Me and the world’s greatest magician (and Keith Chegwin)
Uri Geller is at it again, and proving once more that our appetite for his particular brand of film-flam remains remains unsated. Check this out: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/uri-geller-cia-wanted-turn-weapon/ Yes, this is Uri is on the front page of the UK’s Daily Telegraph today with a story picked up by most of the other newspapers. He is claiming (yet again!) that, back in his […]
The Encounter: time-travelling magic
I’ve written before about my, shall we say, complicated relationship with the theatre. I take the approach once described by Sir Michael Parkinson: “I have never sat in a theatre without wishing I were in a cinema instead.” Except…sometimes. This was one of the sometimes. Tempted by a friend who promised that it would appeal […]
The glorious myth of the “book launch”
Well, it’s out. Officially. My book, that is. (Time Travelling With a Hamster.) I know that because I have had a “launch party”, which – it appears – is something that everyone (myself included) assumes happens for every book that is published, more or less. And which, in actual fact, almost never happens unless: The author […]
Master of deception
A lifetime love of magic and illusion means it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of Derren Brown, and especially the way that, by pretending to be totally open about how he achieves the remarkable effects he does, he has avoided being “exposed” on YouTube as many more conventional magicians are these days. In truth, he isn’t totally open about his […]
Impossible: where have the women disappeared to?
Impossible (Noel Coward Theatre, London) is one of those show about which you wonder, “Why has this not been seen before?” An ensemble magic show featuring multiple performers doing different kinds of tricks, from huge illusions (yes, a car vanishes, a helicopter appears) to card and coin tricks. It was packed, the audience loved it, and […]
The strangest optical illusion of all
This is called – with variations – the Motion After Effect. The reason that it happens is a wonderfully complex interaction between your brain and your eyes. It was first observed by Aristotle, but was not fully described until the 19th century, and not understood until the 20th. Stare at the spinning spiral for about thirty […]
Magic or maths?
This is an old puzzle re-done by a clever magician called Greg Rostami. I have watched it three times now and I have NO IDEA how it works. It’s not a trick (I don’t think) – that is, there’s nothing “secret” going on. But it’s got me completely baffled. (Best watched on full-screen).