The snow is falling.
The fire crackles.
Bing Crosby croons from the radio about his dreams of a white Christmas.
The smoke from my Old Gold cigarette swirls in eddies around my easy chair.
Yes, it's Christmastime. And I'm indulging in all my holiday traditions. Having a snowball fight with the neighborhood kids. Baking cookies. And thanking god it's them, instead of me, like Bono urged me to in that Christmas song for... people with AIDS? Or starving people? Starving people with AIDS? Whatever it was... I'm thanking god it's them and not me.
A couple questions have come in about Season 2 that I thought I would answer here for everyone.
1. Is the monthly magazine going to be content from the site?
No. The Jerx magazine will be all new material. I may have been unclear when I originally pitched the idea. Initially, when I proposed Season 2, the idea was I would do 20 new posts a month on this site and there was going to be, essentially, no reward for subscribing (other than the continued existence of this site). Then I changed that plan because I want the people supporting the site to get more/have a better experience than you other scrubs. So then I decided to do a dozen or so full posts each month on the site and then take my favorite ideas for that month that would have been on the blog, and instead put them into the digital magazine. So that will be 6-8 things each month. The breakdown will probably half reviews a la X-Communication, and the other half will be my favorite tricks/ideas/essays or whatever that I've worked on that month.
2. Will there be an option for a printed magazine?
As it stands now, no. A printed magazine done in such low quantities isn't really economically feasible. If the readership grows considerably over the course of the year, I might consider it next year. So there will be a next year? A Jerx, Season 3? No, not necessarily. I'm taking this site year by year.
If you're someone who really prefers a physical product, then I will make one humongous pdf available at the end of the year for subscribers so you can have it bound and printed physically. You can probably get that done for like $30 or so.
3. Will the Jerx deck be sold separately?
No. The only way to get it will be with a paid year subscription. Or be a personal friend of mine and have me give you one.
Those who haven't signed up yet for Season 2 and the bonuses, you can do so at the end of this post.
Much to my surprise, The Jerx, Volume One is holding its own on the Magic Cafe thread for book of the year. Not that I don't think it qualifies. It's absolutely the book of the year. Hell, it's the book of the... what's an order of magnitude greater than a millennium? Whatever that is. I'm just surprised because it's such a limited edition and is going up against books that likely had 10 or 20 times the number of copies printed.
So thanks to those who voted and represented for this site.
Friend of the site, and GLOMM Elite, Ondrej Psenicka, sent me one of the coolest and most ingenious decks I've ever seen.
It's called the Butterfly Deck.
You know how people always talk about the ugliness of magic methods? Well, the secret built into the Butterfly Deck is so sweet that I'm tempted just to show people how it works. What it allows you to do is know where any card in the deck is at any moment, and it allows you to know what cards are missing from the deck.
So, for example, you have someone shuffle the cards as much as they want in any manner they want. They remove a card and hide it without even looking at it. They again shuffle as much they want. You take the deck and concentrate on it for a few seconds (you don't need to spread it or turn it over), and you know what card is missing. It's as pure as that type of effect can get.
I've only had it a few days but it's pretty easy to pick up the basics of the system. I've been using it as the ultimate unbelievable exhibition of memory and shuffle tracking. I give them the deck to shuffle. Then I spread it on the table face up and "memorize" it. I hand it back to the person and have them shuffle it a few times while I discuss shuffle tracking. I have them shuffle under the table while my hands grab hold onto their upper arms. I look off in the distance and say, "Hmmm...ok...ok...interesting," and nod as if I'm analyzing their shuffle without seeing it. I then have them shuffle a few more times on the table. Then I stop them and have them name any card.
The five of clubs.
"The five of clubs? Okay... that started as the eighth card down and after your first shuffle it went down to the 42nd card."
As I say this I pick up the deck and hold it about vertically around eye level, showing them the right long-edge of the deck, with the left long-edge toward me (the positioning will be clear when you have the deck in your hands), I point near the top of the deck then slide my finger down the deck to illustrate the path of the card during the first shuffle. As I do this one movement, I get all the information I need. I then tell them a little more about the path of their card and end with something like, "And your last shuffle brought it 22 cards down, right about here." And I cut to the card they named. (Yes, the implication I'm making is that I memorized the deck and then shuffle tracked every single card simultaneously.)
This is kind of a basic idea, but it's very fun to perform.
I think there are a few days left for you to contribute to his Indiegogo campaign and nab yourself some decks. I would definitely recommend it.
If you live in a snowy climate, let me remind you of the trick White Nocturne. It's a really weird little moment that has an interesting kind of resonance on a snowy night.
I had an email asking about Christmas shipping times. If you order a book or GLOMM membership kit, they will generally ship out via priority mail the next day. So if you make an order by Tuesday the 20th, it will ship Wednesday and, theoretically, should be with you by Saturday. Although that might be pushing it, but I will do what I can on my end to make sure it gets to you on time. After that it's up to the mailman. (This is, of course, for domestic US shipping. Outside the US you're probably screwed unless you want to pay a fortune for overnight shipping.)
Also, if you're ordering a gift for someone else, please make a note of that so I can include a message in the order for them to get in touch so I can put them on the email list for any bonus items that may be included with their order.
Regarding the GLOMM membership kit, while there are plenty of regular Elite kits available, the Secret Hyper-Elite Platinum kit (which includes the red shirt) is close to sold out in a number of sizes. XL is sold out. There is one left in L and XXL. A few in XXXL. A decent amount available in small and medium. The red shirts won't be reprinted.
Li'l Jerxy has lost his mind and is opening up way too much over on the Jerx App.