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8 Easy Magic Tricks For You To Show Off At Parties

8 Easy Magic Tricks For You To Show Off At Parties

Everyone is fascinated with magic tricks, but few realize how easy most of them are to perform. As a kid, you may have gotten a magic kit as a present and probably spent time mastering them to “amaze” your parents and relatives. It was fun. Now, as an adult, you can channel your inner Houdini and become an instant magician at your next party.

1. Show your psychic power

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    Image via WikiHow

    Here’s a trick built upon a little quirk of math that not too many people know about. When 9 is multiplied by any number between 2 and 9, the digits of the answer will always add up to 9. That is the basis for this trick, and here are the easy steps:

    1. Ask a single person to select a number between 2 and 9. Ask them to then multiply that number by 9.
    2. Ask them to add the two digits of the answer. (It will always be 9).
    3. Ask them to subtract 5 from that number (It will always be 4).
    4. Ask them to assign an alphabet letter to the number based upon A=1; B=2; C=3 and so forth (They will get D).
    5. Tell them to think of a country that begins with that letter, but not to say it out loud. 99.9% of the time they will choose Denmark (who’s heard of Djibouti?)
    6. Now, tell them to take the second letter of that country’s name and think of an animal that begins with that letter, but keep it secret as well.
    7. Pause and appear to be giving this some thought. Then quite casually, say, “I don’t think Denmark has elephants, except in zoos.”

    2. Magically linking paper clips

    dollar-paper-clips-ictcrop_gal

      Image via Real Simple

      There really is no magic to this trick, but no one will know that but you. The next time you need to go to a birthday or graduation party, and you have not had time to find the perfect gift for the occasion, try using a much larger bill for this trick and presenting that to the recipient afterward as their gift. You are going to make two paperclips magically link in midair.

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      Here’s how it is done:

      1. Fold a dollar bill, accordion style, in thirds, as done in the picture above.
      2. Next, attach one of the paper clips to the front piece of the bill and over the middle piece as well. VERY IMPORTANT: The short side of the paper clip should be facing you. And be certain that the paper clip is toward the edge of the bill, not over toward the fold.
      3. The second paper clip should be attached exactly the same way to the back piece of the bill and should also be over the middle piece as well. VERY IMPORTANT: The short side of the paper clip should be facing away from you this time, and the paper clip should be more toward the edge of the bill, not close to the fold.
      4. Now, hold each end of the bill with one hand and snap it straight. The paperclips will fly up into the air and land linked together. Note: They actually link when the snap occurs, but don’t reveal that.

      3. The coin vanish

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        Image via Howcast

        This one may take a bit of practice, because there will be a secret pocket that you don’t want to reveal to your audience as you swirl the empty scarf at the end of the trick.

        Materials needed:

        • a scarf that is of flimsy material and a dark solid color
        • a rubber band (if you can find one close in color to the scarf, all the better).
        • a quarter

        Before you begin this trick, you need to put the small rubber band around your thumb and next three fingers of your left hand.

        Do not let others see that rubber band. Hold your hand at your side or put it in your pocket. When you get ready to do the trick, pull out the scarf with your right hand and drape it over your left had. Ask someone for a coin. Place the coin on the scarf.

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        As you are folding the scarf in any way you wish, open up your fingers and capture the coin with just a small amount of the scarf. Remove your fingers from the rubber band as it is capturing the coin. You can then wave the scarf or let it fall to the floor, but you will need to be careful how this is done, so no one sees that little rubber band.

        If you want to then reverse the trick, place the scarf back over your left hand, push down into the scarf with your right hand letting the rubber band fall into your left hand. Pull the scarf back up and reveal the coin.

        4. The rising card

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          Image via Martin’s Magic

          This one is a bit complicated to explain, but you can manage it! For this trick, you need a regular deck of cards and a volunteer. This explanation is a bit complicated and detailed, so once you have read through this please watch the video as well.

          1. You hold a deck of cards in your hand upright, as shown in the picture above. The last card facing you and away from your audience has been lowered just a bit.
          2. You pull up the last three cards of the deck and fan them out. They are really not the last three cards, because you still have that one that has been lowered back there.
          3. Ask a volunteer to choose one of the three cards that you have pulled up. Let us suppose they choose the middle one which is, in your head, card #2. You then slide the cards back down with the one lowered card still behind them. Their #2 is now actually #3 because you have that one card behind them.
          4. Place the deck face down and start taking the cards from the top of the deck and counting off as you put those cards somewhere in the middle of the deck. If they chose card #2, then you count 1, place it in the middle and then count 2, placing it in the middle. Their card is actually the top one on the pile, because remember their card was actually #3.
          5. Put the deck back in its original upright position. Place the index finger of your other hand on top of the deck, wiggle is just a bit as the pinkie of that hand pushes the card up from the back of the deck. It might be a little confusing, but trust me that the video will help explain it all!

          5. The coin pyramid

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            Image via YouTube

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            While this next trick is not “magical,” it is certainly a great one to test and frustrate your fellow partygoers. You will need 10 coins to make a pyramid as shown in the picture above.

            Now the “trick” as you explain it to your friends is to invert this pyramid in only three moves, moving only one coin at a time. They can only move three coins total. Unless they have seen this before, they will be pretty stumped. You will then show them in three easy moves.

            One: Switch the bottom-left coin to the 2nd from the top row on the right side.

            Two: Move the bottom-right coin again to the 2nd from the top row on the right side.

            Three: Move the top coin to the center of the bottom.

            Voila!

            6. The find the card “sucker” trick
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              Image via Magic.About.com

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              This trick is actually a holdover from old carnival days, when “suckers,” as the “carnies” called them, placed a bet when they were absolutely certain they would win. Here is how they were “suckered” in.

              1. Take a regular deck of playing cards and put the Ace of spades on the bottom of the deck.
              2. Have the person you are about to fool pick any card from the deck and not show it to you.
              3. Cut the deck in half. Ask the person to place his or her card on the top of the first half of the deck (NOT the half with the ace of spades on the bottom). Place the other half on top of the person’s card.
              4. The individual’s card is now the one right after the ace of spades.
              5. Now you begin turning over the cards one by one telling the “victim” that you will tell them when you find their card. They are to say nothing as you go through the process.
              6. You start flipping over cards. Theirs will be the card that you flip right after the ace of spades.
              7. You flip over the ace of spades, then their card, and continue on. At this point, they know that they’ve won the bet because you have already passed up their card.
              8. You flip over a few more cards and then say, “The next card I flip over will be yours. Would you like to place a bet on this?” Of course, the victim will, because you already flipped their card and didn’t call it. The next card cannot possibly be theirs.
              9. Once the best is placed, you reach down to the cards on the table and flip over their card. You win.

              This was not fun for the victim of these carnivals when they lost a great deal of money on the scam. You, however, can be much nicer and suggest something more in line with a joke, perhaps a burger.

              7. The magical moving pen

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                Image via YouTube

                For this trick, you will only need a pen (it must be round), and a flat smooth surface, along with the ability to be very sneaky. You will announce that you will be moving the pen across the surface with your “mind” power – telekinesis, that is.

                1. Rub the pen on your sleeve or pants, stating that in order to set up the special mental force field you have to infuse some static electricity into the pen (this is good drama).
                2. Then, place the pen on the surface, with your hand above it, index finger pointing out. Lean over to “focus” your mental energy on the pen and begin to move your index finger forward as you quietly blow on the pen. (This may actually take some practice, so that you can be sneaky enough). One suggestion is that you wear a baseball cap to “disguise” your mouth a bit as you are leaning over. But, usually, the observers are so intent on the pen moving and your finger, they will not be watching your mouth.

                8. Breaking a pencil with an index card

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                  Image via Howcast

                  This one might be just a bit painful, so practice beforehand. Carrots will also work quite well.

                  1. Tell your audience that you are actually a secret ninja and can turn any object into a weapon.
                  2. For this trick you will need a pencil and an index card.
                  3. Give the pencil to a volunteer and ask them to hold it very tightly by both ends.
                  4. Take the index card and hold it as if you are going to slice through the pencil with its edge. Hold the card above the pencil, making downward motions toward the pencil as you count off to three.
                  5. On the count of three, you extend your index finger out along the card and come down on the pencil. The pencil will actually be broken by your finger not the card.
                  6. Here is the video, so you can see the trick in action.

                  Featured photo credit: magic hands/jenny.nash712 via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                  Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

                  Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide)

                  Most of the skills I use to make a living are skills I’ve learned on my own: Web design, desktop publishing, marketing, personal productivity skills, even teaching! And most of what I know about science, politics, computers, art, guitar-playing, world history, writing, and a dozen other topics, I’ve picked up outside of any formal education.

                  This is not to toot my own horn at all; if you stop to think about it, much of what you know how to do you’ve picked up on your own. But we rarely think about the process of becoming self-taught. This is too bad, because often, we shy away from things we don’t know how to do without stopping to think about how we might learn it — in many cases, fairly easily.

                  The way you approach the world around you dictates to a great degree whether you will find learning something new easy or hard.

                  The Keys to Learning Anything Easily

                  Learning comes easily to people who have developed:

                  Curiosity

                  Being curious means you look forward to learning new things and are troubled by gaps in your understanding of the world. New words and ideas are received as challenges and the work of understanding them is embraced.

                  People who lack curiosity see learning new things as a chore — or worse, as beyond their capacities.

                  Patience

                  Depending on the complexity of a topic, learning something new can take a long time. And it’s bound to be frustrating as you grapple with new terminologies, new models, and apparently irrelevant information.

                  When you are learning something by yourself, there is nobody to control the flow of information, to make sure you move from basic knowledge to intermediate and finally advanced concepts.

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                  Patience with your topic, and more importantly with yourself is crucial — there’s no field of knowledge that someone in the world hasn’t managed to learn, starting from exactly where you are.

                  A Feeling for Connectedness

                  This is the hardest talent to cultivate, and is where most people flounder when approaching a new topic.

                  A new body of knowledge is always easiest to learn if you can figure out the way it connects to what you already know. For years, I struggled with calculus in college until one day, my chemistry professor demonstrated how to do half-life calculations using integrals. From then on, calculus came much easier, because I had made a connection between a concept I understood well (the chemistry of half-lifes) and a field I had always struggled in (higher maths).

                  The more you look for and pay attention to the connections between different fields, the more readily your mind will be able to latch onto new concepts.

                  How to Self-Taught Effectively

                  With a learning attitude in place, working your way into a new topic is simply a matter of research, practice, networking, and scheduling:

                  1. Research

                  Of course, the most important step in learning something new is actually finding out stuff about it. I tend to go through three distinct phases when I’m teaching myself a new topic:

                  Learning the Basics

                  Start as all things start today: Google it! Somehow people managed to learn before Google ( I learned HTML when Altavista was the best we got!) but nowadays a well-formed search on Google will get you a wealth of information on any topic in seconds.

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                  Surfing Wikipedia articles is a great way to get a basic grounding in a new field, too — and usually the Wikipedia entry for your search term will be on the first page of your Google search.

                  What I look for is basic information and then the work of experts — blogs by researchers in a field, forums about a topic, organizational websites, magazines. I subscribe to a bunch of RSS feeds to keep up with new material as it’s posted, I print out articles to read in-depth later, and I look for the names of top authors or top books in the field.

                  Hitting the Books

                  Once I have a good outline of a field of knowledge, I hit the library. I look up the key names and titles I came across online, and then scan the shelves around those titles for other books that look interesting.

                  Then, I go to the children’s section of the library and look up the same call numbers — a good overview for teens is probably going to be clearer, more concise, and more geared towards learning than many adult books.

                  Long-Term Reference

                  While I’m reading my stack of books from the library, I start keeping my eyes out for books I will want to give a permanent place on my shelves. I check online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, but also search thrift stores, used bookstores, library book sales, garage sales, wherever I happen to find myself in the presence of books.

                  My goal is a collection of reference manuals and top books that I will come back to either to answer thorny questions or to refresh my knowledge as I put new skills into practice. And to do this cheaply and quickly.

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                  2. Practice

                  Putting new knowledges into practice helps us develop better understandings now and remember more later. Although a lot of books offer exercises and self-tests, I prefer to jump right in and build something: a website, an essay, a desk, whatever.

                  A great way to put any new body of knowledge into action is to start a blog on it — put it out there for the world to see and comment on.

                  Just don’t lock your learning up in your head where nobody ever sees how much you know about something, and you never see how much you still don’t know.

                  Check out this guide for useful techniques to help you practice efficiently: The Beginner’s Guide to Deliberate Practice

                  3. Network

                  One of the most powerful sources of knowledge and understanding in my life have been the social networks I have become embedded in over the years — the websites I write on, the LISTSERV I belong to, the people I talk with and present alongside at conferences, my colleagues in the department where I studied and the department where I now teach, and so on.

                  These networks are crucial to extending my knowledge in areas I am already involved, and for referring me to contacts in areas where I have no prior experience. Joining an email list, emailing someone working in the field, asking colleagues for recommendations, all are useful ways of getting a foothold in a new field.

                  Networking also allows you to test your newly-acquired knowledge against others’ understandings, giving you a chance to grow and further develop.

                  Here find out How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life.

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                  4. Schedule

                  For anything more complex than a simple overview, it pays to schedule time to commit to learning. Having the books on the shelf, the top websites bookmarked, and a string of contacts does no good if you don’t give yourself time to focus on reading, digesting, and implementing your knowledge.

                  Give yourself a deadline, even if there is no externally imposed time limit, and work out a schedule to reach that deadline.

                  Final Thoughts

                  In a sense, even formal education is a form of self-guided learning — in the end, a teacher can only suggest and encourage a path to learning, at best cutting out some of the work of finding reliable sources to learn from.

                  If you’re already working, or have a range of interests beside the purely academic, formal instruction may be too inconvenient or too expensive to undertake. That doesn’t mean you have to set aside the possibility of learning, though; history is full of self-taught successes.

                  At its best, even a formal education is meant to prepare you for a life of self-guided learning; with the power of the Internet and the mass media at our disposal, there’s really no reason not to follow your muse wherever it may lead.

                  More About Self-Learning

                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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