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HERE IS ANOTHER trick in which an object apparently moves by sheer mind power. The object animated this rime is a humble key. It is recommended that the effect be performed as a scientific curiosity—not as a bar stunt. In this way it can be very strong.

Effect and Presentation: "A few years ago I visited the Munich Museum of Science and Industry They had a display of metals with characteristics that were, to this time, inexplicable to contemporary scientists. One of these metals behaved in an extraordinary almost spookyfashion, if the molecules were very slightly heated "This key has been fashioned from this unique material The metal responds to my particular body temperature. Watch M

The performer lays the key on his open right palm. Very slowly it turns over (this is an old stunt, but it makes a good prelude to what follows). Next he places the key on the center of his palm- Slowly it begins to move against gravity, pivoting eerily across the hand! At the finish, the key can be examined.

METHOD: The key, although not faked in any way. is a special one. It looks like a skeleton key, insofar as the bit is without notches. There is, however, a raised lip, as shown Figure 1. These keys are apparently quite

• Theater of the Mind common in some European countries, notably Germany, if you are unable to find one, no doubt a suitable blank key could be obtained from a key cutter and adapted. The overall length of the key should be about thrpe inches. --* . You also need a small loop of invisible sewing thread. ITiis transparent nylon thread is sold in sewing shops. To prepare, tie a small piece of the thread around your left middle finger, as in Figure 2. ft should fit almost as tightly as a normal finger ring and should lie in the crease of the inner joint, which aids in hiding it In rhis position it is almost impossible to sec the thread, even if you know where to look Indeed, fve worn a such a thread ? / loop on my finger for ten years and it has never been noticed. As was mentioned eadier, the initial turning of the key is an old stunt. Most readers will be familiar with it. For those who are not, simply place the key on your hand, as in Figure 3. Keep the hand flat and concentrate on making the key move. Guided by your thoughts, your hand will automatically tilt ever so slighdy and impercepibly, causing the key to turn over, without any apparent physical effort on your part.

Next gently pivot the key about ninety degrees on your hand and, in the process, engage the raised lip underneath the loop of thread. Leave the key in the position shown in Figure 4 (next page). If you relax the hand, the key will remain in place. However, with a minimal, barely perceptible straightening of the fingers, you can cause the key to move. This movement will continue until the litde loop of invisible thread has straightened itself out (Figure 5). The rest is presentation.

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Before leaving rhis topic, let me point out that with this loop of invisible thread on your middle finger you arc always prepared to do a modest miracle without further preparation. A feather can rise off your palm (remember the gypsy fortuneteller?) or, as we shall see in the next chapter, a pencil or pen can become powerfully magnetized to your hand (p. 71}.

March 1983

hen, ln 1997 Ian Kccblc published The Pabular Index, a wonderful cross reference of the contents of this extraordinary' British periodical, he used the introduction to review the origin of the magazine and to reflcct on the stimulating and astonishing magic that took place each Monday night at the Marlborough Pub where Fred Robinson and Eric-Mason attracted contributors, many of whom were the stars of close-up magic.

Ian mentioned three demonstrations at those meetings that, after all these years, are still locked in his memory. One of the three, I'm flattered to report, was this: "Barrie Richardson had people gasping with disbelief at his 'Magnetized Pencil*."

The question is this. Why, of all the amazing tricks Ian Kccblc saw in this pub for more than a decade, did such a simple effect—a woman, no matter how hard she tried, couJd not lift a pencil off the palm of my hand until I gave her a mental suggestion—make such a lasting impression?

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