Dai Vernon

Hocus Pocus - Opens Tonight

David Ben, one of the country's foremost magicians has a new show which officially opens tonight at SoulpepperHocus Pocus formally hits the stage after a weekend of previews at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, tucked away in Toronto's Distillery Historic District. 

I got to see one of the previews over the weekend and it's an exciting blend of classical conjuring, spoken word, cinema and good old fashioned mystery. The show is family friendly (with a smidgen of mature content.) If you have the opportunity to get down there, I'd highly encourage anyone with an interest in magic to see the show and enjoy a bit of extra enchantment and wonder this holiday season. 

Dai Vernon's "Symphony of the Rings" - Photo by David Linsell

Dai Vernon's "Symphony of the Rings" - Photo by David Linsell

Thanks to a little birdie at Magicana, you can use the discount code magic10 for 10% off tickets to shows before December 21. 


More Magical Mathematics

This will be the first of a series of three posts dedicated to mathematics, for no other reason then the coincidence that they all appeared in my life more or less at the same time. I'll begin with an interview with Persi Diaconis on The 7th Avenue Project. It's actually a little bit out of date (over a year old) and it relates, ostensibly, to his 2011 book Magical Mathematics (co-written with Ron Graham) Professor Persi Diaconis is a remarkable figure in magic who falls into that category of "greatest magicians no one has ever heard of." Provided you're willing to allow being interviewed for podcasts, being a published author and appearing on the front page of the New York Times never being heard of.

The interview is fascinating (and long). Perhaps it's the confirmation bias talking, but he seems to spend a great deal more time discussing magic than math — not that I would think of complaining. It also highlights the important but subtle difference between magical mathematics and mathematical magic. I noticed when the interviewer tripped up on the title and realized that there really is an important difference.

The stories involving Dai Vernon and Ricky Jay are also moving. Enjoy.

Shared Uncertainty (Part 2)

I'm slowly getting a chance to dig through the video from The Uncertainty Project back in June. Here is the next part

For those who are curious, this is a blend of material from The Vernon Chronicles Volume 1 (Stephen Minch, L&L Publishing, 1987), Vortex (Tom Stone, Hermetic Press, 2010) and Tricks (David Ben, Squash Publishing, 2003).

I hope more will follow soon but we have a lot of video (every night, with multiple cameras for some nights) and the files are huge and a pain to work with.

James Alan Uncertainty Project Poster
James Alan Uncertainty Project Poster