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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

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      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 September 28, 2020

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                  At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                  Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                  One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                  When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                  So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                  Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                  This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                  Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                  When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                  Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                  One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                  Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                  An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                  When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                  Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                  Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                  We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                  By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                  Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                  While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                  I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                  You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                  Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                  When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                  Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                  Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                  Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                  One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                  Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                  Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                  This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                  While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                  Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                  Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                  This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                  For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                  Con #4: Unique Distractions

                  Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                  For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                  To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                  We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                  More About Working From Home

                  Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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