Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dice Stacking Video

Here's a fun video of a guy doing some pretty cool dice stacking. Dice stacking is sort of an allied art with magic. It's really a form of juggling but since it uses dice it also allies itself with gambling and magic.

At any rate, if you've never seen this stuff, enjoy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Blog - Magic and Conjuring

I'm not normally that excited by the magic blogosphere, but Frederick of Oz has a new blog called Magic and Conjuring that I'm pretty pumped about. His stated goal is to explore the intersection of magic, meaning and art and to take a stance "against the trivialization of magic." He's only been at it for a week and he has already name-checked John Updike, Rumi, and the McBride/Berger/Neale trio.

I've added it to my Bloglines and I look forward to seeing where he goes with this.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Alex Grey's St. Albert on Ebay

Oh lordy, get your checkbooks ready! Psychedelic artist Alex Grey and the Multi-Disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (M.A.P.S.) have teamed up to auction off the last remaining print of St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution, created to honor Dr. Albert Hoffman, the father of LSD. This print is number 1 of 50 and was personally signed by Hoffman shortly after his 100th birthday celebration earlier this year in Basel, Switzerland.

Opening bid is $3000 and all proceeds will be divided evenly between a M.A.P.S.-sponsored Swiss end-of-life research study (the first legal research with LSD in 35 years) and Grey's trippy Chapel of Sacred Mirrors project.

Alex Grey is probably the most gifted visionary artist alive. My favorite painting of his is 1984's Theologue (below, click the image for a bigger, better version at Grey's Web site). I think Theologue is as good a depiction of a transcendent experience as I've ever seen anywhere. I urge you to wander Grey's site if you haven't seen his work. It's truly mind-blowing and very, very beautiful.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thanks, Blogger!

Labels at last! Labels at last! Thank God Almighty I have labels at last!

It always struck me as a tad unseemly to complain about a free service, but the lack of post labels on Blogger has been the one thing that has tempted me to move my blog elsewhere. Without labels, older posts just kind of vanish into the ether of the "Archives" at the right, and most visitors are unlikely to feel much motivation to go digging in there. So the magicians who visit this blog and find hardly any magic-related posts may be disinclined to go searching for my occasional posts on that subject.

No longer. Blogger has finally updated their service with post labels and I have wasted no time in categorizing my stuff and sticking the labels at right. For instance, I have a bunch of magic posts (forty-five, if my labeling is accurate), including six David Blaine posts. The ability to categorize and make easily searchable large amounts of data is one of the hallmarks of the modern Web and it has been a major failing of Blogger that basic tagging hasn't been available until now.

The ability to label posts is pretty fundamental to blogging, and it facilitates certain types of posting. For instance, I threatened long ago to start posting mini-reviews of all the films I see. But the lack of labeling discouraged this enterprise. Blogger didn't offer any way for me to point readers easily to a complete list of all my reviews, and I knew that once posted the reviews would quickly disappear into the ether. I actually considered starting a separate blog just for movie reviews.

All that has changed. It's a new day at PeaceLove's Musings! Stay tuned.

Balloon Art Borat

Russian doctor-turned-balloon-artist Irina made this beautiful Borat in ballons. It's been bouncing all over the Web, including a prominent nod on Defamer.

The movie's extremely funny, too. Uncomfortable but funny.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Awesome Magic Clip - UPDATED!

UPDATE: Thanks to all the commentors, especially Rick Carruth, who identified the magician as Akira Fuji, a well-known (in Japan) close-up worker. Fuji has a video out called "Coins Akira's", which was translated into English by none other than the very clever Nathan Kranzo.

Via Rick Carruth's always-valuable Magic Roadshow, here's the most entertaining six minutes of close-up magic I've seen in a while. Even though I don't know more than two words of Japanese, I can tell that this non-Cyril is a seasoned pro. Lots of strong magic, too!

BTW, someone in the YouTube comments claims his name is Akira, and someone else claims to have met him at a magic convention in Sacramento. So now you know as much as I do. Can anyone out there help identify this talented young magician?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pollack Breaks the Record

In my recent Picasso Musings post I mentioned that I'd love to have a Jackson Pollack painting in my personal collection. Coincidentally, David Geffen just sold Pollack's 1948 No. 5 to a Mexican financier named David Martinez for a record-breaking $140 million.

The picture above is how the New York Times displayed the painting, although I've never seen a huge Pollack displayed vertically, like this. I wouldn't be surprised if it's supposed to be horizontal.

UPDATE, January 25, 2007: Okay, I've had enough of seeing it vertical. I'm quite sure the painting should look like this:

Pollack is an acquired taste, but once he grabs hold of you his greatest works don't let go easily. I'm not normally envious of super-wealth, but this is one 4' x 8' painting I'd like to have on my wall.