Category Archives: Video


The Best (and Worst) Ways to Shuffle Cards

Magician and statistician Persi Diaconis discusses the mathematics of shuffling a deck of cards.

Using artificial intelligence to create magic tricks

A recent article in the scholarly journal Frontiers in Psychology describes the use of computers to create new variations on magic tricks.

Here we focus on applying Artificial Intelligence methods to the creation and optimization of magic tricks exploiting mathematical principles. We use experimentally derived data about particular perceptual and cognitive features, combined with a model of the underlying mathematical process to provide a psychologically valid metric to allow optimization of magical impact. In the paper we introduce our optimization methodology and describe how it can be flexibly applied to a range of different types of mathematics based tricks. We also provide two case studies as exemplars of the methodology at work: a magical jigsaw, and a mind reading card trick effect. We evaluate each trick created through testing in laboratory and public performances, and further demonstrate the real world efficacy of our approach for professional performers through sales of the tricks in a reputable magic shop in London.

Magic in the machine: a computational magician’s assistant

The team also maintains a blog, where two tricks created by artificial intelligence techniques can be downloaded.

Michael Finney Lecture – Friday 11/21 7 PM

Comedian, Magician, Philanthropist, Corporate Spokesman, Motivational Speaker and More!

Michael Finney has more sides to his life than a well-cut diamond. There is an authenticity to him that seems to disarm an audience instantly, causing everyone to feel as if a friend has just stepped on stage. One reason for the respect Finney gets may be the incredible amount of entertainment he’s able to squeeze out of what seems to be so little.

This lecture is being sponsored by the combined efforts of Haines House of Cards, Bill Pryor Productions, and The Magic Shop. All current IBM Ring 71 members’ admission to the lecture will be paid by the club.


‘Our Magic’ – A documentary film about magic, by magicians

Our Magic is a feature documentary that duly pays homage to an ancient and mostly underground performing art, piercing through the thick layer of commonly held stereotypes. Thirty of the most respected thinkers, performers and creators in magic share their views about the art of conjuring, stage magic and prestidigitation. The result is a prismatic collage of voices, whose richness and variety offer the general public a unique inside experience of what still remains a most fascinating performing art and secretive community.

Distribution plans are currently being finalized. Watch the trailer:


Rob Zabrecky – November 2013

Rob Zabrecky takes an audience through the twisty passages of his unique brand of magic and comedy.


The Magician’s Wife

Look carefully… you may recognize a few faces in this little story.


Dai Vernon and Doug Henning – Linking Rings


The Mystery of the Red Cards


Pop Haydn performs the Three Shell Game

Pop Haydn explains how Throg the Neanderthal invented the Three Shell Game:


Wired: How Real Is the Magic in Now You See Me?

Lots of people talk about “movie magic,” but when films need a little actual abracadabra they call on David Kwong… So how does someone become a magic consultant? For Kwong, it started at Harvard University, where he convinced the history department to let him get his degree in magic studies. “They’re now so proud that I’ve done something interesting with my history degree, when they welcome freshmen into the department or try to convince them, rather, to join, they say, ‘Look, when you study history you don’t have to become a professor, you can be a magician,’” Kwong told Wired. From there he went on to do marketing for HBO, study magic in China, and move to Los Angeles to work in film development – which lead to founding the Misdirectors Guild.

To find out what was “real” magic in Now You See Me and what was just movie magic, Wired asked Kwong to explain a few of the film’s best tricks. He didn’t give everything away, naturally, but he did share some of his secrets.

How Real Is the Magic in Now You See Me? Here’s a Primer