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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Knots and loops » » Where is Professor's Nightmare? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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WoodRat
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Quote:
Whats the size of the ropes for unequal ropes.


The proportions I use are:

1/2 the short-piece plus 1/2 the long-piece equals the medium-piece.
Then choose the lengths that work for you and your routine.

Cheers
Learn something new everyday.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2007-06-29 00:29, WoodRat wrote:
Quote:
Whats the size of the ropes for unequal ropes.


The proportions I use are:

1/2 the short-piece plus 1/2 the long-piece equals the medium-piece.
Then choose the lengths that work for you and your routine.

Cheers


Come On! Let him spend $4.00 for the trick!
leondo
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Amen WM!
Ted L
murf
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Come on guys! I don't think Wally was asking for the (rather obvious) formula, but for suggestions on the overall "size". One starting point is to make the long rope roughly equal to your height and the short one just long enough to reach from the tip of the pinky to the tip of the thumb of your outstretched hand.

Murf
ronplumb
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I cut the rope for the Professor's Nightmare! I was Gene Gordon's employee in his magic shop in the early 50's, the time that Gene Gordon had first rights to any new magic that Hen Fetsch created. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if he actually invented the Professor's Nightmare or if he adapted it from another trick. I do know that Gene Gordon wrote the patter for it.
Mike Maturen
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If I'm not mistaken, isn't the OFFICIAL name for this effect the "Equal/Unequal Ropes"?

Perhaps a search under that name would turn up the info the original poster was looking for!
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Dick Oslund
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I bought the PN from Gene Gordon in his shop ($!.00) in late March of '59. The effect was great, but I didn't like the set up moves. It just seemed a bit "contrived". I played with it for 11 years!!!. When I was writing the script for THE PUZZLING ENVIRONMENT 1n '71, I decided the effect would be the perfect finish for the program. DENNIS LOOMIS and I spent much of a weekend on it and worked out a handling. It involved Slydini's technigue for cutting one rope into the PN set up. Then a 'reverse' nitemare, was followed by the nitemare and (before CONWAY) a bluff restoration. It played well on the road for 335 programs.

It played so well that I adapted a few bits from Ken Allen's "If You Like It" (which used a Karl Germain technique--which may have been a spin off of the Kellar c/r)and added the bits to the Slydini c/r for PN, plus the pre-Conway bit, and used it to open the High School show for several seasons. It was a killer effect in those tough high schools of the Vietnam era.

I went back to the basic PN routine when Karrell Fox gave me "his" set up moves. (Later, I discovered that Karrell had realized that the principle that Gen Grant used for his "50/50" c/r rope (which, I believe he was selling before he moved to Columbus, OH. was a very clean set up for PN. Karrell put it in one of his books, and now many are using it.

Duke Stern, I believe, "invented" the swing around move. I had the joy of helping to develop the count and the display moves for the count. Then, Karrell showed me his "restore" move which was a beautiful "instant" restore. (No jerking pieces of rope out of the balled up pieces) I've used that ever since. I don't know why more magicians don't use it. IT'S GREAT!

I did write my own lines for the routine. They stem from a premise that I had heard of. Apparently, a college professor had only one question on his engineering students test: "HOW LONG IS "A" PIECE OF ROPE"? According to the anecdote, only one student had the correct answer! I've used those lines since about 1975.

I'll tell the "story" in my book about the 335 sets of nightmares that I had when I finished the Puzzling Environment tour! I MIGHT include the PN patter.

Mark Wilden asked about the name. As far as I know, Gene Gordon, wrote the original patter for it, which involved a college professor's "nightmare" when He saw it done.

The "Linking Ring" ran a story on Bob Carver a year or so ago, and I thought Bob Carver finally got "official" recognition.

I remember Tarbell's cut and restored rope when I was a teenager. It was generally considered the "greatest rope trick" etc.
It required a lot of set up, although it was a d** good trick.

But, IMHO, the PN IS the most performed, and most effective, visual effect with rope. Yes, the "Bill Neff c/r is perhaps a bit more visual, but it's not the most performed! Incidentally, Will Lindhorst sold a "Van****** b*r* c***" rope trick in the '40s, and the late Harold Denhard, whose word I trusted implicitly, told me that he had done a c/r rope, using the same method as Bill Neff, before Bill had done it. Harold had done it at a magic club meeting (I think he said in St Louis).

Egual/Unequal Ropes and My Favorite Rope Trick were, in my book, rip offs of the PN.

I've heard of the PN being pitched on the sidewalk in NYC!

There aint much thread left on this spool! I think that I had better "get off" before somebody gets "the hook"!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
lynnef
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Gene Poinc has a version called " 3-legged Moon Monster" that has a great story line for children (the monster has different sized legs because of the moon mountains .... but now that he's on Earth, he needs to have them equal). It's in The Linking Ring vol 82. Lynn
Dick Oslund
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BTW, I'm sure that I'm not the first to do this, but some may not have realized that the long and short pieces for the PN can be used for George Sands Sandsational. I love props that can "double"!

I mentioned the other day I've forgotten which thread) that I carry an extra matching PN long piece. When I need a pad, The two ropes, a wand, and four silks from the Sympathetic Silks are perfect for the Cords of Fantasia. (Another "double" use of props!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
lynnef
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Quote:
On 2013-05-02 17:33, lynnef wrote:
Gene Poinc has a version called " 3-legged Moon Monster" that has a great story line for children (the monster has different sized legs because of the moon mountains .... but now that he's on Earth, he needs to have them equal). It's in The Linking Ring vol 82. Lynn


I should add a postscript here that Gene died in July of 02, just months after he published this version. Lynn
Al Schneider
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Just adding to the babble here.
I was at a magic convention down south a long time ago.
Larson of Genii was hosting one of his popular hotel room parties.
I was hanging around there and this guy comes up and asks me what significant thing I invented.
I said, "Matrix."
He then said his name was Bob Carver.
I asked what significant thing he invented and he said, "Professor's Nightmare."
Bob is a little rough around the edges but a very excellent magician.
By rough I mean he is one of those guys that calls a spade a spade and will speak the truth irrespective of somone's feelings.
I find the manipulations most do with the routine interesting.
I have, like most, been performing PN for about 40 years.
Why does everyone worry about the "secret move?"
I just put the ends of the ropes into my hand ready for the stretch.
NO ONE CARES.
I think the critical part of the routine is to do a count immediately after the stretch.
Anyway.
Whenever I am invited out to party with friends, PN is one of the tricks I stuff in my pocket.
Did it a lot when doing magic at a coffee shop.
I use it as a close up item.
The ropes are very short.
The trick goes over very well.
I finish it by getting the ropes into different lengths as quickly as possible.
I say, "...of course that is not true."
I find that getting the three back to different lengths quick, hits the audience hard.

I used to do a three to one rope routine.
The configuration for that is the same as Professor's Nightmare as most of you know.
My assumption is that Bob Carver was aware of that and bounced into his routine.
That does not diminish the credit he should get for his creation.
I am glad his name is being honored here.
He deserves credit for it.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
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