Gardyloo #6

I don't generally check the metrics of this site. I could not be less concerned about the numbers. As Austin Kleon writes in his book, Show Your Work:

And the metrics only measure eyeballs, not hearts. 

One of the few metrics I used to like to read on my old site was what search terms led people to the site. Not because I wanted to optimize SEO or any of that nonsense. It was just funny.

These days it seems like you can't see what search query people used to get to your site. I think (correct me if I'm wrong). If I look in the metrics it will say "(not provided)" for most of the search-engine generated traffic to this site. Only maybe 1 in 100 times will it tell me what people actually searched for (and I don't really know why it does when it does). 

And that's unfortunate because the search queries that do get reported are outstanding. Let's take a look at the most recent figures...

Happy to see "audience-centered magic" get its own tag on BoingBoing.

Mini-Book Update: Just finished the new write-up for the oldest effect in the book, Pale Horse and Rider. This adds two phases to a Michael Weber idea that involves the use of a hand-drawn Ouija board. It may have been the trick that convinced me that a more unbelievable presentation is significantly more interesting to the spectator than the standard mentalism presentation. And that shifting the power away from yourself draws people in.

Also, it's a routine that, if you play it seriously, has a moment that can cause people to pee their pants a little.

A reader emailed me to suggest that introducing a deck of cards into the Time Traveler's Toilet, made the whole thing seem like just a magic trick. He's right, but that isn't my concern for that particular trick. As I wrote to him:

When a trick is overtly stupid and silly, I'm not concerned with everything being 100% rational. 

In most of the tricks I like, the gift you're giving the audience is the feeling of something incredible happening and it seeming real in that moment. And in those cases you don't want to do anything that detracts from the reality you're establishing. 

But when you say, "I have a toilet where anything you flush goes back in time," there is no way to make that feel real in any respect. They know from the get-go that everything is a trick. So now realism takes a back seat and I just want to do the strongest trick I can given the circumstances. I did consider a more "organic" solution (flipping through a magazine, letting a subscription card fall out, and doing it with a torn and restored subscription card) but it's not as fooling. And in this effect what makes it good is the dichotomy between the strength of the trick and the stupidity of the trick.