magic

17 Stories

GOP Lawmaker Pushes Pro-Magic Legislation

He wants magic classified as a national treasure

(Newser) - Do you believe in magic? Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas does. The AP reports Sessions is hoping the House will pass his resolution, introduced this week, recognizing magic as a "rare and valuable art form." One of Sessions' constituents, Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue, declared National Magic Week... More »

eBay: No More Magic for Sale

Auction site bans sale of spells, hexes, psychic readings

(Newser) - Call it a War on Hogwarts—eBay has announced it will no longer allow the sale of hexes and potions, reports the Los Angeles Times . Starting next month, the site's new guidelines also will prohibit the sale of blessings, enchantments, psychic advice, "and other metaphysical readings & services.... More »

Penn and Teller Suit: Magician Stole Our Trick

Dutch illusionist tries to sell shadow trick's explanation

(Newser) - Half of Penn and Teller is suing a fellow magician who he says ripped off a classic trick. Dutch illusionist Gerard Bakardy reportedly posted a YouTube video of "Rose and Her Shadow," a trick at the heart of the duo's repertoire, and Barkardy said he'd reveal... More »

Female 'Ritual Rapists' on Trial in Zimbabwe

Police say women using victims' semen for magic

(Newser) - A nationwide syndicate of suspected witches is operating in Zimbabwe, kidnapping men and raping them to use their semen in magic rituals—or at least that's what the Zimbabwe police apparently believe, reports the BBC . After a year-long investigation, three women are going on trial today on 17 counts... More »

Make Your iPhone Do Magic Tricks

New apps use technology for prestidigitation

(Newser) - Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, as Arthur C. Clarke famously theorized. But now, some creative young nerds, er, entertainers are adding smartphones to their magic acts, dazzling audiences with some high-tech prestidigitation, reports the Washington Post . Now a guessed number can appear on screen, a digital pic... More »

Fight Fire With ... Electric Wands?

Devices could someday put out fires with electricity

(Newser) - A little piece of Hogwarts may someday be reality: firefighters could eventually replace their hoses with flame-snuffing wands, the Daily Mail reports. Scientists attached a 600-watt electrical amplifier to a wand that blasted a foot-high fire with electricity, and the flames were extinguished almost immediately, they announced at a conference... More »

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Anything but Magical

Fantasia ripoff is 'the opposite of alchemy'

(Newser) - Nobody is cheering for this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced pretender to the Potter throne, based (sort of) on the iconic scene from Fantasia. Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel play a sorcerer and his protege on a mission to ... do something—anything!—involving lots of spells and special effects. The result is... More »

South Africa Fans Pin Hopes on World Cup Witchcraft

A bit of magic could boost Befana Befana

(Newser) - A bit of magic just might boost South Africa's chances in the World Cup. That's what practioners of muti—a Zulu word referring to traditional medicine and witchcraft—are hoping as they brew concoctions of plants and animal parts in a bid to help the second-lowest-ranked team in the competition,... More »

How to Make Magic With an iPad

Innovative sleight-of-gizmo makes virtual 'real'

(Newser) - Move over, David Blaine: everyone's new favorite illusionist is the iPad, recently put through its mesmerizing paces by innovative Japanese performer Shinya Uchida on the streets of Tokyo. The sleight-of-gizmo on YouTube presents a history of communication with the iPad providing smoke, drink, a cheese appetizer, x-rays, and even a... More »

Tiger Flees Magic Act for Vegas Streets

(Newser) - An escaped tiger ended up roaming the streets of Las Vegas after pulling a disappearing act from its magician owners, AP reports. Police, who heard reports from residents about a wandering tiger, say they recaptured the tame animal without incident after it was found in a back yard. The animal... More »

Oops! Broken Arm Not Part of Trick

Copperfield assistant injured in 'freak accident' with fan blowing smoke for illusion

(Newser) - David Copperfield fans may feel disillusioned after one of the magician’s tricks went horribly wrong onstage in Las Vegas this week, breaking an assistant’s arm. The employee got his limb stuck in a fan during a routine stunt in which Copperfield “disappears” while passing through the whirling... More »

'Gospel Illusionists' Tricked Out for Jesus

Saving souls with sleight of hand

(Newser) - Though the Bible places strictures on the “magic arts,” a group of faithful tricksters are using sleight of hand to convert the wayward, Mother Jones reports. Weslyan University recently hosted the annual convention of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, where performers were more likely to quote scripture and... More »

Illusionist Escapes Imploding Building —Barely

Vows never to try another dangerous stunt

(Newser) - Goth illusionist Criss Angel escaped an imploding hotel in Florida last night, reports Central Florida News. During the stunt, which aired live on A&E's Mindfreak, the daredevil had three and a half minutes to pick handcuffs and four padlocked doors before catching a helicopter on the roof. While Angel... More »

David Blaine Breaks Breath-Holding Record

Endurance artist sets new record at 17 minutes, 4 seconds

(Newser) - David Blaine broke the world record for holding one’s breath today when he was submerged for 17 minutes and 4 seconds during a taping of Oprah. The endurance artist looked relaxed emerging from a water-filled sphere, the AP reports. Blaine had undergone simulated altitude training and pure oxygen treatment... More »

The Boss Works Old, New 'Magic'

New album mixes pop and politics - and gets rave reviews

(Newser) - In an era of has-been acts making a mockery of themselves, Bruce Springsteen rolls out his fourth album in five years—a poppy album with steely political undertones that proves he's as relevant as ever. Magic drops sugar-coated bombs on the Bushies, the New York Times' A.O. Scott writes,... More »

Sleight of Hand Gets the Academic Treatment

Magicians break code for benefit of science

(Newser) - Magicians got in on the act at this summer’s Magic of Consciousness conference, hobnobbing with—and even tricking—cognitive scientists as they helped dissect their own profession. The New York Times visits Las Vegas, where master illusionists were welcomed for what one scientist calls "their specific interest in... More »

Potter Pages Leaked in Web Hocus Pocus

Scanned book appears on Internet despite $20M security

(Newser) - The world's favorite boy wizard flies onto bookshelves for the final time Saturday, but scanned pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—some real, some phony—have already landed on the Internet. Photographs of what seem to be every page of the 784-page tome have been posted on several... More »

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