Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and

Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind So I hear this book is catching a lot of crap in the magic community I can see why but I m not going to pile on I don t think it s much of an expos at all There are things I didn t like though First off the writing isn t superb I would expect this from a non writer memoir but the author writes and has for a while regularly for discover The book could have been shorter There were sections when it felt like padding Another complaint was that he wasn t clear how major aspects of the sto So I hear this book is catching a lot of crap in the magic community I can see why but I m not going to pile on I don t think it s much of an expos at all There are things I didn t like though First off the writing isn t superb I would expect this from a non writer memoir but the author writes and has for a while regularly for discover The book could have been shorter There were sections when it felt like padding Another complaint was that he wasn t clear how major aspects of the story came out or at least the status as the book was ending If you re going to talk a lot about x in the beginning then at least tell me how that came out There were a couple of spots where I felt the author borrowed quotes and then while attributing them he did it pages later One comes to mind calling magicians and himself an Honest Liar On the page he intros it he doesn t claim it s original, but he doesn t attribute it to Jamy Ian Swiss until much later Editing mistake or deception with time misdirection Dunno Some of the science wasn t well documented and clearly simplified I understand why I mean this isn t a science book, but still it got my bullshit meter off of zero a couple of times I will say in his favor he wasn t afraid to share moments when he looked bad At one point in the book I did not like him at all All in all it was ok It was a nice walk back into the magic community I left years ago for many of the reasons the author explained in detail For the non magic crowd not recommended For the magic crowd it ll make you mad at times, but still worth a look maybe This book is the perfect companion to one of my favorites, Sleights Of Mind Whereas Sleights Of Mind is written by neuroscientists exploring the world of magic, this is written by a magician exploring magic s significant relevancy to psychology and the neurosciences He is, however, also a physicist Although he left his PhD program in order to pursue magic, he still retains his passion for physics The two works greatly compliment each other, covering much of the same territory, but from This book is the perfect companion to one of my favorites, Sleights Of Mind Whereas Sleights Of Mind is written by neuroscientists exploring the world of magic, this is written by a magician exploring magic s significant relevancy to psychology and the neurosciences He is, however, also a physicist Although he left his PhD program in order to pursue magic, he still retains his passion for physics The two works greatly compliment each other, covering much of the same territory, but from different perspectives, making repeat informationwelcome rather than repetitive The mulled over topics include Psychology Sociology experiments, Neurobiology imaging scans proving the importance of innate brain mechanisms to a magician s success, the effects of secrecy on an individual psyche, explanations for various magic tricks, examining the unique subculture of magicians Numerous types are examined street magic, stage illusions, close up magic, card tricks, escapologists, psychics, mentalism The great legends in magic across time, including recent sensations are all mentioned Robert Houdin, Dai Vernon, David Copperfield, Cardini, David Blaine, Penn Teller, Criss Angel, Harry Blackstone, Lance Burton, Banachek, Persi Diaconis actually, a Mathemagician , a most fascinating title , Robert Turner A blind magician , Val Valentino The Masked Magician Author and magician Alex Stone personally meet many of these, including a class from Jeff McBride Evenamazing was the opportunity he had to meet David Bayer, Russell Crowe s hands as mathematical genius John Nash as portrayed in one of my favorite films, 2001 s Academy Award winner A Beautiful Mind The most iconic places for magic, such as Tannen s in New York, The Magic Castle in Hollywood, California Competitions for magicians worldwide that the author kept tabs on, whether or not he participated Performing magic for laypersons is one thing Entirely different, that is, from performing for dozens, even hundreds, of fellow magicians The greatest honor for them is to fool their very own The two he did participate in The Magic Olympics and The International Brotherhood of Magicians are faithfully chronicled, especially the latter, in which he trained and strained on his act for quite some time, practicing for hours and days on end, in order to perfect it As a sample of the fascinating magic secrets revealed, I will share a couple of my favorites One was the explanation of the Faro Shuffle a prescribed, very precise Shuffle wherein the deck is cut exactly in half and the cards are interwoven perfectly When done correctly, it enables the magician to guide the cards where he wants them therefore, to magically guess whatever card needed As long as he shuffles the deck, or someone else shuffles it in the traditional way Riffling the cards interlacing to halves, a few cards on top of one another The knowledge behind this is essentially mathematical, related closely to computer sciences binary code Evenintriguing, it takes pretty much exactly 8 shuffles to truly randomize a deck Any less, the cards are not random and at risk to magic Any, it really makes no difference think about how water boils nothing much until it boils, but afternoons that it is pretty much the same OneThe three basics in magic based on pure trickery, from way back when, are The Fast Loose, The Shell Game Cups Balls , The 3 Card Monte Essentially, the audience is always the victims , as they are always guaranteed to lose They are several men operations, a team that consists of dealers, individuals that will pretend to lose, another that comments to the target , as if they can commiserate in their losing hundreds together even though, obviously, the target is the only one in reality , etcetera No matter how well one knows the game, it is nearly impossible to win, as long as the street magicians do things right Magic is necessarily, undeniably, intimately related to the neurosciences, biology, physics, engineering, computer sciences, psychology, sociology, and the performing arts I commend Stone for illustrating this with such intelligence, engagement, and even flair Very importantly, something also expressed in almost the same words in several other magicology books, learning the secrets behind how tricks work does not make us, as spectators, less amazed, less appreciative, less enad, less enthralled, by magicians Rather, by understanding it while our cognitive processes still prevent us from seeing it live in action we appreciate it evenWe are evendrawn in Magic happens not in the hands of the magician, but in the mind of the spectator Well, of course At its core, magic is simply said magicians toying with and taking advantage of our innate perceptual mechanisms We all naturally whether we will admit it is irrelevant see what we want to see We believe what we want to believe And for most of us, that is the opportunity to be amazed To be children again, when the possibilities were endless What entertainment This is the autobiographical story of a graduate student in physics, who decided to take a detour into magic Alex Stone starts the book with a giant flub he competed in the Magic Olympics in Stockholm and was disqualified because he hid his hands behind a table That was, for him, rock bottom He decided to study, practice, attend magic workshops, and practice, practice, and practice The book has some interesting digressions about neuroscience, and the psychology of i What entertainment This is the autobiographical story of a graduate student in physics, who decided to take a detour into magic Alex Stone starts the book with a giant flub he competed in the Magic Olympics in Stockholm and was disqualified because he hid his hands behind a table That was, for him, rock bottom He decided to study, practice, attend magic workshops, and practice, practice, and practice The book has some interesting digressions about neuroscience, and the psychology of inattention Stone studied psychology, and came to the realization that hands are not really faster than the eye But hands can be faster than the mind It is also filled with fascinating accounts of magicians and their diverse approaches to magic There is a full description of how street grifters, or confidence men walk through the streets of cities, attended by a mob that lures in victims These con artists are magicians of a different sort Note the use of the word artists , the only type of criminal given such a title.Stone worked with master magicians He learned that magic is not just a set of tricks, but it is theater He learned how to be a real performer He realized that he needed a theme for his magic, and he eventually realized that his theme needed to have some relationship to physics or mathematics Master magicians told him that the best tricks are old ones that have been long forgotten He did a lot of research, and found that he could take advantage of some special mathematical qualities of card decks The last chapter describes two tricks that he invented absolutely incredible He throws a deck of cards into the audience, and asks the spectator nearest to where the deck fell to pick it up and cut it, again and again Then he asks the nearest six people to pick up one card from the top of the deck He requests the people who picked up red cards or black cards, it doesn t matter to stand up Then, after some irrelevant comments and questions, he quickly tells the audience what cards they chose, in the correct order Stone actually describes, in general terms, the secret of this trick Even knowing the secret, it would be marvelous to see this trick in action I enjoyed every moment reading this book this book If nothing in the title piques your interest then this book is not for you But for me Right up my alley There is so much of interest in this book so much knowledge so much touching on the arcane that I found myself highlighting much of the text for future reference That Stone can make the mathematics of shuffling a deck of cards interesting speaks to remarkable writing skills When he explains the universe reflected in 52 cards I am rap I enjoyed every moment reading this book this book If nothing in the title piques your interest then this book is not for you But for me Right up my alley There is so much of interest in this book so much knowledge so much touching on the arcane that I found myself highlighting much of the text for future reference That Stone can make the mathematics of shuffling a deck of cards interesting speaks to remarkable writing skills When he explains the universe reflected in 52 cards I am rapt I LOVED this book I loved the author s self deprecating humor, his anecdotes, and his nerdiness I loved the subject matter What a great read Stone was a physics guy working on a PhD at Columbia and thought that magic would make him less nerdy He learns, buys, and creates magic tricks, and eventually competes in the Magic Olympics Who would have thought such a forum existed Or that there are over 100 magic conventions each year The reader doesn t exactly learn the secrets of I LOVED this book I loved the author s self deprecating humor, his anecdotes, and his nerdiness I loved the subject matter What a great read Stone was a physics guy working on a PhD at Columbia and thought that magic would make him less nerdy He learns, buys, and creates magic tricks, and eventually competes in the Magic Olympics Who would have thought such a forum existed Or that there are over 100 magic conventions each year The reader doesn t exactly learn the secrets of magic tricks, but is definitelyaware of the basics Is there anyone who hasn t been awed by magic I think I becameimpressed with all the work that goes into performing magic after reading this book I loved the thought that magic toys with the limits of perception As much as the physical senses tell us that something impossible is happening, we know that somehow, we are really just being tricked And expectation plays a pivotal role in what we see.Stone quotes a magician who said, Usually when we re fooled, the mind hasn t made a mistake It s come to the wrong conclusion for the right reason I learned that it has been proven that you need to shuffle a deck 7 times to fully mix up the cards And in the 1950 s, the CIA hired a magician to train spies in the art of deception Stone also contacted the author off Moonwalking with Einstein another book I loved to teach him how to memorize a deck of cards It amazed me how much time and money are spent by magicians to perform so flawlessly When Stone finally meets a woman almost by accident, I am definitely rooting for that relationship to be a success I only wish I could see Stone perform some of the tricks he talks about Who doesn t want to be amazed 3 1 2 starsThis book was long forgotten at the bottom of my TBR pile until I came across a Freakonomics podcast Think Like a Child where the host had an interview with Alex Stone about just how difficult it is to fool children with the same magic tricks that will completely flabbergast adultsMagic, at its core, is about toying with the limits of perception And as any neuroscientist will tell you, one can learn a lot about the brain by studying those bizarre moments wherein it succumbs to i 3 1 2 starsThis book was long forgotten at the bottom of my TBR pile until I came across a Freakonomics podcast Think Like a Child where the host had an interview with Alex Stone about just how difficult it is to fool children with the same magic tricks that will completely flabbergast adultsMagic, at its core, is about toying with the limits of perception And as any neuroscientist will tell you, one can learn a lot about the brain by studying those bizarre moments wherein it succumbs to illusion Magic lives in these moments.The world of magic is filled with scientists and the world of science is filled with magicians.Alex got his first magic kit from his father and the delight his father took in seeing him perform, not to mention Alex s own awe at creating magic , turned into a very strong father son bond.What impressed me most besides the authors surprisingly good writing was that he diversified the content to not only include information in a subculture I know nothing about but also delved into the science behind tricking the brain and the tactile skills and embodied cognition needed for these illusions.Along with magic history, he covers con games and grifters, finger fitness, studies in attention and perception, the psychology of touching, and tactile card skills of the legally blind.And yes, as expected there are a lot of loonies and crazy oddballs in this industry however the practice and regulation of magic is quite a serious businessFor me, discovering the world of magic was like finding my own island of misfit friends, a place where everyone was special in the wrong way People often ask me if magic is good for getting girls, and the answer is yes But it s also good for making them disappear Fooling Houdini was well written, fascinating, and fun I thought the author had an extremely likable and authentic voice demonstrated just how much work magic really is Well, it s an okay anecdotal history of magic, but the author is kind of a defensive douchebag, and the book never achieves any real depth.Love to read a book about women in magic and why there are so few , anyone know of one Why would a physics PhD student leave Columbia University to study magic Why do we enjoy being fooled What does math have to do with it Answers to these questions andcan be found in Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, by Alex Stone.Stone was enchanted at age six when he received a magic kit Enthralled, he immediately began showing off his magic skills to everyone he could wheedle into watching It wasn t until after he was hauled off Why would a physics PhD student leave Columbia University to study magic Why do we enjoy being fooled What does math have to do with it Answers to these questions andcan be found in Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, by Alex Stone.Stone was enchanted at age six when he received a magic kit Enthralled, he immediately began showing off his magic skills to everyone he could wheedle into watching It wasn t until after he was hauled off the stage in disgrace at the World Championships of Magic in 2008 that he became serious about studying and practicing the magic arts.Stone s book is part memoir, part investigation into the hidden subculture of magicians and street side con men , and part a look into how and why magicians can fools us a personal journey rather than a textbook Obfuscation, distraction, and endless hours of practice all have their part in the success of an illusion Stone explains how inattentional or perceptual blindness, the failure to notice an unexpected stimulus that is in plain sight see , is used by magicians to bamboozle their audiences He describes how the classic short cons three card Monte and the shell game , well orchestrated, multi casted street theater acts, work to fleece carefully selected suckers how he can distract a patsy while snatching his watch and how psychics are able well, actually not to read minds In addition, Stone reveals some of the math and science behind conjuror s tricks For example, shuffling, on the average, must be done seven times to mix the deck a hypothesis tested out by Perci Diaconis, a Harvard mathematician and magician Shuffling only one or two times still allows the card magician to see out of order cards This mathematical discovery not only tightened up casino security, it strangely enough also had significant impact on the medicine mixing strategies of pharmaceutical companies Being a muggle, I didn t know that there is a world class magic library, The Conjuring Arts Research Center, in New York City Like Hermione, serious magicians search here for ancient magical secrets If you want to fool magicians you re not going to fool them with a new move You re going to fool them with some hundred year old mathematical principle Go dig up some ancient book Go to the library emphasis gleefully added.What did I think NOT a great book Lots of random magic info dropped into a less than engaging memoir If you re interested in learningabout how magic really works, read Perci Diaconis book, Magical Mathematics, the Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks check your library catalog for a copy Stone refers to Diaconis as a naturally gifted magician and an underground legend Why not learn from the best instead of a not so great amateur who writes about the best Teen magicians might like to watch Make Believe, the Battle to Become the World s Best Teen Magician Make Believe follows the journeys of six young magicians from around the planet as they vie for the title of Teen World Champion of Magic In addition, the magicians share card trick tutorials in the Bonus Materials.Reviewed by Anne Shirako, Reference Librarian, Ukiah Branch, Mendocino County Library, 3 2013 The fact that this book was written without a single allusion to everyone s favorite illusionist,Gob Bluth , is basically a crime against humanity or at least against the laws of pop culture reference dom This missed opportunity is especially egregious, given that our author magician, Alex Stone, is, at one point,kicked out of theAcademy of Magical ArtsI ll be honest I m justcomfortable with an Alliance approved magician If you re looking for a book that interweaves sci The fact that this book was written without a single allusion to everyone s favorite illusionist,Gob Bluth , is basically a crime against humanity or at least against the laws of pop culture reference dom This missed opportunity is especially egregious, given that our author magician, Alex Stone, is, at one point,kicked out of theAcademy of Magical ArtsI ll be honest I m justcomfortable with an Alliance approved magician If you re looking for a book that interweaves science and magic and the interchange of knowledge between the two , I highly recommend Sleights of Mind What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions by Stephen L Macknik and Susana Martinez Conde From the back rooms of New York City s age old magic societies to cutting edge psychology labs, three card monte games on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos, Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone s quest to join the ranks of master magiciansAs he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture populated by brilliant eccentrics, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around one overriding need to prove one s worth by deceiving othersBut his journey is than a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks By investing some of the lesser known corners of psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime, all through the lens of trickery and illusion, Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works and why, sometimes, it doesn t ✺ [LIBROS] ✮ Psiconutrición. Aprende a tener una relación saludable con la comida Por Griselda Herrero Mart n ❄ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk three card monte games on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos [KINDLE] ✿ Moonsong (The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters, Author L.J. Smith – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone s quest to join the ranks of master magiciansAs he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture populated by brilliant eccentrics [PDF / Epub] ✅ La lanza rota (Leyendas de Kalomaar Author Alberto Rojas – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy ➹ [Download] ➵ Im Trying to Love Math By Bethany Barton ➼ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk fueled by obsession and brilliance [PDF / Epub] ⚣ For Every Cat an Angel ✈ Christine Davis – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and organized around one overriding need to prove one s worth by deceiving othersBut his journey is than a tale of tricks [Epub] ➝ Einstein By Gabriel Emanuel – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk gigs [PDF / Epub] ☉ Embryology Coloring Book By George Matsumura – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and geeks By investing some of the lesser known corners of psychology [Read] ➵ Embriologia By George Matsumura – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk neuroscience ❮PDF / Epub❯ ☀ Existentialism and Romantic Love Author Skye Cleary – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk physics [PDF] ✅ La tentación del fracaso Author Julio Ramón Ribeyro – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk history [PDF / Epub] ☆ Nathalie: Confessions Of A Fashion Model: The Dark Side Of The Fashion Industry - Monarch Mind Control, Slavery And Sexual Abuse (English Edition) By Nathalie Augustina – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk and even crime ❮Download❯ ➽ Baby reflux ➽ Author Stephanie Lampe – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk all through the lens of trickery and illusion ➽ [Download] ✤ La araña enamorada By Blanca Álvarez ➲ – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works and why [BOOKS] ✭ Fantasmas Y Casas Embrujadas De Chile By César Parra – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk sometimes [Reading] ➷ Canciones punk para señoritas autodestructivas By Daniel Hidalgo – Ralphslaurensoutlet.co.uk it doesn t


About the Author: Alex Stone

There isthan one author with this nameWhen Alex Stone was five years old, his father bought him a magic kit a gift that would spark a lifelong love Years later, while living in New York City, he discovered a vibrant underground magic scene exploding with creativity and innovation and populated by a fascinating cast of characters from his gruff mentor, who holds court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world s greatest card cheats, who also happens to be blind Captivated, he plunged headlong into this mysterious world, eventually competing at the Magic Olympics and training with great magicians around the globe to perfect his craft.From the back rooms of New York City s century old magic societies to cutting edge psychology labs three card monte on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone s quest to join the ranks of master magicians As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around a single overriding need to prove one s worth by deceiving others But his journey isthan a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks In trying to understand how expert magicians manipulate our minds to create their astonishing illusions, Stone uncovers a wealth of insight into human nature and the nature of perception Every turn leads to questions about how the mind perceives the world and processes everyday experiences By investigating some of the lesser known corners of psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime, all through the lens of trickery and illusion, Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works and why, sometimes, it doesn t.Alex Stone has written for Harper s, Discover, Science, and the Wall Street Journal He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English and has a masters degree in physics from Columbia University He grew up in Wisconsin, Texas, and Spain He currently lives in New York City.


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