The Sciences

Magic or Science? At an L.A. Festival, It's Hard to Tell the Difference

DiscoblogBy Eliza StricklandApr 28, 2010 10:57 PM


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It's Science vs. Magic week at L.A.'s Magic Castle, where comic magician Rudy Coby and his friends have taken over the Victorian mansion-styled club, and where waitresses are sporting lab coats and serving drinks in test tubes. Coby is reprising his mad scientist alter-ego Labman after a 15-year hiatus--during which time he crafted stage shows for one-time roommate goth rocker Marilyn Manson, who threatens a surprise cameo as "The Evil Magician" at one of Coby's performances. The event is an ode to magic's time-honored and gleeful distortion of scientific and technological principals. Coby's Hypnotron 2000 makes it look like your skin moves after staring at a spinning wheel. Andrew Mayne--who creates illusions for David Blaine and Penn & Teller, and also produced the G4 Network's quirky G4 Underground--unveils a don't-try-this-at-home effect that has him drinking –320 Fahrenheit liquid nitrogen. College favorite Brian Brushwood has audience members use cell phones to capture a ghostly image on TV static patterns that their eyes miss (pictured). For the kids this weekend, mad scientist Prof. Wes Weasely wields audio magic with his theremin. More surprise guests are planned Thursday through Sunday. -- by Sue Karlin Related Content: Discoblog: Crazy Optical Illusion of the Day Discoblog: To Levitate Water, Turn on the Strobe Lights Discoblog: Prepare to Be Amazed… An iPhone App That Can Read Minds! DISCOVER: The Mathematics of... Shuffling

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