Thursday, February 24, 2011

Neither Baffled Nor Amazed

This little book is contrary to the FIMP tradition of presenting "How To" books that really teach you nothing useful about the subject at hand. In this case, you have a magic trick that you can actually perform for anyone under 10 or so and actually fool them! Patter included!

What I enjoy about "Neither Baffled Nor Amazed" is the attempt to actually perform a magic trick in a little book. A huge success, in that I successfully perform the trick and make the coin disappear. On the other hand, of course, it fails, in that the slow step-by-step illustration of the trick allows you to clearly see where I palmed the coin and placed it in my shirt collar (you did catch that, didn't you? Don't try this trick wearing a t-shirt).

But, of course, I didn't palm the coin. It's a bunch of drawings. I just didn't draw the coin, and so it "disappeared".

But, the drawings are of an event that could actually take place, in which if you did drop the coin on the table, you could easily palm it and tuck it into your shirt collar.

There's a part of our brain that wants to follow along with the sequential images and "believe" that what we see there is actually "happening". It's fun to play with that part of our brain.

So, it's a failure as a trick, but perhaps it succeeds in tricking you into thinking that some sort of event took place that resembled a magic trick.

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