Gardyloo #32

It's Gardyloo #32. That rhymes. And you know it rhymes. Why deny it?

Oh look, the GLOMM signal was tripped again.

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I hope this isn't true. Never a good feeling when I need to conduct an old-fashioned GLOMM-booting.

Here's the story. We'll see how it plays out.

Hey, speaking of creeps, I want to try to get to the bottom of something. Does anyone have any information about the story of mentalist Ford Kross convincing a woman she was cursed and that the only way to remove the curse was for her to have sex with him?

A reader recently mentioned it in an email, and I've found some references to it in some old message board posts, but I was wondering if anyone had more information. Did it really happen? Did she take him to court?

It certainly seems like a story that got around a bit and one that maybe he even told himself. I'm just curious about it. Is this just some weird rumor that never actually happened? Or was this guy a genuine sociopath who really did this? Or—almost equally pathetic—did he make the story up because he thought mentalism was populated by the type of guy who would be charmed and impressed by the story of someone using threats and coercion to get a woman to have sex? It's fascinating to me either way. 

I won't disclose anything anyone tells me (or who said it) without checking with you first. So feel free to say whatever you want to me completely off the record. I'm not a blabbermouth.

Jeff Haas passed along this video to me a couple months ago and I just got the chance to watch it. It's a talk from the Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco by Laura E. Hall, an escape room designer. It's somewhat long (an hour) but worth it for anyone who has an interest in puzzles, games, escape rooms, VR, and, indirectly, magic as well.

In my opinion, the most important thing for magicians is something she says early on:

"A side-effect of our relationship with screen-based entertainment is that the value of in-person experience begins to rise."

I find this to be so true. There's this pessimistic attitude that all people care about is burying their heads in their phones. And so, to co-opt that, you have a lot of people creating magic for youtube, instagram, and facebook. And that's fine if that's what you want to do. But what I've found is just what she stated in the quote above: Now, more than ever, people really cherish an in-person, real world experience. If you can engineer these experiences for people you will be rewarded significantly. 

People have suggested that technology will make magic obsolete, but my experience has been that the ubiquitousness of technology has made my "real world" magic performances even stronger.

Joe Mckay, who has done a number of favors for this site, has asked that I shine a little light on this project of Chris Wasshuber at You can read about it below. If you're into magic magazines you may find it to be worth your energy to contribute. To be clear, this is not me asking for this, so don't go sending me your responses. Chris' email is below. I already know where all the good magazine effects are. They're in the JAMM.

I want to try an experiment which will only take a bit of thought from each
of you, but the rewards to each one participating will be huge.

Please email me your three favorite articles, effects, features, etc. you
have read in a magic magazine. Any magazine qualifies. Can be the big ones
Genii, Magic, LR, MUM, can be the old classics, Jinx, Sphinx, Hugard's,
Stanyon, Mahatma, Gen, Magic Wand, Magigram, can be smaller lesser

known ones like Oracle, Blueprint, etc. any magic magazine is fine.

Give it some thought. Your three absolute favorite items. I only need the
reference, the year/volume/issue/page number as well as title and author of
the article.

I will compile all of the submissions I get and everybody who contributed
their three favorites will receive the entire compilation free of charge.

In other words, you will get a crowdsourced best of the best from the world
of magic magazines. Sort of a treasure map you can use to find the most
interesting items. Depending on how many submissions I will get I might
even be able to rank them. If say an article is recommended by multiple
folks then that would be something worth noting in the compilation.

Please give it some thought. Reflect on your magazine reading over the last
years. What stood out? What articles do you still remember vividly? What
has helped you in your own progress as magician? What effect from a
magazine made it into your working repertoire?

Chris' email is

You may remember our friend and JAMM Muse for April, Alice.


Well, she is in a Maxim magazine contest that is going on now. And since she's part of our Jerx family, you may want to consider supporting her efforts by voting for her.

She's a doll and from what I understand, if she wins the contest, her entire Maxim spread will be based on Dan Harlan poses.