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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 April 8, 2019

                  22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                  22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                  Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

                  Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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                  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
                  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
                  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
                  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
                  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
                  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
                  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
                  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
                  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
                  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
                  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
                  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
                  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
                  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
                  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
                  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
                  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
                  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
                  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
                  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
                  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
                  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

                  Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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