Ask Alexander Magic Questions for Free!

Inside Magic Image of Ask Alexander LogoGreat News from the folks at The Conjuring Arts Research Center.   Ask Alexander, their incredible search engine / database is now free to use.

Their newest iteration is the Alex 3.0 and allows users to search and browse for free.

Visit the Ask Alexander page, type in your question or terms, and presto, Alexander delivers the images of the journals or sources containing your terms.

It is fast and very helpful.  You will need to login if you want to see the responsive pages — assuming the sources are available at your subscription level.

The Ask Alexander team inform Inside Magic that users can “test drive” the system for free.  “Though this subscription level is smaller than our Bronze, Silver, and Gold subscriptions (Gold now has over 1,000,000 pages!), it still contains a lot of great material. This free account even supports all of Alex’s features like collection building, instant translation and adding notes, just to name a few.”

Inside Magic intends to release its long-anticipated Ask Paw Lawton page in the coming weeks.  It has been in beta testing since 1997 but is almost ready for launch.  Unlike Ask Alexander, the Ask Paw Lawton service provides the instant recollections of our sainted father, Li’l Tom Hardy’s Road Chief on almost any topic you can name.  The answers are not nearly as accurate or complete as Ask Alexander and currently many of the responses are not truly safe for work or polite audiences (we’re working on that) but it should be a major step forward.

Until Ask Paw Lawton launches, though, we suggest you take advantage of Ask Alexander.  As Paw Lawton once said, “You can’t beat free, but you can beat cheap.”

Li’l Tom Hardy Trial – 10 Yrs Later

Ten years ago today…

 

Inside Magic Image of Mystic Hollow News-Herald  Headline Proclaiming Li'l Tom Hardy's Innocence

David Blaine May Have Been Ribald at Some Point in Time

Image of David Blaine on Inside MagicWizbang Pop! reports this morning on a timeless story.

By timeless, we do not mean it will stand the test of time.

We mean, there is no date given for the unattributed claims about David Blaine and his romantic relationships with “many women.”

Do not get us wrong.  We like scandal and titillating innuendo as much as the next high-quality daily magic news source.  But there has to be steak to go with that sizzle.  We want fries with that shake.  We would at least like to know the adventure in love and its manifestations happened in this century.

Writes Wizbang Pop!, “The two had a kinky and wild sex life according to Blaine.”

There is a description of a favorite method of expressing one’s fondness allegedly preferred by Fiona Apple.  We do not know Ms. Apple and so do not feel comfortable exposing the method d’ amour David Blaine was said to have practiced.

Unless we know the person intimately — say a family member or work colleague — we refuse to contribute to the stream of gossip and sensationalism.  Now, if the story involved one of the Hardy clan, we would tell what we knew, what we thought we knew, what we wished we knew, and show pictures (even photoshopped versions for clarity) and streaming video featuring puppets and gaudy soundtrack.

That’s just the way we are.

If you must, you can read the details here:

Kinks Of The Stars: David Blaine & Fiona Apple’s Wild Relationship | Wizbang Pop!.

Virtual Night Club – Opportunities Abound

Black and White Image of Beautiful Sally Rand and Her Fans

The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) broke the news — at least to us — that a night club in Las Vegas has implemented holographic technology to create a “virtual strip club.”

The dancing girls in Lolita’s Cantina and Tequila bar may look real enough, but in reality they’re conjured out of thin air using holographic technology. The entertainment in the bar, owned by veteran nightclub developer Eric DeBiasi, is created using the same technology used by Damon Albarn’s virtual band the Gorillaz and Live Earth Tokyo to project former US vice President Al Gore onto the stage.


No more dressing rooms, stench of flop-sweat, or real-world salaries.  The performer appears real but can be brought to the stage whenever the whim hits.

Digital Illusions, the company behind the technology, says that the DJ will have total control over both the music and the dancing, creating a seamless audiovisual performance that will look totally realistic to the audience.

“Imagine having a library of hundreds or thousands of clips of entertainers, magicians, comedians, dancers,” asked one of the Digital Illusions folks in a rhetorical fashion.

“Each one is ready to perform at a moment’s notice. Each one is surrounded by special effects and magical appearances and disappearances. But most importantly, each one looks totally real.”

Why the possibilities abound.  You could do six or seven birthday parties at one time.  Magic Club lectures could happen over and over and over — if such was the desire of the club.

Yes, the equipment to build a holographic stage is expensive but the price will drop.  Remember when calculators cost $17,200.00 and took up an entire room?  Remember how back in those days, you would have to literally turn the entire room of computer equipment upside down to show friends that the letters 9009 was a secret word produced by the calculator?


Continue reading Virtual Night Club – Opportunities Abound