Performance oddities

[Mario the Magician] wrote in to let us know that he makes Hackaday a priority every morning with his coffee. Well, so do we. He also included a link to his homepage when submitting this revelation. The juicy details that are as much of a fix as the caffeine in the coffee are missing from his posts. But the hacks are solid.

Magicians are hackers. If you could go out and buy the props, the concept are unlikely to impress anyone. [Mario] demonstrates his Nickel Box and a Jedi Mind Trick he built. The Nickel Box is a mechanical contraption that somehow transports a coin from one part of a cigar box to a tiny little enclosure on top of it. The Jedi Mind Trick uses a microcontroller and an old Star Wars soundtrack cassette tape box to put on a light and sound show while it recovers your chosen card from a shuffled deck. Great demonstrations, but no word on what’s going on inside.

[Mario's] also has a collection of… performance oddities. His talking television takes an audio input and displays a 1950’s-esque oscilloscope effect on an old TV. He’s attempting to stop his heart, or burn the house down, or both with a flyback transformer lightning box. And his drawing automaton, well, you’ll just have to see it.

We believe in electrons, not magic (even though some say there are no electrons). So we want to know how those magic props are built. Like any good magician, [Mario] probably won’t reveal his secrets. If you’ve got the goods this your chance. Write a post detailing your magical prop builds and send them our way. If it’s well done we’ll feature it here on Hackaday.

Comments

  1. James says:

    I can guess how the Nickel Box works:

    When the person deposits the nickel into the slot on the top, you can see his left hand holding the back corner of the box. He gives it a little shake, mentioning that it’s “an old box”, and that deposits the nickel into his hand. Watch his hand as he takes it away – it’s closed tightly as if he’s holding something. He deposits it in the small box that closed with a rubber band (so he can just slide it in). The coin is in there as he places it atop the nickel box, and then he just uses a previously-marked nickel inside the bigger box, which is shown to the camera.

  2. Jim Foster says:

    Magicians as hackers. Never thought of it that way, but makes a lot of sense.

  3. James says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention – very cool site. That Jedi trick is really cool, as is that lightning box.

  4. jake says:

    @kirov

    Why couldn’t you politely point out that the link was broken?

  5. What did you put there, an R? No its a K my name is Katie.

  6. Sahal says:

    @kirov show a little respect for the wonderful people who run this site, eh? mistakes happen. hence, you.

    @james agreed, those were my faves. i get how the lightning machine works, it’s the jedi mind trick i don’t understand

  7. cynic says:

    Jesus, that ‘lightning machine’. RF interference is the least of his problems.

  8. supershwa says:

    Impressive projects on that site. I love the design of these things — Drawing Automaton with the cigar box and wine cork crank handle, the copper trim around the cigar box nickel box … very authentic. Cool hacks, too. Careful you don’t get zapped by that TV!

  9. Mario’s wifey here. Thanks, Hackaday, for the post!

    Yes, I’m married to a mad scientist. No, he hasn’t burnt down our home. Yet.

    FYI: NYC’s Tannen’s Magic Shop sells five of Mario’s magic/art/hack creations. Check ‘em out. http://www.tannens.com/shop/cart.php?m=product_list&c=399

  10. WoW…Thanks for all the Comments! Thank you Hack A Day for making this an amazing Sunday :)

  11. el tejon says:

    Hack verging on art… very fun.

    @kirov you are reading a site that favors intellect. if you can’t figure out how to navigate a site, consider getting out of the deep end and back to the webkins page.

  12. Pavel says:

    Is the spring on that lightning box being pulled down by a magnetic field?

  13. Sahal says:

    @pavel
    kind of. when the charge builds up enough to jump to the stationary spring, it causes it to move and shorten the gap. when it jumps after that, it causes it to bounce around more. if he shut it off and let it “cool off” so to speak, the spring would stop moving on it’s own due to gravity. you follow?

  14. rj says:

    Pavel, Sahal: magnetic fields are not the only attractive force; it’s the electric field in this case that pulls the spring down.

  15. Sahal says:

    @rj
    that’s what i was talking about. i was giving the simplified explanation

  16. Itwork4me says:

    Today I was intrigued by the Turk. It was discussed on a talk show (c2c) the other night and I wanted to look into it. It’s on wiki. Interesting that this came as a post… Perhaps some synchronicity. I don’t know how anyone fits in the drawing automaton.

  17. Iv says:

    I understood magicians were great hacker the day I asked an electronics vendor about a switch to put in a glove (for an augmented reality demo my company was preparing) and he asked me wether I was a magician or not. We then discussed about the kind of things they were making. He told me that some magicians have the equivalent of a very flat remote control in their gloves.

  18. Sahal says:

    @mike szczys
    i try :)

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