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chris w

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Reply with quote  #1 
The method is fleas. That's not what you claim the method to be while actually accomplishing the trick by other means. The actual method is fleas.

So, what's the trick?

(If you're familiar with the bit of historical trivia to which this refers, please hold off on answering for a while until we've had some responses. I'm more interested in where this will take people as a thought exercise than in what it was inspired by.)
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #2 
A perpetual motion machine consisting of a pendulum which (apparently) swings without stopping.  It is powered by a flea that is attached to the pendulum ball with a short length of invisible thread.
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #3 
You are able to animate a card. It moves mysteriously on the tabletop. This has been done previously using small insects glued to a card. I had no idea how it was being accomplished. When the method was revealed, it was a mind blower. Fleas are likely too small to work here, but I had to mention the prior use of insects to create magic.

Perhaps you could cast an "itching spell" on a spectator?

Mike
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #4 
You've created a complex neural web by which you are able to mentally control the minds of fleas and other tiny insects. Conspiring to arrange for the perfect lighting conditions, you summon a fleet of fleas, and instruct them to invisibly surround you, and then slowly lift you into the air. While in the air you perform a series of gymnastic contortions while an assistant holds up a large hoop through which you pass not once, but thrice. Landing, you raise your arms skyward where the fleas, after coating themselves with luminescent paint, have massed and assembled into block letters spelling out "Some Magician", ala Charlotte's Web. 

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Mike Powers

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Anthony - your description caused me to flash back to the '60s.

Mike
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
You are able to animate a card. It moves mysteriously on the tabletop. This has been done previously using small insects glued to a card. I had no idea how it was being accomplished. When the method was revealed, it was a mind blower. Fleas are likely too small to work here, but I had to mention the prior use of insects to create magic.

Perhaps you could cast an "itching spell" on a spectator?

Mike

Mike,
I did it when I was a child!
I used a firebug!
I told about that anecdote in my book ^_^

The "itching spell" idea is very funny! (Not for the victim)

Chris,

Considering that fleas eat blood...

How about having a lot a fleas inside a little well closed box? So then you stain a little bit a playing card (a court card) with real blood and put it inside the fleas box. So, after a story card magic routine, the blood of the court card has desapeared as the wound has healed.




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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #7 
Does this thread go back to the original "Flea Circus" seen on some carny midways and in magician's performances?


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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
Anthony - your description caused me to flash back to the '60s.

Mike


[rofl][rofl][rofl]
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chris w

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Harry
Does this thread go back to the original "Flea Circus" seen on some carny midways and in magician's performances?



Not that far. I'm enjoying the imaginings, though. I'll let it sit a while longer before pointing out the trick that prompted the thought exercise.

The first thing that came to me was in the vein of Mike's itching spell: PK touches, accomplished by depositing fleas on people. Heh.
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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #10 
OK? so you're looking for effects that could possibly be explained by using insects or thereby giving gullible spectators a false explanation. Is that it?
I'm sorry just dense I couldn't grasp the subject.[confused]

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chris w

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Oh, sorry. Didn't realize it was unclear. You're not dense.

I happened upon a published trick for which the method is fleas. Outwardly, the effect does not appear to involve fleas, but they're the method. I found this very amusing and wondered what effects folks here might imagine accomplishing via flea.

I understand that this is a fairly preposterous idea for a thread.
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Magic Harry

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks for clarifying
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #13 
My mate, Errol, the world’s strongest flea, pushes rings and things up and down a rubber band. Permanent residence is on my scalp...always ready as long as kids can call out ‘WAKE UP ERROL’ loud enough’. Can push cotton balls on tables all by himself. Has recovered from enthusiastic applause, when he accidentally gets in the way of clapping hands; very resilient. All the kids want to hold Errol, which is a huge privilege.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #14 
Does the original effect involve a refrigerator?
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
You've created a complex neural web by which you are able to mentally control the minds of fleas and other tiny insects. Conspiring to arrange for the perfect lighting conditions, you summon a fleet of fleas, and instruct them to invisibly surround you, and then slowly lift you into the air. While in the air you perform a series of gymnastic contortions while an assistant holds up a large hoop through which you pass not once, but thrice. Landing, you raise your arms skyward where the fleas, after coating themselves with luminescent paint, have massed and assembled into block letters spelling out "Some Magician", ala Charlotte's Web. 

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You omitted to mention the vital importance of music with this folderol. It must be Herb Alpert and his "Spanish Flea". 

"The Lonely Bull" won't cut it.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris w

I understand that this is a fairly preposterous idea for a thread.


Nothing wrong with Preposterous. I love Preposterous. One of Vaudeville and Music Hall's all time Greats.

And thinking it through.....The World is preposterous.
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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


Nothing wrong with Preposterous. I love Preposterous. One of Vaudeville and Music Hall's all time Greats.

And thinking it through.....The World is preposterous.


No argument, in fact I agree, but the word I prefer is absurd, he said synonymously. 

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chris w

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Reply with quote  #18 
Okay. This thread was prompted by Bruce Elliott's recollection (spread out over issues 14 and 15 of The Phoenix, in the "Back Room" section) of a trick that had interested Annemann late in his life.

The effect was a demonstration that thoughts had weight, given under test conditions in a laboratory. A two-pan scale was balanced and isolated under a bell jar. Eventually, the force of the performer's thought waves would cause one side to depress slightly.

The method was fleas slipped under the bell jar with the scale as you covered it. While apparently concentrating the force of his thought waves, the performer would wait for a flea to jump onto or off of a pan... and then take credit for the scale's movement.

Elliott's description prompts a letter from Edward Saint, originator of the trick, published in issue 17 of The Phoenix. Saint writes, in part: "Telephone calls and letters coming in demanding HOW DO YOU CATCH FLEAS. HOW TO CARRY THEM ALIVE. HOW TO PALM A FLEA, AMD HOW TO CONTROL OR PLACE IN SCALE PAN."

Obviously, I have already said too much. Any of you who want to add this to your flea-based acts will have to find the finer points of handling in The Phoenix, issue 17, from September 4, 1942.

(Does this need to be in The Session Room? If so, feel free to move it. My feeling is that an impression among the general public that magicians' tricks are all accomplished by fleas would redound more to our benefit than anything.)
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris w


My feeling is that an impression among the general public that magicians' tricks are all accomplished by fleas would redound more to our benefit than anything.)


Not if they think the fleas are carrying some sort of virus.
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chris w

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Reply with quote  #20 
Fair point, Smithee. If that were the general perception, our misinformation strategy could well become self-defleating.
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Alan Smithee

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris w
Fair point, Smithee. If that were the general perception, our misinformation strategy could well become self-defleating.


Well, that brings back memories. I haven't been called Smithee since I was at school.

You can call me Al. Or Sir, if you prefer.
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Smithee


And thinking it through.....The World is preposterous.


Only for those who can spell or have access to a dicshonary.
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
My mate, Errol, the world’s strongest flea, pushes rings and things up and down a rubber band. Permanent residence is on my scalp...always ready as long as kids can call out ‘WAKE UP ERROL’ loud enough’. Can push cotton balls on tables all by himself. Has recovered from enthusiastic applause, when he accidentally gets in the way of clapping hands; very resilient. All the kids want to hold Errol, which is a huge privilege.


This is a great idea for IT work! I'm gonna be thinking about that for a bit now
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John Cowne

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregB


This is a great idea for IT work! I'm gonna be thinking about that for a bit now
Yes, I’ve used loops with kids’ borrowed glasses etc, to have kids screaming, ‘I see him, I see him!’ I also have a magnifying glass frame (with comic picture of Errol) to get kids look into, joining in the fantasy, by sharing what they see Errol is wearing today. I have older kids coming up with new friends asking, ‘Can you show them Errol?’ He now has a persona as strong as any puppet.
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