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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Introduction

Introduction

Several years ago John R. Hendricks introduced a coordinated set of definitions for magic cubes. It included a new definition for the ‘perfect’ magic cube, which is applicable for magic hypercubes of any dimension.
This inspired me to investigate the different definitions of ‘perfect’ magic cubes that had appeared over the years. The result was a new page that discussed the subject. However, I ended up with more questions then when I started, so developed a series of spreadsheets to investigate many characteristics of magic cubes.
After looking closely at over 200 published magic cubes of order 3 to 17, I am amazed at how few cubes I found that had all identical features. Considering the large number of possible combinations available to form a magic cube of a given order, it is not surprising I found very few duplicate cubes. However, features such as number, type, and location of included magic squares, feature variations in the oblique squares, etc., were found to be extremely varied.
The result is this new series of pages, which explores the subject in some depth. With one or two possible exceptions, all magic cubes shown on these pages will have different features (or at least will be different orders).
As is usual with the other pages on this site, I intend to keep the discussions simple and will not normally go into methods of construction. Methods, and involved mathematics, will be left to others that are more qualified to present them. These pages will be more concerned with basic principles and a survey of the history and variety of magic cubes.

The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Magic Circle
Logo of the Society
The Magic Circle Theatre
Motto Indocilis Privata Loqui
(not apt to disclose secrets)
Formation 1905
Purpose/focus To promote and advance the art of magic
Headquarters 12 Stephenson Way, Euston
Location London, UK
Coordinates 51°31′35″N 0°08′08″WCoordinates: 51°31′35″N 0°08′08″W
Membership ~1,450
Official languages English
President Jack Delvin
Main organ Elected Council
Website TheMagicCircle.co.uk
The Magic Circle is a British organisation, founded in London in 1905, dedicated to promoting and advancing the art of magic.[1]

[edit] History

The Magic Circle was founded in 1905 after a meeting of 23 amateur and professional magicians at London's Pinoli's Restaurant. At this founders meeting, chaired by Servais Le Roy, those present decided upon the name of the Society — it was initially felt that the name of the Society should be the Martin Chapender Club, in memory of the noted performer, and founding member, who had recently died at the age of twenty-five. However, it was then agreed that the name "Magic Circle" would be more appropriate and that this name shared the same initials as those of Martin Chapender.[2] The first official meeting was at the Green Man public house in Soho, but meetings were later in a room at St George's Hall in Langham Place, where David Devant and John Nevil Maskelyne were regularly seen performing.[3]
Devant became the first president of the Magic Circle, and in 1906, Maskelyne edited the first issue of The Magic Circular magazine, a regular feature for members ever since. The Magic Circular claims to be the longest running regular magic magazine in conjuring history.
The club was male-only until 1991, when more than 75% of members voted to admit women. There are around eighty female members of The Magic Circle, including Paul Daniels' wife, Debbie McGee. [2]

Researching magic

Researching magic

Because of the secretive nature of magic, research can sometimes be a challenge.[17] Many magic resources are privately held and most libraries only have small populist collections of magicana. However, organizations exist to band together independent collectors, writers, and researchers of magic history. These include: the Magic Collectors' Association [1], which publishes a quarterly magazine and hosts an annual convention; and The Conjuring Arts Research Center [2], which publishes a monthly newsletter and biannual magazine, and offers its members use of a searchable database of rare books and periodicals.
The history of magic performance is particularly notable as a key area of popular culture from the mid 19th to mid 20th centuries. Many performances and performers can be followed through newspapers of the time.
Many books have been written about magic tricks; so many are written every year that at least one magic author [18] has suggested that more books are written about magic than any other performing art. Although the bulk of these books are not seen on the shelves of libraries or public bookstores, the serious student can find many titles through specialized stores catering to the needs of magical performers.
Several notable public research collections on magic are the WG Alma Conjuring Collection at the State Library of Victoria; the R. B. Robbins Collection of Stage Magic and Conjuring at the State Library of NSW; the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana at Brown University; and the Carl W. Jones Magic Collection, 1870s-1948 at Princeton University.

American Museum of Magic

American Museum of Magic


Coordinates: 42.2722°N 84.9585°W
American Museum of Magic
American Museum of Magic is located in Michigan

Location of American Museum of Magic
Established 1978-04-01
Location Marshall, Michigan
Website http://www.americanmuseumofmagic.org/
The American Museum of Magic in Marshall, Michigan, houses a large collection of magical paraphernalia and illusions, including an extensive collection of devices that once belonged to famed magician Harry Blackstone, Sr., (1885–1965).

[edit] Museum collection

The American Museum of Magic is the largest magic museum in the United States open to the public.[1] The collection is extensive, and includes both famous and obscure magicians (for example, it has artifacts from Clare Cummings, who was 'Milky The Twin Pines Magic Clown' and who donated most of his magic tricks to this museum).[2] The museum celebrates the art of magic and the devotion of magicians to their craft.[3] Founded on April 1, 1978, the museum celebrated its 30th anniversary.[4]
As the Michigan Historical marker on the site notes: this "unique collection . . . celebrates the magician's arts of wonder and delight. Michigan's link to magic is no illusion for nearby Colon, Michigan, a center of magic manufacturing," and Harry Blackstone's home. Registered Site L1240 Erected 1985. Indeed, the town and Mr. Blackstone are noted in another historical marker in Colon.[5]

Learning magic

Learning magic

Dedication to magic can teach confidence and creativity, as well as the work ethic associated with regular practice and the responsibility that comes with devotion to an art.[6] The teaching of performance magic was once a secretive practice.[citation needed] Professional magicians were unwilling to share knowledge with anyone outside the profession[citation needed] to prevent the laity from learning their secrets. This often made it difficult for an interested apprentice to learn anything but the basics of magic. Some had strict rules against members discussing magic secrets with anyone but established magicians.
From the 1584 publication of Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft until the end of the 19th century, only a few books were available for magicians to learn the craft, whereas today mass-market books offer a myriad titles. Videos and DVDs are a newer medium of tuition, but many of the methods found in this format are readily found in previously published books. However, they can serve as a visual demonstration.
Persons interested in learning to perform magic can join magic clubs. Here magicians, both seasoned and novitiate, can work together and help one another for mutual improvement, to learn new techniques, to discuss all aspects of magic, to perform for each other — sharing advice, encouragement, and criticism. Before a magician can join one of these clubs, they usually have to audition. The purpose is to show to the membership they are a magician and not just someone off the street wanting to discover magical secrets.
The world's largest magic organization is the International Brotherhood of Magicians; it publishes a monthly journal, The Linking Ring. The oldest organization is the Society of American Magicians, of which Houdini was a member and president for several years. In London, England, there is The Magic Circle which houses the largest magic library in Europe. Also PSYCRETS - The British Society of Mystery Entertainers, which caters specifically to mentalists, bizarrists, storytellers, readers, spiritualist performers, and other mystery entertainers. The Magic Castle in Hollywood is home to the Academy of Magical Arts

Categories of effects

Categories of effects

There is discussion among magicians as to how a given effect is to be categorized, and disagreement as to what categories actually exist—for instance, some magicians consider "penetrations" to be a separate category, while others consider penetrations a form of restoration or teleportation. Some magicians today, such as Guy Hollingworth[4] and Tom Stone[5] have begun to challenge the notion that all magic effects fit into a limited number of categories. Among magicians who believe in a limited number of categories (such as Dariel Fitzkee, Harlan Tarbell, S.H. Sharpe), there has been disagreement as to how many different types of effects there are. Some of these are listed below.
  • Production: The magician produces something from nothing—a rabbit from an empty hat, a fan of cards from thin air, a shower of coins from an empty bucket, a dove from a pan, or the magician him or herself, appearing in a puff of smoke on an empty stage—all of these effects are productions.
  • Vanish: The magician makes something disappear—a coin, a cage of doves, milk from a newspaper, an assistant from a cabinet, or even the Statue of Liberty. A vanish, being the reverse of a production, may use a similar technique, in reverse.
  • Transformation: The magician transforms something from one state into another—a silk handkerchief changes colour, a lady turns into a tiger, an indifferent card changes to the spectator's chosen card. A transformation can be seen as a combination of a vanish and a production.
  • Restoration: The magician destroys an object, then restores it back to its original state—a rope is cut, a newspaper is torn, a woman is sawn in half, a borrowed watch is smashed to pieces—then they are all restored to their original state.
  • Teleportation: The magician causes something to move from one place to another—a borrowed ring is found inside a ball of wool, a canary inside a light bulb, an assistant from a cabinet to the back of the theatre. When two objects exchange places, it is called a transposition: a simultaneous, double teleportation.
  • Escape: The magician (an assistant may participate, but the magician himself is by far the most common) is placed in a restraining device (i.e. handcuffs or a straitjacket) or a death trap, and escapes to safety. Examples include being put in a straitjacket and into an overflowing tank of water, and being tied up and placed in a car being sent through a car crusher.