Archive for the Magic Category

Brian Brushwood Hits It Big Time (Again)

Posted in Magic on July 18, 2008 by magicmafia

Looks like the world is finally recognizing true talent when they see it. Brian Brushwood is going to return for an exclusive 100 show run at Universal Orlando later this year:

I can finally spill the beans: this year I’ll be returning to Universal Orlando for an exclusive 100-show run during “Halloween Horror Nights.” We’re already hard at work developing new material for the show, and I’d love for you to come see the final product. Dates for HHN this year are Sept. 26-27; Oct. 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-31; and Nov. 1, 2008. I can promise surprises, new tricks, and different twists on your favorite routines. It should be a blast.


World’s Greatest Card Trick Explained

Posted in Magic on May 13, 2008 by magicmafia

Pam Anderson in Good Hans

Posted in Magic, Uncategorized on April 14, 2008 by magicmafia

The truth behind why Pam Anderson had to leave Hans Klok’s Las Vegas show finally revealed: she needed new, more reliable implants:

Who Was S. W. Erdnase?

Posted in Magic on April 13, 2008 by magicmafia

Published in 1902, The Expert at the Card Table is apparently the classic text on card manipulation, also known as cheating. The author wrote under the pseudonym of S.W. Erdnase. A hundred years later people are still searching for his true identity.

Erdnase is such as awkward false name that it seems reasonable to guess that it’s a reversal or some other anagram of the author’s true name. The Wikipedia entry names Franklin Andrews and Wilbur Edgerton Sanders as candidates for being Erdnase, and ends with this teaser:

Research for an upcoming documentary has uncovered correspondence between noted physicists and authors Stanley Wesley Stratton and Robert Andrews Millikan on the subject of conjuring and crooked gambling. In 1896 Stratton suggested a textbook on the subject. Further evidence suggests that Millikan and Stratton hired Professor Hoffman to write the book based (partly) on notes they provided.

An August 16, 2000 Wall Street Journal article by Rachel Emma Silverman, “Into Thin Air: Writer Reveals Magic Tricks, Then He Disappears” gave popular coverage to Erdnase. I don’t have access to the article, but summaries say it mentions Erdnase candidate Wilbur Edgerton Sanders, as well as a James Andrews and an Edwin Sumner Andrews.

Todd Karr has much more information about what is known and what is supposed about Erdnase. He offers his own best guess as to the author’s true identity:

On November 23, 1901, shortly before the publication of The Expert at the Card Table, the Fort Wayne News reported on a scam perpetrated in Kokomo by “A stranger giving his name as E. S. Andrews of the Brandon Commercial Company, Chicago.” The news report stated that the con man had a clever collections-agency scheme that succeeded in bilking forty local merchants and physicians.Andrews had come to Kokomo three weeks prior and convinced the businessmen and doctors to hire him to collect their debts. Each participant paid Andrews a “membership fee” of $15 (or about $900 total). The newspaper reported that “Before leaving, Andrews collected several accounts from debtors, all of which he took with him, the merchants or physicians receiving nothing.”

We thus have a candidate whose name is a precise reversal of the pseudonym S. W. Erdnase, a con man based in Chicago who was clever enough to swindle businessmen and doctors, and someone who appears to have had over $900 in his pocket just before The Expert at the Card Table was published.

Another article lists several candidates, and claims that “erdnase” would translate to “earth nose” in German. That could be a clue pointing towards mining engineer Wilbur Edgerton Sanders, though it seems like a bit of a stretch.

Mystery Hole?

Posted in Magic on April 13, 2008 by magicmafia

Anyone else find the title of this trick a little more than amusing?

FISM 2008 Cancelled

Posted in Magic on March 5, 2008 by magicmafia



If you were hoping to attend FISM 2008 in beautiful Bulgaria, you’re shit out of luck. It’s been canceled due to “financial strains.” In case you can’t read the small print:

Dear All,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, restricted organizational capacity and unexpected financial strains, jeopardizing the initial budget, it is with great regret that the FISM European Executive Board has to inform you that the FISM European Championships of Magic, planned to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, from 6 to 9 November 2008, have to be cancelled.

The first European Championships of Magic are postponed to a later date, to be announced as soon as possible.

Best regards.

European Executive Board

Active Image

Andre Ciocca
Interim President

Hey! Why not hold it in one of the cheapest cities, in the world to save on budget expenses: I’m thinking Mastic, New York!

Har Har Harlan

Posted in Magic on March 3, 2008 by magicmafia


Man loses pants and teeth during bar heist…

FREMONT — A “magician” who lost both his pants and his teeth during a chase from a register heist early Thursday morning apparently couldn’t make the register he stole disappear.

Daniel Dean Harlan, 43, of Santa Monica, Calif., was charged with breaking and entering, vandalism and safe cracking after a 2:20 a.m. incident at Legendz bar on Fifth Street, Fremont police said.


According to Legendz co-owner Misty Lee, Harlan “couldn’t open the cash drawer, so he stole the whole thing.” The destroyed register contained $241.

Harlan left the then-closed bar with the register heading into the parking lot, where he smashed the machine against the pavement, spilling the money.

Several people saw Harlan looking for something in the vicinity and asked if they could help, Lee said. Once they realized what Harlan had done, they notified Legendz employees, and a chase ensued.

Two people were chasing after him outside the bar when his pants dropped below his knees, causing him to fall face first onto the ground.

“He completely landed on his face. It was very obvious that he lost his teeth,” Lee said.

Police quickly arrived and caught the disoriented suspect, who exclaimed, “Don’t rob me!” toward the police, Lee said.

She recognized the suspect as a regular, especially on weekends. The bar co-owner believed Harlan spent some time in Las Vegas prior to coming to Fremont, where his parents live.

Harlan also had been performing magic tricks for the bar customers during the night. His friend who was with him fell asleep in a van outside the bar after being kicked out for being disruptive.

He was treated at Memorial Hospital before being taken to the Sandusky County Jail. His bond was set at $10,000.

Lee said the funny thing was, he waited until the end of a busy night when people are leaving.

According to Harlan:

“I am taking full responsibility for my actions. We are currently taking legal actions to resolve it. I was so intoxicated that I have no memory of it at all. I have no recollection of what happed that night. Anyone who knows me knows that I was a very hard drinker. I am currently going to AA and in rehab for my drinking. I am getting support for my addiction from my family and friends who truly care about me. I don’t deny what I did was dumb and I have a lot to overcome.“

TOTH to anonymous and iTricks for the heads-up.