The pocket calculator gag in the December issue has come up for comment; Dr Brum Antonioli from Zurich asked us if we knew that ESSOOIL (7100553) could also be shown (we didn't). This type of stunt has certainly been doing the rounds and we know that different themes have been appearing in other magazines. New slants on this will be welcome — we'll be happy to pass them on in Focus should they come along.

Bob Ostin has written to us on another topic — the Pageboy's article on the Indian performer in last month's issue. He was, he says, reminded of the hours spent about twenty years ago watching a young Indian on the blitzed sites in Liverpool. He also did the Cups and Balls and the Miser's Dream and had a very clever bit where he placed a small ball in his fist, made a whistling sound, and a bird's head popped out!

Fred Lowe, who lived in Liverpool at that time eventually talked him into explaining how he did it. It was really quite simple. He had cut off a real birds head and having removed the inside, turned the skin back over the beak so that when briefly looked at it resembled the crude balls he was using. Once in the fist a poke with the finger turned the head the right way round again and the beak and feathers appeared most effectively out of the hand. (Some trick!)

Bob wonders if that was the same man seen by Pat Page.

Fred Kaps, recently in London for the Magic Circle Show, showed the following effect that is both intriguing and unusual. Asking if we had seen the 'Coin through Bottle' effect he placed a small coin into a borrowed beer bottle and started to shake from side to side. After about 30 seconds there was a sudden 'plop' and the coin was seen to have made a hole in the bottle and be lying on the floor. (British readers will have difficulty with this trick because no UK coin will go into a beer bottle in the first place: the one used was Dutch).

Dick Koornwinder was there and said that if a nail was placed in a bottle, a similar movement would cause the bottom to fall out of the bottle. Where do we go from there? Any comments from readers would be welcome.

Nearly every Monday of the year is club night at the Magic Circle and the number of these meetings devoted to some aspect of Close-up Magic continues to increase.

On September 1st Pabular will be responsible for providing an evening and any of our readers wishing to participate will be welcome. Just drop us a line.

Final Thought

We leave you this month with an extract from the British lecture notes of Fred Kaps and we print it here with the permission of Ken Brooke and Frank Farrow:

'The greatest strength of a performer doing Close-up at a private party is his behaviour as a person.'

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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