Search found 197 matches

by Richard Stokes
June 28th, 2020, 6:49 pm
Forum: Marketing & Magic Business
Topic: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?
Replies: 78
Views: 3235

Re: Why is editing so bad in magic publications?

I would recommend Oliver Kamm's ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English (2015). He scalps quite a few grammar 'experts'. Kamm argues that most of them do not know what they are talking about and only have superficial knowledge of the evolution of the English language. I don't comple...
by Richard Stokes
June 27th, 2020, 5:24 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?
Replies: 8
Views: 554

Re: Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?

Thanks Kent and MagicbyAlfred for responding to my questions. Kent, I checked out the Magicpedia reference you provided. My immediate reaction is that John Wyman does not fit the identity of Doctor Wyman from Boston. Wyman the Wizard has links with Massachusetts, but died in 1881. That is most likel...
by Richard Stokes
June 26th, 2020, 6:28 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?
Replies: 8
Views: 554

Re: Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?

I find it hard to take detailed accurate notes especially in a darkened theatre. but I do I try to follow the gist of somebody's presentation. My recollection is that Max did not provide any notes for the attendees which is a pity as this would ensure his arguments are captured accurately for poster...
by Richard Stokes
June 26th, 2020, 4:40 am
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?
Replies: 8
Views: 554

Was Houdini aware of the Centre Tear?

I am a member of the Cambridge Pentacle Club. We celebrated our centenary last year. Due to the obligatory quarantine, we now meet online using Zoom software. A couple of years ago at the Event (London) Max Maven gave a very interesting lecture on the origins of the CT (centre tear). Max based his r...
by Richard Stokes
June 26th, 2020, 3:57 am
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: What was Houdini's cause of death?
Replies: 6
Views: 483

Re: What was Houdini's cause of death?

I have another question on Houdini regarding his knowledge of the methods of spiritualists. I'll create a new post.
by Richard Stokes
June 22nd, 2020, 7:41 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: What was Houdini's cause of death?
Replies: 6
Views: 483

Re: What was Houdini's cause of death?

Thanks for these responses. What about the Double Indemnity theory? Does Silverman mention this? And did his widow receive any insurance pay-out for premature death? By the way, I'm surprised that anyone would be willing to risk insuring Houdini given how dangerous his escapades appeared in the publ...
by Richard Stokes
June 21st, 2020, 7:00 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: What was Houdini's cause of death?
Replies: 6
Views: 483

What was Houdini's cause of death?

I recently read in the UK Spectator a review of Adam Begley's new book Houdini: The Elusive American. My understanding is that Houdini died after complications from peritonitis. And the traditional explanation is that this was caused by an unwelcome punch to his abdomen: "It is true that a few ...
by Richard Stokes
May 20th, 2020, 1:33 pm
Forum: Feature Articles
Topic: Best Movies You’ve Never Seen About Magicians
Replies: 0
Views: 511

Best Movies You’ve Never Seen About Magicians

Thanks for that list. And the other embedded list. For me the saddest commentary on performance can be found in the Coen Brothers' "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" (on Netflix). I'm referring to the section called Meal Ticket where a travelling legless, armless actor recites famous verses su...
by Richard Stokes
May 16th, 2020, 12:01 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Ancient Mouse
Replies: 10
Views: 644

Ancient Mouse

"Practical joke or toy? Leather 'mouse' shows Romans' playful side.
Unique 2,000-year-old discovery made by staff in lockdown at Northumberland’s Vindolanda Museum"

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... ayful-side
by Richard Stokes
April 4th, 2020, 10:55 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magical Island of Sans Seriffe
Replies: 0
Views: 354

Magical Island of Sans Seriffe

The coronavirus certainly killed off the usual April lst spoofs. Such hoaxes appear to be taboo in April 2020. Maybe they've become too predictable over the years? I still remember the brilliant San Seriffe promotional insert by the Guardian in 1977. This tribute to a non-existent island was peppere...
by Richard Stokes
March 27th, 2020, 9:07 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Cooped up? Watch full Castle Set
Replies: 8
Views: 1266

Re: Cooped up? Watch full Castle Set

Great show. Thx
by Richard Stokes
December 12th, 2019, 6:22 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Simon Aronson
Replies: 29
Views: 3724

Re: Simon Aronson

In January 2013, Simon and his wife were guests at the Session when it was held in Cheltenham.
They performed their wonderful blindfolded mind reading act. It was a great experience witnessing their skilful interaction.
by Richard Stokes
December 5th, 2019, 2:02 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magicians in Trouble
Replies: 85
Views: 19177

Re: Magicians in Trouble

Alas, Janner was a victim of the fantasist Carl Beech.
Beech has now been jailed for his false accusations.
The Midland police investigation against Janner is now seen as incompetent and highly negligent.
by Richard Stokes
October 21st, 2019, 6:40 pm
Forum: Light From the Lamp
Topic: Catch Me and Win
Replies: 0
Views: 2122

Catch Me and Win

When I first saw What's the Catch? in Apocalypse, way back in 1991, I negligently skipped to the next trick. However, when I eventually saw the Harry Lorayne demonstration on the Gene Maze videotape I realised that this was a classic. I just had to have it. Fortunately, my partner Niekie generously ...
by Richard Stokes
July 18th, 2019, 6:50 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Amazing Jonathan
Replies: 1
Views: 786

Amazing Jonathan

What's really going on with the Amazing Jonathan? I saw his comedy act in Sydney in the 1990s. I almost seized up with laughter. I heard a few years ago about his illness. Cardiomyopathy. Some are now saying he fabricated this diagnosis. Is this Hulu documentary on the level? https://www.youtube.com...
by Richard Stokes
July 2nd, 2019, 8:37 pm
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Impossible Crime Fiction
Replies: 14
Views: 2971

Impossible Crime Fiction

At the Bodies from the Library conference at the British Library (June 29th 2019), Jim Noy & Daniel Curtis gave a wonderful presentation on the 10 Types of Impossible crime: Sealed Room Murder; Room That Kills; Physical Acts; Psychological; Invisible Murderer; No Footprints; Vanishing; Materiali...
by Richard Stokes
June 17th, 2019, 6:37 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Escapology Death
Replies: 6
Views: 1162

Escapology Death

Indian magician feared dead in Houdini-style river stunt
Divers in Kolkata search river for Chanchal Lahiri as he fails to surface in escapology stunt

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... iver-stunt
by Richard Stokes
June 15th, 2019, 1:47 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Dylan and Melies
Replies: 4
Views: 1187

Re: Dylan and Melies

Scorsese plays a few narrative tricks on his viewers in this Dylan compilation!
by Richard Stokes
June 15th, 2019, 1:42 pm
Forum: Reference Room
Topic: George Melies' Illusions
Replies: 19
Views: 6947

Re: George Melies' Illusions

Melies appears in the new Netflix film of Bob Dylan & the Rolling Thunder Revue
by Richard Stokes
March 19th, 2019, 3:31 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Death of Alistair Maskelyne
Replies: 7
Views: 1878

Re: Death of Alistair Maskelyne

After the war Alistair Maskelyne resigned from the NZ Co and was determined to remain in London and see his mother’s illness through to the end. “My father revived his pre-war magic show. I assisted for a short time as stage manager. There was plenty of money and not much entertainment in those days...
by Richard Stokes
March 17th, 2019, 4:51 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Death of Alistair Maskelyne
Replies: 7
Views: 1878

Re: Death of Alistair Maskelyne

Alistair Maskelyne obituary April 15, 1927 – Feb 22, 2019 Part One Alistair Maskelyne was the rebellious son of the famous British stage magician Jasper Maskelyne. As a child Alistair witnessed the inner workings of the Maskelyne magical dynasty at St. George's Hall in London: “I well recall the fas...
by Richard Stokes
March 15th, 2019, 4:53 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Magic Rainbow
Replies: 88
Views: 11976

Re: The Magic Rainbow

A friend who works for a specialised book publisher in London gave me some inside figures. A 1500 print run would cost them 2-4 euros for a paperback and 5-7 euros for a hardback. Even a monster oversized hardback of 600 pages on a limited print run of 500 would cost only 21 euros. She was flabberga...
by Richard Stokes
March 9th, 2019, 8:44 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Death of Alistair Maskelyne
Replies: 7
Views: 1878

Re: Death of Alistair Maskelyne

Apologies. I've been sidetracked by a browser hijacker which infected my iMac. Finally got rid of it by deleting my hard disk and reinstalling Mojave. I'll post my 'In Memoriam' tribute to Alistair by end of next week.
by Richard Stokes
March 5th, 2019, 1:09 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Magic Rainbow
Replies: 88
Views: 11976

Re: The Magic Rainbow

Juan Tamariz was supposedly a radical film maker and opponent to General Franco in his student days. Couldn't the publishers at least hold the price down to $75 ? That's still a lot of money for students of magic. Economies of scale would mean the publishers should still break even and eventually ac...
by Richard Stokes
March 4th, 2019, 5:00 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: The Magic Rainbow
Replies: 88
Views: 11976

Re: The Magic Rainbow

Cancel all previous protestations! I can buy Monograph by Chris Ware for under £30 via Amazon UK. "A flabbergasting experiment in publishing hubris." It's such a huge volume that it won't even fit into my bookcase. It props up my sofa. A five star retrospective by a distinguished graphic a...
by Richard Stokes
March 3rd, 2019, 5:51 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Death of Alistair Maskelyne
Replies: 7
Views: 1878

Death of Alistair Maskelyne

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". Obituaries: Brisbane Courier-Mail, Australia 2019: Alistair Jasper MASKELYNE, 

Ex Papua New Guinea aviator and New Zealand Merchant Mariner, departed this life 22nd February, 6 weeks shy of 92. A family service was held on the 27th February at ...
by Richard Stokes
January 3rd, 2019, 1:14 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells

On a more serious note, there has been a wide-ranging debate about the apparent replication crisis in Experimental Psychology. This seems to be mainly a problem within social psychology. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/psychologys-replication-crisis-real/576223/ In my day, the bi...
by Richard Stokes
January 3rd, 2019, 12:55 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells

The Times also has a more conventional horoscope column which appears each week in one of its supplements.
Supposedly compiled by 'Shelley von Strunckel' - which sounds rather like a femme fatale from The Young Frankenstein (Frankensteen)?

She claims to be real, though.
by Richard Stokes
January 3rd, 2019, 12:42 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells

The Times has a horoscope column, but, as you can see, it is of a heretical nature! "Here I present your horoscopes for 2018, as based on astrology, the ancient art of waffling nebulously while hoping that some of it will hit home, as some of it has to, surely. There are those who will say that...
by Richard Stokes
January 2nd, 2019, 4:56 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Magicians and their pseudoscientific spells

From today's Times: "Magicians who embellish their conjuring tricks with false scientific explanations are unwittingly spreading beliefs in pseudoscience, according to an expert in cognitive psychology." Derren Brown is criticised for the false solutions he offers his audience. For example...
by Richard Stokes
January 2nd, 2019, 4:28 pm
Forum: Alternative Media
Topic: Banksy art performance
Replies: 15
Views: 6661

Re: Banksy art performance

Joe,
Was there an independent qualified observer present at the burning?
Like those suited officials who appear when someone tries to qualify for the Guiness Book of records.
How do we confidently rule out hoax?
by Richard Stokes
December 23rd, 2018, 7:37 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: William Goldman's Narrative Gimmick
Replies: 12
Views: 1211

William Goldman's Narrative Gimmick

In his tribute to the late novelist and screenwriter William Goldman, Richard Kaufman raises an important point about how Goldman made use of a literary trick to misdirect his readers. Even though I read Marathon Man way back in 1975 I still remember the shock of this identity revelation when we lea...
by Richard Stokes
December 1st, 2018, 2:45 pm
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 7600
Views: 2321018

Re: ERDNASE

The reviewer Craig Brown is one of my favourite comedy writers. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/4257746/A-cycle-of-Pedantry.html https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3615766/Way-of-the-world.html I suspect Craig lost interest and didn't read the final chapter which discusses Erdnase.
by Richard Stokes
December 1st, 2018, 12:14 pm
Forum: Feature Articles
Topic: Story of Magic
Replies: 1
Views: 4428

Re: Story of Magic

I think you have made a valid point. I saw Peter give an interesting lecture in London a couple of years ago where he convincingly demolished those examples documented earlier by Sidney Clarke. Afterwards, I thought he might have pushed his argument too far. Those from an experimental psychology per...
by Richard Stokes
November 30th, 2018, 7:27 pm
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 7600
Views: 2321018

Re: ERDNASE

A few months ago I noted that John Olsson, the Forensic Linguist (hired by Chris Wasshuber) has now written a sequel to Wordcrime.
The final chapter of More Wordcrime examines the possible identity of Erdnase.
by Richard Stokes
August 6th, 2018, 3:19 pm
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 7600
Views: 2321018

Re: ERDNASE

John Olsson, the Forensic Linguist (hired by Chris Wasshuber) has written a sequel to Wordcrime : "Grammatical curiosities, lexical quirks, typographic stylings and patterns of use can all give away even the most hard-bitten and careful of criminals. And Olsson doesnt stop there. From the givea...
by Richard Stokes
August 1st, 2018, 4:23 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Uppity Vents
Replies: 4
Views: 842

Re: Uppity Vents

by Richard Stokes
July 4th, 2018, 8:13 am
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Harlan Ellison
Replies: 9
Views: 1422

Re: Harlan Ellison

I remember a short story 'Croatoan' where an aborted human foetus is flushed down a toilet in New York (?) or somewhere similar. This primeval organism somehow survives in the underground sewers and gradually grows into a deadly monster with a thirst for human blood. A macabre re-working of the 'bab...
by Richard Stokes
April 3rd, 2018, 4:24 pm
Forum: Magic History and Anecdotes
Topic: Maskelyne's African Patrol (1958)
Replies: 0
Views: 3154

Maskelyne's African Patrol (1958)

For those who might be interested in what happened to Jasper Maskelyne after he settled in Kenya: Well, he does show up briefly in African Patrol (1958) a tv series which was filmed on location there. Jasper appears as Carl at 4m 8secs and reappears at 7m 30 secs in 'No Place to Hide'. (Still scribb...
by Richard Stokes
December 29th, 2017, 1:37 pm
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Max Maven & Donald Trump?
Replies: 4
Views: 1165

Re: Max Maven & Donald Trump?

It's not meant to be a political post. The Telegraph is a conservative newspaper, not a 'liberal' paper by the way. I'm just wondering if covfefe could be kayfabe? And I was not aware of the expression kayfabe until I came across Max Maven's new DVD release. It's about modern slang and its possible ...

Go to advanced search