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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Three Card Box Illusion Gospel Illustration (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicBus
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My thanks to MagicBob for telling me about this simple effect below. He picked up this fun idea at the 2016 FCM convention (which he said the lecture content there was excellent). I am looking forward to the 2017 convention June 19-23 which will be in Indianapolis.

Effect: Three card boxes are placed on the table. Spectator lifts up all three boxes, seems rather light in weight. Spectator then lifts up top card box only- this box alone seems MUCH heavier than when all the three boxes combined were picked up previously. How can that be? See this effect demonstrated on www.youtube.com by putting ""Three Card Box Illusion" in the search box. The secret? -there is none- it just works! Try it, you won't believe it. This is some kind of goofy no one really knows why brain/hand/automatic muscle nerve thingy. The bottom two card boxes are empty, the top one is filled with coins or a steel bar or something else heavy (see my notes below for what I specifically did). This is a great little non-pick-a-card effect if you need a quick aside, particularly if you do lots of card tricks with lots of various decks.

What I did is went over to Dollar General, bought three different $1 decks of cards so I'd have three different card boxes. The cards I put rubber bands around and put them away in my junk box. I bought a small Rubbermaid plastic box to keep the card cases in so I would not smash the empty cases carrying them around. In the youtube video, the effect is done on the top of similar clear case to show there is no magnet underneath the boxes. In the top card box, I placed THREE 1/2-13 "X3" Hex Bolts ZP(BJE) purchased at The Home Depot for 73 cents each. The three bolts are very heavy and fit perfectly into one card box.

My initial Gospel routine (I will probably modify it more as I hopefully can use it. You may have your own totally different ideas, I would love to see your ideas posted below):

"When my wife and I were dating in 1976, "our song" was "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Everywhere we went, every live band we heard was playing that song. We just loved it! One radio station played that song only for 24 hours straight."

"Would you like to see my card boxes to heaven?"

"The bottom card box is what some folks use as their stairway to heaven. It is relying on "being a good person". Author Ray Comfort has asked thousands of people if they thought they were a good person- almost every person says- of course I am!" "But the Bible says, all including you, me, my pastor and every good person on the planet has fallen short- there is no one good enough who can earn heaven by his own good deeds." (Romans 3:23) Place the second box on next on this first box.

"This second box which folks often use to build their stairway to heaven is by doing religious type things. They place their hope on going to church on Christmas and Easter. They donate money to church once in awhile- almost like the lady in the song who is "buying her stairway to heaven". They are what Francis Chan writes about in his great book "Crazy Love" - he calls these folks being "lukewarm Christians". I must I myself was one of these type of folks exactly for many years. Jesus said: Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart"- not just by serving Him our leftovers." (Matthew 22:37-38)

"I am going to place this third box on top of the other two card boxes, and we will look at this third box in a minute. Please pick up all three boxes first (magician demonstrates first), then pick up the top box only last" (magician also demonstrates). "Go ahead, first pick up the first three boxes- pretty light eh?" "Now, just pick up the top box only- wow!- it's heavier alone than all of the three boxes combined! How can that be?" (It up to you as the magician if the spectator does this more than once. Every time I have done this trick so far, the spectator wants to lift the boxes multiple times. If you can get them to stop at doing it twice or three time, you're doing great. The good news is this "trick" will work multiple times in a row).

"That top box is really heavy, isn't it? No matter what we do to build our stairway to heaven, the top box is the heaviest burden of all- and removing the other lower 2 boxes does not help, it only gets worse." (Magician opens top box, dumps out the three bolts onto the table). "We need to get rid of this heavy weight- as the Bible says that our stairway to heavy is not a burden, but is light- a joy!" (Matthew 11:30). "These heavy bolts represent sin, that is exactly what needs to be removed from our lives. Every time I see the word sin, I oddly think of how it is spelled: S-I-N. Coaches will often say- there is no "I" in TEAM. But there IS the big letter "I" right in the middle of sin- I have seen the problem- and it is I. The thoughts I think, the Ten Commandments I break when I speak harshly, or covet what some one else has, or refuse to praise the perfect God who made me and instead spend all my time thinking about other things--- These are all the result of my own thoughts actions- and I can't instead blame my breaking God's law on my parents, my old high school teachers or my co-workers now."

"What did Jesus do?- He was nailed to a cross- and these bolts remind me a little bit of the heavy nails that were put through Jesus' hands and feet to attach him to that cruel cross (place/point a bolt toward the front of your palm)- He took our sins upon himself so we would not be punished for what we deserved. One my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 6:23- the wages of sin is death!- our death- but the verse doesn't end there- as the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. That is my only stairway to heaven- to believe that Jesus died for my sin, that he rose from the dead, that we all truly need Him to save us. Otherwise, our trying is about as worthless and empty (show the other two card boxes empty) as stacking up an endless bunch of card boxes together and hoping we can climb them somehow to reach the top of the Empire State Building."

"Well, thanks for letting me share with you my Stairway to Heaven with you, did you like it? Any comments?- I can take it. Do you feel like I did before about trying before to rely on our own set of boxes?" (Then continue to carry on conversation where-ever it goes... take the time whatever is needed... this illustration is not about the magic for sure but turning/maybe steering the conversation toward spiritual things and what has been truly given to us by God- which many folks may often think about but rarely openly discuss). Smile
Terry Holley
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Interesting effect! I had to try it out for myself. Thanks for sharing.
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
jamiedoyle
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Lafayette, IN
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It works! Thanks for sharing.
Jamie Doyle

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MagicBus
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You are welcome. Smile I did "Multum in Parvo" milk effect yesterday for kids Sunday School (ages PreK- through 4th) - used the four different sizes of milk glasses to illustrate four types of prayers (and had the kids read four different verses) including praying for BIG things- largest glass- (such as for very "big" things such as our "kings" and those placed in authority over us) down to very SMALL things- smallest glass (e.g. praying about "everything" per Philippians 4:6).
nattefrost
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Just saw this effect for the first time today.....a nice subtlety you can do is make the 2 boxes with the styrofoam in them look full is use the card box lines like Paul Harris” vanishing deck gimmick. Cut the lines part off and glue it to the styrofoam on each one so you can open the box and show it “full”.
John Long
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The single did not feel heavier than the set of 3, for me. Is this a joke?
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On Dec 1, 2019, John Long wrote:
The single did not feel heavier than the set of 3, for me. Is this a joke?

Not a joke. It works. What exactly did you do?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iItQVjrk00g
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
John Long
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Terry

I just picked up the 3, placed them down, then picked up just the top. Was there something else to do?

I will say that just picking up the top deck didn't feel much different than all three.

That last statement/observation may be a clue..

Could this be like the old gag/trick of two people putting their hand in separate containers of water; then they put their hand in a common container. One thinks the common container has hot water and the other thinks it is cold water. Why? conditioning and expectation.

Card boxes are so light that we can't easily tell the difference in weight, and our mind tricks us: since we are expecting the individual box to be much lighter than the three, but it feels about the same, and our mind says: "it is heavier than expected" and concludes that it is heavier than the 3.

A test of my hypothesis: For anyone who really thought the single felt heaver than the trio; create a "handle" for separate sets of 1 & 3. Pick up each set and see if the single still seems heavier (they might), then have someone hand you the handle portion while you are blind folded - they will probably seem about the same, or the single a little lighter.

Let me know your results.

John
Terry Holley
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Quote:
On Dec 5, 2019, John Long wrote:
Terry

I just picked up the 3, placed them down, then picked up just the top. Was there something else to do?

I will say that just picking up the top deck didn't feel much different than all three.

That last statement/observation may be a clue..

Could this be like the old gag/trick of two people putting their hand in separate containers of water; then they put their hand in a common container. One thinks the common container has hot water and the other thinks it is cold water. Why? conditioning and expectation.

Card boxes are so light that we can't easily tell the difference in weight, and our mind tricks us: since we are expecting the individual box to be much lighter than the three, but it feels about the same, and our mind says: "it is heavier than expected" and concludes that it is heavier than the 3.

A test of my hypothesis: For anyone who really thought the single felt heaver than the trio; create a "handle" for separate sets of 1 & 3. Pick up each set and see if the single still seems heavier (they might), then have someone hand you the handle portion while you are blind folded - they will probably seem about the same, or the single a little lighter.

Let me know your results.

John

Did you have the two bottom empty and something in the top box? My two bottom boxes are empty and my top box has a deck of cards in them.

I had about 10 magic club members try this and I believe all but one experienced the effect.

Here are some links to explanations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Size%E2%80%93weight_illusion

http://hallucinations.enacademic.com/305......illusion

A very technical paper: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10......3127.pdf
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
John Long
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Wooops..

I missed one detail... all 3 of my boxes were the same. Mea Culpa!

Trial #2; Following the instructions


RESULT
Lifting the 3 seemed light (relative to my expectations, presumably for 3 full decks);
but lifting just the top, it seemed ~normal (for my expectation for a single deck)

Now although this seems more consistent with other's experience; it was not quite the same: the single full deck just seemed normal (NOT heavier)


Here, I think my mind was comparing the actual mass to my *expectation*

Lift of 3:
I mentally compared the weight of the 2 empty + 1 full deck to 3 full decks. Result: it seemed light


Lift of single full deck:
I think my mind compared the weight of this to my expectation of the weight of a single full deck, and it seemed normal (not heavier)

John
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