227 posts tagged with magic.
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I sing the city

The City Born Great, short fiction by Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin.
posted by Artw on Sep 28, 2016 - 10 comments

EXPECTO PATRONUM!

JK Rowling is pleased to announce that as of today you can officially discover your patronus by taking a special quiz* on the official Harry Potter website, Pottermore! For many fans, this experience is a dream come true, but for others, the potential symbolism behind the animal they've conjured isn't quite the right fit.

What will your happiest thought produce?

*As with the other sorting ceremonies on Pottermore, you will need an account to acquire your highly scientific results.
posted by Hermione Granger on Sep 22, 2016 - 233 comments

Turn and look

John V. Muntean's magic angle sculptures: The Shape of Imagination | Knight Mermaid Pirate Ship | Dragon Butterfly Jet
posted by a lungful of dragon on Aug 25, 2016 - 2 comments

No wand for you!

Richard Carter hand-makes magic wands for sale at Mystical Moments in Slaithwaite, England. And these are not toys for Harry Potter fans, he will have you know. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Aug 15, 2016 - 154 comments

"Specifically I've been told black lotus cards are very valuable."

Martin Shkreli - He of the 5,500x price increase for a lifesaving drug; he who is the only person on Earth with access to The Wu-Tang Clain's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin - has a new hobby - Magic: The Gathering! [more inside]
posted by Tomorrowful on Jul 7, 2016 - 79 comments

ebooks_goetia

The Lesser Bot of Solomon offers you endless pages from a text in the style of Ars Goetia and the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum. [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jun 11, 2016 - 20 comments

The life of a pizza man is intense

The Secret Order of the Slice: photographer Chris Gampat captures the magical moment of opening a pizza box. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on May 19, 2016 - 27 comments

about time

Magic Mushroom Drug Lifts Depression in Human Trial - "The findings show that more research in this field is now needed. 'This is the first time that psilocybin has been investigated as a potential treatment for major depression', says lead author Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London."
posted by kliuless on May 18, 2016 - 51 comments

You'll have an average lifespan. Don't be upset. Pray instead.

You're a fortune teller living in the Roman Empire. People keep asking you the same damn questions day after day, and it's hard to always come up with new answers. So you invest in a copy of the Oracles of Astrampsychus, a dice-based prophecy kit, containing 92 common questions and over a thousand possible answers. And here they are.
posted by theodolite on May 17, 2016 - 35 comments

The odd friendship of Harry the skeptic and Arthur the believer

Arthur Conan Doyle became interested in Spiritualism as early as 1886, inspired by the writing of the US High Courts Judge John Worth Edmonds, and confessing his belief in the supernatural in various publications, including The Coming of the Fairies, "a collection of facts" about the Cottingley Fairies, published a year after the start of an odd friendship. In 1920, Doyle received the book The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin from none other than Harry Houdini, the renowned magician turned resolute skeptic, yet the two became friends, discussing spiritualism in terms of faith and frauds, respectively. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 3, 2016 - 20 comments

How magic helps me live with pain and trauma

I love my cane, but I rarely hold onto it without rage..."My first cane was black like tourmaline, a crystal used as an aid against jealousy, negative thoughts, destructive forces, and internal conflicts; I’d adorned it with Hello Kitty stickers."
posted by stoneweaver on Apr 20, 2016 - 14 comments

Practical Magic

Edward Lovett was a bank employee and amateur folklorist fascinated with charms and amulets and the superstitions they represented. He rambled early 20th century London collecting charms from soldiers, sailors, street vendors and others. Today the charms are preserved in the Wellcome Collection, Pitt Rivers Museum, and Horniman Museum. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2016 - 2 comments

Now that's magic

Paul Daniels, internationally renowned magician and television performer, has died aged 77 after a diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumour in late February 2016. [more inside]
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics on Mar 17, 2016 - 32 comments

Notes: please make this iconic.

"Her wide eyes glow a bright blue and bright blue sparks of overflowing energy are rushing out of them. A huge WAVE OF FIRE splits around her and DISPERSES as if it’s hitting an INVISIBLE SHIELD, leaving her unharmed." Terese Nielsen takes us through her process in creating the art for an upcoming reprint of Force of Will (scroll down for story), one of Magic: The Gathering's most iconic cards. [more inside]
posted by ODiV on Mar 4, 2016 - 18 comments

grandeur and monstrosity

Alan Moore: The art of magic
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 22, 2016 - 30 comments

New Potter Wizard School Info

J.K. Rowling has recently released some information on international wizarding schools. We already knew a fair amount about Durmstrang and Beauxbatons. But she also discusses Mahoutokoro, the Japanese school that actually has day students; Uagadou, the African school carved out of a mountainside; and Castelobruxo, the Brazilian home of Bill Weasley's ear-shrivelling penpal. She gives no information about Ilvermorny, the "North American" school. (There is not even a mention of the Salem Witches' Institute.)
posted by vogon_poet on Jan 30, 2016 - 101 comments

A library of illusions, misdirections and prestidigitation

The Conjuring Arts Research Center is a research library in Midtown Manhattan with over 12,000 volumes devoted to the arts of magic. They publish a semiannual journal by the name of Gibeciere. And for those who prefer not to wait for the mail, there's Ask Alexander, a searchable database of over 2,500,000 pages of magic instruction.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 24, 2016 - 11 comments

Worst. Tablecloth. Pulling. Gig. Ever.

They misunderstood my ability to be a dick, when correctly inspired. Juggler and comedian Mat Ricardo describes a nightmare gig in Beijing, starting with a (supposed) world record attempt and ending with a mad dash for the airport.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 19, 2016 - 60 comments

Strip Magic: The Gathering

Mark Rosewater, the head designer of card game Magic: The Gathering posted to tumblr about a rejected card. Magic: The Gathering is a complex card game where each card has rules that affect the outcome of the game. The card in question:

Disrobing Scepter. Artifact. Activate: Target player either discards a card or removes a piece of clothing.

Again, this is not a card that will be seen in play. Rosewater's tumblr post was submitted to reddit. Magic enthusiasts started an earnest discussion on the rules and protocols of Strip Magic. The discussion is focused on Magic rules, useful cards and is surprisingly mature. Gross and offensive replies to the reddit thread are appropriately downvoted. The discussion is ongoing. Enjoy.
posted by hot_monster on Dec 24, 2015 - 30 comments

You crazy guy

Watch the joyous reaction of an orangutan entertained by a quick magic trick.
posted by item on Dec 9, 2015 - 33 comments

The Worlds of Øyvind Thorsby

Øyvind Thorsby, creator of multiple strangely charming webcomics (previously), has recently begun his fifth series, Trixie Slaughteraxe for President (link is to the first page). Thorsby's comics bear multiple trademarks: distinctively simplistic art, strange creatures with strange adaptations to their environments, creative applications for magical and technologically advanced objects and phenomena, and, of course, complicated farcical situations often involving desperate wacky schemes. A list of his comics (including the new hosting for his first three comics) is inside. Content warning: violence, swearing and sexual themes. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ on Nov 12, 2015 - 8 comments

A Labracadbrador

Jose Ahonen does magic tricks for dogs. [more inside]
posted by Ned G on Oct 29, 2015 - 50 comments

Real Mjǫllnir

A real-life version of Mjǫllnir, made with a bit of sufficiently advanced technology.
posted by jedicus on Oct 14, 2015 - 25 comments

The (mostly) limbless magician, penman, musician of the 18th Century

Matthias Buchinger, sometimes called Matthew Buckinger, described himself as "the wonderful Little Man of but 29 inches high, born without Hands, Feet, or Thighs." Despite being born (in Germany in 1674) with limbs "more resembling fins of a fish than arms of a man," he was renowned for his works as a calligrapher and micrographer (remarked for details illustrated in psalms written in characters of different sizes), builder of whimsey bottles (the oldest known "mining bottle"), and called the most extraordinary conjurer of all time. People may have initially gathered to see a tragedy, but instead were presented with an astounding range of impressive skills. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 8, 2015 - 6 comments

That all life is a dream and dreams are dreams ...

Hector Mancha with the act that won him the Grand Prix of FISM 2015 in Rimini.
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 19, 2015 - 8 comments

Una poca de gracia

Google Translate's real-time sign translation [Word Lens] vs. La Bamba. Plus a link to a video interview with creator Otavio Good about how it works.
posted by Westringia F. on Aug 20, 2015 - 21 comments

Ten points to Gryffindor!

Simon Pegg as drunk Ron Weasley wishing Harry Potter a happy 35th Birthday. Weasley previously got smashed to celebrate the occasion back in 2013.
posted by Artw on Aug 1, 2015 - 30 comments

Women in Magic

Magic: the Gathering is a fantastic strategy trading card game, currently in it's 22nd year and more popular than ever. But as it becomes more mainstream, an ugly issue is coming to light: there just aren't many women players. The official company line is that 38% of players are female, although that number is not represented in high level play. Gaby Spartz's article 6 Things You Can do to Get More Women Into Magic puts the percentage of women in tournament play closer to 1-2% of the field. Spartz's article, as well as her followup 7 Counterpoints to My Women in Magic Article, has sparked a debate that has raged over the past few months. [more inside]
posted by yellowbinder on Jul 2, 2015 - 101 comments

Demons For Dummies Ca. 1775

"A selection of pages from an 18th-century demonology book comprised of more than 30 exquisite watercolours showing various demon figures, as well as magic and cabbalistic signs. The full Latin title of Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, roughly translates to “A rare summary of the entire Magical Art by the most famous Masters of this Art”. With a title page adorned with skeletons and the warning of Noli me tangere (Do not touch me), one quickly gets a sense of the dark oddities lurking inside its pages." - The Public Domain Review presents illustrations from a 18th century guide to demons and demonology (NSFW illustrated nudity, snakes on bits.)
posted by The Whelk on Jun 30, 2015 - 29 comments

They even had a category for Spell listings which would prove that point

“Etsy seems to be only targeting those items of a pagan/occult nature while allowing items of certain faiths traditionally used for protection like St. Christopher medals, to still be marketed,” said another vendor in an email. “Personally I think it's probably unintended ignorance and failure to consider and think through what banning all spiritual, energetic and magickal claims will really mean.”
Witches are furious at Etsy for banning the sale of spells (Previously)
posted by griphus on Jun 19, 2015 - 163 comments

I Will Spell Check This Post

Everyday Sigils: A tumblr where you can commission magical sigils and symbols to deal with everyday trials, from the mundane to the sadly common.
posted by The Whelk on May 25, 2015 - 57 comments

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

Aleister Crowley The Most Wicked Man In The World [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 22, 2015 - 53 comments

My work is a synthesis of Art and Magick

“Of the Devil’s Party” — The Art of Barry William Hale
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Apr 22, 2015 - 3 comments

Vanquish the terrible baby horde with this one weird trick!

How to deactivate a baby. Previously: how to deactivate a cat.
posted by phunniemee on Apr 10, 2015 - 53 comments

Another Derren Brown post

Infamous was a 2014 magic show from Derren Brown: This is an hour long Youtube video with a fantastic finale.
How does he do it, on Quora.
"...look like you are witnessing true magic": A positive review from a fellow magician.
posted by growabrain on Mar 3, 2015 - 32 comments

Ganges Delta Blues - from A Meeting By The River

This is a piece of magical music VooDoo by Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt. [more inside]
posted by bobdow on Feb 21, 2015 - 12 comments

Netrunner

You probably know Richard Garfield as the creator of Magic: The Gathering. But his favorite creation is actually Netrunner, intended to be a "richer game" with bluffing and skill "more like Poker." Android: Netrunner is an asymmetrical Living Card Game based on the original Netrunner (which still has its fans). Set in a cyberpunk future, you play a megacorp using "ICE" to protect servers hiding company agendas (like The Future Perfect and Hostile Takeover) or the hacker "runner" trying to steal them. Chose from five megacorps and three runner factions and get started with a few data packs, important jargon, and deck-building. For the initiated, prepare for this year's regional championships and read up on quantitative analyses of cards, runner economies, corporation economies, ICE and icebreakers, opening moves, studies in variance, and the ever-changing metagame. Still not sure? Watch the Worlds 2014 Final (or read the champ's recap) and practice online using OCTGN or newcomer Jinteki.net, a browser-based version in development by World Champion finalist Minh Tran. And as always, beware Scorched Earth.
posted by Soup on Jan 23, 2015 - 28 comments

Into the indestructible realm of mystery and dream

Steven Millhauser is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author known for his erudite, witty and surreal writing style that blends the magical and the real. Enjoy the full text of Eisenheim The Illusionist (pdf, 20 pages), the story that inspired the 2006 film The Illusionist. [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Dec 5, 2014 - 5 comments

hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

longer than the Bible and with a better afterlife scenario

Alan Moore's Jerusalem - "The frequently confusing cross-currents of Moore's late work make much more sense, in fact, when one sees them not just as entertainment products but as attempts at building a better reality."
posted by kliuless on Oct 31, 2014 - 31 comments

Goblins: how do they work?

Max Gladstone ponders goblins
posted by boo_radley on Oct 30, 2014 - 47 comments

Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?

Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. This is a promise. For the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true and based on solid fact.
Orson Welles' cinematic confidence scam, F for Fake, gets a new two disc Blu-Ray Criterion Collection release this year. Ben Sampson offers a visual analysis in two parts, breaking down the film's layers of paradoxes. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown on Oct 21, 2014 - 25 comments

.../\ /.\.. ../.\ ./.\. ..???

Yann Frisch. Vivement dimanche, Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde, Champion du Monde de Magie.
posted by twoleftfeet on Sep 14, 2014 - 5 comments

The Millionaire's Magician

Most people have probably never seen the magic of Steve Cohen, who for 14 years has held court in a private suite at the Waldorf-Astoria, to sold-out crowds of "celebrities, royalty, government officials, and other VIPs." But bits of his "Chamber Magic" show are available online to marvel at. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Sep 10, 2014 - 31 comments

"My heroes have always been pocket cowboys."

Please enjoy six minutes of Willie Nelson performing a card trick.
posted by Atom Eyes on Aug 18, 2014 - 27 comments

Playing Magic with Geek Friends

So all of your friends have either just started playing Magic: the Gathering or have picked it up again or else admitted to having played it continually for twenty years now, and eyes are glazing over as they discuss bomb rares and 2-for-1s and mana flooding and drafting. You're not sure if you actually want to immerse yourself in this but you can't know for sure without, well, immersing yourself in it. We've all been there. Thankfully, Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry channel has a show for you - Spellslingers! [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Aug 17, 2014 - 71 comments

The Incorrigible Reprobate of Twentieth Century Publishing

L. W. De Laurence has been called "the incorrigible reprobate of twentieth century publishing" but his extensive and well-written catalog, and the books he offered on subjects ranging from mind-control to Hindoo magic, had an immense influence over American voodoo and hoodoo, as well as Jamaican obeah. The general hatred for De Laurence seems to stem primarily from his plagiarizing of magic-related texts by other famous authors. While this sort of act was frowned upon, at the time that he was operating it was all perfectly legal; the only thing he did that was not, was the actual selling of occult products by mail. Carolyn Morrow Long's book Spiritual Merchants contains excerpts from the trial. The lawsuit didn't seem to stop the De Laurence company, however. They continued going strong for many years, even outlasting the companies that manufactured most of their original perfumes and incenses. The De Laurence Company is still in business but no longer produces the fancy catalog and appears to have turned its 21st century focus toward jewelry making.
posted by Peregrine Pickle on Aug 16, 2014 - 3 comments

Orchestrate Illusions (Superpermuter)

The Minimal Superpermutation Problem - Imagine that there is a TV series that you want to watch. The series consists of n episodes, with each episode on a single DVD. Unfortunately, however, the DVDs have become mixed up and the order of the episodes is in no way marked (and furthermore, the episodes of the TV show are not connected by any continuous storyline – there is no way to determine the order of the episodes just from watching them). Suppose that you want to watch the episodes of the TV series, consecutively, in the correct order. The question is: how many episodes must you watch in order to do this? [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 10, 2014 - 34 comments

The Norwegian for 'Museum Filter' might be 'Museum Filter'

Norway seems to be particularly good at making interesting museums. If you're touring, the museum of magic is spell-binding. The museum of knitting is a real purl. The petroleum museum is a gas. The Lofoten Stockfish museum is off the hook. And the Norsk Hermetickk-museum is about the history of sealing things in cans. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus on Jul 25, 2014 - 9 comments

Real or Magic

Sometimes the best thing about David Blaine's magic tricks are the reactions he elicits. A rather Regarding Henry-ish Harrison Ford: "Get the fuck outta my house." A predictably overwrought Ricky Gervais: "Oh for fuck's sake!" Or maybe you just enjoy seeing someone manhandling George W. Bush while the President maintains a look of childlike wonder.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jul 16, 2014 - 63 comments

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