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Ian Rowland
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Hi guys. A quick survey, so please respond, even if it's just to say Yes or No.



Many moons ago, Martin Gardner published the idea of using black coffee as an impromptu shiner. If written information is passed 'face down', so to speak, over a cup of black coffee, M suggests it is possible to glimpse the reflection in the surface of the coffee.



I'm a huge MG fan, don't get me wrong. But I seriously doubt anyone has ever used this in real life, as a genuinely deceptive method, because it's just too plain difficult to get it to work reliably. You need the lighting and the angles to be just exactly right before it will work.



So, have you ever used this in real-life? Or have you ever heard of anyone using it?



Thanks for your responses.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Absolutely! It works great at well-lit, breakfast oriented cafes with flourescent lights. Another great shiner is to lick your thumbnail.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Steve Brooks
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I used a butter knife once, worked like a charm. Coffee? Very possible. I say if the moment is there, use it. Smile
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Bengi
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Regular or Decaf?



Bengi Smile
Rob Wallis
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Living in California, my coffee always has foam on top. But, if the situation was right, I'd give it a try Smile
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Mya Angel
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I take mine with whipped cream on it.

:bigsmile:



Smile
There is nothing that remains so constant as change. Don't end up like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set. Smile



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kuffs
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I donít know if the coffee thing is very practical... in real life condition.



But.., Mr. Rowland used it on a demonstration of psychic feats on TV, and it looked very good.



At least in this TV shot situation.



Well done, Mr. Rowland....



kuffs



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Ian Rowland
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"But.., Mr. Rowland used it on a demonstration of psychic feats on tv , and it looked very good."





Patrick, mon ami, thatís the whole point! Even with all the resources of a TV studio, it took us about 20 minutes to adjust camera angles and lighting conditions so that it would seem to work. This matches my own experience of trying to make this work in real life i.e. itís so unreliable as to be strictly impractical. However, Iím always willing to learn from othersí experience, hence my question to the rest of the Cafť!



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Lee Marelli
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I am siding with Ian on this one (apologies to the Great Scott). When I read about it some time ago, I tried it. Too unreliable for me. It takes the right cup, filled to the right level, under the right lighting. You better have strong misdirection, as well. There are too many other methods to achieve the same results in a close-up situation. But then, one person's garbage is another person's treasure. Whatever works for you.
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Scott F. Guinn
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First off, itís just "Great Scott." No "the."



Second, I donít think this is a particularly teriffic or practical method. The question was, "Have you ever used this in real life?" Yes, I have, in a well-lit cafe where a friend and I frequently go for breakfast, and it worked great--in that lighting with that cup.



I agree that there are lots of better shiners, and I have used some of them in certain situations where the others would have been bad. But in my paid work, I never use a shiner, simply because nothing in my professional repertoire calls for one. Which doesnít at all mean that shiners are bad, or good.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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poire
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Thought of this myself a while back... pleasing to find out MG invented it. I rejected it for the same reasons... just too uncommon to have the right conditions. Settled on clear varnished nail as standard (found licking too haphazard) Can I hijack this thread and ask if anyone has had success with eye reflection as a possible Shiner?
Tom Cutts
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Yes, but I found it awkward..their eye..licking. Smile



Just didn't seem worth the effort.



:lol: Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile



Sorry, couldn't resist.
Ian Rowland
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Quote:

On 2001-12-02 10:58, poire wrote:

Can I hijack this thread and ask if anyone has had success with eye reflection as a possible Shiner?



Hi Poire. Thanks for your reply (and the others). To answer your specific question, I have tried eye reflection on very few occasions, and always in relatively safe íinformalí conditions where I could try things out without a whole lot depending on the outcome. In my limited experience, it _does_ work pretty well, but it tends to be obvious what youíre doing.



The subtler variation, which is probably only worthwhile to those who choose to be known as írealí psychics, is to let spectators use this principle themselves _without_ them being aware what they are doing.



For example, you are working with Anne and Ben. Get them opposite one another. Get Ben to draw a letter on a Post-It Pad but not to let Anne see it.



(Kindly supply a marker pen for Ben to use. Oops, it just happens to be one with a fat, thick, broad nib. Also, as you gesture to the Post-It Pad with your finger, trace quite a bold, large imaginary letter D. This conveys the kind of size and boldness you want him to draw, without any obvious explicit instruction, and he might also take the hint and draw a letter D.)



Get Ben to hold the pad up so that he can focus with his mind on the letter heís drawn. Youíre actually making sure heís holding it in front of his *eyes*, but you never mention his eyes. You only ever mention him focusing with the strength and clarity of his *mind*. Invite Anne to relax, and to tap into the intuitive potential which she has. Tell her not to worry that she canít see anything, because she wonít be seeing with her eyes so much as seeing with her mind, which knows no limits of "can" or "cannot". Get her to focus on Benís thoughts and to try and reach for some mental rapport.



I could expand this description forever, but I wonít. Suffice it to say that without ever telling her to do so, you encourage Anne to at least intermittently stare into Benís eyes. There is at least a chance that she will pick up on the letter via reflection in Benís eye *without realizing it*.



Then she guesses which letter she thinks it is. If the subliminal eye shiner has worked, sheíll say "D". Even if it hasnít, you might get lucky, because "D" is often chosen (this is why I suggested you use it for your sublimial cue).



If it works, give Anne the credit for her intuition, give Ben the credit for beng a good subject with clear focus of mind, and you donít need to take any credit for yourself. Never worry - they will never forget you so long as they live.



Final note: make the woman the mind-reader, because women enjoy the role more and invest it with more belief. Make the man the writer because they enjoy that role more and *write with bigger, bolder strokes*.



If you hate risky stuff that might go nowhere (and if you do, you are missing out on a whole heap of fun), then you can have a backup effect with letters ready which will always come out just fine and vindicate Anneís intuitive abilities. I could suggest examples here but (a) I think everyone hereabouts probably has his own favourites and (b) this is supposed to be a predominantly no-secrets no-methods forum.



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Ambassador_Randall
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Greetings



Itís in my experience fully possible to use black coffee as a shiner. Itís possible but not really easy, as I think itís hard to do it naturally. You should not be caught staring down at the coffee cup, so you only get a very quick glimpse. I donít think itís a good idea to try to read something written that way, itís too hard and the "impression" you get from the glimpse becomes both too brief and too vague. Itís better to try to use this method in design duplications, as you donít need a good peek to understand what has been drawn. Only a quick glimpse is enough.

But still itís not the most reliable method, so you should be prepared to fail. If you are a mind reader thatís fine, but if you are magician thatís not so fine.



Best Wishes

The Ambassador
Scott O.
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Quote:

On 2001-11-29 16:29, greatscott wrote:

. . . Another great shiner is to lick your thumbnail.





Iíve done a great amount of reading and study of magic in the past few years, but Iíve never heard of licking your thumbnail to use as a shiner. Is this a real method Smile I tried it just now with no success at all.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Jonathan
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Hi all, I'm back. I occasionally use uncertain effects because when they work it's absolutely phenomenal. For example, I was trying to convince a girl that mindreading was possible and I did something I've never done before. I don't know why I did it, I just felt like it would work for some strange reason. I have NO idea what I would have done if it hadn't worked. I had an extra card in my wallet just in case I wanted to do a card to wallet routine and had left it in there for about a month ( soggy card). I explained I had a card in my wallet because I had an incomplete deck and was taking it home to make it complete. I took out my wallet and put it on the table. I asked her to make her mind completely dark (it was the 5 of clubs so I wanted her to think black) and see if an image came to her. I reminded her not to pick her favorite card, but to allow the image to form by itself. I told her to visualize the pips forming (ruling out all face cards, a spur-of-the-moment idea I had...I'm sure this has been used before by someone) and made my finger loop around in a circle like a club pip to subliminally make her think clubs instead of spades. I figure since 5 is halfway between 1 and 10 there was a good chance she would pick it.



She stared at the wallet and so help me she got it right on the nose!!! I had her open the wallet up and take out the card. Talk about a convincer and reputation maker!!! ha ha ha.



I don't think I'll EVER try anything that risky again, but for some strange reason I knew it would work, so I went for it. Usually when I do effects that are uncertain I have a really good way of covering it up at the end so that they never knew what happened. I'm pretty quick on my feet, but not quick enough to make up if that one time trick had gone wrong!



Jonathan Grant
Drewmcadam
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So, back to the shiner...



Just had a wee ďthinkĒ about this. Wouldnít it be great if, rather than choking on black coffee, you used tea, milk, whiskyÖ whatever. What if the shiner were not the DRINK, but the coaster? (The little mat that the drink rests on, whatever you call them in the US). Imagine a little round coaster made from something glossy and, preferably black. It doesnít look out of place. Itís protecting the table from your drinkÖ The drink is lifted and you take a sip as the item to be peeked is passed over the shiner - sorry, coaster - then the drink is placed back, covering the gimmick again. Cool, or what?
Ian Rowland
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Quote:

On 2001-12-11 11:55, Jonathan wrote:

I don't think I'll EVER try anything that risky again, but for some strange reason I knew it would work, so I went for it.


You may like to take a look at Derren Brown's new video, The Devil's Picture Book. He provides a lot of strong material along these lines, and takes the whole 'think a card' idea further than he did in 'Pure Effect'.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
magus
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drew-

great idea! Picking up the cup and drinking gives you an excuse to bring your other hand over the mat, and replacing the cup gives you motivation to peek. very natural! Smile
crappy deium-



what a lousy day to be seized



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Jonathan
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Ian, or Mr. Rowland...



I have not seen Derren Brown before except in his web page. Is the video an instructional one or just a performance video? Any stage stuff or just close-up?



Jonathan Grant
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