Science Friction

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 12th, 2012, 8:49 am

What Mr. Regal actually said was "... I take my job of reviewing seriously, so after I used the spay once I wondered - as any purchaser would - if other products normally available on store shelves would do the same thing as Science Friction. I went out and bought a handful of "best guess" alternatives and a few of them worked, but none of them as well as Science Friction, which has the ability the be removed by rubbing it in the manner of removing rubber cement from a surface."

I can confirm that PD rubs off of a card in exactly the same maner as SF. Also, the active ingredient in PD is Xylene. The active ingredient in SF is Xylol. Xylol is just another name for Xylene. In the interest of full disclosure, PD also lists Heptane as an ingredient. SF lists Xylol is in an Isomer mixture. Guess what Heptane is? It is an Isomer! I am not a chemical engineer, but I suspect that Heptane is used in both cases to keep Xylol is a form that can be aerosolized. But that is just my suspicion.

In any event I have sent 15 cards to Jonathan - some treated with DP, some with SF and some without any treatment. It will be interesting to see his observations.

BTW: Why are you not a subscriber to Genii? Just the archives could keep you busy for a life time. And as someone who is a satisfied purchaser of SF and is a subscriber to Genii, Genii has done far more for my magic that SF could ever do! So come on, do yourself a big favor and subscribe!

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2012, 5:01 pm

Thanks Bob, your package arrived today. That's a great card back design :) Will see what does and does not slide (or smells funny) this evening and tomorrow at work. -Jon
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Allen M
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Allen M » February 16th, 2012, 11:57 am

My take...
(Yes, I know that it is unsolicited...)

I too own both, having purchased SF some weeks ago and having received PD some days ago...

While I don't think that they are exactly the same, I do consider them to be functionally equal. The differences in my experience are so negligible as to be difficult to describe in concrete terms...

I am glad to have purchased the original and think highly of the provided DVD; but, would consider PD a fine reasonably priced alternative upon depleting the original SF supply (which would take some time...)

YMMV,

-Allen M.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Smurf » February 18th, 2012, 4:52 pm

I truly doubt that xylol/xylene (they are the same) and/or heptane are active ingredients.

They are common solvents used in industry to dissolve or act as the carrier in an aerosol formula. They have the advantage of a high vapor pressure leading to quick evaporation/drying. They probably contribute strongly to the odor you notice during application, but once fully evaporated they won't even be present on the cards anymore.

I suspect the active ingredient is either a naturally occuring resin, a synthetic polymer, or a combination of these.

Xylol and xylene are the same material. Xylene comes in 3 different structures or isomers, depending upon how the methyl groups are attached to the benzene ring.

Hexane is not an isomer of xylene. There are four common isomers of linear hexane (slight branches) which have identical chemical formulas (6-carbons, 14-hydrogens) but different structures. Hexane also comes in a cyclical form (with different isomers) but then it is commonly called cyclohexane. Though it is ring-shaped, it is quite different than the aromatic ring found in xylene.

The use of different solvent systems may be due to some difference in what needs to be dissolved. Aromatic hydrocarbons (xylene and others) have differnt solubility parameters and subsequently different abilities to solubilize materials when compared to linear alkanes.

On the other hand, the solvent choice may simply be due to economics or some enviromental issue.

John

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2012, 5:41 pm

My feelings may not be representative, but I always appreciate it when people make knowledgeable posts about areas related to but somewhat outside of magic. I learn something, and it provides a stronger base from which the conversation can continue. Thanks, John.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jim Riser » February 19th, 2012, 8:15 pm

Jonathan;
Email me your mailing address and I'll send you a few "slicker than normal" cards to add to Bob's mix. Red or blue backed bikes - your choice. I came up with the slicking method several years ago mainly to use for card identification/location by touch alone. It's a "product looking for uses". I really do not do card tricks and have not played with it since development.
Jim

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 20th, 2012, 8:37 am

Jonathan has finished his examination of the cards treated with SF or PD, but it will probably be the weekend before I will get a chance to examine his results and publish them here.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Anthony Vinson » February 28th, 2012, 5:30 am

Any word?

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 9:25 am

I sent Jonathan a collection of 15 cards. 5 of them were treated with Plasti-Dip. 4 of the were treated with Science Friction. The remainder were not treated at with anything.

Jonathan was not told how which cards were treated or how many cards were treated.

Jonathan examined the collection of cards on two different days and recorded his observations.

All the treated cards were correctly identified. Two of the five cards treated with Plasti-Dip were consistently identified as less uniform in it's application than the remainder of the cards.

Although I tried to be consistent in the my application of both substances on all cards, I am not sure that my application was not to blame for shellack of uniformity.

Having said that, I observed a more "coarse" spray coming from the Plasti-Dip aerosol can. The Science Friction can appeared to spray out in a more uniform and fine spray.

Having said all that I see no difference in the substance of it's usefulness. I don't know if Jonathan would agree?

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Stokes » February 28th, 2012, 10:04 am

"I will donate $100 to the charity of your choice if an objective third party can tell the difference by sight, smell or feel of cards I have prepared with Science Friction and Plasti-Dip."

And then it came to pass:

"All the treated cards were correctly identified."

Er, wot? So you lost your bet?

You remind me of the psychics who conveniently move the goalposts after the results are revealed.

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 10:12 am

I will happily donate to the agreed charity because I enjoy giving to charities. However, you need to reread the results.

All of the treated cards were identified as being treated - as oppose to those card that had neither Plasti-Dip or Science Friction applied to them.

You remind me of those people who can not read.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Chris Aguilar » February 28th, 2012, 10:54 am

Jon's analysis sure makes it sound like Plasti Dip is a viable replacement for "science friction". (i.e. 3 out of five of the treated PD cards were indistinguishable from the 4 SF treated cards).

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 28th, 2012, 11:19 am

The only to tell if something is a viable substitute for something else in this case is use to both products over a period of time in an equivalent way in the performance of magic tricks. That's the only way you're going to know if both work equally well, and consistently, in the same way for the same length of time.
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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 11:19 am

I agree, with Chris that this "seems to be" at least a viable replacement for "science friction". Although I think Jonathan and I would both like to see some others repeat the same experiment to filter out the "human" element out of the results.

Long term, Richard you are correct. But I can not think of a way to test this that is not riddled with subjectivity.
Last edited by Bob Cunningham on February 28th, 2012, 11:35 am, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: To respond to Chris AND Richard

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 28th, 2012, 12:56 pm

I suspect folks would enjoy trying Red Hot Mama/Chicago Opener using the stuff. Folks who have my old notes on wildcard or Matt Sedlack's "eraser" might find PD/SF a winner as well.

@Richard, I was working blind and used the handling for my wildcard which includes spreads and DL/DT stuff. Each test card was placed in a packet of non test cards and the fans+spreads done (testing for both full rough and super rough) with observations on touch and spread noted. Even swapped out the non-test cards between the trial runs. That's fairly extensive handling. I was hoping at least a few other folks would have tried the side by side testing to see what's similar and what's different.

@James Riser, Your envelope arrived yesterday and I look forward to finding out what a smooth card does in a pack of regular cards. Thanks again :)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 28th, 2012, 1:06 pm

In order for this to have any real validity, you need several dozen people at varying skill levels to test both sprays with different types of cards, in differing conditions of humidity, and so on.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 1:33 pm

All test/experiments have real validity. That is why there is no such thing as a failed experiment. But I agree that the more tests the more reliable the conclusions we can draw.

The three generally accepted characteristics of scientific knowledge are: Is it falsifiable? Is it repeatable? Is it peer reviewed?

What we have done here is the solid first step and I think meets those three tests. It is reasonable to draw some conclusions from those tests. However, it is now up to others to see if the results can be repeated. And of course it is up to everyone on this field to evaluate the results of this and other tests.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 28th, 2012, 1:35 pm

Richard's question about between operator variation (in six-sigma-speak repeatability vs reliability) is valid IMHO.

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 1:42 pm

I'm not disagreeing. Only pointing out that we do not need to wait for "complete" knowledge in order to find "current" knowledge useful. I hope to see more testing on this by others. I just don't think that means that what we have learned so far has no value :-)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby mrgoat » February 28th, 2012, 6:22 pm

I'm happy to try and repeat the experiment and will cover the postage to blighty.

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 28th, 2012, 8:28 pm

Hi Damian,

I'd be happy to send you a set of cards similar to those I sent Jonathan. If possible, it would be great if someone else could step up and treat the cards. That way any unconscious skew on my part would be eliminated.

However, if no one else is interested in treating a set of cards for you I will definitely mail you a set - and I'll be happy to pay for the postage. I am sure I can get a payday loan :-)

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jim Riser » February 28th, 2012, 11:41 pm

Jonathan, please let us know how the new cards fit into the mix -if at all. Thanks.
Jim

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Inigo Montoya » February 29th, 2012, 7:08 pm

I've been following along with no real stake either way than gaining knowledge, and I'm not 100% clear on how Jonathan's results have been reported.

When you say:

"All the treated cards were correctly identified."

Does that mean he was just able to tell "treated" cards from "untreated" cards, or was he able to clearly identify that 5 cards were treated with "substance A" (Plasti-Dip) and 4 cards with "substance B" (Science Friction)?

To me that's important, in that it would show that by feel/handling/smell or some other factor that clearly there is an identifiable difference between the two sprays.


Bob Cunningham wrote:I sent Jonathan a collection of 15 cards. 5 of them were treated with Plasti-Dip. 4 of the were treated with Science Friction. The remainder were not treated at with anything.

Jonathan was not told how which cards were treated or how many cards were treated.

Jonathan examined the collection of cards on two different days and recorded his observations.

All the treated cards were correctly identified. Two of the five cards treated with Plasti-Dip were consistently identified as less uniform in it's application than the remainder of the cards.

Although I tried to be consistent in the my application of both substances on all cards, I am not sure that my application was not to blame for shellack of uniformity.

Having said that, I observed a more "coarse" spray coming from the Plasti-Dip aerosol can. The Science Friction can appeared to spray out in a more uniform and fine spray.

Having said all that I see no difference in the substance of it's usefulness. I don't know if Jonathan would agree?

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 29th, 2012, 7:26 pm

Hey, Inigo, I killed your father!
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » February 29th, 2012, 7:33 pm

Of the 15 cards I sent to Jonathan, 9 were treated with either PD or SF on either the front or the back. Jonathan was able to distinguish the 9 treated cards from the 6 untreated cards.

Of the 9 treated cards 4 were treated with SF and 5 with PD. Jonathan noted that 2 of the 9 treated cards appeared to have a more coarse (less smooth) application of the substance (it was PD, but he did not know this).

I hope this is more clear. If not, I'll do my best to answer any further questions you have.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Smurf » March 2nd, 2012, 2:08 pm

"Hey, Inigo, I killed your father! RK"

INCONCEIVABLE!

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Pete McCabe » March 2nd, 2012, 3:41 pm

I used to work with someone whose husband was a Marine. During his basic training, the officer in charge introduced himself by saying "Hello, my name is Diego Montoya." One of the new recruits whispered "You killed my father, prepare to die." Half the group broke out in uncontrollable laughter. They ran many miles for that.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 7th, 2012, 6:55 pm

Jim Riser wrote:Jonathan, please let us know how the new cards fit into the mix -if at all. Thanks.
Jim


James Riser kindly sent me some of his un-friction treated cards. In a normal pack they work as touch type keycards and replacing breaks. Perhaps a "killer app" for these is in context of the classic force where you want to get the right card under their fingers as they reach.

When placed among the friction cards they don't go along for the ride as well as untreated cards though they will adhere slightly if you're sure of what's where and apply pressure carefully.

IMHO they are useful in a different handling-context where a certain location in a spreading action gets the job done.

Thanks James,

Jon

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Edward » March 7th, 2012, 7:54 pm

@Jonathan T. Do you agree with this post in regards to PD and SF?

Having said all that I see no difference in the substance of it's usefulness. I don't know if Jonathan would agree?

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 7th, 2012, 10:04 pm

Both serve and appear the same basic substance. SF applies lighter coats and you get a more subtle appearance. PD functions the same for playing cards though by comparison IMHO it could do with a way to apply the coating at half strength.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby mrgoat » March 8th, 2012, 4:02 am

A long long time ago I might have done a little graffiti. So I know you can get 'skinny' and 'fat' paint nozzles. Maybe just putting the SF nozzle on the PD would change the way it comes out...

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Bob Cunningham » March 8th, 2012, 10:59 am

Hi Damian,

I had the same thought. Since no one else has volunteered to make our little experiment more scientific by broadening the base of people preparing the cards I will be happy to make you a set and mail them to you. I'll try changing nozzles and we can see how that varies the results.

Just drop me an e-mail with your address: bob at trainingmagic.com

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Pete McCabe » March 8th, 2012, 1:33 pm

I wonder if Science Friction is ultimately just PlastiDip thinned with some chemical that affects its application. This is pure conjecture, but it would tie together many differing opinions on the subject. If so, it would be true that SF is not actually PD, but it would also be true that is basically is. It would function the same on the card, but SF would be slightly more effective/easier/whatever. They would smell differently during application but not after.

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Re: Science Friction

Postby Chris Aguilar » March 8th, 2012, 2:36 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:I wonder if Science Friction is ultimately just PlastiDip thinned with some chemical that affects its application. This is pure conjecture...


Seems quite plausible.
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Re: Science Friction

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 4th, 2018, 9:06 pm

Jim Riser wrote:Jonathan;
Email me your mailing address and I'll send you a few "slicker than normal" cards to add to Bob's mix. Red or blue backed bikes - your choice. I came up with the slicking method several years ago mainly to use for card identification/location by touch alone. It's a "product looking for uses". I really do not do card tricks and have not played with it since development.
Jim


The glide/slide force using a stranger card would be one such use. Just a few minutes ago - practicing with the window gaff and Piatnik cards - recalled your work ... so there's another use for certain-slip cards :)
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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