ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Tom Gilbert
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Gilbert » April 11th, 2018, 12:44 pm

Also, the photographer would be one more person having contact with Erdnase and one more to pay.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 11th, 2018, 12:56 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:why would we assume that drawings intended to illustrate moves with cards would be anatomically precise?

I have posed for photographs and illustrations and though i haven’t done it tens of thousands of times, i already know that many times the concept you wish to illustrate can not be directly or easily photographed - and illustrators can ‘cheat’ in order to best convey the most relevant information.

When we sat for a photo shoot i don’t know how many hundreds we shot in an effort to get the one that actually worked, and even then we did an editing process after.

and that’s with digital photographs that costs nothing per snap.

some seem to be assuming that 1) the photos taken (if any) would be worthy of tracing. 2) we also assume that whomever was directing the project held the myopic view of valuing realism over the constance of accurate information.


I don't think that anatomical accuracy was an objective of either the author of the artist. It was a mere consequence of illustrating in the easiest and cheapest way--tracing.

Which is another reason to doubt Sanders. If this was a labour of love, a vanity edition, why would he approve of such a thrifty and aesthetically null method? Smith was probably chosen because he would do the job for very little money.
Last edited by jkeyes1000 on April 11th, 2018, 1:06 pm, edited 7 times in total.

Brad Henderson
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2018, 1:02 pm

what was the state of photography in the early 1900’s? did smith mention the lighting in the room? how much was spent on the developing? was he a photographer? did he mention anyone else there? did erdnase have the photos already and just hand them to him? i don’t recall anyone else mentioned by smith in the meeting nor him discussing receiving pictures or taking them. One would think that a photoshoot would have been memorable.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 11th, 2018, 1:06 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:And the advocates of Sanders, such as Bob, seem to be arguing against Chris solely because they must find fault wherever they can. The irony is that they are compromising their own case by admitting that there might have been more than one illustrator.


1. Although not an advocate of Sanders, exactly, I'm arguing against Chris because he has been so dogmatic about the case for Gallaway, and so contemptuous of the evidence for the other candidates, and of those who advocate for them. If, two years ago, he had said, "I think Gallaway is more interesting than has been previously recognized. Here's some stuff that makes me think it's possible that he was Erdnase. What do you guys, who have been studying this problem for years, think?", then the tone of the Erdnase thread since then would have been much different, and more collegial. I, and I bet many others, would have been more accepting of the things that do support the case, and less confrontational on the things that work against it. In other words, he'd have been treated more like Hatch, and Alexander, and Demarest, and Richard Wiseman, and others, who have seriously offered candidates and treated the process as a group mystery to be solved. That's sort of how he started, but it soon evolved to (and I quote from his ebook): "Erdnase has been found." And he started being aggressively confrontational with those who disagreed with that conclusion, or who pointed out weaknesses in his arguments.

Chris says a lot of stuff, and when he does so, it comes across as "Here is an obvious truth; you must be a fool not to recognize it." And it's offensive. Sometimes he exaggerates, but a lot of the time, he's just wrong. Sometimes, he has some facts to support the case and sometimes he's simply stating an opinion, but he seldom distinguishes between the two. He conflates the idea that something is possible -- we don't know anything that certainly rules it out -- with it being likely, or a reasonable explanation for the issue in question.

For example, "Why would the author use "Erdnase" as a pseudonym?" -- to me, this is a question that has to be answered to accept a candidate. Most of the major candidates have a good explanation. They would take their own name, and reverse or scramble it to get the pseudonym. Authors have been doing this for a long time. Magicians have been doing this for a long time. It is not at all something that strains credulity.

That answer doesn't apply to Gallaway, however. There is no good explanation for why Gallaway would use "Erdnase" as a pseudonym. It is a hole in the case for Gallaway. Which is fine -- all of the major candidates have holes in their respective cases. Even if Chris accepted this, it's not something that rules Gallaway out of contention. It is just a piece of the puzzle about him that remains to be filled in.

But instead of doing this, Chris makes up some wild explanation about Gallaway was called "earth-nose" and he translated that into German and used it as a pseudonym. The facts about Gallaway that support this are slim, to be sure: he spoke German as a kid, and "Erdnase" was a word back then. That's it. The argument could apply equally well to Sanders (or Houdini!). Millions of other Americans also spoke German at the time. Do we have any evidence that any of them ever was called "Erdnase" or "Earth-nose"? No. He's found evidence that some contemporary people have been called this, but nothing that is before 1900. Or even more than a couple of decades ago. And yes, "Erdnase" did appear as a co-location of two words in some very specialized books in the 19th century, but there's no evidence that anyone actually used the term commonly enough that it would reasonably be considered as a nickname.

Yet Chris says "it is at least as good a theory as the reverse spelling one". No, it isn't. Multiple people have used the reverse spelling process to arrive at their pseudonyms, and many have been listed in this thread. But no one in history has ever taken a nickname from a hundred years in the future, that happens to obviously reverse to a common name, and used it for their pseudonym. The chain of events that Chris posits for Gallaway to arrive at "S. W. Erdnase" for a pseudonym takes several steps, each astronomically unlikely. But he says "it fits perfectly", and denigrates those who support the reversal/anagram theory.

And this is where it gets offensive. Doing stuff like this is intellectually dishonest in two ways: It amplifies the case for his candidate, in ways that aren't legitimate; and it attacks the case for other candidates by equating the the reversal/anagram theory (which is core to several candidates, and is reasonable and substantiated with real-world examples) with the German nickname theory, which is a pipe dream.

I could go on. He attacks people, instead of their arguments (so much so that I find myself doing it back to him, which I shouldn't); he neglects crediting the work of others which he uses, or gets the credit wrong; he uses data and information which he does not reveal the source of; when he does technical analysis, he ignores error bars (which really pushes my own engineer buttons); he refuses to accept hard data that invalidates his claims (Houdini and Gallaway weren't in the circus at the same time, so they could not have exchanged moves in that context); and he exaggerates, and mis-states facts (sometimes so deliberately that I think it is reasonable to use the word "lie").

So, yes, I argue against Chris, but not "because they must find fault wherever they can". I do it to hold his feet to the fire, to test his arguments, to figure out which parts of what he is saying are legitimate and which are specious, and to ultimately determine what is the legitimate case for Gallaway, and how does it compare to the other candidates. Chris throws everything against the wall, and assumes it all sticks. Well, some of it slides to the floor, but it's hard to figure out which solely from Chris's writings. I've been researching Gallaway for ten years, and he is, at a minimum, a "person of interest". But I feel fairly confident that the evidence known to date does not suggest he was Erdnase.

2. I don't see how saying that there is more than one illustrator compromises the case for Sanders more than it compromises it for Gallaway or any of the other candidates. (and note - I'm not particularly saying that there was more than one illustrator. I'm saying that the drawings are not so consistent that you can use their consistency to show that they only could have come from one illustrator; in other words, I'm rebutting Chris's statement to that effect)

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jkeyes1000
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 11th, 2018, 1:35 pm

Bill: Your previous post would make a good novella.

The main problem with the Sanders theory--in the event that we find reason to believe in more than one artist--is that this other artist was not credited.

If he were merely another illustrator hired to finish the job that Smith started, his name ought to have been mentioned--don't you think?

The only reasonable explanation for additional, yet anonymous drawings, is that the author provided them and tried to pass them off as the work of a proper artist.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 11th, 2018, 2:07 pm

I asked Gregg Webb about his opinion on the illustrations in Expert. Gregg is a graphical artist, teaches at Pratt institute, and does his own illustrations for his magic books (many of which can be found here https://www.lybrary.com/gregg-webb-m-215953.html ). His last trilogy (SOHO) was even hand lettered. Great material BTW. Another expert that Brad tells us to dismiss, but I prefer to take them serious. His opinion is that the illustrations were done by one artist and that they were traced from photos. He also made some interesting comments regarding the 'drawings from life' comment. He wrote: "...in those days nobody wanted to admit tracing. To this day if you go to art exhibits, you'll find that especially European artists will not admit using photo reference. Their agents tell them their price will go down if they ever admit."

And for the record, because Bill Mullins makes a habit to misrepresent my published opinion, I have two name theories which I consider about equally likely for Gallaway. One is the German nickname theory, the other is the Edward-Subterfuge-and-Ruse-becoming-E.S.-Andrews-spelled-backwards theory. As my thinking stands now I actually do prefer somewhat the 'Edward Subterfuge and Ruse' theory.
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jkeyes1000
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 11th, 2018, 2:17 pm

lybrary wrote:I asked Gregg Webb about his opinion on the illustrations in Expert. Gregg is a graphical artist, teaches at Pratt institute, and does his own illustrations for his magic books (many of which can be found here https://www.lybrary.com/gregg-webb-m-215953.html ). His last trilogy (SOHO) was even hand lettered. Great material BTW. Another expert that Brad tells us to dismiss, but I prefer to take them serious. His opinion is that the illustrations were done by one artist and that they were traced from photos. He also made some interesting comments regarding the 'drawings from life' comment. He wrote: "...in those days nobody wanted to admit tracing. To this day if you go to art exhibits, you'll find that especially European artists will not admit using photo reference. Their agents tell them their price will go down if they ever admit."

And for the record, because Bill Mullins makes a habit to misrepresent my published opinion, I have two name theories which I consider about equally likely for Gallaway. One is the German nickname theory, the other is the Edward-Subterfuge-and-Ruse-becoming-E.S.-Andrews-spelled-backwards theory. As my thinking stands now I actually do prefer somewhat the 'Edward Subterfuge and Ruse' theory.


Again, the question: Did he examine all of them? That is necessary in order to come to a valid conclusion.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 11th, 2018, 2:23 pm

Another expert that Brad tells us to dismiss,


please quote where i said we should dismiss greg’s opinion.

And for the record, because Bill Mullins makes a habit to misrepresent my published opinion


For someone who seems to take issue with having one’s published ‘opinion’ misrepresented, you don’t seem to mind doing it to others

There’s a word for that i think.

but hey, get back to us after you understand what the logical fallacy of appealing to authority means. Lots of people have opinions. Having one isn’t proof of anything.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 11th, 2018, 3:58 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:And this is where it gets offensive. Doing stuff like this is intellectually dishonest in two ways: ...
Let's see how intellectually honest you are yourself. Here is what you wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Any process which gives a range of over a foot in height isn't analysis, it's reading tea leaves. We know that the 6'1" Smith thought Erdnase was shorter than he was. In 1901, most everyone was shorter than 6'1". We don't know much more.
Yes, we do know a lot more, because Smith said Erdnase was a very small man no taller than 5'6". That is a lot more information than you want to admit. And you are somebody who generally takes Smith by his word. Very intellectually dishonest. Also your "range of over a foot" is intellectually dishonest, because it is not an evenly distributed error range, it is a decreasing distribution. Most cases are located closely around the center of the distribution. The farther one leaves the center the more unlikely it becomes. It is a bit like Bill's silly counter examples. While there has been one freak who could reconfigure his spine to change his height, the chances that Sanders could do that are for all practical purposes zero. While there is a possibility that the 5'9" Sanders had very small hands, it is very unlikely, particularly given what Smith stated about Erdnase's height, and what we can see in the photos of Sanders. All of that is Bill's intellectual dishonesty.

Bill and others here get upset when I state my conviction that I have found Erdnase. It would be intellectually dishonest of me not to say what I believe. That is what I believe. You can believe something else, but to excuse your attacks with my convictions is a lame excuse, and just as intellectually dishonest as so many other things here. Many responses to my newsletter completely agree with my arguments and many believe Gallaway is Erdnase, or Gallaway has the best case to be Erdnase. This thread is by no means a broad assessment of the opinion on Erdnase. It is a place where most have their favorite candidate for one or another reason, which produces not an open and objective discussion, but rather deteriorates into a match of whose dick is longer. I am simply defending my conviction against all the intellectually dishonest attacks.
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Bob Coyne
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 11th, 2018, 9:18 pm

lybrary wrote: Also your "range of over a foot" is intellectually dishonest, because it is not an evenly distributed error range, it is a decreasing distribution. Most cases are located closely around the center of the distribution. The farther one leaves the center the more unlikely it becomes.


There are several compounding factors that make the error range very large. It's not just the distribution of human hand-to-height ratios (which you're focusing on here). Although that, alone, is quite substantial in itself. There's also great variation among the illustrations in the book. On some, the hands look enormous relative to the cards (eg figs 5, 11, 61 to just list a few), on others they look smaller (fig 79). You're cherry picking when you base everything on one picture vs another, given the huge variation. In addition, as I pointed out, the card aspect ratios are wrong in fig 77, and the relative finger sizes are wrong in fig 79 (with the pinky extends as far as the index finger). Not to mention weird distortions throughout, with hands sometimes looking more like claws. All this sends the obvious and clear message that the illustrations are not to be trusted as an accurate source for how big his hands actually were. And yet you insist on doing just that.

And then there are major problems with how you measured the hands, (with shifting metrics/standards for where the wrist should be located, in addition to no wrist being visible in illustrations in the first place).

On top of this, there are problems with meshing your measurements and inferred hand sizes with the hand-size-to-height formulas. Those formulas don't seem self-consistent either (e.g. the renaissance body proportions approach vs the empirical data from studies). It's very easy to go astray here, as apparently the press did using Trump's hand prints to measure his hand size and feeding that into norms computed with a fingertip to wrist measurement. Bill's document on how hands should actually be measured was illuminating, and it's necessary to calibrate the measuring technique used in the empirical data (or forumulas) to your own measuring technique.

And, given all of the above, it's essential to give some sort of error analysis, spelling out the compounded error in each step and the assumptions you've made, which themselves could be in error. I haven't seen any of that, except some handwaving when people point it out.

Even though I disagree with them, I think your arguments on Smith's recollections are at least plausible interpretations. Though you paint it as a black and white, "case closed", type thing, which it isn't in the least, especially given his distant 45 year old memories. In fact I think the substantial height differential between Smith and Sanders supports his candidacy. But I find the hand size argument you're making from the illustrations to be totally implausible. You're trying to build a structure on quicksand. It would be better, as Bill suggests, to just treat it as an interesting idea that could be explored. For example, it does lead to interesting issues about whether the illustrations were traced or based on photos, whether more than one style/illustrator is detectable, etc.

Also, you don't know that Sanders was 5' 9". He could easily be 5' 8" or somewhere in between. The data isn't clear, and different reasonable interpretations are possible. So why not just accept that there's a possible range and that we just don't know?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 11th, 2018, 11:21 pm

lybrary wrote:Bill and others here get upset when I state my conviction that I have found Erdnase. It would be intellectually dishonest of me not to say what I believe. That is what I believe. You can believe something else, but to excuse your attacks with my convictions is a lame excuse, and just as intellectually dishonest as so many other things here. Many responses to my newsletter completely agree with my arguments and many believe Gallaway is Erdnase, or Gallaway has the best case to be Erdnase. This thread is by no means a broad assessment of the opinion on Erdnase. It is a place where most have their favorite candidate for one or another reason, which produces not an open and objective discussion, but rather deteriorates into a match of whose dick is longer. I am simply defending my conviction against all the intellectually dishonest attacks.


The light's on but no one's home.

A few cards short of a deck.

The elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor.

The gates are down and the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.

Driveway doesn't quite reach the road.

All foam no beer.

The logs are ablaze but the chimney is clogged.

His corn bread isn't done in the middle.

Not all the dots are on the dice.

Nice cage, but no bird

Conducting without an orchestra.

An olive short of a martini.

Has a mind like steel...wool.

One player short of a solitaire game.

Would change a tire in the fast lane.

Running on 3 cylinders.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 12th, 2018, 1:44 am

lybrary wrote:And for the record, because Bill Mullins makes a habit to misrepresent my published opinion, I have two name theories which I consider about equally likely for Gallaway. One is the German nickname theory, the other is the Edward-Subterfuge-and-Ruse-becoming-E.S.-Andrews-spelled-backwards theory.

My bad. Allow me to revise and extend my earlier remarks: "In addition to the German nickname theory, Chris has another theory which is based solely on speculation and has no evidence to support it. Neither of his theories hold water, and in no case can he point to someone who has used something similar to arrive at a pseudonym." Happy now?

It's funny to be accused of misrepresentation from someone who has on more than one occasion said that Gallaway had magic books in his library.

Bill Mullins wrote:Any process which gives a range of over a foot in height isn't analysis, it's reading tea leaves. We know that the 6'1" Smith thought Erdnase was shorter than he was. In 1901, most everyone was shorter than 6'1". We don't know much more.
Yes, we do know a lot more, because Smith said Erdnase was a very small man no taller than 5'6". That is a lot more information than you want to admit.

The Gardner-Smith Correspondence book addresses Erdnase's height in two places.
1. Gardner's notes of the initial phone interview. I would view these as a paraphrase of the conversation. "Andrews was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’ 6". About my build, but not as tall."
2. Smith's own words, in his letter to Gardner: "I’m certain I looked down. I think this fellow was about 5’6, at most 5'7". Could be he was 5’5"."

So, the best record is the second. Smith was "certain" he looked down -- consistent with what I said. Everything else is less firmly stated, but he thought it was 5'6", but put a range of 5'5" to 5'7" on it.

If you want me to concede that 5'8" is too tall, you'll have to do likewise and concede that the range of 5'2" - 5'4" is too short.

But notice how you always elide the rest of the description. "Slight build -- about my [Gardner's] build, but not as tall."
None of the photos of Gallaway show a man of slight build. Gardner was skinny, not as thick as Gallaway.

You can't have it both ways. If the Smith description is valid, it rules out Gallaway as well. If it is correct only in a general sense, it is just as reasonable to include Sanders as it is Gallaway.

There's other statements by Smith that you gloss over as well:
-"Recalls nothing to suggest he had a wife."
Gallaway was not only married but newly wed (for the second time) in late 1901.

-"Has impression he was not a Chicago man...He came from the East and N.Y."
Gallaway was a Chicago man, and from the midwest. Not from N.Y.

-"He was about 40"
Gallaway was 33 in late 1901.

-"Features were on the "sharp" rather than "blunt" side."
Gallaway's close up portrait has a reasonably broad nose and full lips. Not sharp.

-"He mentioned to Smith that he was related to Dalrymple."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he was related to Dalrymple.

-"Andrews told Smith he was a former card shark who had decided to go straight."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he had been a card shark.


Also your "range of over a foot" is intellectually dishonest, because it is not an evenly distributed error range, it is a decreasing distribution. Most cases are located closely around the center of the distribution. The farther one leaves the center the more unlikely it becomes.

I never said it was evenly distributed. I used the mean values, plus or minus one standard deviation. Which includes a little over 2/3 of the group. +/- one sigma is a pretty standard way to discuss a range of normally distributed variables. Did you not cover it in your technical education?

It is a bit like Bill's silly counter examples. While there has been one freak who could reconfigure his spine to change his height, the chances that Sanders could do that are for all practical purposes zero. While there is a possibility that the 5'9" Sanders had very small hands, it is very unlikely, particularly given what Smith stated about Erdnase's height, and what we can see in the photos of Sanders.

I don't think that Sanders could stretch or shrink his height. The example was obviously provided tongue in cheek, in rebuttal to (yet another) blanket statement you had made that was demonstrably wrong.

Bill and others here get upset when I state my conviction that I have found Erdnase.

I'm not upset. I'm saying your way of presenting a case invites, almost demands, an equally strong response.

It is a place where most have their favorite candidate for one or another reason, which produces not an open and objective discussion, but rather deteriorates into a match of whose dick is longer.

In addition to the other comments I made about Chris earlier, I left one out. He has a potty mouth.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 12th, 2018, 6:31 am

I do not wish to seem to be a stubborn advocate of a particular point of view, but I will try one more time to explain the importance of the Multiple Artist Theory. After which, I promise to leave off.

If there were two illustrators--and only one was credited (Smith)--then the other is not likely to have been hired by the author. The other, being anonymous, was probably the author himself (Erdnase).

Now--Why, if Erdnase were capable of illustrating the book himself, would he have contracted with Smith? It would appear that the author knew that he was inept, and therefore needed a professional illustrator.

So--he pays Smith for thirty sketches, and then decides that he doesn't need the commercial artist to finish the job. He fancies that, even though he is no artist, he can reconfigure Smith's drawings and modify them with some degree of success.

The reason why this hypothesis is significant is that it indicates a thrifty publisher. Further--it suggests a man who is willing to work on the illustrations himself in order to economise.

Can this be Sanders? That would be a difficult argument to make.

It could certainly be either Gallaway or Benedict.

We have opinions from illustrators such as Richard Kaufman and Greg Webb, both of whom have implied--but to my knowledge, never explicitly asserted--that having thoroughly examined and minutely compared each and every sketch, they are all the product of a single artist. I would urge that these figures be more closely scrutinised, as this matter is crucial to our understanding of the motive, the character, and the true identity of "Erdnase".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 8:37 am

Bill Mullins wrote:My bad. Allow me to revise and extend my earlier remarks: "In addition to the German nickname theory, Chris has another theory which is based solely on speculation and has no evidence to support it. Neither of his theories hold water, and in no case can he point to someone who has used something similar to arrive at a pseudonym."
Reverse spelling and complex anagrams are also merely theories without any evidence. There are plenty of authors who have chosen pseudonyms which were not derived via an anagram.

Bill Mullins wrote:The Gardner-Smith Correspondence book addresses Erdnase's height in two places.
1. Gardner's notes of the initial phone interview. I would view these as a paraphrase of the conversation. "Andrews was a very small man of slight build. Not over 5’ 6". About my build, but not as tall."
And you are wrong again. This was not a phone interview. It was in person. Gardner met Smith. How could Gardner otherwise write: "When I said Andrews, his face lighted up..." I don't think they had a video phone chat.

Bill Mullins wrote:2. Smith's own words, in his letter to Gardner: "I’m certain I looked down. I think this fellow was about 5’6, at most 5'7". Could be he was 5’5"."

So, the best record is the second. Smith was "certain" he looked down -- consistent with what I said.
Again very dishonest of you. This second statement resulted after Gardner repeatedly presented the tall MFA and he tried as hard as he could to push Smith higher. That is not at all the 'best record'. His first uninfluenced statement is by far more credible.

Bill Mullins wrote:If you want me to concede that 5'8" is too tall, you'll have to do likewise and concede that the range of 5'2" - 5'4" is too short.
No it is not, because Smith never defines a lower boundary. Please tell us where Smith defines his lower boundary for the height. All we have is Gardner pushing him higher and higher. Never do they discuss the lower end.

Bill Mullins wrote:But notice how you always elide the rest of the description. "Slight build -- about my [Gardner's] build, but not as tall." None of the photos of Gallaway show a man of slight build.
The photos show Gallaway in his mid 50s. He would have met Smith when he was 33. Many put on weight when they get older. But I don't agree that Gallaway was fat even in the photos we have of him. One photo has him leaning weirdly which makes it look like he has a belly, but it might just be the way he sits or leans. The second photo does not suggest he has a belly.

Bill Mullins wrote:You can't have it both ways. If the Smith description is valid, it rules out Gallaway as well. If it is correct only in a general sense, it is just as reasonable to include Sanders as it is Gallaway.

There's other statements by Smith that you gloss over as well:
-"Recalls nothing to suggest he had a wife."
Gallaway was not only married but newly wed (for the second time) in late 1901.

-"Has impression he was not a Chicago man...He came from the East and N.Y."
Gallaway was a Chicago man, and from the midwest. Not from N.Y.

-"He was about 40"
Gallaway was 33 in late 1901.

-"Features were on the "sharp" rather than "blunt" side."
Gallaway's close up portrait has a reasonably broad nose and full lips. Not sharp.

-"He mentioned to Smith that he was related to Dalrymple."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he was related to Dalrymple.

-"Andrews told Smith he was a former card shark who had decided to go straight."
There is nothing known about Gallaway to suggest he had been a card shark.
None of these things are as immutable and as observable as height and eye color are. Erdnase could have made up the Dalrymple comment. Judging from where somebody comes based on how they speak works sometimes and fails sometimes. Judging somebodies age can be off by several years. Additionally Smith never defines a lower boundary, so we do not know how young Erdnase could have been according to Smith. The photos we have of Gallaway are when he is a senior. Beyond his height and eye color it is not knowable if he was thin or fat when he was younger. Age and being from a particular region is a highly subjective estimate, nowhere as clearly observable as height and eye color. How would Smith know if he was married or not? Not everybody wears a wedding band. All of the things you say disprove Gallaway are no reasons to exclude him or anybody else, because they cannot directly be observed by Smith. They are merely his opinions and best guesses. Height and eye color, if you believe Smith is correct in his recollections, are hard reasons to exclude somebody, because they can't be changed and they are directly observable by Smith.

Bill Mullins wrote:I don't think that Sanders could stretch or shrink his height. The example was obviously provided tongue in cheek, in rebuttal to (yet another) blanket statement you had made that was demonstrably wrong.
In the context I made the comment it was not wrong, because common sense, and having a meaningful and sensible discussion excluded it. But that is not what you want to have.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 9:11 am

Bill Mullins wrote:My bad. Allow me to revise and extend my earlier remarks: "In addition to the German nickname theory, Chris has another theory which is based solely on speculation and has no evidence to support it. Neither of his theories hold water, and in no case can he point to someone who has used something similar to arrive at a pseudonym." Happy now?
Since you have this arrogant and ignorant view I am quoting from an article by Leopoldo Costa which you can read in full here https://stravaganzastravaganza.blogspot ... names.html

Nicknames play an important role in the creation of pseudonyms. A person is given a nickname and adopts it, or becomes so widely known by it that it replaces the original name. The distinction between an adopted nickname and an adopted new name can be very fine. The criterion is usually whether the person becomes mainly or solely known by the adopted nickname or not. Thus the U.S. pool player Minnesota Fats is generally known by his nickname rather than his original formal name, Rudolf Walter Wanderone, Jr. The same goes for the many musical performers nicknamed “Big,” such as Big Bopper, who was exclusively billed under this name rather than his birth name, Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.

Like all pseudonyms, nicknames can be in any language, including the two quoted above for Roman emperors. Caracalla was so dubbed for a type of cloak he designed, from a Latin word of Gaulish origin, while Caligula was given a name meaning “little boots,” a nickname bestowed when the emperor-to-be ran around camp as a child. (Two millennia later his Latin name was adopted in its English version by pop singer Little Boots, born Victoria Hesketh.) Single-word pseudonyms are fairly frequently found. The adopted name may be simply an original first name or surname, or a form of it. The painter Giorgione already mentioned thus came to be known by a name amounting to “Big George,” derived from his given name.

The German nickname theory is alive and well, and at least as reasonable as a complex anagram, reverse spelling, or any other way Erdnase may have derived his pseudonym. We have no idea how he chose it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 9:31 am

Correction of my source above. The article appears to be by Adrian Room the author of the book 'Dictionary of Pseudonyms'.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 12th, 2018, 10:17 am

seems to be a lot of selective standards here.

he’s not fat, the picture is wrong

we take some statements as fact, except for when we don’t. like when Dalrymple was a lie. or the accent was misheard,
or statement of geography had to be misremembered.

you seem to be cherry picking only those elements which confirm you candidate and dismissing all the evidence against him by executive order.

sounds less like the work of a detective
and more like the rhetoric of the fundamentalist picking and choosing scripture to convince the choir of their superiority to the heathen.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 10:42 am

Brad Henderson wrote:like when Dalrymple was a lie.
How could Smith have independently observed that Erdnase was related to Dalrymple? There was no way to do that. If Erdnase indeed said it, then all we have left is trust what Erdnase said and what Smith remembered. Two assumptions that can be wrong. With height and eye color such trust in Erdnase is not necessary. It is not anything he could have changed or falsified. It was directly observable for Smith. That means the only assumption is that Smith remembered it correctly. That makes height and eye color already much more reliable than other things Smith remembered about Erdnase. Since Smith was an illustrator trained to observe visually, height and eye color, are more likely correct than something abstract that came via his auditory sense like a name. Additionally we have the illustrations which depict small hands suggesting a small man. So not only is it more likely that Smith remembered a visually observable like height more accurately than a name, we also have an independent confirmation of the height via the illustrations. That makes particularly the height much more reliable than the Dalrymple comment.

I do think about which comments by Smith are more likely true and which are not. What can be independently confirmed? Which experiences were likely unique for Smith and unlikely masked or replaced by other similar experiences over the course of 45 years? What could he observe visually? What are things he could observe many times and what were single point interactions? Smith could observe Erdnase's height every time he saw him. The Dalrymple comment was a one off comment. When one honestly evaluates all of these factors one will be able to understand what has a bigger chance of being correct and what can very likely be wrong, or was possibly falsified by Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 12th, 2018, 11:46 am

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:My bad. Allow me to revise and extend my earlier remarks: "In addition to the German nickname theory, Chris has another theory which is based solely on speculation and has no evidence to support it. Neither of his theories hold water, and in no case can he point to someone who has used something similar to arrive at a pseudonym."
Reverse spelling and complex anagrams are also merely theories without any evidence. There are plenty of authors who have chosen pseudonyms which were not derived via an anagram.


You're ignoring the fact that this particular pseudonym spells another name backwards (E.S. Andrews). That's a crucial difference.

It's extremely unlikely that a pseudonym will spell backwards to a real name purely by chance. So if you find one that does (especially when it's so contrived and strange sounding like SW Erdnase), then all signs point to there being a reason (not a coincidence). And any candidate that has nothing to do with the name ES Andrews (e.g. as author's actual name or an anagram of it) is much less likely than others who do have a connection.

So Sanders has a double connection. His name is an anagram and his occupation matches the pseudonym (mining engineer = earthnose = erdnase). This is even more significant given that we know he played with anagrams and rearranging the letters of his own name. And the various E.S. Andrews candidates match the backwards spelling. For Gallaway there's no explanation for why he picked a pseudonym that happened to spell out another name backwards. While it doesn't rule him out, it makes him much less likely all things being equal.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Gilbert » April 12th, 2018, 1:48 pm

As for the Dalrymple comment by Smith, with Smith being an artist and Erdnase mentioning being related to a famous artist, could make it more memorable than some other comments.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 1:58 pm

Tom Gilbert wrote:As for the Dalrymple comment by Smith, with Smith being an artist and Erdnase mentioning being related to a famous artist, could make it more memorable than some other comments.
True, that is one way to see it. Or it could also be that he has heard the name Dalrymple in several other instances, being the illustrator he was, and thus he inadvertently exchanged it with the real name Erdnase mentioned, or he created a false memory altogether and Erdnase never mentioned anything being related to an illustrator. In memory research one important factor is uniqueness. We can assume that Smith heard the name Dalrymple in many other situations. That creates a problem for his long term memory.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 12th, 2018, 3:53 pm

and if that’s the case, then whose to say smith isn’t engaging in a false memory of whom he met or where he met them. If he is so unreliable for some statements, then he should be equally unreliable for any others.

so being independently verifiable becomes irrelevant. now we have to trust smith recalled the right session or wasn’t just making it all up in the first place.

It seems for some to make their cases, they have to denounce the existence of facts.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 4:31 pm

Since we are talking about the size of Erdnase's hands, Erdnase tells us that he has very small hands. Here is the quote from his book:
We presume that the larger, or the longer the hand, the easier it will be for a beginner to accomplish this shift, but a very small hand can perform the action when the knack is once acquired.
That should settle the question. He had very small hands.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 12th, 2018, 6:24 pm

@lybrary, your quote from the section on the Erdnase Shift-One Hand is interesting. The notion is also expressed earlier in the text in the section on Acquiring the Art: "The beginner invariably imagines his hands are too small or too large, but the size has little to do with the possibilities of skill. ". However, saying a thing is possible is not the same as saying a thing applies to oneself.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 12th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:@lybrary, your quote from the section on the Erdnase Shift-One Hand is interesting. The notion is also expressed earlier in the text in the section on Acquiring the Art: "The beginner invariably imagines his hands are too small or too large, but the size has little to do with the possibilities of skill. ". However, saying a thing is possible is not the same as saying a thing applies to oneself.


Yes, I was going to say the same thing.

And in addition, even if he is talking about himself, he could easily have learned the sleight when he was young (as a "beginner" himself) when his own hands were small. We know, for example, that Sanders was 5' tall when he was 14 years old.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 12th, 2018, 8:34 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:@lybrary, your quote from the section on the Erdnase Shift-One Hand is interesting. The notion is also expressed earlier in the text in the section on Acquiring the Art: "The beginner invariably imagines his hands are too small or too large, but the size has little to do with the possibilities of skill. ". However, saying a thing is possible is not the same as saying a thing applies to oneself.
Jonathan, if you read the sentence carefully it is clear that he is saying he indeed has small hands. He says 'presume that the larger or the longer hand'. In other words he doesn't know, so he assumes or supposes, because he doesn't have a larger or longer hand. If he would have a larger hand he doesn't need to presume. But in the case of a very small hand he knows that it is possible, no assumption necessary, because he is speaking from his own experience.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 12th, 2018, 9:48 pm

lybrary wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:@lybrary, your quote from the section on the Erdnase Shift-One Hand is interesting. The notion is also expressed earlier in the text in the section on Acquiring the Art: "The beginner invariably imagines his hands are too small or too large, but the size has little to do with the possibilities of skill. ". However, saying a thing is possible is not the same as saying a thing applies to oneself.
Jonathan, if you read the sentence carefully it is clear that he is saying he indeed has small hands. He says 'presume that the larger or the longer hand'. In other words he doesn't know, so he assumes or supposes, because he doesn't have a larger or longer hand. If he would have a larger hand he doesn't need to presume. But in the case of a very small hand he knows that it is possible, no assumption necessary, because he is speaking from his own experience.


If he wanted to say that, he could have either referred to himself or have said he presumes that "a large or long hand" would make it easier, implying that he doesn't have a hand of sufficient size to make that claim and can only presume it.

But that's not what he said. Instead, he just makes a couple generalizations. First saying that two quantities (size, ease) are linked: size of hand and ease of performing the sleight. And second, that despite that, even a small hand can do it, since it's a knack.

So you can't infer he's talking about himself. And, as I mentioned, even if did have himself in mind, it could easily have been thinking back to when he was a beginner (which was the context) and was young with small hands when he learned the sleight.

However, something else is worth noting in this example. I'm glad you found it. This comparative parallel construction, using the definite article, is something found elsewhere in Erdnase and also in Sanders:

Erdnase: The larger, or longer the hand, the easier it will be for a beginner to accomplish this shift
Erdnase: The greater the emergency, or the greater the stakes, The greater the nerve required.
Sanders: The greater the diameter the greater the strength of the timber.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 12th, 2018, 9:54 pm

What he is presuming is that if you have larger hands, sleights will be easier than if you have smaller hands. But there's no way for a person with either small or large hands to know that -- you have to have both to be able to make the comparison. Jonathan's right.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 12th, 2018, 10:56 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:-In Fig 16, the left edge of the table would be parallel to the left edge of the tabled portion of the deck, since the deck and table are on parallel planes, and their front edges are parallel.
Another error by Bill who doesn't understand perspective. If I remember this correctly then Tom Sawyer has pointed this out before on his blog. Illustration 16 is NOT incorrect. If the center of the camera is in line with the left edge of the table and the viewing direction is along that left edge of the table, that left edge of the table will come out perfectly perpendicular to the front edge, which runs parallel to the camera. But the somewhat to the right positioned deck of cards would show exactly the left and right edges running at an angle (not parallel) to the left table edge. I don't have the time to set up a camera, but I remember Tom had a photo that proved that this is a correct perspective. Which is yet another proof that these were traced from photos, because I agree, that the lines look at first sight wrong. But they aren't.

I say, "Drawing isn't accurate, because in axonometric drawing, table edge and card edges should be parallel." Chris says, "No, dummy, drawing isn't axonometric, it's a perspective drawing." Sorry, that doesn't work either. In a perspective drawing, the parallel lines should all recede to a common vanishing point (as you try and show in the Donnelley classroom drawings in your ebook.)

Image

(and before you say the front edge of the deck isn't parallel to the front edge of the table, so the decks convergence point wouldn't be the same as the table's, check them out. Acrobat's measuring tool says both lines are at 1.2 degrees from the horizontal.)

(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 13th, 2018, 7:12 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:-In Fig 16, the left edge of the table would be parallel to the left edge of the tabled portion of the deck, since the deck and table are on parallel planes, and their front edges are parallel.
Another error by Bill who doesn't understand perspective. If I remember this correctly then Tom Sawyer has pointed this out before on his blog. Illustration 16 is NOT incorrect. If the center of the camera is in line with the left edge of the table and the viewing direction is along that left edge of the table, that left edge of the table will come out perfectly perpendicular to the front edge, which runs parallel to the camera. But the somewhat to the right positioned deck of cards would show exactly the left and right edges running at an angle (not parallel) to the left table edge. I don't have the time to set up a camera, but I remember Tom had a photo that proved that this is a correct perspective. Which is yet another proof that these were traced from photos, because I agree, that the lines look at first sight wrong. But they aren't.

I say, "Drawing isn't accurate, because in axonometric drawing, table edge and card edges should be parallel." Chris says, "No, dummy, drawing isn't axonometric, it's a perspective drawing." Sorry, that doesn't work either. In a perspective drawing, the parallel lines should all recede to a common vanishing point (as you try and show in the Donnelley classroom drawings in your ebook.)

Image

(and before you say the front edge of the deck isn't parallel to the front edge of the table, so the decks convergence point wouldn't be the same as the table's, check them out. Acrobat's measuring tool says both lines are at 1.2 degrees from the horizontal.)

(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)


The edge of the table was, without a doubt in my mind, drawn long after the figure of the hand. Therefore, any suggestion of false perspective is insignificant. The table is a bit of decoration, a mere setting, a stock image. If the hand were traced from a photograph, it is very unlikely that the edge of the table would have been traced as well. For all we know, there might not have been a table in the photograph!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 13th, 2018, 10:20 am

the idea that this turn of phrase proves erdnase gad small hands is nonsense.

i have many times read and told magicians/laypeople - you might think having big hands would help, but that’s just not true.

does that mean i have small or large hands?

it says nothing about the size of ones hands - it only speaks to the truth that hand size doesn’t matter as many people would presume it would.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 13th, 2018, 10:32 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:The edge of the table was, without a doubt in my mind, drawn long after the figure of the hand. Therefore, any suggestion of false perspective is insignificant. The table is a bit of decoration, a mere setting, a stock image. If the hand were traced from a photograph, it is very unlikely that the edge of the table would have been traced as well. For all we know, there might not have been a table in the photograph!


Figure 64 is an interesting one that seems to conform to that theory. It looks obviously like lines drawn with a ruler and makes no sense as edges of a table, since the lines form a T.

Though that alone doesn't preclude tracing, since tracing could involve using a ruler to more quickly and accurately follow a straight line. It might just be sloppiness and an unfinished bit of work.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 13th, 2018, 11:26 am

Bill Mullins wrote:In a perspective drawing, the parallel lines should all recede to a common vanishing point (as you try and show in the Donnelley classroom drawings in your ebook.)
Image
(and before you say the front edge of the deck isn't parallel to the front edge of the table, so the decks convergence point wouldn't be the same as the table's, check them out. Acrobat's measuring tool says both lines are at 1.2 degrees from the horizontal.)
The drawn edges are too short that you could extend them that far back and hope to get them all run through the same vanishing point. The small variations tracing introduces, and a possible small misalignment of edge of the deck to the edge of the board, easily explains why the three lines do not cross in one precise point. If you use the inside edge of the board rather than the outside you will already get a closer match. However, what your image nicely shows, is that the perspective shown is correct to the precision of a traced photo. BTW, the edges shown are not the edges of a table. They are the edges of the shuffle board Erdnase is using and Smith mentions.
Bill Mullins wrote:(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)
The obvious reason why the cards held in the hand appear wider is because they are tilted towards the viewing plane. You only need to look at their short edges to understand that they are not in a parallel plane to the cards on the board.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 13th, 2018, 2:54 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)
The obvious reason why the cards held in the hand appear wider is because they are tilted towards the viewing plane. You only need to look at their short edges to understand that they are not in a parallel plane to the cards on the board.


The edges that I'm referring to are those that run left-to-right, the longitudinal edges. They are parallel to the same edges as those on the talon on the board. Tilting the deck upwards wouldn't change their apparent size.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 13th, 2018, 3:14 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)
The obvious reason why the cards held in the hand appear wider is because they are tilted towards the viewing plane. You only need to look at their short edges to understand that they are not in a parallel plane to the cards on the board.


The edges that I'm referring to are those that run left-to-right, the longitudinal edges. They are parallel to the same edges as those on the talon on the board. Tilting the deck upwards wouldn't change their apparent size.


This illustration is an example of what I mean by "recycling". Compare it (fig. 16) with the drawing of the left hand in figs. 14, 15 and 31. They are all variations of the same sketch. Some rougher than others.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 13th, 2018, 3:25 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:(and notice how the portion of the deck in the hand is wider than that on the table. This would make sense if the hand were closer to the viewer than the tabled portion, bu the text says to draw the hand "inward" when doing this move.)
The obvious reason why the cards held in the hand appear wider is because they are tilted towards the viewing plane. You only need to look at their short edges to understand that they are not in a parallel plane to the cards on the board.


The edges that I'm referring to are those that run left-to-right, the longitudinal edges. They are parallel to the same edges as those on the talon on the board. Tilting the deck upwards wouldn't change their apparent size.
We generally consider the width of a card to be along its shorter side and the length along its longer side. But besides that point I think you don't fully understand this move. Yes, Erdnase writes "swing or jerk downwards and inwards". However, to move inwards and have the cards end up on top of the already tabled portion requires you to start from father away. Otherwise the cards wouldn't land on top of the already tabled pack. So yes, the movement is inwards, but his starting point, which the illustration captures, is with the hand further out beyond where the tabled cards are. That is why the cards in the hand appear a bit longer. They are closer to the camera.

The other factor is that the photo is taken from an angle from above, not from the front head on. So whatever is higher, which the hand with the cards clearly is, is therefore also closer to the camera.
Last edited by lybrary on April 13th, 2018, 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » April 13th, 2018, 3:27 pm

Magic and gambling collector Tom Blue has posted a video championing a candidate for Erdnase:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ol6T_Ne35U&

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 13th, 2018, 4:46 pm

lybrary wrote: BTW, the edges shown are not the edges of a table. They are the edges of the shuffle board Erdnase is using and Smith mentions.

The text says, "In seizing the deck, if it is slid to the table edge . . . "

The obvious reason why the cards held in the hand appear wider is because they are tilted towards the viewing plane. You only need to look at their short edges to understand that they are not in a parallel plane to the cards on the board.

Again, check the text: "and the action must be nicely made to have the cards fall flatly." If the cards are to fall flatly, then they must be horizontal (and not tilted) when released.

However, to move inwards and have the cards end up on top of the already tabled portion requires you to start from father away. Otherwise the cards wouldn't land on top of the already tabled pack.

??? No, I don't think so. If the cards are an inch in front of the tabled talon, and you pull the lower half of the deck out from under them, then they will land an inch in front of the tabled talon. Gravity pulls straight down. Remember, they "fall flatly".

And this passage includes what I believe is a previously unrecognized (very minor) error (or at least a discrepancy): The figure (16) shows the middle of a running cut -- that's the only way you'd have cards on the table, and the portion in hand divided for another cut. But the text referring to Fig 16 is talking about a straight cut, in which there would only be either cards in the hand, divided in preparation for the drop, and no cards yet on the table; or (after the drop) cards on the table, and cards in the hand, undivided, and ready to be placed on the tabled talon.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 13th, 2018, 5:42 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:??? No, I don't think so. If the cards are an inch in front of the tabled talon, and you pull the lower half of the deck out from under them, then they will land an inch in front of the tabled talon. Gravity pulls straight down. Remember, they "fall flatly".
Not if you move inward as the text instructs. As Erdnase states it is a downward and inward movement. That means the hand is not only going down but also inward. That means the hand imparts the cards with an inward movement, besides gravity pulling them down. You know, Newton's laws of motion and such. When the hand releases the cards they will therefore not fall straight down, they will have a velocity component pointing inwards. Additionally the illustration captures the moment slightly before the cards are released. At that point the hand is slightly in front of the pack. As it travels inwards and releases the cards, so that they land on top of the pack. But even if you want to insist that the hand is not slightly in front of the pack, it certainly is above the pack and thus closer to the camera making the cards in the hand appear larger.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Mahdi Gilbert » April 13th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Hey, I thought this thread was spiraling out of control so to bring it back here's a first edition of Erdnase that's going to be available at the upcoming Potter & Potter auction: http://auctions.potterauctions.com/The_ ... T9442.aspx

I hear if you multiply the dimensions of a first edition by the full value of Pi you get Erdnase's arm length.


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