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The Magic Memories (130)

Hello everyone!

Today’s topics are: The Goldstein-Maven take on “Pure Mathematics”;  A presentational idea for coincidence tricks; French magic convention 2023; The problem of the 17 camels; CV with ChatGPT; AI recommends Card College; Coming up in The Magic Memories

These are The Magic Memories 130, gone online Sunday, June 25th, 2023, at 0:07h sharp.

All The Magic Memories from 2021, 2022, including the Magic Advent Calendar from 2020, can be found HERE.

The Goldstein-Maven Take on “Pure Mathematics”

I know that several among my readers like and perform the trick “Pure Mathematics” from Lewis Ganson’s book Dai Vernon’s Ultimate Secrets of Card Magic. Putting order into the hundreds of instruction sheets of a collection I recently acquired, I ran across a trick originally marketed by Hank Lee’s Magic Factory in 1975, and created by the late, great, Max Maven, at that time penned under his real name Phil Goldstein.

As you’ll see Goldstein-Maven has added a meaningful presentation, and made the calculations required much simpler than in the original: The Goldstein-Maven set-up leads to a simplification of the math as you merely have to subtract the named total from 13, i.e., you do not have to worry about adding or subtracting, as it is only one subtraction. Furthermore, the selection is replaced at 13th position from the top, easier to remember, since the mnemonics is: “a suit consists of 13 cards”.

To read the PDF CLICK HERE.

Max Maven with unknown magicians at Joan Lawtons, Los Angeles, 2016

A Presentational Idea for Coincidence Tricks

In their 1989 paper Methods for Studying Coincidences, math professors Persi Diaconis and Frederick Mosteller defined a coincidence as a “surprising concurrence of events, perceived as meaningfully related, with no apparent causal connection”.

Although to most of us the text in the paper will be double Dutch, the definition would make a lovely Prologue. Simply quote it, and then add, “Let me demonstrate what this practically means”.

Now do your best coincidence effect.

If you don’t have one, may I suggest you go back to The Magic Memories 69, and have another look at my handling of Pavel’s “Traveling Queens”. (And may I remind you that “Traveling Queens” is also a “No-Switch Deck Switch”, because the red-backed deck the spectator initially selects and puts in his pocket, can be pre-arranged for your next trick… just thought I’ll mention this 🙂 )

A few among you might also want to get hold of: Diaconis, P. (1978), “Statistical Problems in ESP Research,” Science, 201, 131-136. (Reprinted in 1985 in A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology, ed. P. Kurtz, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, pp. 569-584.)

Diaconis is the one who, at age fourteen, ran away from home to go with Vernon and stay with him for a few years, before embarking on an academic career that today makes him one of the most important statisticians in the world.

See him talk about Vernon in Daniel Zuckerbrot’s documentary The Spirit of Magic.

And if you don’t already own it, you can do yourself a favor by getting the book Diaconis penned with his colleague Ron Graham, Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks.

French Magic Convention 2023

French Magic Convention 2023 in La Grande Motte

This year’s national convention of the French magicians will be held from October 5 to 8 in la Grande Motte, at the famous Côte d’Azur.

I will be there and give an interview-talk about books, and my publisher Ludo and his Marchand de Trucs, France’s most important publisher of magic books, will be there, too, presenting his latest releases. Among others, he will be offering the recently reprinted and completely newly layouted French version of Card College Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 (5 will follow in December and close the series), as well as Sharing Secrets (capriciously translated-adapted to French by Richard Vollmer).

So, if you want to spend a few days in the South of France – and who wouldn’t! – make your plans now.

More info in all languages HERE… translated from French by Google Translate (understandable and amusing).

The Problem of the 17 Camels

Reading in a book about recreational math, I was reminded of a riddle that is quite old and turns up in different forms in this type of books.

Here is one version of the problem: A father left 17 camels to his three sons and, according to the will, the eldest son should be given a half of all camels, the middle son the one-third part and the youngest son the one-ninth.

If you’re not familiar with this, try to find a solution before reading on (without butchering the camels…).

Here is how the sons solved the problem: They asked a wise man to help them. He added his own camel, bringing the camel herd to 18. Now the oldest son took 18:2=9 camels, the second son took 18:3=6 camels, the third son 18:9=2 camels, totaling 17 camels (!), after which the wise man took his own camel back and went away.

If you don’t understand why and how this works, I won’t tell you, you find the solution on Internet, or if you’re good at math and logical thinking you’ll come up with the solution yourself 🙂

The reason I’m mentioning it, is another one. “The Problem of the 17 Camels” inspired me to create the following little trick that you might like:

Tell the problem and its solution (without explaining why it works): That’s your Prologue.

Start by openly putting a Joker in the card case – if your deck doesn’t have a Joker, take a Jack, saying this Jack is “wild”, meaning it can take any identity, like a Joker. The implication is that this is the 18th camel, and you may mention that.

Deal 16 cards face down on the table, NOT saying how many there are, but explaining that they will be needed to solve the difficult problem in just a minute.

From the balance of the deck have a card selected and control it to the bottom.

Pick up the 16-cards-packet, thereby secretly adding the selection on top by means of Vernon’s Transfer Move (Card College 3, p. 516; or Card College 3&4 – Personal Instruction (download), Lesson 24: “Assorted Techniques & Refinements”).

Reverse count the cards on the table face down as 17 cards.

Add the Joker from the case apparently to the bottom of the packet, really 2nd from bottom (simply hold the packet in Dealing Position, and then buckle the bottom card).

According to the story of the 17 camels, deal 9, 6 and then 2 cards in 3 packets, leaving you with one card, supposedly the Joker, which then changes to the selection.

Replace the selection in the balance, and reproduce the Joker from the card case. (If you initially dealt the three packets from left to right, and now assemble these packets from right to left, the Joker will be on top for easy palming…)

CV With ChatGPT

When visiting a few weeks ago, Yves Carbonnier showed me a few ways to properly use ChatGPT.

For fun I asked the AI-robot (I guess that’s what it is…): “Write something about Roberto Giobbi, professional magician, author and lecturer.”

If you have nothing better to do, read the PDF HERE. All is true, albeit “greatly exaggerated”, as it usually says in the magic books when a break is depicted…

Roberto Giobbi, Basel 2022 (by Levent)

AI Recommends Card College

Speaking of AI: My dear friend EndersGame sent in this message:
Not sure if you are familiar with ChatGPT, a popular AI that you can use through Google, which synthesizes information from the internet.

When asked about the top recommended resources for learning card magic, it includes mention of Card College.  See screenshot below.  So that’s an indication that of the material out there, your book is frequently mentioned, to the point that the AI also echoes this.  Congrats! 🙂

AI recommends Card College

Coming up in the Next The Magic Memories…

The next three Sundays I will be on the road, in Luxembourg for a private Masterclass…

… in Valladolid for the Spanish national convention…

Spanish national convention Valladolid 2023

… and in Hintertux, Austria for the “Hintertuxer Zaubertage”.

Zaubertage in Hintertux, Austria, 2023

… normally this would force me to let The Magic Memories pause for that period of time, but because several of you complained and maintained that a Sunday without The Magic Memories is not a magical Sunday, I “obtained some knowledge of the marvelous subtlety, finesse and resources of the world of IT, and I feel confident that I can, with tact and discretion, easily elude its difficulties, and form a more congenial coterie among themselves..”, sorry, too much Erdnase lately… what I mean is that there will be one item, and one item only – oh, Ricky Jay again – in each of the three upcoming The Magic Memories that should please you, I hope 🙂

Wish you all an excellent week!

Roberto Giobbi

2 thoughts on “The Magic Memories (130)

  1. The magicians st Joan Lawton’s:
    Howard Hamburg, ? , John Gaughan, Michael Perovich,
    Seated: ?, Roberto, Max.

  2. MERCI et encore merci pour ces bons moments de lectures magiques .
    je ne serai malheureusement pas au prochain congrès FFAP mais ne désespère pas de vous revoir prochainement sur une conférence dans un futur proche .

    au plaisir


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