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Topic: Bound to Mnemonica
Message: Posted by: acehigher (Sep 1, 2005 08:06AM)
Last year I got my copy of 'Bound to Please' it took me a while but I got round to learning the stack and it's great. Really good and was quiet fun to learn, in a wierd kinda way. I've order Mnemonica now and I'm sure that's gonna be briliant too. I guess there will be enough in there to keep me going with the stack I know already, I'm just waundering if anyone has anything to say about this:

Should I learn the Tamariz stack as well as the Aronson one? Can it be done easily? Does anyone here have more than one stack memerized? Wouldn't you get confused between the two sometimes like people who speak three languages sometimes get they're words mixed up. The book boasts that you can learn the stack in 3 hr, so it doesn't seem like such a bad idea to me.
Message: Posted by: the_salesman (Sep 1, 2005 08:54AM)
I memorized the Aronson stack first, then I tackled the Tamariz stack. It took me just as long to memorize the second stack as the first, and I only experienced a few "fallbacks" to the previous stack. I cannot say, however, that I now have both stacks memorized. I have not worked with the Aronson for some time and I doubt I could at this point. I'm sure that with a little work I could get it back.

My experience is more switching from one stack to another, unlike having two memorized at one time. But I only had minimal mix ups. Two stacks is certainly realistic, at least in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 1, 2005 09:02AM)
The Tamariz stack can indeed be learned in 3 or 4 hours, but not because there's anything inherent to it that makes it more easily memorized. In Mnemonica Tamariz details a method for memorization that utilizes a combination of mnemonic techniques - auditory, visual, kinesthetic, conceptual, etc. So yes, you can learn it much more quickly than you learned the Aronson stack, but if you had used all of the techniques that Tamariz recommends you could have learned the Aronson stack just as quickly.

I think you'll quickly see that the Mnemonica stack has some tremendous advantages over the Aronson stack in terms of built-in effects (just for starters, how about going in and out of new deck order whenever you want in front of spectators fairly easily). Much of the effects in both Bound to Please and Mnemonica are interchangeable and can be used with either stack, but many are exclusive to their stacks. So you will just have to make the decision yourself if you want to learn Mnemonica. As far as weather or not you'd get the two mixed up, I suppose that is a concern. But since it depends entirely on your own mental processes, it's impossible for anybody to advise you one way or another. The only indicator that I can think of is if you have tried to learn more than one language in the past, and you had the problem of mixing them up. I would think that it would depend a lot on how thoroughly (fluently) you have the Aronson stack down. Typically when you've got one language learned fluently for instance, you don't have a problem with mixing it up with a new language.

But it might be a moot point. After reading through Mnemonica you might just as well decide to switch completely to the Tamariz stack. The only thing you'd be sacrificing would be the built-in effects of the Aronson stack, and there is plenty in the Mnemonica stack to compensate you for that loss.
Message: Posted by: acehigher (Sep 1, 2005 10:21AM)
Thanks

I though bound to please was brillant but it wasn't what I expected. It had a lot of none mem deck tricks, which are good, but I really wanted more info on memerized decks. I had the notion that I'd be able to proform some great slieght free trick (something to blow away my friends who have found out about DL, false shuffle, forcing etc).

Can't wait to get my book in the post :)
Message: Posted by: Sean (Sep 1, 2005 10:34AM)
Mnemonica has lots of effects that are stack independent, i.e. not reliant on any specific stack. If I recall correctly, Tamariz discusses memorized stacks early in the book, presents about 15 skeletal suggestions as to what you can do, then tells you to close the book and go play. His suggestions work with Aronson's stack as well as any other stack.

As far as getting into the stack from new deck order, it works best with european decks, which are ordered differently than US decks. You can do it with the latter, but it requires too much shuffling gymnastics, IMHO. Set your stack, out-faro six times to prepare, then out-faro twice more in front of your audience. They'll consider that deck shuffled.

Mnemonica is a wonderful book. Tamariz is a playful genius and I'd love to see him perform. Aronson is the perfect counterpart, a thoughtful genius.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 1, 2005 09:22PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 11:34, Sean wrote:
If I recall correctly, Tamariz discusses memorized stacks early in the book, presents about 15 skeletal suggestions as to what you can do, then tells you to close the book and go play.[/quote]

You must be thinking about something else. Mnemonica contains MANY (dozens and dozens) effects and a great many useful sleights and techniques that are pertinent to memdeck. The book is 400 pages long and apart from the interesting historical information (many fifty pages or so?), there is no filler. It's very solid, usable stuff.

[quote]As far as getting into the stack from new deck order, it works best with european decks, which are ordered differently than US decks. You can do it with the latter, but it requires too much shuffling gymnastics, IMHO.
[/quote]

I have never met a laymen who knows the actual new deck order, whether it is European or of the United States Playing Card Co. As long as the cards are arranged sequentially and grouped in suits, 99.99% of your audience will consider it to be in new deck order. And you can rightfully claim it is without your nose growing any longer, because it is in new deck order across the pond.

One of the truly astonishing features of this stack is that a few faros will get you back into new deck order for the strongest jaw-dropping finish you could ever want. So the point being you don't want to even think twice about sacrificing that effect just because there is a discrepency between the European and U.S. deck orders. And as far as going from new deck order to Mnemonica, it would be pretty rare (and unnecessary) to actually use a brand new deck out of the box with the seal on it. If it's important in your routine to start out in new deck order and then get into Mnemonica, then just use the European order and don't think twice about it.
Message: Posted by: MaGiCoH (Sep 1, 2005 09:55PM)
Anyone have tried the "Memorized Breakthrough Card System, by Richard Osterlind" ?

R.O. has released an e-book with a memorization technique to learn the complete stack-orded of the "breakthrought card system".

Does it have any advantages ?

Mnemonica (Tamariz) or MBCS (Osterlind) ; Which memorized stack you prefer?
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Sep 1, 2005 10:12PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 22:55, MaGiCoH wrote:
Anyone have tried the "Memorized Breakthrough Card System, by Richard Osterlind" ?

R.O. has released an e-book with a memorization technique to learn the complete stack-orded of the "breakthrought card system".

Does it have any advantages ?

Mnemonica (Tamariz) or MBCS (Osterlind) ; Which memorized stack you prefer?
[/quote]

This has been discussed a lot. If you do a search you'll find some interesting stuff. That being said...Mnemonica and Aronoson's stacks were engineered to be the way they are. Osterlind's was not. If you memorize his stack, you'll certainly be able to do most memdeck stuff - but his stack simply does not have the tricks built in the way Aronson's does, and to a large extent, Tamariz's too. I still think Osterlind's is a thing of mathematical beauty, and it's useful, especially if memorized - but - it only serves a few purposes. There are volumes dedicated to the other 2 stacks you mentioned - but again - a lot of what is in the works of both of those men is applicable to any memdeck. As for having the math to fall back on,it's truly unnecessary if you actually memorize and then use any stack regularly - that last part is key. If you do those two things you'll never forget it, and almost never make a mistake. Just some things to think about.

And it really is true, what one poster above says: Tamariz does essentially explain a variety of things that can be done, but then gives one really simple effect, and tells you to put the book down, and go away and use that effect, as he thinks it's the most powerful thing that can be done with Mnemonica.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 1, 2005 11:49PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-01 23:12, T. Joseph O'Malley wrote:
As for having the math to fall back on,it's truly unnecessary if you actually memorize and then use any stack regularly - that last part is key. If you do those two things you'll never forget it, and almost never make a mistake.
[/quote]

I'm pretty well convinced that *most* people, if they do the memorization techniques that Tamariz outlines in the first chapter, won't have to use the stack regularly to remember it. It's really like a deep form of hypnosis. It gets ingrained and it's very difficult NOT to think about the stack order when you see those cards. It's like that song that gets stuck in your head and you can't get it out (only not so annoying!)
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Sep 2, 2005 06:35AM)
You're probably right, but personally, if I let it go for a while without using it, I will possibly make some mistakes. However, an hours' worth of review, and I'm back up and running just fine.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 2, 2005 08:18AM)
And of course, if you haven't used it for a while, the fluency that you have with it would suffer; that's inevitable. I think the comparison to speaking a foreign language is apt. It gets rusty if you don't speak it for a while, but you don't really forget it (at least not if you speak it fluently to begin with, which really is what the Tamariz techniques impart). Knowing exactly where things are and being able to estimate by intuition rather than conscious calculation comes with practice.

But I think the thing to emphasize is that "forgetting the stack" is not nearly the problem that people think it is who are letting that anxiety keep them from entering the wonderful world of memdeck. I think if people knew just how easy it is to do, and how powerful the effects are, far more people would be performing memdeck effects regularly.
Message: Posted by: Jud Bond (Sep 2, 2005 09:37AM)
Let me add my experience here. I have a severe problem with memorization. If I were in school today, I would probably be diagnosed with learning disorders. Interestingly enough, that directrd me to a profession where memorization is not important (physics/engineering - everything you need can be looked up).

That being said, I tried a lot of the mnemonic methods suggested by Aronson and Lorayne. I found that I was putting in a lot of effort to try to learn a memorization system that I wouldn't use in the future. In the end I brute force memorized the Aronson stack. It wasn't easy, it took time, I need to stay on top of it - but it was worth it.

This is a great tool to have under your belt and can make minor miracles very easy to produce. Give it a try!

- Jud
Message: Posted by: Phaedrus (Sep 2, 2005 10:13AM)
[quote]
One of the truly astonishing features of this stack is that a few faros will get you back into new deck order for the strongest jaw-dropping finish you could ever want. So the point being you don't want to even think twice about sacrificing that effect just because there is a discrepency between the European and U.S. deck orders. And as far as going from new deck order to Mnemonica, it would be pretty rare (and unnecessary) to actually use a brand new deck out of the box with the seal on it. If it's important in your routine to start out in new deck order and then get into Mnemonica, then just use the European order and don't think twice about it.
[/quote]

Sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree. There are occasions when starting from an unopened deck can add tremendously to the impact of a routine. No less an authority than Darwin Ortiz discusses this in "At the Card Table," where he gives a methodology for getting into the Si Stebbins set-up from a brand new deck.

The issue is not whether a layman knows what new deck order is, it's simply that people are aware that decks can be arranged in a specific order, and if they fixate on that as an explanation for an effect, it diminishes the impact of that effect. One way to overcome this is to start from a brand-new deck, and do the set-up right under their noses; many performers (e.g. Darwin Ortiz, Scott Guinn, et. al.) will go so far as to have spectators provide their own unopened decks, to eliminate the possibility of gaffed cards or prearranged stacks.

The issue of which new deck order a deck is in is not trivial; one of the advantages of the Mnemonica stack is that you can get to it from NDO, but doing so is much easier from a European deck than a US one. That doesn't mean the stack is worthless with a new American deck, but it does mean that you need to be prepared to do a lot more work in performance with a non-European deck.

As for the ability to get back into new deck order from the stack, that is a pretty cool feature, but is not necessarily only achievable with the Tamariz stack. Eight out-faros will return any stack to it's original order. Take a new deck, give it five out-faros, and then spread it out: it will look like a shuffled deck, but three more out-faros will put it back into NDO.

None of this is to slag Mnemonica; I recently got the book, and it is one of the best resources for card magic I have ever acquired. The work that Tamariz has done on how to set-up the deck, how to get into the stack from NDO, etc. is extremely important, and should be required reading for anyone who considers himself a cardman. However, I don't think one should discount the importance of performing magic from a new, unopened deck; Tamariz thought enough of it to incorporate it into his stack, so there must be something to the idea.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 3, 2005 09:35AM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-02 11:13, Phaedrus wrote:
Sorry, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree. There are occasions when starting from an unopened deck can add tremendously to the impact of a routine. No less an authority than Darwin Ortiz discusses this in "At the Card Table," where he gives a methodology for getting into the Si Stebbins set-up from a brand new deck.
[/quote]

Ninety eight percent of all laymen will be satisfied that a deck is shuffled if you merely spread the deck face up and the cards appear to be in a random order, especially if they see you shuffle. Using a memorized stack in such a context doesn't even occur to them in their wildest dreams. I realize that much *writing* has been devoted to using unopened decks. But my point is that it's totally unnecessary to do that in order to "prove" that you are not using a stack. If the audience is sophisticated enough to be aware of memdeck stacks, they'll be aware that you can buy the stickers and shrinkwrap your own decks.

The main point is, if you show them a deck that is in European new deck order, an American audience will accept it outright as being in new deck order. Then you shuffle to set up Mnemonica and show them the shuffled deck, and they will accept it outright as being thoroughly shuffled, as it appears to be truly in a random order. And then at the end of the routine and after all of that shuffling, you shuffle some more and bring it back to European new deck order, their jaws drop and you leave them wondering about the nature of the universe. Trust me, the distinction between American and European new deck order [b]just doesn't matter[/b].

[quote]
As for the ability to get back into new deck order from the stack, that is a pretty cool feature, but is not necessarily only achievable with the Tamariz stack. Eight out-faros will return any stack to it's original order. Take a new deck, give it five out-faros, and then spread it out: it will look like a shuffled deck, but three more out-faros will put it back into NDO. [/quote]

Of course, we all know that, but I'm not sure what your point would be. We are discussing Mnemonica. I suppose you could memorize the order of a new American deck after five out faros. And if you are familiar with memdeck effects, you will know that you could perform many strong effects with such a stack. But you couldn't do nearly what you can with Aronson or Mnemonica. In my opinion it is far, FAR better to not worry about the discrepency between the U.S. and European orders, and use a stack that has powerful built-in advantages such as Aronson or Mnemonica have.

Though I agree that in some situations it is interesting to perform with a brand new deck, I think my point still stands. If I were called upon to perform with a deck that has just been opened in front of spectators, in those situations I simply wouldn't do Mnemonica effects. Because all of the extra order reversals and such that are required to get into Mnemonica from U.S. new deck order would spoil the simple and direct effect and would lead to suspicion for even the best performers. In those rare instances, personally, I would just do a non memdeck routine.

For me, another reason to not use memdeck with a brand new deck is that I find it very difficult to do false riffles if the deck is not broken in a little. They are too slippery and not reliable in that condition for me. So even from a purely physical, technical standpoint, I would not perform memdeck with a deck out of the box. Other people much better than I would not have such problems, I'm sure.
Message: Posted by: Phaedrus (Sep 3, 2005 10:38AM)
[quote]
The main point is, if you show them a deck that is in European new deck order, an American audience will accept it outright as being in new deck order. Then you shuffle to set up Mnemonica and show them the shuffled deck, and they will accept it outright as being thoroughly shuffled, as it appears to be truly in a random order. And then at the end of the routine and after all of that shuffling, you shuffle some more and bring it back to European new deck order, their jaws drop and you leave them wondering about the nature of the universe. Trust me, the distinction between American and European new deck order JUST DOESN'T MATTER.
[/quote]

I see where you're coming from here: If you show them that the deck is in sequential order, it doesn't matter if it's European or US order. You could put a deck into European NDO, spread it to show the sequence, and then get the deck into Mnemonica order with less trouble than from a US new deck order. I agree that very few people would notice the difference, but I still think that there are occasions when getting into your stack from an unopened, borrowed deck is valuable. As I said, Tamariz thought the idea was important enough to incorporate exactly that feature into his stack; considering his stature in the world of magic, I don't think we should dismiss the notion out of hand.

[quote]
Of course, we all know that, but I'm not sure what your point would be. We are discussing Mnemonica. I suppose you could memorize the order of a new American deck after five out faros. And if you are familiar with memdeck effects, you will know that you could perform many strong effects with such a stack. But you couldn't do nearly what you can with Aronson or Mnemonica. In my opinion it is far, FAR better to not worry about the discrepency between the U.S. and European orders, and use a stack that has powerful built-in advantages such as Aronson or Mnemonica have.
[/quote]

I agree completely, which is why I use the Aronson stack. On my last trip to LA, I had the chance to go to Hollywood Magic, where I spoke at length with Newell Unfried, who was one of the editors of Mnemonica. We talked about the differences between the Aronson and Tamariz stack, and he felt that one of the features that gave the Mnemonica stack the edge was the fact that it was possible to get into from NDO. Having read Aronson's work and now Mnemonica, I'm going to be using both stacks in the future. I have used Darwin Ortiz's Si Stebbins Secret in performance, and I can verify that people are absolutely floored by magic dependent on a stack when it happens from a new, unopened deck. I haven't yet had the chance to put the Mnemonica stack to use in that way, but I'm sure that the reactions will be even stronger.

[quote]
Though I agree that in some situations it is interesting to perform with a brand new deck, I think my point still stands. If I were called upon to perform with a deck that has just been opened in front of spectators, in those situations I simply wouldn't do Mnemonica effects. Because all of the extra order reversals and such that are required to get into Mnemonica from U.S. new deck order would spoil the simple and direct effect and would lead to suspicion for even the best performers. In those rare instances, personally, I would just do a non memdeck routine.
[/quote]

And this was my point, or rather my question: if one of the selling points of the Mnemonica stack is supposedly the ability to get into it from NDO, is it worth learning it if the US NDO makes the procedure cumbersome or impractical in a performance situation. Sure, you can just dismiss the idea of starting from a new deck, as you seem to have done, but a large number of very experienced people think the idea is important enough to include it in their repertoire, so I don't think the issue is trivial.

I recently started a thread concerning the idea of getting into the Aronson stack from NDO. I was surprised to discover that many people have devoted a great deal of time to finding a solution the problem, so I still believe that starting from NDO is an important idea in card magic.

[quote]
For me, another reason to not use memdeck with a brand new deck is that I find it very difficult to do false riffles if the deck is not broken in a little. They are too slippery and not reliable in that condition for me. So even from a purely physical, technical standpoint, I would not perform memdeck with a deck out of the box. Other people much better than I would not have such problems, I'm sure.
[/quote]

Yes, new decks can be a little hard to control at first. However, most of the set up procedures I have read, including the Si Stebbins Secret and Mnemonica, rely on simple displacements, runs, and faro shuffles, which are fairly easy to do with new decks, slippery or not. Because the faros are real shuffles, spectators accept that you have actually shuffled the cards, even though you were using the shuffle to accomplish the set up.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 3, 2005 02:30PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-03 11:38, Phaedrus wrote:
As I said, Tamariz thought the idea was important enough to incorporate exactly that feature into his stack; considering his stature in the world of magic, I don't think we should dismiss the notion out of hand.[/quote]

Well, my suspicion is that he developed it so you could go into and out of it from the European order. The additional instructions as to how to get into it from U.S. order are probably an afterthought of necessity.

[quote]
I'm going to be using both stacks in the future. I have used Darwin Ortiz's Si Stebbins Secret in performance, and I can verify that people are absolutely floored by magic dependent on a stack when it happens from a new, unopened deck. I haven't yet had the chance to put the Mnemonica stack to use in that way, but I'm sure that the reactions will be even stronger.[/quote]

I suppose I should not dismiss the notion out of hand. If I performed more often than I do, such that the new deck issue might come up more often, I'd reconsider the matter. But I can also assure you that they will be floored with the built-in Mnemonica effects, whether or not you do it from a sealed, unopened deck. It's a small degree of subtlety between showing them the clearly sequential order of the European NDO and using an unopened deck. Though admittedly the ritual of taking the wrapping off, opening the box, discarding the jokers (and those obnoxious Hold'em rules) would be a nice touch. But either way you do it, they are totally convinced that they start out in new deck order, and if your faros are good they are totally convinced the deck is shuffled.

[quote]
And this was my point, or rather my question: if one of the selling points of the Mnemonica stack is supposedly the ability to get into it from NDO, is it worth learning it if the US NDO makes the procedure cumbersome or impractical in a performance situation.[/quote]

Well, that is just *one* of the selling points of Mnemonica. I suppose if you were accustomed to opening the new deck and performing with it in your act, then you'd probably want to stick to Si Stebbins Secret. But you'd be missing out on so much. For me it's a matter of what you're getting with Mnemonica vs. what you're giving up, and for me that answer is quite clear. The built-in effects of Mnemonica are absolutely dynamite, and well worth either A. not being able to get into it from an unopened U.S. deck, or B. working on your setup and patter so that you can still do it in your routine.

And as I have noted, you can always show the spectators a deck in the European NDO and have it be 100% convincing, so the small negative factor of not being to go into and out of American NDO from an unopened deck for most performers would be (I presume) a fairly trivial drawback. Though I could be wrong about that.

[quote]Yes, new decks can be a little hard to control at first. However, most of the set up procedures I have read, including the Si Stebbins Secret and Mnemonica, rely on simple displacements, runs, and faro shuffles, which are fairly easy to do with new decks, slippery or not. Because the faros are real shuffles, spectators accept that you have actually shuffled the cards, even though you were using the shuffle to accomplish the set up.
[/quote]

Good point. Thanks for your thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Phaedrus (Sep 3, 2005 04:28PM)
Scorch:

It's obvious to me that you're more familiar with Mnemonica than I am (I only recently acquired the book, and haven't really had a chance to work through it in detail). However, I have been using the Aronson stack for quite some time, and I'm very familiar with the effects that are unique to that stack. I only mention the Si Stebbins set up because of how easy it was to get into it from NDO. In fact, it was that after learning how to do it that I became interested in the possibility of doing the same with the Aronson stack, but I quickly found that it's an extremely complicated problem, and no one has yet found a practical way of doing it. Nick Pudar, who designed the program Stack View, wrote to me to say that he had been working on it for quite a while, and even consulted mathematicians about the problem, who informed him that even with supercomputers, it could take literally years to find a solution using a brute force search algorithm. So, I found the idea of being able to get into Mnemonica from NDO quite appealing.

I don't actually use the Si Stebbins set up for mem deck work, since, as you point out, there are things you can do with an actual memorized stack that aren't possible with a sequential stack. I typically go from NDO to Si Stebbins, doing a couple of effects with that set up (Darwin Ortiz has a killer one in At the Card Table), then use "A Subtle Game" from the Encyclopedia of Card Tricks to set up the Aronson stack under their noses.

It's pretty obvious that many effects can be performed with any stack, provided the sequence has been memorized. But in your opinion, how do the built-in effects in Mnemonica compare to the Aronson stack? A quick perusal of the book gave me the idea that there are similar effects, like poker deals and such, but I haven't yet gotten any clear idea of things that can only be done with Mnemonica. What do you recommend in terms of effects that can ONLY be accomplished with the Tamariz stack? It would be nice to get some insights from someone who has actually used the effects in real world situations.
Message: Posted by: scorch (Sep 4, 2005 12:35PM)
<i>It's pretty obvious that many effects can be performed with any stack, provided the sequence has been memorized. But in your opinion, how do the built-in effects in Mnemonica compare to the Aronson stack? A quick perusal of the book gave me the idea that there are similar effects, like poker deals and such, but I haven't yet gotten any clear idea of things that can only be done with Mnemonica. What do you recommend in terms of effects that can ONLY be accomplished with the Tamariz stack? It would be nice to get some insights from someone who has actually used the effects in real world situations.</i>

I'm sorry to say that I don't have enough experience with the Aronson stack to give it an adequate and fair comparison. I know that the built-in, specific effects of the Aronson stack are about a dozen or so in number, and with Mnemonica it is thirty or forty. Certainly the shuffling in and out of new deck order is a huge difference. And the ability to easily get in and out of stay-stack order (where the cards are arranged symmetrically throughout the deck with their mate of the same color) is a very powerful advantage with innumerable possibilities. And I also know that with Mnemonica, the possible gambling demonstrations are more powerful and extensive than Aronson (dealing of any named complete suit, dealing *any* poker hand called for, rummy, blackjack and bridge demonstrations, and much more), many miracle-level mental tricks, and stories told by the cards.

My advice would simply to buy Mnemonica, and go through it yourself to see if you think it will be worth devoting the time and energy to learning the stack. You can always sell the book again on ebay and you won't be out much more than ten dollars or so. And even if you decide against learning the stack, the book is still on of the best resources for effects and ideas, most of which could apply to any full deck stack.
Message: Posted by: Phaedrus (Sep 4, 2005 12:51PM)
Thanks for the info. Actually, I already have Mnemonica, I just haven't had a chance to give it the careful reading it deserves. From what I can tell, the gambling demos are pretty similar to those possible with the Aronson stack (the "any hand called for" set up goes back to Zens and Rusduck, and all the other demos are possible with Aronson as well; check "Bound to Please" for some ideas).

I can already tell that the book is definitely worthwhile as a source of ideas for card work. I was just curious as to what effects you felt were the most powerful that could only be done from the Tamariz stack.