Not Just for Kids

Vol. 8, No. 31
Aug. 3-9, 2000
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Do you believe in magic?

Grand Illusion or Clever Trick?

All great magicians perform illusions and tricks. With an illusion, magicians try to make the audience believe that they do indeed have some supernormal power, like the ability to read minds.

A good play creates an illusion. It captures your imagination and lets you believe — for a short while — that what you are seeing is true. A trick is different. A classic trick, like sawing a person in half, makes you want to figure out how it’s done, but you don't believe it really happened.

Simple magic is easy to learn and fun to perform. The secret to many tricks involves distracting the audience’s attention while the magician makes the magic move.

Next time you get the chance, closely watch every move a magician makes. Maybe you can catch the secret.

Try this one.

Before you amaze your friends, remember two rules:
1. Practice. Practice. Practice makes perfect!
2. A magician never tells — no matter how many times they ask you!

The Self-Tying Handkerchief

You’ll need one cloth handkerchief with a knot tied in one corner.

Tell your friends you can tie a knot in a handkerchief using only one hand.

Pull out a handkerchief, keeping the knot hidden in your hand (fig. A).

Pick up the opposite corner with the other hand and hold as shown (fig. B).

Snap the handkerchief and let go of the end without the knot.

Pick up the hanging end again and repeat step 4 (while saying you’re having a little trouble).

On the third try, let go of the knotted end instead (fig. C).
The movement of your hand hides the switch. You've done it!

The Greatest

Harry Houdini was a famous magician who lived at the turn of the 20th century. He performed world-wide and claimed he could escape from anything, including chains, straight jackets and his famous Water Torture Chamber.

He was an excellent swimmer, which helped him in his unusual career. Houdini trained hard everyday and was in excellent physical shape. He claimed he never used tricks to perform his escapes and often exposed other magicians who did.

Amaze your friends and defy the Laws of Science when you pass solid through solid.

The Houdini Rubber Band Escape

You’ll need one medium-sized rubber band.

Place the rubber band over your index and middle fingers and bring it down to the base of those fingers (fig. 1).

Hold your hand so the back is to your friends.

Pull the rubber band out toward them and back toward you with your other hand to show it’s solid.

While the rubber band is still pulled towards you, curl you fingers down so the rubber band wraps around them (fig. 2). To your friends it still looks like the band is around only two of your fingers.

Count to three, straighten your fingers out and the rubber band will instantly jump over to your ring finger and pinky (fig. 3).

You can make it jump back following the same moves again

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Bay Weekly