A new Beuchet chair illusion

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I have always been a huge fan of the Beuchet chair illusion. Created by psychologist Jean Beuchet in the 1960s, this wonderful illusion is used all over the world to make people appear to be tiny.

chairbeuchet

There is, however, one small problem from a practical perspective. The illusion involves building a large chair back and seat, and a carefully crafted chair base.  When I was working on items for the Quirkology exhibition I wondered whether it might be possible to create a much simpler, and more portable, version of the illusion.

After endless trial and error I realised that the same effect could be created with a small cut out of a chair and a piece of cloth!

Here is my chair in action and a reveal showing the size of the chair. It took a huge amount of time to create just the right shape of chair, but the illusion works well, can be made for just a few pounds, and is ultra-portable.

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And here I am using the illusion whilst being interviewed about the exhibition on STV news…

STV

I have used it several times and if you want to re-create the piece for a project, feel free to get in touch!

New Quirkology Exhibition!

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girlschairfinalWant to be levitated by David Copperfield, see one of the world’s greatest optical illusions, or be attacked by a giant monster?

Then head over to our new Quirkology exhibition at the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The exhibition allows visitors to experience the impossible, and features several unique items.

Master magician David Copperfield has invented an optical illusion in which he appears to levitate visitors, and has kindly allowed us to be the first exhibition in Britain to stage the piece.

 

levsmallIn another first, famous Japanese illusion inventor Kokichi Sugihara has granted us special permission to exhibit his latest creation, ‘Rectangles and Circles’. This illusion is currently taking the Internet by storm, and shows several 3D rectangles that transform into circles when reflected in a mirror. The Quirkology exhibition is the only place in the world where visitors can experience Sugihara’s amazing creation live.

In addition, the exhibition features an
interactive video show, classic illusions, a goat that appears to follow visitors around circles2smallthe room, and fun photo opportunities for all ages.
The exhibition runs until 1 September 2016 at Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile. Admission free. In addition to the exhibition, visitors can participate in a special Quirkology trail throughout the museum.

And the whole exhibition fits on a USB stick, which allows any science centre, museum or school to reproduce it!

Photo credits: Gordon Rutter, Kenny Mathieson, Richard Wiseman.

With thanks to: David Britland, David Copperfield, Kokichi Sugihara, Water Closet Press and Caroline Watt.

 

The secret life of David Berglas

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D.B. book portraitI am delighted to announce my latest project! For decades magician David Berglas amazed the world with a series of seemingly impossible stunts.

David is now in his 90s, and I recently interviewed him about his early years. He experienced some of the most dramatic events of the twentieth century, including living in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power, attending the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and working as a postwar Nazi hunter.

I have produced a website containing his memories. I hope you like it.

To visit the site, click here.

Hidden Door 2016

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hidden-door-festival-lst166931Delighted to announce that I will be appearing at the 2016 Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh!  This wonderful arts festival features dozens of musicians, artists, poets and filmmakers.

On 1st June, I will be presenting an interactive show exploring magic, perception and illusion. Come along and discover the secret science employed by master magicians to make solid objects vanish into thin air, defy the laws of gravity and predict the future.

As part of this special evening you will experience the world’s greatest illusions, have your fortune read by Madam Zara (‘she sees nothing and says all’), and have an opportunity to perform the impossible.

Book your tickets here.

And here is a little video we made to promote the event

 

The World’s First Mind Reading Tee Shirt

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Are you struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Struggle no more. After years of careful experimentation, we have created the world’s first mind reading tee shirt. And not only that, they are available for sale. Amazing. So, the links to buy them are here

These are available until the 9th December.

and the video showing this ground-breaking invention in action is here:

Talk about ESP, telepathy and strange stuff

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On Saturday I will be giving an intimate talk in London on ESP and other psychic stuff. It is being staged by The Margery Allingham Society because one of her books – The Mind Readers – is all about ESP. Do come along, much fun will be had and I shall be handing out free ESP cards to some lucky folks.  Details on the poster below. The event is at 67 Church Street, London NW8 8EU

MindReaders_ESP_Poster_small