Friday, December 19, 2014

Ask Alexander Card Clips

Protect your diabolical like never before with the Ask Alexander card clip! We have had a limited number of these made to go with our excellent and devious Ask Alexander playing cards, and they are now available for sale!

Manufactured by Joe Porper to his exacting standards, anodized and engraved with an Ask Alexander deck inspired motif, and made to fit the superior card stock used with this deck, these are a welcome addition for the discerning card handler.

Each clip costs $39.99 (postpaid in the US!). Plus, you will also receive, free of charge, two decks of Ask Alexander playing cards (one Cambric and one Ivory)!

Sold Out


December 21, 2011 by | Filed under Playing Cards
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La biblioteca digital de ilusionismo

Digital Library of Illusion

Our dear friend the brilliant magician Luis Piedrahita recently told us about La biblioteca digital de ilusionismo (Digital Library of Illusion) – a fascinating digital resource for magicians and scholars. At the moment, this library offers access to 62 fully scanned volumes divided into categories: Card Magic, Mentalism, Prestidigitation, White Magic, Magic History, and Scientific Magic.

This database is a part of the Fundación Juan March that was founded in 1955 by Spanish Financier Juan March Ordinas. Based in Madrid, the institution is dedicated to science and the humanities, with a special emphasis on the arts. The Library of Illusion is a special collection meant to compliment the Spanish Library of Contemporary Music and Theater (as well as a massive collection from the library of Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar).

Of particular note, this database provides access to Spain’s first true magic book: Engaños a ojos vistos by Pablo Minguet Madrid, 1733; as well as many other titles, including J. Mieg’s comprehensive El brujo en sociedad Madrid, 1839. Readers will find texts in other languages, such as: Henri Decremps’s La magie blanche dévoilée Paris, 1789, and, a more recent title, Harlan Tarbell’s Crazy Stunts Minneapolis, 1929. There are a number of Spanish translations, in particular: Robert-Houdin’s French L’art de gagner a tous les jeux Paris, 1890 and Carlo Willman’s German Die Moderne Salon-Magie Valencia, 1897.

These digital books have been scanned at a high resolution so that each page looks as it would in real life. Unlike the physical volumes in a rare book room, these books require no special handling or reading stands, and can be flipped through rapidly and noisily. (A Flash animation provides this effect). They are also fully searchable.

The impetus for this project came with a donation from the library of Spanish magic historian José Puchol de Montís in 1988. With nearly 2,000 titles to draw from, we hope that this digital resource will continue to grow.

December 14, 2011 by | Filed under Magic News
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Reconstructing Video from Brain Activity

A pretty interesting method for reading someone’s mind is the subject of this video. Basically the researchers have studied the brain activity using an MRI while showing the participants a number of videos. They then used the brain activity they collected while the participants were watching different videos and made a composite video based on averages. While it is not perfect mind reading, you can see some resemblance to the original input. Regardless it is fascinating and could lead to a number of fascinating new and wonderful things. Here are some links that discuss the project more thoroughly:

Current Biology

International Business Times


UC Berkeley News Center

The Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley


December 1, 2011 by | Filed under Curious and New