Heads up: the following videos and GIFs will definitely cause you to zone out and lose focus on whatever it is you're doing.
Here are 10 incredible optical illusions that will blow your mind! Which optical illusion do you think is the coolest?
Happy weekend! Time to relax and waste time. If you're a child at heart, or you've got a couple young ones hanging around, treat them to these old-school magic tricks, courtesy of Flickr user Jordan Smith. Smith generously scanned and uploaded a selection of cards from a postcard set published by the General Cigar "Hall of Magic" for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.
If you're willing to shell out for a mind-blowing party trick, here's another great one to add to your repertoire. Unfortunately this isn't a dirt cheap junk drawer DIY—you'll need a $40-$60 gallium kit (which doesn't include the spoon mold). What is gallium, you may ask? An amazing, man-made metal which melts at the low temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Plunk your trick spoon into a cup of hot water, and amaze. According to the Department of Energy, it's safe to handle as long as you don...
Wow, I'm excited. This one left me giddy. Fill a glass with water, give it a whirl, and voilà... let the debate begin. CGI or physics? Comment below.
You don't have to go the boring route with Christmas lights this year. Try hacking them, or better yet see if you can replicate this Tron-themed optical illusion made by WonderHowTo favorite Brusspup. Good luck... looks like it took some serious time and patience to get it right. More from Brusspup:
There's something charming about Professor Wiseman's speedy and concise delivery of 10 different magic/science party tricks, delivered in just over 4 minutes. A little something to entertain the family with this holiday season. Enjoy. (P.S. If you missed last year's, here's another 10 from the Professor -this time in 3:22):
A worthy addition to the world of outstanding chairs, this magical chair doesn't shrink in the morphing sense, but it does shrink to incredible compactness. Makes for a great magic trick prop, or a must-have for your next tailgate party. Previously, Self Healing Chair Picks Itself Up Off the Floor... Literally.
WonderHowTo favorite brusspup demonstrates an amazingly simple coin trick with a plastic hanger and a quarter. In fact, it seems almost too simple to be real.
The Illusion Contest of the Year recently announced their top ten finalists, and the overwhelming crowd and jury favorite is Impossible Motion: Magnet-like Slopes by Koukichi Sugihara of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences in Japan.
Wow. Really fantastic fire illusion by WonderHowTo favorite, BrussPup. Hang in there, the magic starts to happen at 0:34. Previously, Jerry Andrus and His Impossible Box.
American magician and master of endurance David Blaine delivers a TED talk on the challenge of holding one's breath for as long as humanly possible. Blaine currently holds the Guinness World Record for longest breath held, at 17 minutes. His journey to achieve this feat (described below) is quite interesting, don't miss it.
Boston.com's The Big Picture posts 2009's most amazing Guinness World Record holders. My favorite fanatics below.
A bunch of super cute Hong Kong kids totally kick ass, as they compete in the Pen Spinning World Tournament. Congrats to winning champion, 14-year-old Eugene, who says he practices every day for 4-5 hours.
Below is a great video that shows a classic illusion designed and built by Jerry Andrus. Jerry is a backyard magician and illusionist who created his own kind of special magic tricks for his entire life, up until his death in 2007.
Napalm Dragon has an incredible video of super slo-mo fire breathing. "There is no super imposing. This is 'as is' (Low Res) footage captured at 1,000 fps and 2,000 fps
Pen Spinning lives in a similar world of the unassuming arts of Cup Stacking and Dice Stacking. All three performing arts truly require a great deal of practice and skill.
Here Brian Brushwood deconstructs the 'Skewer through the Tongue' trick. Magic or not...we're still totally grossed out.
The design of these gloves makes them cheap and relatively safe. Layer up cotton-plastic-cotton gloves to create a barrier between your skin and the flaming lighter fluid. Use these fireproof gloves for movie SFX or a magic show. Or just to add some flair to your raver-style hand dancing.
Magic? Camera tricks? Did someone build an egg inside the bottle with tweezers as if it were a ship? Nope.
We were dumbfounded at first, too. But this jumping bean is momentum based, not larva powered. The erratic movement of these DIY foil toys is actually simple physics. Hint: there is a marble inside the aluminum foil. When the marble rolls internally to the foil's end, the foil-bean flips with the momentum. All this commotion mixed with some well coached hands makes for a magic jumping effect.
Really? A string? In half? Yes. This is not a hoax. Just old fashioned science.
Don't drink this! This is another one of our favorite science meets magic anti-gravity tricks. Ever see an ice cube sink?
The Zippo ain't no common Bic. This lighter is windproof, waterproof, electrocution proof... the list goes on! In the 1950's a fisherman found a Zippo in the belly of a fish. It worked on the first try!
Smoking fingers is a basic magic trick, but it still gets a wow up-close, especially if your audience is barside and slightly inebriated.
Mindfreak. Indeed. In the magic community, Criss Angel is considered a bit silly, albeit hardworking.
A 15 year old named Brandon reveals one of the great magic tricks of all time for Viewdo. If you try this on a friend who does not know this trick...you will be a GOD. The kid is good. He "sells" it too.
Made by our abrasive friends at Spike, this tutorial is actually well researched and happens to employ plain old common sense. (Ummm...common sense, being an attribute you are lacking if you are in handcuffs.)
When arch-skeptic Michael Shermer has you in his crosshairs, the act is over. Criss Angel has been debunked on WonderHowTo many times before. But this disclosure of the famous spoon bend is unlike the others.
Before your calls flood our command center, I'd like to clarify: anti-gravity is not real. It is a trick.
This is a simple trick of perfect balance. Seventeen dominoes balance on a single chip. The strategy implores you to be as patient and steady handed as a neurosurgeon.