Tag Archives: Magic

Atheism, Penn Jillette, Gerry and Me?

So today i had a rather enlightening facebook debate with Mr Gerry Mcambridge. You know the one, The Mentalist. The Vegas mentalist and the very same dude who created the Tv show.

So the topic of Atheism we chatted about stemmed from a video he uploaded about the bullet catch and how it is done, of course i am not going to post said video because i don’t think its right. I’ll leave the mystery with you folks.

Basically i thought i’d butt in and add my 2 pence worth if ya get what i’m saying.

Here is the conversation:                Key: GM- Gerry Mcambridge      LH- Me
Hopefully this looks alright enough to read…

Penn and Teller are quite vocal when it comes
to their hatred towards mentalists. They verbally bash and expose
mentalists every chance they get. So reposting this video, exposing the
grand finale effect in their Las Vegas show is a cyber way of saying F-U
to the atheist loud mouths of magic. Please LIKE if you think Penn is a
loud mouth, arrogant jerk.’ – GM

‘Firstly i don’t want to be
the guy who says no take this down as you have every right to express
your opinion but… I am sure they haven’t said they hate mentalists.
Only the ones whose act makes them out to be something more than the
average guy or “psychic”. Yes Penn is a loud mouth but also actually a
lovely guy.
Also i don’t understand why
you have put ” Atheist loud mouths of magic”, i don’t see why their
belief system is so important when saying that, it seems you are using
it as a bad thing to me there. When it is totally out of context.
Just my thoughts on this.

‘ – LH


‘Luke,
Penn NEVER saw me perform, yet felt the need to go on his radio show,
and publicly talk about me directly and make claims about my show and
expose some of my secrets. My show is as honest as the day is long, yet
since I am a mentalist, I fall under his umbrella of hate.



 

 



I personally don’t give a rats ass what religion a person is, who a
person voted for, what a persons sexual orientation is, or what is the
color of a persons skin. But Penn loves to shove his religious beliefs
down people’s throats, not only in every day life, but during his
performance as well. Can you believe the vanity license plate on his car
reads “NOGOD.” Now there is a man who proudly boasts about being an
Atheist!



 

 


When I attended their show many years ago, I paid to
go see a magic show, not to see Penn get on his soap box and preach
about there being no God.


 



What Penn does in private is his own
business, but if Penn wore ladies cloths on stage while performing, he
would be the “cross dresser of magic.” So since he discusses religion
openly during his act, he is the “loud mouth atheist of magic.”
The funniest part about the
“Magic Bullet” trick is Penn and Teller weren’t creative enough to think
of it. The trick was the creation of a magician who sold them the
rights to use the trick.

Since the magician makes his living as
a professional mentalist, it means Penn and Teller hate all mentalists,
UNLESS they sell them an effect to use in their Las Vegas show. Then
they get a “Get Out of Jail” free card.’ – GM




‘I
understand what you mean there calling him the Atheist of magic and he
does seem to like to prostheletize and i don’t see anything wrong with
that to be honest. When i saw his show it wasn’t a show about religion,
it was a great show based on beautiful
magical as well as moral ideals intertwined with what makes America
great the foremost in my mind being ‘Freedom Of Speech’.


I mean
no disrespect to you of course but i just wanted to see another
viewpoint and i thought, why don’t that viewpoint be mine. 😀


I
don’t want to say what you saw when you did go to the show as the
different ideas could be interpreted in different ways. When i went my
friends saw the tricks and it stopped there for them whereas for me the
ideas and thought process comes more into play.
Still don’t think he said anything about hating Mentalists 😛

 

 

I haven’t listened to the show you mentioned in a while either. I might dig that one out.’ – LH

 

 



 

 


‘Penn has his opinions, and is
quite vocal about sharing them with his internet fans, radio audience
and his live audience. He has no problem bashing and exposing mentalists
when ever he finds the opportunity.



 



I found the explanation video while
surfing YouTube. It contains someones personal explanation of the
bullet catch trick. I enjoy sharing my internet discoveries with my
Facebook fans and friends. I do not refrain from expressing my opinion
when I have one, nor do I refrain from posting them on MY Facebook page.



 



If you did not notice ..BLANK NAME…,
we are not friends on Facebook. You subscribed to my Facebook page. I
did not subscribe to yours. I do not care to earn your respect, nor do I
care to keep it.



 



If you read my profile before you unsubscribe
Eric, it says: I would rather be hated for the person I truly am, than
to be liked and respected for the person I am not.’ – GM



So that bit was mainly about the Bullet Catch and Mentalists.


Now this bit stemmed from the Interview of Penn Jillette on his new book by Piers Morgan.



 

 


‘If you do not know anything about Penn
Jillette’s opinions on being an atheist, here are a few. In this video I
think he calls religious nuns… monkeys!! (or did I take it out of
context).

And since he says he is a huge fan of people speaking
their minds, I guess he no problem with my posts showing how someone
“thinks” he does his “magic bullet” trick.

Penn also says
people should talk strongly about what they believe, so I am sure he has
no problem with me calling him a jerk, because I strongly believe it.

I will defend to the death,
anyones right to believe in what ever they want to believe in. But I do
not support someones need to preach to others or call their beliefs
wrong.
‘ – GM


 




‘Its
a very good read, plenty of entertaining ideas and stories, i think you
should give it a try. Saying you do not support someones need to preach
to others seems a bit redundant Gerry, i have read the book and he
doesn’t seem to say that other peoples
beliefs are wrong, he just doesn’t believe in that himself. In the book
he just gives alternatives to things represented within the bible in
his own way.

Its just putting a spin on ideas there. It is highly entertaining and well worth the read.’ – LH



 


But should a book about God
be entertaining Luke? Religion and God are very personal issues. They
touch people at the core of their religious beliefs. Writing a book
about it to be entertaining, or to get yourself on TV to promote your
Las Vegas show just doesn’t sit well with me.




Why doesn’t he write a book about having sex with his wife, or his
bathroom habits, or his massive hemorrhoids, or how much money he made
last year, or Teller’s sexual preference? Because they are very personal
issues to him.



 



But since God is not a personal issue to Penn,
he finds it OK to entertain people with. He annoys and agitates (Piers
Morgan’s words) people to be controversial and gain attention, instead
of being a little more discrete and select another topic to pontificate
about.’ – GM


If you look at the book you
would find that the stories and entertainment value within is based upon
stories relating to his aforementioned bible alternatives. I don’t
think this can hurt or annoy anyone, besides if they don’t like it if it
did offend then just stop reading and ignore it. I don’t see why he
talking about his beliefs is a bad thing, if people of a religious
nature can do the same.

Atheism is as much of a belief as any
other philosophy or thought process in the same way as many other
religions in the way that ( now this is kind of hard for me to put into
words but) religious thoughts and the outcome at the end of it is a
gamble as surely no one can prove for sure there is a heaven and/or
hell, therefore doesn’t too deserve the same. For some the option is
harder to be Atheist because we don’t have that backing of sorts and the
same organizational structure for lack of a better term. Plus Atheists
always seem to get tarred with the brush that deems them immoral just
because they don’t follow a religion when this is not the case or fair
to people to be so generalized and put into a category.

(I don’t know if that makes the greatest sense, i have been awake quite some time today :P)’ – LH

 

‘I
respect your opinions Luke. And I respect your decision to be an
atheist. I was born into a catholic family. I went to catholic school
for 8 years. I was an alter boy and attended many church services as a
kid…. and yet i am still torn when it comes to my religion.



I have diffuculty believing in organized religion. I have difficulty
going to church weekly and being told to tithe 10% of my money to the
church. I have diffuculty believing….


But I don’t write
books about it, and go on TV and preach about it, and use it to create
controversy and attention. It’s a personal issue that should remain
personal.



 

 


Let’s agree to disagree Luke. 🙂



If we take the word atheist out of the topic… Penn is still an loud mouth, bully ass hole.’ – GM
 
 

 ‘Thank you sir, it was a
delight to have this debate, i quite enjoyed it to be honest. There
isn’t much better than exchanging and discussing ideas.

And of course i will respect your right to say whatever you like. I agree to disagree of course 😀 .

This was indeed enlightening.
I may chat again next time. Have a good day matey.’ – LH


So this was my attempt at ending all nice like and ending the small debate.
 
 

 


‘And I bet if one of Penn’s
kiss ass magic buddies send him a link to this post, he will love it,
because that is what Penn is all about. Getting attention and creating
controversy by being loud and annoying. So this is exactly what Penn
wants, people talking about Penn.
‘ –GM



I actually really enjoyed this debate, just hopefully i made sense and made it clear that Atheists are good too. Like me.



Well i tried to get my point out and do what i could .


Cheers.

Of course i don’t think any less or more of Gerry, he is still an ok guy.

Recommendation 1 – Andrew Mayne

Just a short post, Andrew Mayne has recently started uploading a new podcast audiobook on Itunes.
And this is my recommendation… GET IT and get it now. I haven’t had time to listen yet as it will be some good bedtime listening for me.

But everything Andrew Mayne does is golden, his magic is amzing, his podcasts are exciting and books are riveting. This post might as wel just say ANDREW MAYNE. He has the brains of a science wizard and the skills of a master magician.

Here is a link straight to the podcast.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chronological-man-monster/id500639018

When the citizens of Boston begin to go missing in the fog in 1890,
it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer, to figure out
what’s going on with the help of his assistant, April Malone. They’ll
have to face off against a secret society, corrupt policemen and a mad
psychologist hell-bent on dissecting Smith, in order to find out what’s
going on and to save the city from a graver threat.

This 4.5 hour science adventure novella is the first story about Smith, a mixture of Tony Stark, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who.

I might as well just plug the rest of his stuff here too while i’m here.

His own site for his magics – http://www.andrewmayne.com/

Weird things website and podcast for weird stories and strange news from around the world or mainly eastern europe in many cases – http://weirdthings.com/

He is also one of the mayne (see what i did there) guys behind a very good magic news and review site – http://itricks.com/news/

He seems to also be a regular guest on anther podcast too – http://nsfwshow.com/

Also he works with the JREF now and then to help promote skepticism and to help administer tests – http://www.randi.org/site/

I will start doing alot of recommendations on here, due to me reading, listening, watching and playing alot.

Cheers.

Houdini

Today is the birthday of Ehrich Weiss or as many would know him Harry Houdini.

Because of this google has changed their doodle to that of Houdini.

So i will just post lots of videos of Houdini and Houdini inspired things.
Not much writing but lots of video. Plenty of Houdini, Penn and Teller and The Amazing Randi.

Get watching.

Hope you enjoyed these videos.

Part time magic

Nice quick post as i am tired and want to watch my stories.

Just went on itricks.com doing my usual surfing and found a delightful little blog post about being a part-time magician ( just so ya know i don’t class myself as a part time magician so this doesn’t apply to me) and the highs and mostly lows of the job. Cleverly written piece and very funny i suggest you go have a look at the site http://brutishandshort.com/2011/03/09/confessions-of-a-part-time-magician/ . Funny stuff hope you guys enjoy.

Yesterday, Today and Podcast

Yesterday i went down to Derby with a few friends. It was my first visit there and it seemed alright enough apart from a few things.

No place had any 100% cotton thread which was lame.

I saw a guy from ‘Most Haunted’ and an advertisement for a “Ghost Walk” he was doing in a pub next to the centre.

And one of the weirdest things i have seen which was people in a shop sat on benches with their feet in fish tanks…..

Yeah thats weird enough right but apparently these fish eat dead and rotting skin off your feet and generally swim around them. So yeah that was weird but not the thing that annoyed me about it. What annoyed me was when i read a sign on the window which said these fish help to relieve pain, stress and promote healing through the fishes use of accupuncture points… this was when i turned round and together with a friend we both exclaimed “Pseudoscience!” which a few people heard and yeah i just wanted to tell the people half of what they had read seems a bit unfounded as far as i know.

Anyway the place was called ‘Appy Feet’. This is the link. Pow!

Take a look and tell me what you think or ya know just talk a look and decide for yourselves whether this is bullshit or what.

I met with an old friend and had my first ‘Nando’s’ experience which was awesome i had the sauce from the black bottle apparently my friends thought it might be too hot for me but i love to prove people wrong and so i did i covered most of my food and loved it although it could have been spicier. I did a few tricks whilst in there i did a few card tricks and some tricks to do with how to hide things and not get caught or to double bluff where you hide a coin in one hand. It was all fun and shown them a bit of psychology in practice as it were by doing said tricks. I was happy when they said i should start to put on shows. Made me smile.

All i replied with was i have a waistcoat on the way…

One of my friends Luke Kondor also had a stand up gig in Birmingham so hopefully that went all well. If you get a chance go and watch him.

Also i told my good friend Rich he did well when i person recently told him to try going to a chiropractors for his back and then we ended up doing my podcast primarily on Chiropractic which was a lot of fun and we may go to one for a free screening to check it out first hand.

The podcast should be up later tonight once i have edited it i haven’t had the time due to being at work. The podcast wasn’t our best work due to us being tired from walking and being out in the rain for what seemed like a couple of miles outside of Derby centre. We even had to buy new clothes due to being soaked which made a few folks chuckle. So that is all about yesterday.

So i have one thing to say about today which is i felt sad because i helped an old-ish lady through the checkout today and she said not to pack heavily because she was in agony and because i wanted to make conversation to help with the awkward silence-ness so i asked what have you done. To which she replied i have cancer… at this point i could have cried i felt horrible and the lady said it in a really hushed tone and didn’t feel comfortable. So like a complete douchebag i tried to lighten the mood talking about my Grandad who had his leg amputated because of cancer and who never wanted to wear his false leg which she chuckled about which was nice and basically i got her laughing and talking about it. Then she broke into smiling whilst saying bye. I felt a mixture of relief, horror and just sadness. I just wanted to hide after that person. Glad she smiled though…

Thanks for reading. There will be a post once the podcast is up.

Ignorance and Thursday

Today made me realise how ignorant people can be when in a supermarket. I was supervising the self service checkouts and one machine ran out of cash to give as change and i can’t change the cash cassette until tommorow and had to put up a sign which said something along the lines of Card Payments Only.

And at least 20 still tried to put cash in the machine the signs which i put up were also across the change and cash in ports and along the top of the screen and for some reason the people using it either chose to ignore it and hope it still took change even when there were other checkouts totally free or just were totally oblivious even though the signs were the size of A4 paper. The ignorance then seems to carry on when people don’t follow instructions given or on a screen and think that the machine is wrong when clearly it is a case of user error.

Some people do pretty well so i am not claiming everyone ignorant just a choice few which always slow me down at the worst time. What made it seem worse was that the foreign pepole who visit actually follow English instructions better than English people.

Oooh and thursday i went to watch Dirty Beard who played an awesome set and the crowd were getting involved with some singalongs and everything was cool the other bands playing were Aonia and Scarlets Wake. I didn’t catch much of Aonia as they weren’t my cup of juice to be honest, but Scarlets Wake were pretty cool the music wasn’t my sort of stuff but they played really well and topped off with some good stage presence and an awesome vocalist.

But of course it was the Beard that ruled the night playing about 8 songs or so and winning over the crowd which made for a fun night. After the gig i also did a couple of tricks for a few people as i was bored outside and a few people have checked out my blog and i had to explain how magic and skepticism go together. Which was really fun and i think i may have enlightened these few people to skepticism and approaching things from a more scientific approach. The tricks were pretty simple i did a card trick in which i made an audience member seem to do the actually trick and i also did a Derren Brown styled trick by trying to “read someones mind” and figure out basically what they are thinking of.

Wrestling.

Yesterday night i went along to an MCW training session to take a look at the place that the sessions take place and generally have a play. There was a guy we took with with called ‘Scott’ and he wants to be a wrestler so i thought, yeah lets take him along to fulfill his dreams or whatever.

We were trained by Simon (Knightmare) basically we were doing bumps, rolls and getting used to the ropes. We were also both splashed on by Simon, which was kind of weird as it was scary seeing him coming down but the breeze it gave was awesome combatting the humidty of the room. It was a lot of fun but its not something i would really do. I appreciate the acting and the whole sort of dance of it all but its not my cup of tea. I am sure Scott enjoyed it and wants to do more but i think i shall stick to doing magic thanks.

Speaking of magic i have bought a new book the other day which is ‘Joshua Jay’s Magic Complete Course’ and it is awesome as there is a DVD with it and he shows you the angles of things really professionally and the whole thing is put together really well. So if you want to learn anything pick that book up as it is awesome. Right i am back off to practice and probably procrastinate before work.

Cheers.