This tech demo video from Pillow Castle Games (of Carnegie Mellon) showcases an innovative first person puzzler using the optical illusion of forced perspective.
Genii, the conjurer's magazine is the longest-running independent magazine devoted to magic and magicians in the history of the art. Their website has a bit of information for the public including some lively forums, but the real treasure trove is MagicPedia. There, you can find over three thousand biographies, information on almost 1,700 books of and about magic, nearly 200 magic organizations, and so much more. The current featured article is on the American Civil War, and the role numerous magicians played at that time.
Eye – a video optical illusion that can produce hallucination like effects for a few minutes after you watch it. [blinky slyt | via]
Like spiders? How about giant spiders? How would you feel about having a couple move in next door? The nightmare begins at 1:24.
"I am fascinated with the science of optical illusions. What happens in our brain when we view an optical illusion? The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to create an idea or image that does not match with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. On this channel you will find a variety of videos that will spark that scientific corner of your brain." [more inside]
Tolia Demidov presents browser experiments, illusions, puzzles, and... fun.
Theory 11 is your source for the latest and greatest magic tricks, instructional magic videos, and playing cards. [more inside]
Few phenomena have the power to confound as many different types of people as pareidolia. It doesn't discriminate by culture or religion. It causes Christians to see Jesus and Mary, Muslims to see the names of Allah and the Prophet, Jews to see the Star of David, Hindus to see the monkey-god Hanuman, and Buddhists to see — you guessed it — the Buddha. Even atheists who haven't devoted themselves to skepticism have puzzled long and hard over the famous face, and more recently, Bigfoot, on Mars. Now video has surfaced on YouTube of pseudoscientist and perennial attention-seeker Richard Heene (yes, Balloon Boy's dad) seeing things on the red planet too. If you'd prefer the filler edited out, the remix is highly entertaining. [more inside]
an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
The winners of the 2009 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest. And past years. (ante)
Blind Spot Optical Illusions. Online seminar from McCormick Lab at Yale lets you find your own visual blind spots. After that, you can make Monet's sun, and Van Gogh's ear, disappear. [more inside]
Interactive mathematics miscellany and puzzles, including 75 proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem, an interactive column using Java applets, and eye-opening demonstrations. (Actually, much more.)
Illusion art by Octavio Ocampo, a painter from Mexico. Sometimes illusion art is made using unlikely materials, like Jason Mecier's art made out of beans, noodles etc. [previously] or like Scott Blake's barcode images. [more inside]
Illusions for sale : The Audience Dis*Member. The Ultimate Levitation. The Wakeling Sawing. The Classic Zig-Zag. And many, many more . If you can't conjure up that kind of scratch, you don't feel lucky or industrious, and your celebrity friends can't help, you could always try the Magic Auctions. Just watch out for that beautiful assistant!
“The real world is simply too terrible to admit; it tells man that he is a small, trembling animal who will decay and die." “The defenses that form a person’s character support a grand illusion, and when we grasp this we can understand the full drivenness of man. He is driven away from himself, from self-knowledge, self-reflection. He is driven toward things that support the lie of his character.” Words of Ernest Becker, here summarizing Gestalt therapy and his own existential perspectives in Growing Up Rugged.
The sculptures of Shigeo Fukuda show that shadows and reflections (mpegs) may not be what they appear to be. When you turn M.C. Escher's drawings into sculptures, you can get some impossible objects (mpeg). And Dick Termes paintings on globes are stunning examples (Quicktime) of six point perspective. All of these works of illusionary art are featured in the book Masters of Deception: Escher, Dalí & the Artists of Optical Illusion and must be seen to be believed.
Hidden pictures! In an effort to get back to that "best of the web" thing, here are some cool hidden pictures within pictures. Can you find them all without looking at the answers? (from B3ta)
sandlot science... optical illusions and visual oddities... hundreds of exhibits and interactive demonstrations.
A professor of vision science at MIT understands that life isn't just black and white, even though we often see it that way. This amazing illusion proves it, and these slick, fast-loading, Flash demonstrations of lightness perception show how it's done. (My favorite is the "Koffka Ring".) White paper here, for deeper background.
I'm usually not a big fan of optical illusions (unless there's a nice magic trick built around it), but this one is pretty brain-burning. (Yes, that's my entire front-page post. But hey: at least it ain't a news story.)