Gardyloo #61

Building on Wednesday's post, I have another post on transitions coming up in the next few weeks. But before that comes I want to give you one piece of advice that has been very helpful to me that was given to me by a friend of mine. And it's this: A good transition does not have to be smooth, a good transition only has to feel naturalWith this in mind there are many available opportunities to shift into a magic performance other than the "steer the subject X" approach that has traditionally been the only advice offered.

The next post on transitions will dissect that idea.

Do you mail things internationally often? If so, maybe you have some input here.

Let's say I want to mail a book from New York state to some other country overseas. It weighs 2 pounds. It seems my options are:

1. Use USPS and spend about $30.

2. Use FedEx or UPS and spend about $160

That's not an exaggeration. Here are my options via UPS from New York to Oslo, Norway.

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 11.03.42 PM.png

(I particularly like the "saver" option which saves me a whole $1.22.) 

Is there some secret to international shipping that I don't know about? Are these really my only options? If you have some experience with this and know another option I might not have considered, let me know.

Dear Penguin,

Here are my Top 5 Penguin Live Lectures I'd like to see:

  • David Acer
  • Richard Sanders
  • Bro Gilbert
  • Michael Weber
  • David Stone

Please get to work on that.

Speaking of Penguin Live, I don't know this week's lecturer, but she looks really hot.


In this post on using the Google Home in concert with magic effects I wrote:

[Y]ou could theoretically create an "if this" statement for every card in the deck. Then you could have a card freely chosen (say from a stacked and/or marked deck), cue it to Google Home in your question and have it name the correct card in a very fair way. 

Reader, Brian Villa Connor offered this cueing system. 


It will take a moment for you to wrap your head around it. Ultimately it's fairly simple, but it's not really intuitive (it's not one of those things that you learn once and remember forever, you'd have to practice it in your head from time to time).

Here's how it works. Someone chooses a card, you secretly know what it is. In the course of asking your Google Home to help you out, you'll code the card to it and it will give the proper response. (See the previous linked post for more info on how that part works.)

So your sentence will be, "Hey Google, [suit code phrase] ["help me" if 8-K]  [the combination of phrases that delineates the value]."

Some examples: 

"Hey Google, can you pick a card?"
Google replies: "Okay, I pick the Ace of Clubs."

"Hey Google, I'd like you to name a playing card."
Google replies: "Okay, how about the four of hearts.

"Hey Google, please think of a playing card." 
Google replies: "Okay, I'm thinking of the six of spades."

"Hey Google, I want you to help me and name any card."
Google replies: "Okay, the nine of diamonds."

"Hey Google, can you help me and think of a card?"
Google replies: "Okay, I'm thinking of the Jack of Clubs."

You can play around a little with the wording on both the input and the output to make it more to your liking, but I think this is a pretty good start. 

The mnemonic for remembering the suit input is:

"Can you" = Clubs > Both start with C

"Please" = Spades > Both have the P and S sound

"I'd like you to" = Hearts> When you "like" something online, you often click a heart.

"I want you to" = Diamonds > You want money (you greedy bitch).

Thanks to Brian for letting me describe this here. 

And I'll put the challenge out to anyone else if you can come up with (or know of) an easier two person code we could program into a Google Home (or similar device) for playing cards, pass it along. What I like about this one is that the phrasing never gets too weird, and all 52 cards can be expressed with the manipulation of 11 total variables. Which seems pretty good, but I'm interested in hearing other ideas. 

Slight (Of Hand)

First there was that dress that people saw as different colors. Then there was the Yanny/Laurel audio clip. Now we have the following video clip that can be interpreted one of two ways.

Either it's Josh Jay directing traffic and this woman misreads that gesture and goes to shake his hand and gets dissed.

Or—as I choose to view it—Josh is going in for the handshake and this woman punks his ass with the old "too slow" move.