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Mike Powers

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This is worth watching. It's Nate Staniforth's TED talk "Creating Astonishment."

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks, Mike. Well worth it!

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Magicmason

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Thanks Mike.  That was excellent.  We can lose sight of this.  Gives me a different focus to aim for.  

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chris w

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Reply with quote  #4 
Has anyone read Staniforth's book? I'm in the middle of it right now. It's been very good so far.
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Anthony Vinson

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris w
Has anyone read Staniforth's book? I'm in the middle of it right now. It's been very good so far.


No. It's been parked on my Kindle wish list for some time now, but I haven't yet pulled the trigger. I worry there's nothing new there. If, after finishing, you would recommend it to a good friend or relative, I'd be interested in knowing. Might convince me to hit the Buy Now button.

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi chris 2 - I'm getting near the end of the Staniforth book. There's a lot of good thinking in there as well as a fun story.

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Anthony Vinson

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Okay, so that sounds like two recommendations. Amazon just sent an offer: Buy $20 worth of e-books by tomorrow, get $5 toward any future e-book purchase. With Stephen King, John Sanford, and David Baldacci all releasing new books soon, I'm thinking why not pick up Staniforth's and one other on my list? 

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Craig Alan

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Nate's book is a very good read.  I have both the book and the audiobook.  I read the book first then snagged the audiobook to listen to again.  Even though I would recommend either of them, with the audiobook, it's read by Nate, and it's even better hearing it in his voice.  He definitely has a deep passion for our craft and that translates well in the audiobook.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'm in the home stretch on the book. Thanks for the tip on the audio-book Craig. I may pick that up. One nice feature of the Kindle version is that I'm able to highlight important passages in a variety of colors. Then I can go back through the book quickly as I read only the highlighted items. In the "old days" I would highlight the physical book. I'd have to constantly remove the cap from the highlighter and recap, slowing things down. Now, I can just put my fingertip down and drag. Love the eBook!

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #10 
Alright, color me convinced. Just downloaded it to my Kindle. 

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #11 

Overall I found it insubstantial and cliched, slick yes, but often patronising and not as supportive of Magic as he suggested it would be at the outset.

I don’t believe that his schoolmates and certainly not the teachers started freaking out. This is exaggeration for effect, but not very well delivered and it’s feeble. I did tricks at school and the response was good. Often better than good. But that’s what I expected, being super slick and charming. But nobody freaked out. And guess what..... they all said something to the effect:
 
“How do/did you do that?”

What a loser I was. And still am to hear Staniforth talk.

He says that he’s failed if a member of the audience says “How did you do that”.

Adding to that he further, asserts that Magicians at large have failed if an audience member (or more) says “How do/did you do that?”

Absolute Rubbish.

Interestingly he looks to have failed to notice that one of the audience members in the grossly overlong kids bit says just that. Oh dear. About the 10 minute mark. Off camera.

 

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #12 
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed, Al?! [smile] Insubstantial? Certainly not! Deep? No, but deep enough to encourage rumination and further discussion. What more could you ask of a TED-X Talk?

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed, Al?! [smile] Insubstantial? Certainly not! Deep? No, but deep enough to encourage rumination and further discussion. What more could you ask of a TED-X Talk?

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Not at all. 

Maybe the eulogising of Forum Members raised the hackles a bit. [confused][smile] Who knows.

What I do know is that what I said is what I meant.

So there. Cheeky monkey.

[wink]
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #14 
My hackles are laid back, smoothed down, and feathery soft. I'm referring to ideas, which are certainly subject to debate, scorn, and even ridicule. But your pronouncements seemed a bit ad hominim, that's all. I could be wrong. But I could be right. Now, where's my hackle brush?!

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
My hackles are laid back, smoothed down, and feathery soft. I'm referring to ideas, which are certainly subject to debate, scorn, and even ridicule. But your pronouncements seemed a bit ad hominim, that's all. I could be wrong. But I could be right. Now, where's my hackle brush?!

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Seeking clarification here, Mister V,  before I hand out the arms and ammo.

The "ad hominim" thing you mention: Are you referring to my "cheeky monkey" remark?

Or (as I suspect) something you've inferred from my comments on the Ted Talk Tape by the seemingly untouchable Mister Nate Staniforth?
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


Seeking clarification here, Mister V,  before I hand out the arms and ammo.

The "ad hominim" thing you mention: Are you referring to my "cheeky monkey" remark?

Or (as I suspect) something you've inferred from my comments on the Ted Talk Tape by the seemingly untouchable Mister Nate Staniforth?


Since you and I have "spoken" on the forum a great deal, and even corresponded a bit by email, I took the liberty of speaking to you in a more informal and friendly manner. 'twas merely banter, my friend, merely banter. Like when you refer to me as a cheeky monkey, which, by the way, I take lightheartedly and with good humor. Like Spenser and Hawk. Not Susan. Not going that far. No.   

As to the ad hominim thing. You refer to the man himself, rather than the ideas, several times in your post, and it was those remarks to which I referred as ad hominim. (The textbook definition, as you may agree.) That's all. That's it. Your opinions and remarks on the ideas themselves? Well, that's what I meant in my initial response to your post. (The 'wrong side of the bed" one, that is.) It was me swatting the shuttlecock back to your side of the net in a friendly game of message board badminton.  

I enjoy your insights, opinions, and curmudgeonly remarks. A lot. I read them with interest, often giggling at your wit and literary allusions. I've told you this before and haven't changed my mind. Now, if, in being too familiar and friendly, I failed to properly communicate my thoughts, well then, mea culpa. And while I can easily enough resort to a more formal stance if it's offensive or bothersome, I would prefer not to. Your call. Either way, my affectionate remarks stand.

Fair dinkum?  

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #17 

Fair Dinkum??!! Perleeze. Save that for the Wizards Of Oz. [smile]

I didn’t think you were being at all heavy, hence my “arms and ammo” remark and you know where that’s from.

But I’m genuinely mystified. That's at the Apple Corps of my post. I wrote the (original) post, so I know I’ve read it, but just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I’ve read it again. Three times. I can’t see where I’ve made said ad hominem or even personal in there at all. So: You are wrong.

Among things I muttered were “I found it insubstantial, cliched, slick…..“

Note I said “It.” Personal? And surely “slick,” which "It" was, is on the outer fringes of being borderline complimentary. Also, “It” was/is patronising.

I confess I did say “It” was not as supportive of Magic as "He"suggested "IT" would be at the outset.

So: “He”. At last, a personal pronoun. But is it a personal jibe? From where I’m sitting in my, hopefully well-insulated and self-isolated, self-distancing oubliette, far beyond these castle walls–-No.

I happily repeat that “his” schoolmates freaking out is exaggeration for effect. Perhaps he and I have different interpretations of what constitutes freaking out. Probably have, I rarely agree with anybody and anything, unless I agree.

I did dare to suggest that “HE” had failed, both in his performance and in his failure to notice that one of the kids says “How did you do that.” That was a bit of whimsy (I thought) on my part, but the point is relevant.

I did get very personal when I said I was a loser. How dare I? And when I said I was super slick and charming, which I most certainly am. Oh yes, I did say “Staniforth”. Perhaps I should have said Mister Staniforth, or in true farternal style, Nate.

And here we are. Hopefully no harm done. [smile][smile][smile] And well said, about Doctor Silverman.

So to close this cheerful banterful missive, I will also repeat that when somebody says “How did you do that” neither you, nor I, nor Mister Staniforth have failed. And anybody who thinks that, as Mister Staniforth seems to is wrong.

I'm sure Forumites are wondering what we're on about. If anybody works it out, please let me know. I haven't a clue.

[confused][confused]

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee

Fair Dinkum??!! Perleeze. Save that for the Wizards Of Oz. [smile]

I didn’t think you were being at all heavy, hence my “arms and ammo” remark and you know where that’s from.

But I’m genuinely mystified. That's at the Apple Corps of my post. I wrote the (original) post, so I know I’ve read it, but just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I’ve read it again. Three times. I can’t see where I’ve made said ad hominem or even personal in there at all. So: You are wrong.

Among things I muttered were “I found it insubstantial, cliched, slick…..“

Note I said “It.” Personal? And surely “slick,” which "It" was, is on the outer fringes of being borderline complimentary. Also, “It” was/is patronising.

I confess I did say “It” was not as supportive of Magic as "He"suggested "IT" would be at the outset.

So: “He”. At last, a personal pronoun. But is it a personal jibe? From where I’m sitting in my, hopefully well-insulated and self-isolated, self-distancing oubliette, far beyond these castle walls–-No.

I happily repeat that “his” schoolmates freaking out is exaggeration for effect. Perhaps he and I have different interpretations of what constitutes freaking out. Probably have, I rarely agree with anybody and anything, unless I agree.

I did dare to suggest that “HE” had failed, both in his performance and in his failure to notice that one of the kids says “How did you do that.” That was a bit of whimsy (I thought) on my part, but the point is relevant.

I did get very personal when I said I was a loser. How dare I? And when I said I was super slick and charming, which I most certainly am. Oh yes, I did say “Staniforth”. Perhaps I should have said Mister Staniforth, or in true farternal style, Nate.

And here we are. Hopefully no harm done. [smile][smile][smile] And well said, about Doctor Silverman.

So to close this cheerful banterful missive, I will also repeat that when somebody says “How did you do that” neither you, nor I, nor Mister Staniforth have failed. And anybody who thinks that, as Mister Staniforth seems to is wrong.

I'm sure Forumites are wondering what we're on about. If anybody works it out, please let me know. I haven't a clue.

[confused][confused]



Most of what you two are talking about it lost on me. I had to Google "oubliette", "dinkum", "ad hominem", and Doctor Silverman.

I'm just glad that this turns out to be a friendly exchange of words between two brothers in arms.

Rudy 




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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #19 
[rofl][rofl][rofl] No worries, Rudy! I think Al and I grok one another well enough. We sometimes sprinkle veiled references to pop culture icons in our exchanges.

And since I have no idea what your Google search netted in relation to Dr. Silverman, in this case she's a recurring character in a series of novels for which Al and I share a passion. If you're ever looking for a good read, and medium-boiled detective stories appeal to you, you won't do better than Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
[rofl][rofl][rofl] No worries, Rudy! I think Al and I grok one another well enough. We sometimes sprinkle veiled references to pop culture icons in our exchanges.

And since I have no idea what your Google search netted in relation to Dr. Silverman, in this case she's a recurring character in a series of novels for which Al and I share a passion. If you're ever looking for a good read, and medium-boiled detective stories appeal to you, you won't do better than Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels.

Av


My quick search for Dr. Silverman was fruitless, but I'm guessed that you weren't talking about Dr. Mark A. Silverman in Florida 😉

Mark A. Silverman.jpg 


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #21 
LOL. Nope. Susan Silverman, PhD psychologist, and main squeeze of one Spenser, P.I. in Boston, MA.

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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #22 
After hearing Alan Smithee's negative review of Nate's Ted Talk, I decided to watch the video myself. I have never heard of Nate before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm so glad that Mike shared this video because I thoroughly enjoyed watching it! I actually just purchased "Here is Real Magic" on Kindle based on what I saw. 

I don't necessarily agree that it's a fail when our audiences say, "How did you do that?". I understand what he's getting at, but I think that it's a natural response that folks have when they see something seemingly impossible.

But aside from that, I found that I totally agree with the thoughts and ideas that he expressed in the video.

I hope that the magicians who watch this will at least take his thoughts into consideration.

Rudy


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #23 
And that was my point. Nate's opinions are just that, and while arguable and even disagreeable to some, they should serve as points of discussion and debate. I, myself, do not totally agree with him, but I do appreciate his perspective. I always try to examine as many areas of a topic as possible so as to understand to the greatest extent possible. But that's me. I, too, grabbed the Kindle edition and will read it after I finish A Warning...

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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #24 
I went back and listened to the TED talk again. I still think there's a lot of value there. 

BTW He does not say that if people ask "how did you do that," the magician has failed. He says, "If the most interesting question you have after you've seen a magician is 'how did you do that' then they have failed you completely. That's not what it's about at all."

Qualifying the concept with ".. the most interesting question" makes a lot of difference in how we understand what he's trying to say. Also, he's not talking to a magician and saying "you've failed if such and such happens." He's talking to a lay audience and making the point that the magician has "failed" if the audience's most interesting question is "how did you do that." I think he really means that the audience has missed the boat when that happens and is putting some responsibility on the magician for that. He's trying to educate his audience to approach seeing magic without that question rather than chastising a magician should the question be asked by an audience member.

Mr. Staniforth may not be the best one to argue the case he's espousing. Eugene Burger might do a better job using his persona and wonderful voice. Many of the ideas in the TED talk are not novel for magicians. But they're solid and new to his lay audience. I wonder how many in the audience had thought about googling "red ball magic" and then didn't.

Mike


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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #25 
Thanks, Mike, for the original recommendation. I’ve tried to make it a habit to follow any ‘lead’ from our community here (especially the ‘Freebies’ - I think there’s some Scottish in my heritage). I got a lot from it. Since there’s so much TED stuff out there now, it’s good to have recommendations. Slightly off the original topic, I’ve enjoyed matching up any TED talk to the ideas in ‘TED TALKS: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking’, by Chris Anderson, ‘Head of TED’. He’s uses heaps of examples from the shows to make his points about what makes the really ‘inspirational talks’. I think it’s a good tool for any magician.
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
I went back and listened to the TED talk again. I still think there's a lot of value there. 

BTW He does not say that if people ask "how did you do that," the magician has failed. He says, "If the most interesting question you have after you've seen a magician is 'how did you do that' then they have failed you completely. That's not what it's about at all."

Qualifying the concept with ".. the most interesting question" makes a lot of difference in how we understand what he's trying to say. 



Excellent point, Mike. I should have caught that. It really makes a huge difference.

Thanks again for posting this.

Rudy

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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #27 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy Tinoco


Most of what you two are talking about it lost on me.




You're not the only one, Rudy ... for a while there I thought they were speaking in tongues!

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Craig Alan

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Reply with quote  #28 
All right, all right, everyone else is avoiding this, so it may come as no surprise that I will be the one to say something......


Are we just going to ignore the fact that the photo of this "Dr. Silverman" posted above, bares a eerie resemblance to our very own Johnny New York???!!!!!
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Alan
All right, all right, everyone else is avoiding this, so it may come as no surprise that I will be the one to say something......


Are we just going to ignore the fact that the photo of this "Dr. Silverman" posted above, bares a eerie resemblance to our very own Johnny New York???!!!!!



[rofl][rofl][rofl][rofl][rofl]
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #30 

Just a couple of points to put everybody’s back still further up.

Thanks for the Spenser mention Anthony. At the moment I’m re-reading “Chance”. I think it’s my favourite of the series. As you may recall, the main miscreant is called Anthony.

Rudy: It wasn’t a review, it was simply a post. Longer than most but that’s all. Stream-Of-Consciousness is just another of my middle names, so I rambled and babbled. Babbleon, as David Gray never said. And it wasn’t negative, unless being negative is to say I didn’t like it. That said as Anthony has pointed out with regard to Mister Staniforth’s talk, it’s opinion, ideas and a few other things. Interpretation is down to the individual. I interpreted it my way, others interpreted it their way. Same with my post. Fine on both counts.

There are points of interest. He doesn’t say,”Whenever we hear the words Magic or Magicians, certain things come straightaway to mind: top hats, rabbits, magic wands and…..playing cards.” Something similar and it’s on the money. It must be because it’s what I say when I do my Ed Talks for layfolk. Ed is my middle name.

Then, following this guff, depending on how I feel and whether the audience looks ready for the truth, I do a few show-off card flourishes, before seguing into a superfine miracle with my pet rabbit.

Mike Powers: Agreed. There is value there, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how we interpret the goods on offer. And you’re absolutely right…..

He does not say that if people ask "how did you do that," the magician has failed. He says, "If the most interesting question you have after you've seen a magician is ‘how did you do that’ then they have failed you completely. That's not what it's about at all."

I am wearing my hair shirt for the third successive day. However that’s how I interpreted it. Still wrong, but for that’s the sentiment he was relaying.

For reasons I can’t work out he does say that “…the goal of the audience is to tell the truth.” Should he have said the goal of the magician? A slip of the tongue, perhaps, but as he’s slipping into abstracts with the mention of Truth, I’ll be generous and overlook that.
Anyroadup, here we are.

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #31 

John Clowne said “thanks for the original recommendation. I’ve tried to make it a habit to follow any lead from our community….” Me too. Especially and particularly the Freebies. One of my enduring mottoes is: “If it’s free I’ll have a dozen.”

Anyway, as I’m fully aware that Mike Powers knows what day of the week it is, I clicked. I have no regrets on that score, notwithstanding the semi-wrist-slapping I’ve suffered.

[smile]

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #32 

Mister Powers says: Mr. Staniforth may not be the best one to argue the case he's espousing. Eugene Burger might do a better job using his persona and wonderful voice.

Possibly, and I mention Mister Burger in order to ask a question. Did anyone watch the next video that cued itself up immediately after Mister Staniforth’s? This is one of Mister Burger’s proteges/pupils/adherents/devotees/whatever. Lawrence Hass. I’ve read some of is stuff and can’t get on with it. No surprise there I’m sure you’re thinking. I could only take a few minutes, but if you missed it, or didn’t notice it, it might be worth a look.

It’s not the next in line any longer, but here’s the link anyway:

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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #33 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthur stead


You're not the only one, Rudy ... for a while there I thought they were speaking in tongues!


And that’s as it should be, Arthur. Like Magic, if everybody knows the secret, where’s the mystery? And the fun?

As Anthony hinted, we were speaking Grok. Not to be confused with Grockle.

We’re both qualified and have the certificates, diplomas and a PHD degree in the language.

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