Articles  >  Enjoy  >  No Palmistry - Just Sleight of Hand

No Palmistry - Just Sleight of Hand

Author: 05.08.2014 | personalities
On August, 5, 1926 illusionist Harry Houdini made the whole world talk about him yet again. He spent as long as an hour in a closed coffin under water and managed to successfully surface. Today on this sultry summer day OUTLOOK recalls great magicians and their crazy stunts - we hope that chills that some of them give will help you deal with heat.

Harry Houdini's life is veiled in mystery since the moment of his birth. According to the official version, he was born in Budapest in a jewish family that moved to the USA in four years. Nevertheless, the illusionist himself insisted that it had been America where he saw the world. Anyway, it was there, in local bars, where Harry became famous, performing such elegant card tricks that oftentimes customers raised hobs thinking they were purposly made drunk and made fool of. Initially Harry was performing with his brother, but the latter one never went further than a career at entertainment establishments while Harry had always longed for more... Fall into the River Thames in irons and with a ball weighing 30Kg, escape from a condemned cell at Butyrka prison, vanishing an elephant in front of thousands of witnesses, flight over Australia on a biplane - all in all, an eccentric American Magyar or Hungarian American wasn't letting humankind forget about him down the road. In early 20th century his popularity equalled to the one of Nikola Tesla. And there were definitely no less myths about him than there were about Balkan scientist and mystifier.

Nevertheless, there were daredevils who defied him. Canadian Dai Vernon was referred to in no other way but 'Professor' or 'The Man Who Fooled Houdini'. The thing is that Harry boasted more than once that he was able to repeat any trick if he was shown it three times. In 1919 Vernon demonstrated him his trick"The Ambitious Card" as many as eight times yet maestro failed to figure it out anyway.

That moment Dai's fame kicked off. The Canadian raised more than one generation of apprentices and his card tricks are considered classics till now. According to contemporaries, he was a true gentleman with the only person he spoke ill of being Houdini. Well, we must have compared an American to Nikola Tesla for a reason. Houdini vs Vernon standoff reminds competition of Tesla vs Edison way too much.

Generation of 80s - 90s are more familiar with another character - David Copperfield. Descendant of Soviet Russia immigrants, David Kotkin, who adopted the nane of Charles Dickens character as his stage name. As early as at the age of 16 young man was teaching elder students tricks at New York University. Six years later Copperfield appeared on TV and peope outside NewYork found out about his talents. Show with his participation that was on air on CBS channel became prime time leader in an instant. Among the illusionist's main "wows" are vanishing of the Statue of Liberty, flight over the Grand Canyon, walking throuh the Great Wall of China, falling from Niagara Falls and many other things. Lately David distanced a bit from his primary occupation and currently nearly all of his time is taken by working at his own restaurant in New York. The establishment is distinguished for there are no waiters at all. A voice from the dark asks clients what they wish and later dishes materialize on tables. Also, Kotkin-Copperfield volunteers to help disabled people by teaching them dexterous moves and uncovering concealed abilities of their bodies.

Israeli Uri Geller spent all of 1970s stopping cataclysms and solving mysteries live on the air. In his days he failed to become an officer: he was expelled for sleeping at watch. Being left with no living maintenance at a young age the guy decided that he was a messenger of a higher wisdom. Thank to the talent of producer Andrea Bukharish Western television accepted him with arms outstreched - it is no laughing matter, our hero became skillful at bending spoons with a simple hand's stroke and making watches stop. These tricks helped him earn millions, however he was never recognized in his Motherland - in due time he offered to bring Ariel Sharon back from coma but polititian's relatives responded with a denial.

David Blane is a hero of 2000s and anexpert in low-cost street magic, which constitutes the main difference between him and namesake Copperfield with his multimillion performances. Son of a Puerto Rican and Soviet Jewish is famous for phenomenal abilities of his body. For instance, his record of staying under water with no air is 17 minutes. And that's not all - in a decade of his activity the man managed to spend 44 days incarcenated without food on the surface of the River Thames, become frozen and unfrozen, stand on the top of a column for 35 hours and revive a couple hundred pigeons. Despite weird and defiant manner of expressing himself, even experts often fail to find reasons to justify his tricks somehow.

Photos from open sources.

Main photo from "Prestige" the movie

It will be interesting:
Look at us, or Continuous music of Lubomyr Melnyk
The music as long as the eternity or, in other words, Continuous music is the genre which causes loud arguments in professional circles. Lubomyr Melnyk, Canadian composer of Ukrainian origination sees in his ‘child’ Continuous music continuation of classic traditions. Which rules his scripts follow will OUTLOOK tell in the following material of the rubrics ‘Look at us!’
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
On the 26-th of October it will be going a desirable premier of documental and biographic movie ‘Dancer’ on the price of success paid by the artist of ballet Serhii Polunin. Being originated from Kherson, he accidentally appeared in the Royal Theater in London where he became an overnight success but then went off the grid to get even more love of the spectators. Today OUTLOOK continues the cycle of materials about successful Ukrainians.
Not by tower alone
The word is, Guy de Maupassant hated Eiffel Tower. The famous writer believed that it was uglifying the face of Paris without benefiting the city. Nevertheless, he could be often seen in a cozy cafe on the top of the construction. In such cases the author of “Bel Ami” used to say that “it was the only way the damned tower dropped out of his sight…”
Swedish Loner Ingmar Bergman
On July 14, 1918 in a Swedish town called Uppsala a man was born to create over 50 movies and direct several dozens of plays that raised the ante in art to an almost inaccessible level. Even today while watching his film created as much as half a century ago you realize that there is nothing they’ve lost – it’s more like they’ve gained.
Experience: Grygorii Rashetnik
Having woken up and switched on TV, we are filling our house with the positive, energy, and bubbly laughing of those who make each our day easier and funnier on another side of the screen. Sometimes a spectator feels that world of television is the absolute holiday and festival, but too frequently our good mood and careless day is followed by the accurate and from times to times such a responsible work… Today the TV-host Grigoriy Reshetnyak shares with our readers the story of his success.
"TO BE HOME IS TO FEEL SECURE". Memory of Yasser Arafat Honored in Kiev
“To be home is to feel secured…” – these words belong to the founder and first head of Palestinian National Authority, fighter for freedom of Palestine, Nobel Prize winner Yasser Arafat. On November 11 Palestinian leader’s commemoration evening was held in Kyiv orchestrated by Embassy of Palestine in Ukraine and Palestinian expatriates.
Ousama Kafa: Recession-proof Person in Times of Crisis
Brave and talented people who aren’t afraid to develop and launch new focus areas of their business even in seemingly unfavorable times certainly deserve respect. One of such heroes of our times is a famous Ukrainian restaurateur Ousama Kafa, founder of L’Kafa Group.
You probably know, or certainly heard about Calvin Klein and his contribution to the world of fashion. However, less known is the fact that Kelvin’s parents and grandmother came from Hungary. So, today we are telling our readers about people with real Hungarian hearts...
Packed and Ready: Masha Shubina
OUTLOOK launches a new rubric "Packed and Ready" in which we will talk about travel and favorite countries famous and successful people. First share with our readers your travel experience agreed, the artist Masha Shubina.
No Battery: Tortures with Art
There is a reason why they say that even goods things are good to an extent – even art served in a certain manner may not just bring joy and help experience catharsis but also break psyche down. On how exactly beauty serves as an instrument of torture – read below in Outlook.
I came, I saw, I built
Sometimes it happens that you look at a postcard with a picture of a city and instantly realize that this is Kyiv, or Moscow, or Rome or your native village. And it isn’t courtesy of your geography teacher but back-breaking efforts of artisans with whose hands commonly familiar architecture masterpieces were created. Today we recall Italian conqueror of marble Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
White Jazz Syncopation
“I don’t mean a thing if it ain’t that swing”, - that’s what famous jazz musician Glenn Miller used to say. African slaves brought to the USA began performing ‘dotty’ rhythm and swinging pulsations for white jazzmen to take up mysterious syncope later. At that, “black” and “white” jazz were going in separate directions: Africans preferred improvisation while Europeans opted for ready melodies.
On A Bike Around The World. Part 1
Round-the-world trip on a motor bike of a famous actor Evan McGregor that he undertook together with his friend a couple of years ago is still fresh in our memories. But one thing is a Hollywood star and merely the fact of two adult men on the road – and a completely different situation is when a fragile woman is riding all by herself. Outlook tells about an incredibly brave Ukrainian Anna Grechishkina who is crossing the planet on her iron horse as we speak to put into practice I Have a Dream project.
EXCLUSIVE: President of Bulgaria Visits Ukraine for the First Time in 12 Years
The President of Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev has come to Kiev with his official visit. The head of the Republic has already met with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko; Ukrainian leader announced it on his Facebook page.
Experience: Igor Nazarov
With the assistance of European Business Association and its project Hopes and Fears, THEOUTLOOK.COM.UA continues its series of features EXPERIENCE where you learn secrets of career success from top managers in modern business. Igor Nazarov, Country Manager at Brown Forman Ukraine, shared his story with representatives of companies that are members of European business Association and with our readers. Portfolio of Ukrainian Office of the company includes such well-known premium alcohol brands as Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia and El Jimador.
On the eve of the 36th session of the Ukrainian Fashion Week, THEOUTLOOK.COM.UA goes on publishing Experience articles from which you will learn the secrets of successful careers of contemporary top managers and latest facts about development of their activities. Today meet another professional - the founder of the Ukrainian Fashion Week (UFW) Iryna Danylevska.
"Movies from the station": the birth of cinema
Every year over 4 thousand movies are released. In India alone a couple of locally produced films come out daily. And as far back as some hundred years ago all of this didn’t exist. It was only in 1896 when viewers saw the famous “Train Pulling into a Station” by Lumière brothers for the first time.
Outlook facebook page