Tag: David Blaine

Flash: Blaine Endurances for American Magicians News!

Machine Generated News Confuses and Confounds Magicians and Endurance Artists AlikeWe wouldn’t say we are lazy but only because it would take too much energy. 

We come from a long line of very lazy people.  In fact, our family tree is not real, it’s artificial with one of those rotating lights that give it all sorts of different colors and stuff. 

But as lazy as we are – and we are – we would not likely go down the slippery slope that is automated blogging.

We never knew there was such a thing until it jumped off the Google News site and bit us in a very metaphorical manner.

We have about 90 Google News Alerts to keep up to date on the latest in Magic and other important topics.  For instance, if there is something going on in the Vegas Magic world, our Alert “Vegas Magic” will flash on the screen.  We can then quit our Bejeweled session – if it is a really important news flash. 

But sometimes, because you cannot save your progress on the free version of the popular game, we just let it go. 

That’s because we are lazy and obsessive compulsive.  We should see a doctor about the latter illness but in the psyche that is us, laziness trumps OCD every time – and we do mean, every time.  That’s because we are obsessive compulsive and lazy.    We would have a hand-washing obsession if it wasn’t so much work.

So the “David Blaine” alert sounded as we were trying to hack into Popular Science’s image server – we need stock images of wood putty for a project we’re trying to finish.  We left the putty search for the article link.

Now we don’t feel so lazy.  We found a site that just throws words together automatically – because it would be too much work to make a tossed salad of phrases manually – to generate articles geared to bring in visitors and boost click-based ad money.

The site is called Online Flash News.  It is at least a third correct, it is online.  The flash and the news aspects were not evident in the article just posted, “DAVID BLAINE-AN AMERICAN ENDURANCE ARTIST AND MAGICIAN.”

Takes your breath away, don’t it.  Fortunately, we don’t like to expend all that energy on inhaling and exhaling so we use a respirator when breathing becomes too much of a chore.

The headline screams something but we aren’t sure what.  But it does scream as evident by the ALL CAPS typography. 

The author is named “Jake Sheffield.”  Even in the relaxed, non-judgmental era we enjoy, someone named “Jake Sheffield” would raise eyebrows and curiosity.  We doubt a person called “Jake Sheffield” could check into most hotels or cash a check.  Betty Crocker sounds more authentic to our lackadaisical ear.

Jake’s article is a wonderful mélange of words (nouns, verbs, adjectives and prepositions but almost no adverbs) slammed together by a WordPress plugin to look just like a real article.  Here is the first paragraph:

David Blaine-An American endurance artist and Magician: David Blaine is an American ability artist. He is best accepted for his aerial contour feats of endurance, and has fabricated his name as a aerialist of artery and close-up magic. He has set and burst several apple records. Magician and stuntman David Blaine believes what he does to not alone be works of art but additionally claimed challenges to prove that what can’t be done absolutely he can do it.

Maybe we’re just too lazy to read it correctly.  Perhaps it is a free-verse jazz ditty and we just cannot hear the skins and bass.  Or maybe Jake Sheffield isn’t real. 

We checked out his other articles on the site.  He is prolific alright.  But he shares our OCD.  We noted that every article written by this phantom of the press is published at 8 minutes after the hour.  The last two stories were posted at precisely 1:08 am (Mystic Hollow Time).  The ones before came at various hours but always 8 minutes after.

We may never cut our nose hair or clip our toe nails or open a door with our left hand or pour milk in our cereal bowl from the front or wear anything with black stripes or brush our canine (incisor) teeth or fail to multiply the numbers of every phone number we hear by the number 7 or carve anything that smells of cheese or wear a sombrero under our t-shirt or fail to perform a five second jig we saw performed in River Dance each of the 62 nights in a row we watched from the same seat at the Mystic Hollow Theatre for the Performance of Arts or other things that we dare not mention or the clowns will eat us whilst we sleep.  But at least we don’t write total nonsense; or if we do, we do it intentionally.

For fun, we tracked down the phrases used in the story about David Blaine the American Endurance Artist and Magician.  Many are taken from Wikipedia and some from sites that have been crawled by Jake or his spider-bot. 

So, what is the point of this article? That we are better than poorly written software?  That we have nobility in a field where nobility is automatically translated by some software packages to mean “no ability”? 

Continue reading “Flash: Blaine Endurances for American Magicians News!”

Rick Carruth Named Lifetips Magic Editor

Rick Carruth does not sleep.  He has never owned a pillow or an alarm clock.  He has only seen others yawn but has never had the experience.  He is to energy what energy is to an energy drink – the vital, special element that makes the latter possible – and without the jitters or irritability.

If we never slept, we would be in prison.  Of course, if we were in prison, we would likely never sleep either.

But Mr. Carruth uses his superhuman abilities for good.  He works through the night on as many as 15 different projects.  He perfectly achieves his goals and shares the results with the Magic Community.

Beyond insomnia, Mr. Carruth is known for his always fantastic Magic Roadshow (http://streetmagic.info/emagic107.html) e-zine.  Mr. Carruth cranks out new material without fail.

We cannot compare to Mr. Carruth.  Some recall the Inside Magic newsletter “Magic in Your Mouth” produced with backing from the American Dental Association. As loyal readers know, MYM lasted about six months before circulation dropped below the single digits; at almost the exact same time we ran out of effects utilizing dental dams or Novocain.

Yes, we still get requests for reprints for our original mentalist routine,  The Numb Tongue Tells All but we attribute its fame to David Blaine’s inclusion on his recent cable-only show “David Blaine and the Hot Sauce of Hell.”

It was not a big part of the show, and technically, David did not perform it but had a “volunteer” (really a dental hygienist) offer her tongue for numbing and subsequent clairvoyant activity.  It is a sad comment on the state of television magic but true they shot the bit seven or eight times before the volunteer’s tongue correctly revealed the prediction on the mouth-sized Ouija board.

And yes, the Ouija board the show used is different than the one that comes with the set we sell.  The regular Oral Ouija Board does not have a “spit sluice” or the special bridge work to hold the board in place if the “volunteer” starts to gag or choke before spelling out the prediction.

Our Numb Tongue routine was just one of the several bits he performed leading up to the live finale; the controversial gargling of the certified hottest of the hot sauce whilst sitting on a block of ice.  Would the ice cube melt, causing David Blaine to fall onto the stage and possibly injuring his coccyx? Would the hot sauce meld his tongue to his enflamed gums or nearly translucent cheeks? It was quite a cliff-hanger.

But we digress.  The point was something similar to the maxim, “it is hard to do something good for a long time.”

Surprisingly, English is our native language.

The wise folks at LifeTips.com selected the overly qualified and caffeinated Mr. Carruth as Magic Editor.

They could not have selected a better person for the job.  We, on the other hand, just learned we were not selected as the Magic Editor at PassiveAggressive.com.  We are okay with losing out, though.  We never really wanted the position; and it is a stupid site anyway.

We will make the tricks slated for PassiveAggressive.com available for sale soon.  Our favorite is Headline Prediction or Not.

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Blaine Brings Ratings Win to ABC

Our Secret
Our Secret

Ratings magic from non-magic, says New York’s Newsday, have given Mr. Blaine a reason to survive for another sweeps period.

Some have claimed David Blaine’s stunning ability to remain underwater for six plus minutes was either fake or not magic.  (If he was only appearing to hold his breath that long, he was technically doing magic).

“Alive” is still “alive” and for that amazingly simple yet complicated act – at least in this absurdly fascinating context – David Blaine may be the de facto champ of the 2006 May sweeps.

No, he didn’t achieve his cherished (and much hyped) nine-minutes-without-a-breath record, but he got something better – my educated guess is about 18 million viewers – and ABC was happy and – my other educated guess – so were most of those viewers.

The columnist is right on the button with his analysis of the reason for Blaine’s success.

The whole strange spectacle still worked because no one ever bothered to ask why. By last Monday, the media had dubbed him Bubble Boy, while the particularly savvy setting in Lincoln Center (just up the block from ABC) elevated the stunt to “performance art.”

And just like that, the question “why?” seemed kind of irrelevant.

But the best stuff was the pre-packaged pieces, the filler that revealed Blaine’s magic with people. He goes off to a Louisiana prison, billed
as some sort of super-lockdown, to learn what confinement is all about, but seems to spend most of his time playing card tricks or bending metal bars.

Bizarre, yes, and you couldn’t take your eyes off it.

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David Blaine is Going Down

Describing David Blaine as “the loony attention grabber,” Mitch Marconi of the Post Chronicle reports the daredevil’s newest stunt will have him under water for a week.

Image of David Blaine on Inside Magic“If you can believe this one, Blaine is planning to live underwater for a week in a human-sized aquarium outside of New York’s Lincoln Center.
“The loony attention grabber has in the past spent 61 hours in ice and 44 days fasting in a glass box suspended over London’s River Thames.
“This latest escapade will end after seven days and seven nights of underwater pananoramas with Blaine attempting to break the record for holding one’s breath underwater.
“To prepare for his newest stunt, Blaine reportedly trained with U.S. Navy Seals.”

ABC will televise the finale on May 8th.
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David Blaine Gets Outside (Himself) to Help Wounded Troops

Inside Magic Image of David BlaineAmerican Forces Press Service reports a reappearance of David Blaine.

The picture of Mr. Blaine shows he has more than recovered from his 44-day stunt.  He looks darn-right almost chunky.

He visited the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas to perform “street magic” for those wounded fighting men and women in our Armed Services.

Mr. Blaine performed three shows at the center: the Amputee Care Center; the Burn Center; and, the hospital auditorium.

The Armed Service Press reported “thrilled his BAMC audience with his street-style magic as he moved about the rooms performing sleight of hand and card tricks for the patients.”

Blaine is often called the “Ice Guy” – after freezing himself in a solid block of ice for three days in 2000. One center patient from New York, Marine Cpl. Merlin German, remembered watching Blaine as he emerged from the ice block in Times Square. Now recovering from burns sustained in the global war on terrorism, German was pleased Blaine took the time to come see the wounded.

“He was very inspiring to me,” German said, adding that Blaine, who invited him and his parents to a show in New York after he recovers, now sees him as a friend.”

Mr. Blaine was so moved by the “wounded troops that he returned Nov. 23 and 25 to personally visit with them.”  Sgt. Kevin Downs told reporters Mr. Blaine visited him as “a special birthday gift.”

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