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The Use of Handkerchiefs in Magic Tricks

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Handkerchiefs are not only used for hygienic and fashion purposes but also in the performance of magic tricks. Magic tricks involving the use of these square fabric materials have been practiced for centuries already. For the beginners or aspiring magicians, the use of hankies in tricks is one of those tricks that are easily learned.

There are two types of handkerchief materials that are commonly used in performing tricks. These are the linen and silk. The type of hanky that will be used for the presentation will depend on the trick that will be performed.

For tricks that involve making knots, the silk hankies are commonly used for that since they easily slip when making a tie. Other tricks require the use of linen handkerchiefs. Since linen is hard, it makes them suitable material when one wants to show a hypnotized effect on the hanky. Here are some of the examples of tricks that use a hanky as one of the props.

A Standing Hanky

This is the type of magic trick where the stiffness of the hanky determines the success of the presentation. It uses an ironed linen hankie to make it stiffer.

The trick begins with the folded hanky is handed to the magician who will spread it on the table and then pick it up on the centerfold, bringing it upward until it will form into a small tent while waving the other magical hand so that it would appear that the handkerchief stands on its own through the magician’s power.

Color Shifting Hanky

This is one of the magic tricks which may have minimal impact on adult audience but are quite appealing to children. Although it would require a lot of time for the preparation, this is perhaps one trick that is quite simple to learn.

The hanky used for this presentation is usually made from silk since they are light to toss in any direction. The performer uses two silk handkerchiefs of different colors but the performer will only show one of the hankies to the audience. As the shown hanky is tossed up and down, the performer will release the second hanky while hiding the first one which gives the audience the impression that the hanky changes its color.

There are basic rules when doing the different magic tricks with the use of handkerchiefs. First, one needs to be quick when performing the tricks so that spectators will not get any hint on how the tricks were made. Swiftness is the key in any successful magic tricks performance. Second, keep the tricks as discreet as possible to keep the audience guessing on how the tricks are done; otherwise, they will lose interest on the performance. Third, it is necessary to practice so that one should master every magic trick; thus, creating a flawless performance in front of the audience. Lastly, in every performance one should make it a habit to express a feeling of excitement, delight and eagerness towards the audience so that they will enjoy the performance more because of one’s attitude.

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Halloween – UK History and Traditions

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The festival of Halloween in the UK is over 2000 years old, dating back to the time of the Celts (600 BC-50 AD). The Celts celebrated the end of summer and the gathering in of the harvest with a festival called ‘Samhain’, which took place on the night of 31 October. Even then, this date had links with ghosts and the spirit world, as on this night the Celts believed that the boundaries between our world and the next would weaken, allowing the souls of dead to cross over and communicate with the living. A large part of the celebration involved the building of huge bonfires, which were thought to welcome friendly spirits and ancestors, but ward off those considered dangerous. People would dress up in animal heads and skins, and burn sacrifices and gifts in thanks for the harvest.

Samhain was also a time for divination and the telling of fortunes. Apples feature widely in these divination techniques. For example, when bobbing for apples, a tradition that still survives until today, the first person to take a bite out of an apple would be the first to marry that year. In addition, when peeling an apple, the longer the unbroken length of peel, the longer you would be destined to live.

Following the invasion of the Romans in 43 AD, two Roman festivals came to be celebrated at the same time as Samhain. The first was Feralia, a day when the Romans commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day in which they honoured Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees who was symbolized by the apple. The Romans were very open to the cultures of people they invaded, and they sought to merge their beliefs with those of the indigenous Celts. It is perhaps easy to see why these two festivals became linked closely with Samhain.

Christianity had spread into Celtic lands by the 800s and the Christian church appears to have practiced its usual policy of adopting pagan celebrations by converting Halloween into a Christian observance. By moving the old Christian festival of All Saints Day to 1 November, however, they maintained the link with remembering the dead. On All Saints Day, a mass was held to honour the saints and martyrs, and this was preceded on the day before (All Hallow’s Eve or Eve of All Saints – in Old English, hallow meant holy) by an overnight vigil. According to the early Christian church, this day also marked the release from purgatory of all souls for 2 days. All Souls Day, which commemorated the faithful departed, followed on 2 November. Together, the three festivals – the Eve of All Saints, All Saints Day and All Souls Day – became known as Hallowmass.

The custom of ‘trick-or-treating’, today a large part of Halloween celebrations, could possibly have part of its roots in the tradition of the baking of soul cakes. This was an important feature of All Souls’ Day (similar to the way we associate hot cross buns with Good Friday today), when beggars would wander from house to house, receiving gifts of food and money. In return for a soul cake, these ‘soulers’ would be expected to say prayers for those who had recently died, to speed up their passage through purgatory and into heaven. The ‘trick’ part of the custom appears to have arisen in the USA in the 1930s, where Halloween became to be associated with the playing of pranks and jokes.

Although the Church was successful in establishing Hallowmass as a Christian festival, many of the populace continued to practice the ancient customs and traditions linked with Samhain. With the reformation of the Church in the 16th century, celebrations of this sort were discouraged even more. However, following the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 many traditional Halloween practices, especially the building of bonfires, were transposed to 5 November (now known as Bonfire or Guy Fawkes Night). Although in England the celebration of Halloween gradually fell out of fashion in favour of Bonfire Night, the tradition was maintained for longer in both Ireland and Scotland, because of the strong Celtic links in these countries.

The resurgence in the celebration of Halloween that we have seen over the past 20 years or so, with its emphasis on dressing up as ghosts and witches, has largely been imported from the USA. Halloween and its more pagan traditions were first brought to the USA in the mid-1800s, when huge numbers of Irish immigrants fled to the USA following the Irish Potato Famine. Over time, the festival and its traditions evolved and crossed back over the Atlantic – giving us the celebration that we know and love (or hate!) today.

Conclusion
The celebration that we today know as Halloween dates back to an ancient festival of the Celts – Samhain. Despite the passing of 2000 years, it is still possible to trace some of the traditions we associate with Halloween – bonfires, and the link with ghosts and the spirit world – back to this early celebration of the end of summer and the gathering in of the harvest.

Sources:

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween
  • woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/Halloween/history.htm
  • ucc.ie/fecc/samhain.html
  • bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/halloween.shtml
  • americancatholic.org/Features/halloween/
  • chalicecentre.net/samhain.htm
  • bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/holydays/samhain.shtml
  • new-life.net/halowen1.htm
  • hauntedbay.com/history/bobbing.shtml
  • britainexpress.com/History/Celtic_Britain.htm
  • britainexpress.com/History/Roman_invasion.htm
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How to Become a Street Photographer

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Street photography is probably one of he most difficult genres of photography, as it is based on the unknown. You can select a frame shot, but you can never select the characters in it or how they will behave to make your picture look good. In modern terms you could call street photography an art snapshot. It is a snapshot after all.

There are street photographers who are like ghosts. You don’t notice them and you certainly don’t notice them photographing you. They carry small cameras and they have learned the trick of focusing the lens by judging the distance between the subject and the camera and adjusting the focus ring based on that distance. Basically, they shoot from the hip, with wide lenses to compensate for framing defects as they don’t actually see the frame, they can only guess it. With such a behavior, it is normal not to see them. They are not paparazzi, but the people tend to control themselves when a person aims a camera at them. By shooting without their knowledge, you can capture genuine expressions which are the heart of street photography.

Stalk people. It’s not illegal on the street. See a person you like, walk with them, follow them until you can get a shot of them. Go for public places so you won’t get the police on your head. Try to follow facial expressions and move like lightning when one that you like comes up. It’s all in the expression, and that’s what you’re supposed to be hunting. Never take close shots. Make the subject and the surroundings a part of your composition. Some bland in, some stand out, but that’s the diversity and the fun of it. A suit and tie in an abandoned factory looks better than a homeless in an abandoned factory. Contrast is the key.

Carry small equipment. Do not go street photographing with big heavy cameras and lenses that look like bazookas, people will notice you right away. Use small cameras, the smallest possible, because quality is not an issue. the best street photography in the world has some of the worst image quality as well.

Always ask for permission afterward. Take your shots, then talk to your subjects. It is extremely unfair and annoying to them to find out they were photographed later on, when your work becomes public. Respect them and, if required, respect their privacy.

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Discover the Top 7 Lead Generation Methods for Your Business (And Understand Them)

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Just like the classic real estate industry question: “What are the TOP 3 most important features of any property?” (location, location, location) – the single most important fuel you’ll ever create, buy or wish you had for your business is leads, leads, leads! Doesn’t it make sense to know and understand the top 7 ways to generate leads?

Production Method # 1:

Direct Visual Impact. Impact? Really? Really! Unfortunately, when it comes to direct lead generation like it has been done for decades, most people get it wrong. It doesn’t matter if it is a sign on the side of your vehicle, building or bandit signs, you must be direct, powerful and short with your message. Your colors must be bright and high contrast. Yellow and black signs work best, period. The sign area must be maximized so that letters are as big as possible. Become a sign sage – evaluate readability, placement and “attention factor” of every sign you see. Emulate the best of what you see.

Production Method # 2:

It is very important that you become hyper-aware of the power of coupons. You can easily make a business card that is also a coupon. When you do this, you are adding huge power to every card you give out. Can you put flyers on car windows? If you put a flyer on my windshield, it makes me want to meet you to give you a piece of my mind. When you put a valuable coupon the size of a business card just above my door handle in the window rubber, I will put it in my wallet – BIG difference!

Production Method # 3:

The U.S. Post Office (USPS) is now offering delivery of an 8″ x 11″ flyer for 16 cents per mail box. This is an amazing deal. It gets better. You can sell advertising on a flyer to other businesses that do not compete with you and cover your cost. Please understand, you can get 5,000 double sided color flyers that are plastic coated for about $400. You can see, with both sides available for ads (coupons) you’ll have plenty of space to sell and at the same time, your ad (coupon) appears on a portion of the same flyer. This is endless free advertising in exchange for a little work. You could even make money while getting your ad for free!

Production Method # 4:

We all hate email SPAM, don’t we? However, you may not realize that you have probably responded to a SPAM email at some time. From that email, you may have built trust in the person who sent you the original SPAM. SPAM is legal if you follow some simple rules – Google it. Major corporations use legal email SPAM. Most people don’t realize that the SPAM law is actually the CAN-SPAM law (meaning you can spam as long as you follow a half dozen simple rules).

How can you do it so no one gets upset? Offer free help or valuable information. I did this with real estate agents (for example). I sent them valuable tips they had never been sent before. I told them in the original email that I would continue to send tips unless they unsubscribed. I made it extremely easy for them to unsubscribe. I quickly built a big list which accepted my emails. I eventually made an offer of my product to them in the same email with a tip. My product was real estate buyer leads which we (my son and I) produced on the internet. We offered a great bargain. It is because we continued offer free great information along with the product offer that very few unsubscribed.

Production Method # 5:

Run a simple drawing for something. We have all put our business card in a box for a free lunch. If you have a brick and mortar business, you can do this to get attention for a new product in your inventory. Make the drawing for that product. Put the drawing date out about 60 days. People will give you their name, email and cell phone number. Follow up and offer them a “special phone offer” discount for the product.

Production Method # 5:

Create a business card rack in your shop. You can buy these racks as well. They are designed to hold about 20 business cards in up to 60 slots. Next, buy some $1 or $2 desktop plastic business card holders. Make a business card coupon. Visit local businesses around your business. Introduce yourself and say, “I would like to ask a favor – would you put my cards on your counter?” Show them your 40 cards in the little individual rack. Ask for their cards – “I’ll display your cards in my shop.” This works like a charm!

Production Method # 6:

The famous review service (YELP) is a powerful lead generator. Most people do not realize that they must register their business with YELP. Google+ is powerful as well. Get registered at both, now! Start writing YELP reviews on every business service you use. Write honest reviews. Your reviews will be posted by YELP only after you have written multiple reviews.

Production Method # 7:

Online lead production. How do you get leads online? There are several ways – it is a big subject. Google has (recently and once again) made changes… and now, You Tube clips seem to have more power than ever. If you don’t know how to make and upload You Tube clips, consider investing the time. Another time tested method is to create simple but powerful capture website pages. These pages typically make a true and powerful offer of something of real value, for free.

What ever you do, never stop generating leads. Build sustainable systems that are easy to maintain. You will be a big success.

What should you do next?

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