Weird Universe

Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand

Black Art

A type of stage magic based on the principle that "bright colors show up on stage, and anything covered in black disappears." [via Deceptology]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Sep 30, 2013 | Comments (2)
Category: Entertainment, Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand

Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio


This fool-the-eye room at the Met in NYC looks full of 3-D furnishings, but is really a flat illusion.

More pics at the Met's site.

A 1945 feature from POPULAR SCIENCE.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Aug 14, 2013 | Comments (3)
Category: Art, Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, 1940's

Ames Room

Any WU-vie building a new home should definitely include such a space.

Wikipedia explanation here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jan 27, 2013 | Comments (1)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand


Willow - Sweater from Filip Sterckx on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 09, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Movies, Music, Pop Art, Surrealism

Uglified Optical Illusion

This is a strange optical illusion based on focusing on the cross in the middle. The usually "beautiful people" seem to become disfigured.

Jason Tangen, Sean Murphy and Matthew Thompson won second prize in the Eighth Annual Best Illusions of the Year contest sponsored by the Vision Sciences Society. This team from the University of Queensland in Australia discovered "the flashed face distortion effect".

The optical illusion , which works on non-celebs' faces, too, was discovered by accident by Jason Tangen, Sean Murphy and Matthew Thompson of the University of Queensland in Australia. Dubbed the "flashed face distortion effect," it won second prize in the eighth annual Best Illusions of the Year contest, held each year at the Vision Sciences Society meeting.

The researchers explain, "By aligning the faces at the eyes and presenting them quickly, it becomes much easier to compare them, so the differences between the faces are more extreme. If someone has a large jaw, [the effect makes it appear] almost ogre-like. If they have an especially large forehead, then it looks particularly bulbous. We're conducting several experiments right now to figure out exactly what's causing this effect."

Apparently, it works with normal faces, but there is no way I'm putting up my mug.
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Thu Sep 13, 2012 | Comments (7)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand

Sebastian the Bullet Catcher

Edward Sebastian Adriani, who went by the stage name 'Sebastian,' was a magician who specialized in catching a .22 caliber bullet between his teeth. He even had steel dental plates put on his teeth -- to help him better 'catch' the bullets. Other parts of his act included placing a concrete block on his wife's stomach and pulverizing it with a sledgehammer. Read more about him here.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed May 23, 2012 | Comments (7)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Theater and Stage

Follies of the Mad Men #139



[From Life magazine for October 18 1948.]

Leave it to rich people to shrink down their servants and stuff them like genies into bottles! Note cute name of bartender: "Hugh Bline" = Heublein.

Anyhow, who would want to drink out of a liquor bottle that had a little man in it performing his necessary sanitary functions?

Floram Marchand

As magic tricks go, the "I can vomit wine" claim has died a deserved death. One imagines that neither David Copperfield, nor even Penn & Teller, will be reviving the spectacle of Floram Marchand any time soon.

Floram Marchand: The Great Water Spouter

In the summer of 1650, a Frenchman named Floram Marchand was brought
over from Tours to London, who professed to be able to 'turn water into
wine, and at his vomit render not only the tincture, but the strength
and smell of several wines, and several waters.' Here - the trick and
its cause being utterly unknown - he seems for a time to have gulled
and astonished the public to no small extent, and to his great profit.
Before, however, the whole mystery was cleared up by two friends of
Marchand, who had probably not received the share of the profits to
which they thought themselves entitled. Their somewhat circumstantial
account runs as follows.

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