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magiczzz
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I have just read about Bonus Genus in Curry’s Magician’s Magic.

Does any one have further information about this trick, the patter or a possible source of one of the dolls (new or antique)?

Many thanks.
Spellbinder
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It's easy to make from a pair of Dollar Store dolls. I published a routine variation for it in my "Houdini Séance Trunk" in The Wizards' Journal #10 on my site.

Posted: Jun 16, 2010 6:52am
Also, its proper name is "Bonus Genius," Latin for "Good Spirit." Hocus Pocus Junior, 1634.
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Bill Palmer
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I don't know anyone who is making one of these right now, but there really isn't much to it. The main thing you need is a story.

I have seen photos of these that were made up like Hitler. A cloak went over the doll, so the head of the doll was sticking out, the doll disappeared, and was shown to have ended up in "jail."

The main secret is that the body needs to be as compressible as possible and the head needs to be fairly small.

Eddy Taytelbaum made a version that was done without a cloak, called "Apollo 13," in which the space capsule disappeared.
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Leslie Melville
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In the 1940's, a UK dealer, maybe Davenports, produced a children's routine based on the Bonus Genius called 'Wandering Willie'. I owned and used one for a long time.

Supreme later sold the trick under the same name (so perhaps Davenports didn't make the original! - I have just checked with Derek Lever, and he tells me that the original was marketed by Burtini and he is usually right about these things!)

I haven't done any recent research, but I suspect that second-hand Supreme versions are still knocking around.

It's a great principle, by the way.

Leslie

Posted: Jun 16, 2010 2:51pm
A quick search found the following:

http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubbt......r=187724

http://www.castlemagicalservices.co.uk/secondmagic.html

Leslie
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Rennie
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Quote:
On 2010-06-16 06:52, Spellbinder wrote:
Also, its proper name is "Bonus Genius," Latin for "Good Spirit." Hocus Pocus Junior, 1634.

It is actually in the book titled "Bonus Genus".
Rennie
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Bill Palmer
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Let me clear this up once and for all.

In the first edition of Hocus Pocus, Jr., the trick is presented under the name "Bonus Genius or Nuntius Invisibilis." It is NOT called "Bonus Genus" in the first edition of HPJ.

In the second edition of HPJ (1635), it is presented as "Bonus Genius or Nuntius Invisibilis or Hiccius Doccius as my Senior Calls it." Again, it is called Bonus Genius, not Bonus Genus.

I have photocopies of the originals of both of these editions. For those of you not familiar with the long "s" that is used at the beginning and in the middle of words of this period, the word Senior looks like fenior, and the word Invisibilis looks like Invifibilis.
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Jeff Hinchliffe
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While you're correct, Bill, I believe that Rennie (and the original poster) were referring to the way in which the title is spelled (in this case, misspelled) in Paul Curry's 'Magician's Magic'.

In the Curry book, it is spelled (erroneously) 'Bonus Genus'.

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Bill Palmer
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That's exactly what I was clearing up. The first time this appears in print is in HPJ. The Curry book is WRONG.

The name "Bonus Genus" doesn't even make sense. It would mean "Good family" or "Good Tribe."
"The Swatter"

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Rennie
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Jeff,
You are correct.
Thanks,
TRennie
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Rennie
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Quote:
On 2010-06-19 19:21, Clay Shevlin wrote:
Magiczzz: http://tinyurl.com/34n2vlw

Wow, looks like Bonus Genus wins, huh?
Rennie
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magiczzz
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Clay, I don't get it - are you being sarcastic or helpful? - Magiczzz: http://tinyurl.com/34n2vlw
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^^^ More than anything else, I was curious about the frequency with which this trick is referred to with the spelling “bonus genus” and thought I’d post the results in a compact url link - the lmgtfy page is the simplest way (perhaps quickest, too) I know for posting results with a tiny url. The lmgtfy page does have an element of sarcasm to it, I suppose, but since we’re on the subject, do you realize that you could have typed far less and learned far more had you Googled your question instead of posting it on the Café?
magiczzz
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Clay, thanks for reply....after years of research, both professionally and privately, I believe that Google creates biases in what we learn. Apart from the laziness of only searching the first few pages, much of what is known in the world isn't in a Google-friendly format. Also, Google presents the "object" and doesn't make the connections between objects. I have learnt loads more from here than Google. So, hopefully real searches will continue, alongside the artificial googling.
Bill Palmer
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I'm reading a novel right now in which there is the following statement:

Quote:
The average student thinks the best synonym for "research" is "Google." Real, original research, however, has more to do with pinball than search engines; it's usually a matter of hit and miss, with a lot more misses than hits. You ricochet around the table, gathering points as you go, eventually finding out a direction before eventually reaching your destination.


I remember when I was in college. I used to go to the library and spend hours wandering through the stacks in search of whatever tiny fragment of information I could glean about whatever historical project or construction technique had struck my fancy.

While I was doing research on banjo patents, I learned how to do gold leaf work. I don't mean that I learned how it was done. I checked out the book, took it home and gold leafed a number of items around the house that were in need of something besides their original finish.

I never would have made the connection using Google.
"The Swatter"

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funsway
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I used to love the Government Pub stacks. There are studies on subjects one would never think to search on Google -- or ask a Librarian about. I used to do the same thing in a hardware store -- find an object and try and figure out what it was for. Then, I might ask "old Fred" -- a guy for which there is no modern substitute because he new "how" -- not just "what".
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Clay Shevlin
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Quote:
On 2010-06-21 13:11, magiczzz wrote: ... after years of research, both professionally and privately, I believe that Google creates biases in what we learn. Apart from the laziness of only searching the first few pages, much of what is known in the world isn't in a Google-friendly format. Also, Google presents the "object" and doesn't make the connections between objects. I have learnt loads more from here than Google. So, hopefully real searches will continue, alongside the artificial googling.


If you are suggesting that Google (or any other Internet search engine, for that matter) should not be regarded as the endpoint for research, I couldn’t agree with you more. Internet research is merely one of the many tools available to researchers. But let’s not forget the primary thrust of your initial post: “tell me something about this trick that isn’t in Magician’s Magic.” That’s a very broad question, and without arguing about whether you’ve learned more from the replies in this thread than you could have by googling, I’ll just say this: given the nature of you question, you could have learned a ton of information simply by googling. Now, had you instead had a question like, “Which generation of the Bamberg family introduced the Bonus Genius trick into its repertoire?”, or "Has anyone ever featured the Bonus Genius with the added twist of the severed head trick featured in Hero of Alexandria's Gli Artificiosi et Curiosia Moti Spiritali di Herrone?", those might be some questions which you’d have better luck getting answered here instead of googling.

As far as Google creating a “bias in what we learn,” virtually any resource has its biases, conscious or otherwise. It is up to the researcher to sift through and weigh the evidence that is found and determine, among other things, which information is more relevant, trustworthy, or merits additional consideration and/or inquiry. But this process is certainly not unique to the Internet age – it’s something that good researchers have always done. And, as you suggest, Google is generally not very helpful in making the “connections between objects.” But again, making such “connections” is one of the key tasks of good research and good research analysis, and an integral part of the aforementioned research process. Speaking for myself, as one who has done quite a bit of research, both online and otherwise, while I certainly don’t mind if my Internet or other research yields, in addition to raw information, such connections, it’s my job as a researcher to scrutinize those connections and make my own de novo as I see fit, according to the best of my abilities and knowledge. In other words, I don’t care if Google and other Internet search engines generally don’t do well in making such connections, because that should be my job as a researcher.

Finally, regarding the “hopefully real searches will continue, alongside the artificial googling” comment, I’m sure you will be able to clarify what you meant so your comment makes better sense, but reacting to that comment purely as written, I’d have to say that, IMHO, that’s an utterly ridiculous distinction. Online research is an incredibly valuable tool – just ask anyone who did research before the Internet. If I were given a choice between (a) having the Internet in 2010 and (b) being able to magically travel (i.e., no travel time or costs) to 10 libraries of my choice in which to do research, in all but perhaps the most extremely specialized or narrow of research, I’d select the Internet in a heartbeat.

Sure, with the Internet, there may be relatively more detritus to sift through, but if a researcher doesn’t have patience and perseverance, IMO he/she isn’t a good researcher. And generally, on the whole, one still saves valuable time in this digital age. Example: if one wanted to find all references to Maskelyne, Devant or Egyptian Hall in The London Times before this paper was digitized and indexed, it would have taken hundreds of hours to complete this task. Now, it can be done in minutes. And I can speak with first-hand experience about this. I’m doing research on a very specialized area of magic history, and by using the Internet, I’ve found references and resources that I never would have found pre-Internet. Sure, I had to wade through some junk information, but finding those valuable little historical nuggets was well worth the time and effort and, I hope, will help make the book that eventually gets published a worthwhile contribution to magic history.
funsway
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I agree with most of what Clay offers, except when considering the validity of information found. Too many younger people treat anything found on the Internet as 'valid' or 'true' with no attempt at collateral support -- especially if the item is 'first up' on their screen. Even more important, perhaps, is the matter of relevance. True, an experienced researcher will make good use of the tool -- but most people are not. Even at the Graduate level, if students are required to write a paper on a topic, they will usually select an article from the first page listing rather than find some article of value or personal importance. Just as WordSearch has tended to limit people's vocabulary (IMHO), Googling has limited a person's intellectual growth to items that others feel important, reducing "knowing" to "believing."

I shouldn't complain, though. I made a living as a business consultant because business owners couldn't find solutions for themselves.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Bill Palmer
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One of the problems I have run into with digitized copies of various and sundry sources is that, in several cases, the people doing the scanning have left off what they considered to be pages of no consequence. The example that first comes to mind is a digital copy of Hocus Pocus, Junior 1634 edition, that was missing the last two pages.

This was from a source that charges a fairly high subscription fee (NOT Conjuring Arts, BTW).
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Leslie Melville
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In the meantime - Bonus Genius/Genus?

Leslie
Stories....?....That's telling!
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