When you're in the process of making up your "Get the Picture" envelope, use a very bold marking pen to draw a border around the cut-out window. When you make up your flap, do likewise around the outside edge. After you've taped the flap in place, draw a large question mark (?) in the center of the flap. You have just camouflaged the flap. Because of the black art principle, the flap will be perfectly disguised and invisible at a distance of just a few feet.
Draw a similar heavy rule box and question mark on the unprepared large envelope. You will now be able to open the large envelope and remove the smaller one, with the front, unseamed sides facing the audience. Proceed to handle all as previously described, however, now the audience will never be suspicious of the other side of the envelope.
One of my all-time favorite comic strip heros is Dick Tracy. As a kid growing up, I simply devoured every comic book, newspaper, radio show and movie serial that featured the hawk-nosed super sleuth. One of the things that captured the imaginations of devotees like myself were the dastardly villains that Chester Gould, Tracy's creator would pit against our hero. The Blank, the evil Frank Redrum (that's "murder" spelled backwards), Gravel Gertie and B.O. Plenty, the Mole, the Brow, Flat Top, Little Face Finny, B.B.Eyes, Pear Shape, Mumbles, and 88 Keyes among others.
Chester Gould not only expressed his outstanding creativity by developing some of the most unusual villains ever to grace the comics, his vision of future high-tech crime fighting devices such as the two-way wrist radio were also light years ahead of the real thing. When I first laid eyes on the "Pencorder," I felt the spirit of Tracy's creator looking over my shoulder. Imagine a ball-point pen with a built-in recording device. I first spotted the device advertised in the "Sharper Image" catalog. Subsequently, I've seen it in several other catalogs including Hammacher Schlemmer. It sells for $99.95 and can be ordered by credit card, calling toll-free, 1800-543-3366. This is the way the ad appeared:
"EXECUTIVE'S MEMO-RECORDING PEN looks and writes like a fine ballpoint pen but has a sensitive micro-recorder built into it so that you can capture your own or other's thoughts for replay later without needing to write them down. Using recently-developed digital voice technology, a microchip within the pen's barrel records and plays back two 20-second messages at the touch of a button (making it especially ideal while driving). The built-in electret microphone and miniaturized speaker are tailored to the frequency of the human voice for excellent sound reproduction. Weighing only two ounces, it has an attractive matte-finished titanium casing and the recorder runs on watch-type button batteries (included). With play, erase and record modes. Includes extra ink cartridge. 5 1/4" L x 1/2" diameter." 45368H $99.95
What the above description doesn't mention is the fact that the pen has two channels. In other words, each 20-second message is recorded on a separate channel controlled by an "A" and "B" switch. When I learned this, I immediately conceived the "$99.95 Miracle."
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.