Thursday, September 29, 2005

Mindfreak, Episode 10

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And so? How do you suppose Criss Angel was able to scale the side of a building? Do you think he was accidentally bitten by a genetically altered spider?

The soda can trick was pretty nifty, but Jesus Christ, if there wasn't a worse bunch of stooges for the Walking Thru Glass bit. What are your thoughts?


Monday, September 26, 2005

Chewbacca Gropes Leia

When I first saw Star Wars as a kid, I didn't see what the big deal was about Leia. As an adult, watching Return of the Jedi with Leia as Jabba the Hut's sex slave gets the juices flowing. This is apparently genuine, though who knows -- someone in a Chewbacca suit, possibly Peter Mayhew (who played Chewbacca), taking hold of Carrie Fisher's boob, the two of them open mouthed in comic surprise. Comedy gold!



Sunday, September 25, 2005

One Handed Cut & Shuffle

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TOTH to Cory Doctorow:

A Kuro5hin poster has written a great detailed, illustrated tutorial on one-handed card-shuffling and deck-cutting. From the basic grip rotate your hand so the deck is standing vertically along the longest axis, holding the cards up with your little finger resting underneath. The vertical grip isn't strictly necessary, but it makes a clean cut of the cards easier. Bring your forefinger out from the back of the deck and grip the side of the deck above your middle finger. Use your forefinger to pull back half the cards. Now pinch the bottom half of the deck (closest to your palm) tightly between thumb and forefinger, letting the top half go with your thumb and balancing it on your little finger and supporting it with your middle and ring finger. You'll want to rotate your hand away from you slightly to do this, letting the top half of the deck balance neatly in your last three fingers.


Video Link!


Just When It Was Safe to Download Music

TOTH to BoingBoing:

Edgar Bronfman Jr, the CEO of Warner Music, wants Apple to charge 99 cents only for unpopular tracks. He wants to raise the prices on popular tracks.

What? Bronfman singing the praises of "variable pricing"?! Lest anyone forget, he was at the helm of Universal Music Group back when it (along with all the other major labels) was engaged in a scheme of price fixing aimed at keeping CD prices high.

And Bronfman apparently doesn't think that "variable pricing" might include lowering the price of some tracks below 99 cents. Said Bronfman, "Some songs should be $0.99 and some songs should be raising our wholesale prices and preventing people from discounting."

This was, of course, exactly the aim of the MAP price-fixing scheme that Bronfman's former label, Universal, was running in the late 90s. In the age of P2P file sharing, raising your prices and alienating your best retailers (not to mention fans!) is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps Bronfman is not the best CEO for a record label trying to find its way into the 21st century.



Wednesday, September 21, 2005

No AngelFreak?

The first half of my journey took me across the Rocky Mountains, and in a 26 foot truck, it's a real bitch! However, that part is over and I realize that as I keep driving and stopping for coffee (thank God for Starbucks and wireless modems), I will be missing out on the MindFreak episode this evening. Hopefully, some of my readers will find it in their hearts to keep me updated as I plow along.

2 more days to go... Keep on truckin'!


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mama, I'm Comin' Home!

Well, it's that time...

I've pretty much sucked my savings dry and I've come to the conclusion to move back to New York, where I originally hail. I belong here, and it's time for me to make arrangements. So, instead of sleeping to catch my 4:00 AM flight to Cali tomorrow morning, I'm writing instead. I suspect it will take me about a week to two weeks to pack and move everything back here, so I don't think I'll be blogging for a while.

Wish me luck. I'll be back soon. Perhaps I'll blog on the road with pictures. Perhaps not.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mindfreak, Episode 8

Anyone else finding Inked more interesting than Criss Angel?

I just want the female paramedic's phone number... Looks like I'm going to Wisconsin for a beaver hunt.

By the way, I used to lift the back end of cars when I was younger just to see if I could do it...


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

You're Shitting On It!

Introducing a brand new trick never before offered to the magic community: Card on Seat! What? You've heard of it before? Surely you jest; this one's completely different!

From the creator:

A female volunteer joins you on stage and you both take seats facing the audience. You explain to her that she will be the magician and you will be the volunteer. She has you select a card from a jumbo deck, sign it and then magically vanishes it.

All of the comedy patter lines are read off of cue cards. After the card vanishes and you say, “That’s amazing! Where’s my card?” She says, “I’m sitting on it!” She then stands up, picks the jumbo card up off the chair and shows it to the audience to a roar of laughter and applause.

Now why purchase the original from Viking Magic for $815.00 when you can get the knock-off for half price here? Would you be able to sleep at night if you did? Sadly, the problem is that most magicians can, and therein lies the rub...


The Death of Magic

If you'd like a good laugh or spew endless quarts of liver bile, check this piece of dogshit out!


Video Link!



Why? Why am I listening to Brittney Spear's Toxic song over and over again? More importantly, why do I like it?


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mindfreak, Episode 7

What are your thoughts on tonight's exciting, breathtaking Driving Blind episode? My highlight, you ask? Many Moore's headlights, of course.


Daily Astrodome Goings On

Between all the murder, beatings, and rape...


Turn On Your Word Verification

I don't know about you, but those creepy little spamfuckers are at it again! As soon as you update your blog, you are inundated with shit like, "Oh! Your blog is so fuckin' original, so I'm adding it to my blogroll. Great job, and be sure to check out my blog, lick my yam bag, and learn typewriter maintenence here!"

Fuck off!

Blogger has come to the rescue with Word Verification. Make sure you turn yours on, and as always, your comments are always appreciated here at the Magic Mafia.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Network Hurricane Sensitivity Training

Wolf Blitzer, my new hero

How does CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer refer to the New Orleans Hurricane Survivors?

Click here to find out!


Saturday, September 03, 2005

And Now...

And now for something a little magical and... titillating.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Gassed Out?

Andster and I were chatting via Google Talk last night, and the topic of gas prices eventually came up. What the hell is going on with these prices lately? It seems that OPEC is jumping at every opportunity to gauge customers in the United States every chance they get, including the latest catastrophe, Hurricane Katrina. When I was in California, the gas prices were creeping up to $3.00 per gallon. Here on the East Coast, the average is around $3.50 per gallon. Now, I know that the East Coast has less reserves than the West Coast, and I know other countries like Europe pay far more than we do, but let's take a look at the bigger picture here:

We are the problem.

That's right, I said it. Someone's got to. We are the problem. If you don't believe me, check this out!

OK, seriously, before you defend your right to drive your SUV, bear with me. The problem is not necessarily the kind of car you drive; you knew when you bought it what you were getting into, and that was your decision. There's a bigger problem, and its called the Environmental Movement and the EPA and the politicians who give credence to this said movement. We have plenty of gas right here in the United States. Plenty! I'm not talking about reserves; I'm talking about the kind we have right in our back yard! Just take a look at how many oil refineries have been shut down on the West Coast in the last 10 years alone! Why? Because the environmental wackos have pressured and lobbied the EPA to shut more and more down (as well as more refineries from starting in places like Alaska or off the shores of Washington and Oregon), just so one particular little fishy can swim up river!

Enough! How many more restrictions are we going to put up with before we let our overpaid, falsely-motivated politicians know that deforestation is sometimes necessary, oil is sometimes necessary, and electricity is sometimes necessary for people to survive in this day and age? And what is the President going to do about it? Nothing! It's not his priority.

Let's take it one step further: We can send a man to the moon, we have the largest and most powerful military on the planet, we can clone a sheep, but we just can't seem to relinquish our need for oil. Let's take a serious look at other energy options, not because it will feed the environmental movement, but because it will send a message to the towel wrappers in charge of OPEC and hit them in the pocketbooks.

Immediate oil replacements:

*The first energy sources to benefit from lower oil use are oil-substitute fossil fuels, natural gas, coal and nuclear power (yes, that's right -- nuclear power).

*Natural gas is already the best substitute for oil. Natural gas can replace oil in heating, electricity generation and industrial power production. Moreover, the resources are abundant: according to the US Geological Survey, there are 386 trillion cubic meters including undiscovered resources, corresponding to 155 years of world consumption.

*Coal, the victim of the oil revolution following the Second World War, is the second obvious replacement for oil, mostly used for energy generation. Coal offers ample reserves, almost 200 years of global demand.

*Nuclear energy. Public opinion and politicians have had an adverse view of nuclear energy in recent decades, mostly in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. However, nuclear energy has recently returned as a growth theme. New technology for nuclear reactors and tougher safety rules have considerably improved the security of nuclear plants. In this context, nuclear energy offers unparalleled assets: independence for OECD countries, low production costs ( 0.05 euros per kilowatt) and no greenhouse emissions. The replacement needs for out-of-date infrastructure (mostly the power plants of the 1960s) should definitely trigger investment in nuclear energy.

Until that time, it's a huge shit sandwich, and we're all gonna take a bite!


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Meet Katrina


Katrina's impact

Photos courtesy of Nasa.

Also taken from space:

The real Hurricane Katrina