Saturday Video Roundup: try try try to understand — he’s a magic man…

Like a lot of people, I’m fascinated by magic. Oh, not the real kind – you know, the sleight-of-hand/parlor trick/Houdini stuff. I used to know Whit Haydn and have seen him do tricks so well that even though I was pretty sure I knew how he was doing it, and even though I was able to stand about a foot away and watch, I still couldn’t catch him.

I’m not sure I understand exactly what it is in us that responds so powerfully to illusion – maybe it’s that the day-to-day world is so mundane and bereft of hope that we’re automatically drawn to even the most subliminal suggestion that there could be more to life than meets the eye.

In any case, there are people out there doing stuff that’s just … he did what?! The two biggest names these days are Criss Angel and, of course, David Blaine, who’s hands-down the craziest bastard alive. So for today’s edition of SVR, let’s kick back and enjoy being hoodwinked for a few minutes, shall we?

Up first, Criss Angel and his famous coin trick. Not only do I not know how he does this, I don’t know why.

Next, the aforementioned David Blaine, who has inflicted some of the most horrific torments on himself that we’ve ever seen. He’s also a demon with card tricks. But here’s my favorite – levitation.

Finally, I’m not sure what’s going on with Derren Brown here, exactly – this is less about magic and more about fast-talking, but if this is actual man-in-the-street stuff, it’s a little scary.

Of course, I’m easily baffled, I guess. To me, a toaster is magic. In any case, it’s a mysterious world out there, so always keep a can of skeptical spray in your purse.

Happy Saturday.


  • Levitation is Sooo 1st century…

  • I am going to pretend I didn’t see that Criss Angel video, because it totally squicked me. But I really liked the Derren Brown bit — and as it happens, I saw my first Derren Brown special today, and enjoyed it so much I just ordered his book “Tricks of the Mind” from

  • Watch the “half a woman” Criss Angel video that comes up in the You Tube window after the coin video. That one freaks the ever living hell out of me. The acting really sells it.

  • Okay, I’m glad I watched that this morning instead of before bed last night.

  • That Darren Brown trick is called The Handshake Induction. Very cool but I figure that you must be very skilled to do it.

  • I have Brown’s “Tricks of the Mind” in my library. There are many good trading lessons contained within that book. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the scientific method applied to mental hocus= pocus.


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