear it's ugly head.

Having said that, it is probably the most deceptive piece of magic I have ever seen. And it is one of the most provocative. Everyone left the room and conversations spilled forth. But unlike most times when this happens in our little world, every single conversation was founded in a position of respect and ultimately praise. Sure we talked methods and possibilities, but in every single instance we were led to a feeling of greater respect for the man, his methods, and his magic.

There will never be another Hooker Rising Cards, but how wonderful would it be if each of us, in our own way, tried to engender that type of response with our own magic, for our own audiences, for our art. My own bar has been raised.

More than anything, that's what I walked away with.

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Pete Biro
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Pete Biro » November 13th, 2007, 10:37 am

Richard: You missed my point about Radio City Music hall.. He could have set it up on the stage.. physically... but it would be too far from the audience to see it.

BTW: If Bill did retouch the photo it was likely a flaw in the photo (flash reflection or something) but there was NOTHING TO HIDE a we were sitting just a few feet away and saw nothing)

What happened to the Dec. cover art on the home page?
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Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 10:41 am

Ok...let me break the ice here. As I said, I attended the Friday performance, not completely sure as to what to expect. Should I let myself be fooled, or should I not? I honestly did not know, but I soon found myself taking the opportunity to try to solve the mistery. I've let myself be fooled many other times....The upshot is that I actually relived the performance in my head for over a week, in trying to remember and understand what I had seen, and that was great....

I wrote something up, but it is mostly for those who have seen the performance, especially last Friday, or those who know more or less the effects. It's a theory, no more, no less. I am ready to take punches and toss it in the garbage!

You will find the file here:

http://tinyurl.com/242svm

If you have a weak stomach and do not like to see Hooker's Impossibilities sliced up, then do not open the link above.


Carlo

PS 1. I only focus on the card effects, and I do not have a detailed explanation of everything. I was hoping to at least nail the main principles behind the workings of the houlette.

PS 2. The document is the same one I sent to Jim Steinmeyer last Saturday, except some minor changes and a couple more footnotes.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 10:48 am

Here is "Silent" Mora's brief explanation:
(transcribed from one of the letters on display at the Conference).

A varied quantity of iron (Don't know what form) in every card and every card a different amount.

Magnetic repulsion (if there is such a thing) terminating in the rising card table. The amount of current into the table is controlled off stage on a dimmer system and the more current, the higher the card rises.

53 or more dimmers, one for each card and one for each group of cards.

The Bear's Head (explanation????)

Wireless control of the jaw, eyes turning the head.

The Levitation of the bears head, THAT I DO NOT KNOW.

Michael Edwards
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Michael Edwards » November 13th, 2007, 11:19 am

Carlo -- Have you ever tried to use a Neyhart houlette? Or ever found one that could work consistently...even with each of the 52 cards carefully idexed and in new condition...let alone with the precision that is required for some of the Hooker effects?

Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 11:23 am

Originally posted by Michael Edwards:
Carlo -- Have you ever tried to use a Neyhart houlette? Or ever found one that could work consistently...even with each of the 52 cards carefully idexed and in new condition...let alone with the precision that is required for some of the Hooker effects?
No, I have not. I have no clue as to what the mechanics of that houlette are. I am not claiming that Neyhart's houlette is the same as Hooker's.

Carlo

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 11:25 am

Originally posted by John Lovick:
Here is "Silent" Mora's brief explanation:
(transcribed from one of the letters on display at the Conference).

A varied quantity of iron (Don't know what form) in every card and every card a different amount.

Magnetic repulsion (if there is such a thing) terminating in the rising card table. The amount of current into the table is controlled off stage on a dimmer system and the more current, the higher the card rises.

53 or more dimmers, one for each card and one for each group of cards. ...
That's great! Better than the "trained fleas" idea that someone sent via email.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Michael Edwards » November 13th, 2007, 11:28 am

Interesting that Jim has repeatedly noted that the secret lies in a principle of magic rather than one of science...if you believe him. :)

John...did you not see the fleas in Miltiades fur?

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 11:52 am

Originally posted by Michael Edwards:
...did you not see the fleas in Miltiades fur?
Oh geeze...anybody get one? Wonder if that means the rumor about using a trained spider...(maybe even the story inspiration for Charlotte's Web?)

Gordon Bean
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Gordon Bean » November 13th, 2007, 12:26 pm

And so, inevitably, the bottom of a slippery slope appears. I imagine Im not alone in thinking that a public forum is not the appropriate venue for such a bull session regarding methods. (I was about to add a joke about the trained fleas, but...)

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 1:01 pm

Originally posted by Gordon Bean:
And so, inevitably, the bottom of a slippery slope appears. I imagine Im not alone in thinking that a public forum is not the appropriate venue for such a discussion of methods. (I was about to add a joke about the trained fleas, but...)
Not going with any method discussions here - only joking about the absurd ideas.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Gordon Bean » November 13th, 2007, 2:03 pm

Agreed. Both Silent Mora's letter and your comment pretty much reflect my own appreciative muddle upon seeing the routine. As long as nobody mentions that it apparently can't be performed below the equator, I'll be happy.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2007, 2:15 pm

I don't think this is the bottom of a slippery slope--and I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with people having a discussion of potential methodology here. I encourage it! That's what this board is about.
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2007, 2:25 pm

Carlo, I wish I could tell you that you were even close in your ideas about the methodolgies used--but from the little I know, you're not.

That's what will make Hooker's "Impossibilities" an undying mystery.
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Pete Biro
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Pete Biro » November 13th, 2007, 2:26 pm

remember the cards were borrowed and I really do not believe any deck switches were made. That I was watching for like a hawk. And I do not think any stooges were in on it.

Don't forget CArlo, the houlette was looked into by those of us in the front rows.
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Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 2:37 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Carlo, I wish I could tell you that you were even close in your ideas about the methodolgies used--but from the little I know, you're not.

That's what will make Hooker's "Impossibilities" an undying mystery.
I was afraid of comments like that...not because I might be wrong, and I likely am, but because they are unsupported, neither by evidence nor by argument. I'd rather hear reasons or facts that could either dismiss what I wrote, and/or even better, improve it. I am all ears.

Carlo

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 2:51 pm

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
remember the cards were borrowed
For *some* effects yes, like the one with the houlette behind the booklet. The guy who took the deck out of the pocket was my neighbor, actually. So this is still consistent with what I said. In other effects the decks were not borrowed.

and I really do not believe any deck switches were made. That I was watching for like a hawk. And I do not think any stooges were in on it.
In the first effect when John reassembles the four packets he turned around sharply and the deck disappeared from view. All he needed to do was to add a few cards in the back, no deck switches needed.

Don't forget CArlo, the houlette was looked into by those of us in the front rows.
Well, again, I was not so lucky, so I theorized from what I had seen. I'd be curious to hear from other folks who sat in the front row if they were able to see clearly inside.

Carlo

Mike Rozek
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Mike Rozek » November 13th, 2007, 3:09 pm

My wife and I were in the front row. There was nothing of note to see in the second or so that we were able to "inspect" the houlette. Metal and glass...that was about it.

Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 3:12 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Carlo, I wish I could tell you that you were even close in your ideas about the methodolgies used--but from the little I know, you're not.

Let me at least try to ask you to be more specific: which methodology is utterly away from the truth? The idea of finding the selected card by lifting the deck and then dropping the cards? The actual mechanism that would do that? Or other explanations? Or ALL the explanations?


Carlo

Carlo Morpurgo
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 3:14 pm

Originally posted by Mike Rozek:
My wife and I were in the front row. There was nothing of note to see in the second or so that we were able to "inspect" the houlette. Metal and glass...that was about it.
Did you get a glimpse on the inside ?

Carlo

Roger M.
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Roger M. » November 13th, 2007, 3:25 pm

There's some excellent thinking in your .pdf report Carlo, I enjoyed reading it.

For those of us who couldn't attend, details of the evening are priceless to read.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Mike Rozek » November 13th, 2007, 3:26 pm

Very quickly, and there was nothing of note.

One interesting quote from John Gaughan in the 1994 Magic Magazine article:

"Let's just say that he had an awfully interesting principle there in Brooklyn. No one's discovered it yet, or even accidentally used it, to my knowledge."

It's the closest thing I've seen to a hint in that it likely excludes most known methods of card rising, including the Neyhart houlette. That's assuming that the statement isn't meant as misdirection.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Carlo Morpurgo » November 13th, 2007, 3:39 pm

Originally posted by Mike Rozek:
Very quickly, and there was nothing of note.

One interesting quote from John Gaughan in the 1994 Magic Magazine article:

"Let's just say that he had an awfully interesting principle there in Brooklyn. No one's discovered it yet, or even accidentally used it, to my knowledge."

It's the closest thing I've seen to a hint in that it likely excludes most known methods of card rising, including the Neyhart houlette. That's assuming that the statement isn't meant as misdirection.
I recall that sentence, and of course...
it can be interpreted many different ways.
I think it's mostly misdirection, as you said.

Also, the fact that the Neyhart houlette also has 2 rollers is really saying nothing. It's the whole concept of finding the cards (from an ungaffed deck) and raising them reliably that counts. The method I proposed is not really related to Neyhart....even if not the actual Hooker method.

Carlo

Mark Collier
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Mark Collier » November 13th, 2007, 3:50 pm

I didn't get to see it but is everyone convinced that the card that rises is indeed from the borrowed deck? I could imagine a gap in the borrowed deck that would allow a stranger card to be pushed up from below. If only the face showed...you get the idea.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 4:00 pm

Originally posted by Mark Collier:
I didn't get to see it but is everyone convinced that the card that rises is indeed from the borrowed deck? I could imagine a gap in the borrowed deck that would allow a stranger card to be pushed up from below. If only the face showed...you get the idea.
Interesting... did anyone toss the gang an Uno or "old maid" deck? How about one of those clear decks?

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 13th, 2007, 4:15 pm

Only normal decks were borrowed.

No stooges are used.

The Neyhart Houlette was notoriously unreliable from the day it was sold. I have read letters from Carl Jones to Jean Hugard complaining about how often it didn't work even when new. I don't believe that the Hooker Rising cards has anything to do with the mechanics of a Neyhart Houlette.

I can't state which of your mechanics are wrong because that only leads you to the truth. In this case, all truth is subjective because everyone sees something different when watching the Hooker Rising Cards, and it is designed to evoke that psychological response.

The card that rises back outward is indeed the card from the borrowed deck. It remains upjogged, trapped in position and fully visible, as the deck is removed from the houlette and returned to the person from whom it was borrowed.

You must remember that the tabletop is thin--very thin. And the rod supporting it is very thing, and the legs are thin. The whole thing looks spindly. It's hard to imagine any substantial mechanism hidden inside it.

You might speculate about how the card rises under the bell jar and think that there is something clear and stiff attached to the lower end of the card that pushes it upward. Okay--where was that stiff support before it pushed the card upward over a foot? It's not in the table (it can't bend or curl), it's not under the table, it's not behind the table. Beats the crap out of me! And then you can try to figure out how the damn bear's head floats if you really want to make your head hurt.
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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 5:03 pm

And then when it is put on the ribbons an set to swinging it is nowhere near the table. The card still rises BIZZARE Let alone the head.........

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Roger M. » November 13th, 2007, 5:37 pm

Although the room (or "set" 'if you will) was nostalgic, perhaps it served a larger function than just trying to bring back the feeling of a living room parlor in Brooklyn in the 30's?

I'm kicking myself now for not flying down to see this.

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Re: Hooker Card Rise

Postby Guest » November 13th, 2007, 6:25 pm

Originally posted by Brad Henderson:
There will never be another Hooker Rising Cards, but how wonderful would it be if each of us, in our own way, tried to engender that type of response with our own magic, for our own audiences, for our art. My own bar has been raised. ...
I really like the sentiments of Brads comment, and part of me is thus content with having blown off the second chance to see Hookers device, although another part will always regret that decision.

Its wonderful to hear that the experience matches the hype. And the experience probably compels those who experienced the modern version of the Hooker routine to propagate (or at least not to diminish) the hype. After all, how often do the magi get to wax misty-eye over a trick? This is a special effect and one can argue that there is a legitimate vested interest in keeping it so, IMHO, because of the feelings evoked by seeing it.

That means that misdirection as to methodology, invention and innovation will come from all directions and persons. Maybe a good thing.


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