Friday, May 18, 2007

David Blaine is now a fish out of water...possibly with liver damage

David Blaine has finally been pulled from his watery home, after spending a total of 177 hours in a giant tank full of 2000 gallons of salt water. Blaine used an oxygen mask for the most part, but held his breath for 7 minutes and 8 seconds at the end of his stunt. For the duration of the stunt, David Blaine ate and relieved himself through tubes.

David Blaine has now been admitted to hospital for observation, and may have suffered liver damage. He has been training since December, and even lost 50lbs, so that his body would require less oxygen.

Check out the story.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Obligatory Harry Potter post

Okay, so I'm onto book four now- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This one will take longer to read, both because I have less time, and because it's a longer book.

I would say that, overall, my favourite is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the one I just finished). Although, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does indeed run a close second.

I wrote an editorial over at Associated Content on the upcoming Deathly Hallows, and I'm starting to get back into the 'hype'- that sort of desperate fanaticism that makes me wanna go out and buy some goofy glasses and a pointy hat. From roughly midnight onwards on July 21st 2007, a silence will fall over homes sprinkled across a few whole continents, for the space of several hours (I'm not really sure how long book 7 is) as fans across the world read the final installment of this children's fantasy saga which has captured millions.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some clips of Mandrake the Magician

Here's Mandrake doing a cup and balls routine:

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Cameron Diaz dating Criss Angel

(Yahoo News)

Far be it for me to be skeptical of why this is newsworthy, but it seems to be hot gossip at the moment, so I'll roll with it:

On Monday, while out in Vegas, Cameron Diaz was spotted having a lovely dinner with famed gothy Magician/Illusionist Criss Angel, before watching the Cirque de Soleil Beatles Tribute, Love.

Cameron Diaz just split with boyfriend Justin Timberlake in January, and Criss Angel was apparently dating Minnie Driver earlier this year.

My two cents: I personally think Cam and Criss have definitely improved each others' prospects.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Magician Steve Cuiffo robbed in South Africa

(Via News24)

While spending Mother's Day at the home of a 15 year old student in Cape Town, New York Magician Steve Cuiffo was robbed at gunpoint in Khayelitsha, along with two teachers and a college director.

While they were outside getting into their van (which was a National Lottery Sponsored 'Magic Van'), they were suddenly surrounded by a number of individuals with guns, who took all of their valuables and cash. This even included Cuiffo's copy of Nelson Mandela's memoirs Long Walk To Freedom. The gunmen then took the van and fled.

Cuiffo said that it made him, even more so, want to 'help students break the cycle of poverty'.

Steve Cuiffo is an associate of David Blaine and recently starred in the magic-infused stage production Orange Lemon Egg Canary.

These are the humbling incidents that put us in other peoples' shoes.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

A poem about Houdini

(Via CentreDaily)

I was surprised to find this, but also delighted. I'm rather fond of poetry, and seeing it combined with my new favourite hobby- magic- is even more wonderful.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

The plot thickens...Geller & Co. still insist copyright infringement

The EFF's claims that only 3 seconds of the 14 minute video technically belong to Uri Geller and Explorologist Ltd are not going over well... in fact, in a press release from Explorologist's Lawyer, Richard Winelander, he says:

"The bottom line is Sapient did not ask for permission to use the copyrighted video--he does not own the portion of the video that deals with Dr. Hughes, it is important to note this was not the first YouTube complaint against Sapient."

It's also important to note, that this is not the first (and probably not the last) time Geller has tried to sue for damages based on dubious reasoning- Geller has sued for a number of things, not limited to suing Nintendo for creating a Pokemon with his name/symbols, and suing Ikea for a furniture line (with bent and twisted legs) called the "Uri Line" (both suits unsuccessful, by the way).

But the real kicker is, back in 1997-98, he complained to the Broadcasting Standards Commission in the UK that the episode of NOVA, "Secrets of the Psychics", treated him 'unfairly'. His claim was wholeheartedly rejected on the basis that they saw nothing wrong with Magicians duplicating his feats using plain, old fashioned trickery. In light of this fact, and the fact that Geller seems to enjoy making ridiculous legal claims, it's not hard to see why nobody is really taking his copyright claim seriously.

Meanwhile, I'm still wondering about whether NOVA originally had to get permission to use the clip, or if it fell comfortably within the boundaries of 'fair use'. If it's the former, then that is why Sapient has a problem. If it's the latter, then Geller has no right to complain. The easiest way would be to check the end credits of the episode itself, but alas, I have no copy. I'm also not an expert in copyright law.

Check out what James Randi has to say on the subject.

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