iCut Magic Revew

icut head

iCut is a package of videos by a renowned Australian magician which shows you how to easily perform mind blowing street magic. iCut will give you the skills and confidence to approach strangers in the street and perform magic using their headphones. The videos take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know to get started. The main trick is iCut and the bonus includes 3 additional tricks.

> CLICK HERE to go to iCut <

Videos

  1. Live Performances
  2. Explanation
  3. Alternate Handling
  4. Extra Tips
  5. Bonus Phases

Live Performances

icut-live-performanceMagician Josh takes to the street in a shopping arcade to demonstrate iCut. The video is of 3 groups we see in the promotional material. The difference is here we see him perform the trick start to finish so we can see exactly how he does it. Once you know the trick the demos become very useful as you can copy the subtleties of his performance to give you confidence to perform it.

Explanation

Josh explains the idea for iCut came from wanting to take strong magic effects and update them. He then goes on to show you his favourite method for performing iCut. He shows you how to make an inexpensive gimmick and how to present the trick, giving a detailed description of the method so you can really understand it. Why get someone else to cut the headphones? Why say ‘on the count of 3′? He gives instructions about misdirection, explains the importance of each component and the images you want to create in people’s minds’ to make a lasting impression.

Alternate Handling

alternate-handlingsNot every situation will be the same so Josh shows a further 3 ways of performing the trick. One uses the gimmick from the main explanation, another is done through the use of a thumb tip and one can even be done off the cuff with no props or gimmicks. Knowing all 4 methods will allow you to perform iCut no matter the situation. If you are at a party and someone says ‘do that trick!’ you’ll be able to pull it off.

Extra Tips

You can pick up extra tips by watching the 3 live performances. However Josh also uses this vid to go into a few frequently asked questions. He covers performing the trick from different angles, dealing with different coloured headphones and noise issues.

Bonus Phases

torn-restored-earbudThe bonus phases contain 3 additional headphone tricks. He shows you how to pull the headphones through your thumb, through your neck and how to pull off an earbud and put it back on again. Each of these tricks are explained so you can see exactly how to do them. It would have been nice to have some videos of live performances to get some of the subtleties however you will be left in no doubt as to how to perform them after the explanation and demonstrations.

iCut Deluxe Lite

One of the deluxe options, Deluxe Lite gives you a further 6 different tricks. All the tricks involve a set of headphones and some involve the use of rings and further spectator participation. Josh shows you how to thread headphones through a ring then pull the headphones through the ring, take the ring off the headphones and throw it back on again, pull a ring from through your back pocket with the headphones and more.

iCut Deluxe

Explanation-screen-shotiCut plus 10 additional tricks. Everything from Deluxe Lite plus 4 more tricks. Turn 1 ring into another on the headphones by shaking it, a second method to pull a ring through the headphones, throw a ring onto the headphones and pull the headphones through your hand and a ring at the same time.

Review

The product is called iCut however its much more than a single trick. The iCut package contains 4 separate tricks giving you the basis of a short routine which can be performed anywhere. All 4 tricks are suitable for beginners and the methods are quick to learn. iCut is a great set of tricks to get started with street magic or add headphone tricks to your routine.

With the Deluxe package you have just about every conceivable trick that can be performed with a set of headphones. There are tricks for beginners and more advanced tricks, plenty to choose from to build a complete street magic headphone routine.

From David Blaine to Dynamo all street magicians had to start somewhere. iCut provides a great jumping off point for beginners and for an extra $20 iCut Deluxe is the complete street magic headphones package.

> CLICK HERE to go to iCut <

Mentalist Memory Techniques: Peg System – Excercises

Pegs for Peg System

To begin using the peg system you will need to learn some memory pegs and start practicing it. It’s not rocket science but you have to take some time to learn it. Here are a few exercises to get you going.

Phonetic alphabet for numbers 0-9

0 – Z or S – first sound of the word zero
1 – D or T – letters have 1 downstroke
2 – N – 2 downstrokes
3 – M – 3 downstrokes
4 – R – final sound of word ‘four’
5 – L – Roman numeral for 50 is L
6 – g, ch, sh, soft g. g is 6 rotated 180°
7 – K, hard-ch, hard-c, hard-g. K looks like 2 7s
8 – F, V – f written out in joined up handwriting looks like an 8
9 – P, b – P turned around looks like a 9

Exercise 1

Write down the following words as numbers: climb, butler, chandelier, sounds, bracelet, hypnotize

Excercise 2

Write these numbers as their corresponding letters: 6124, 8903, 2394, 0567, 1109, 8374

Pegs for numbers 1-10

1. Tie
2. Noah
3. Ma
4. Rye
5. Law
6. Shoe
7. Cow
8. Ivy
9. Bees
10. Toes

Exercise 3

Peg the numbers to the following objects using the technique below.

9 — purse
6 — cigarette
4 — ashtray
7 — salt-shaker
3 — lamp
5 — typewriter
2 — TV set
8 — wrist watch
1 — fountain pen
10 — telephone

Here’s the technique:

  • 9 (bee) — purse. Make a ridiculous and/or illogical association of the peg word for 9, which is “bee,” and purse. You might see yourself opening a purse and a swarm of bees fly out of it, stinging you. Just “see” the picture for a moment, then go to the next one.
  • 6 (shoe) — cigarette. You can see yourself smoking a shoe instead of a cigarette, see millions of cigarettes falling out of a shoe, or you can see yourself wearing gigantic cigarettes instead of shoes.
  • 4 (rye) — ashtray. You might see yourself dropping ashes into a scooped out loaf of rye bread instead of an ashtray, or, you’re buttering an ashtray instead of a slice of rye bread. The first illogical picture that comes to mind is usually the best, because that is the one that will come to mind later on.
  • 7 (cow) – salt-shaker. Picture yourself milking a cow, but the cow has salt-shakers instead of udders. Or, see saltshakers coming out instead of milk.
  • 3 (ma) – lamp.  Picture your mother wearing a gigantic lamp for a hat. See the lamp going on and off.
  • 5 (law) – typewriter. You might “see” a policeman putting handcuffs on a typewriter, or you can see a typewriter walking the beat, swinging a club, like a cop.
  • 2 (Noah) – television set. Picture Noah sailing on a television set instead of an ark.
  • 8 (ivy) – wrist watch. You can see millions of wrist watches growing all over the side of your house, instead of ivy; or, you can see yourself wearing ivy on your wrist instead of a watch.
  • 1 (tie) – fountain pen. Picture yourself wearing a gigantic fountain pen instead of a tie, or see yourself writing with your tie, instead of a fountain pen.
  • 10 (toes) – telephone. See yourself dialing with your toes, or, you pick up the telephone, but it turns out that you’re holding your toes. (Probably talking to a heel.)

Now without looking write down the numbers with the associated objects: purse, cigarette, ashtray, salt-shaker, lamp, typewriter, TV set, wrist watch, fountain pen, telephone.

Exercise 4

Remember a list of errands: wash the car, going to the bank, send an important email, see the dentist, pick up the umbrella that you forgot at a friend’s house, buy some perfume, call the television repairman, stop at the hardware store, go to the bookstore and have your watch repaired.

car to (#1)
bank to Noah (#2)
email to ma (#3)
dentist to rye (#4)
umbrella to law (#5)
perfume to shoe (#6)
television to cow (#7)
hardware to ivy (#8)
book to bee (#9)
watch to toes (#10)

I hope you found these exercises useful. If you have any questions please dont hesitate to send a message via the contact form.

Credit:How to Develop A SUPER-POWER MEMORY by Harry Lorayne

It’s Like Having A Superpower

elephant

Here is a technique to explode the power of your memory. You will not believe how simple it is. Learn and apply it you won’t believe the results. Use this technique to memorise routines, anecdotes, jokes and to perform amazing feats of memory.

So what’s the technique? It involves using Key Words. A Key Word is a single word or phrase which sums up a thought. Look at the method for remembering a speech below and all will become clear.

The Key Word technique is used with the Link System and the Peg System. If you are not familiar with those techniques read up on them here > Link System : Peg System

Great, you’re now familiar with the Link and Peg System, let’s dive in!

How to Remember a Speech

  • Write out the speech in full.
  • Run through the speech a few times to get the gist of it.
  • Get a piece of paper and write down Key Words for each thought in the speech. A Key Word can be a single word or a short phrase. There should be a word or phrase in each sentence or paragraph which brings to mind the whole thought. That is the Key Word you need to write down.
  • Write down the full list of Key Words, one for each thought.
  • If you want to and its possible use the list of Key Words when giving the speech.
  • If you need to recall the speech from memory you need to memorise the Key Words using the link system. Using the link system you visually link together the Key Words, the first with the second, the second with the third etc.

At first you may need a number of words for each thought. Use as many as you need, once you gain confidence with the technique you will only need one keyword for each thought. Focus on the thoughts and the words will take care of themselves.

If you need to remember the speech word for word use the same technique. However you will need to go over the speech and Key Words more times.

Remember Scripts, Jokes, Stories and Anecdotes

The same system of linking Key Words can be used for remembering scripts. In this case
it is usually necessary to memorize them word for word. You will have to go over them more often, but the Key Word idea will make it much easier for you.

You can also apply the technique for jokes, stories and anecdotes. Just take one word from the story, a word from the punch line is usually best, that will bring the entire joke to mind. When you get your Key Words, you can either link them to each other to remember all the stories in sequence, or use the Peg System to remember them by number.

Amazing Feat Of Memory

You can also use the Key Word technique to perform feats of memory for an audience. A great trick to perform is memorising a magazine. To do this you will need to combine the Key Word technique with the Peg System.

  • Memorise what’s on each page go through the magasine before the show. To do this get a Key Word from each page then associate it to the peg for the page number.
  • Give out copies of a magazine to the audience and ask them to call out page numbers. You can tell them what’s on each page, for instance if its an article about a footballers wife you would say that, if its an advert for bingo you would say that.

True Memory

These techniques are systems for assisting true memory. As you use the systems you’ll find your true memory getting stronger. The best example of this is in memorising a magazine. To make the associations in the first place, you must really see and observe the picture on the page. Because of this, when any page number is called, the peg word for that number acts as an aid so you can almost reproduce the entire page in your mind’s eye. You will know on what part of the page the picture is located. Prove this to yourself – give it a try!

I hope you found this article useful. If you haven’t already don’t forget to subscribe to the free mentalism course. Best wishes.

Credit: Super Power Memory, Harry Lorrayne

Sway, The Irresistible Pull Of Irrational Behaviour – Review

People are irrational. Every day there are unseen psychological forces at work controlling your actions and you are not even aware of them… until you’ve read this book! (unless you’re a psychologist).

Loss Aversion

We don’t want to lose and we’ll do anything to avoid it. Whether its capital tied up in stocks and shares, paying extra for food, or if its our reputation on the line, we avoid loss like the plague. We want to gain but we don’t want to lose more because loss is painful.

If a loss is more meaningful we’ll avoid it even more and even the word loss has a powerful effect on us.

We see a regular $20 being sold for $200 at an auction, people giving up buying eggs and investors losing everything when they refused to cut their losses.

Value Attribution

Our brains have a useful shortcut as to whether we should pay attention to something, we give it an instant value. This shortcut can trip us up though because things aren’t always what they seem. What about that priceless antique at the jumble sale or a world class violinist…

Diagnostic Bias

Beware diagnostic bias. You are constantly labelling things then ignoring or ‘refining’ all future information about it. But what if you were wrong in the first instance?

And its not just you who is affected by your grossly innacurate view of things. People react to the labels placed on them (The Cameleon Effect) and this can have profound effects on a persons ability, confidence and health.

Fairness

Fairness is irrational. People have an acute sense of fairness however it is vastly affected by cultural factors so your idea of whats fair will be different to someone in another part of the world.

Commitment

Committing to a course of action can undoubtedly help us achieve our goals but the examples in the book show catastrophic plane crashes and people losing everything when they commit to a course of action then don’t rationally evaluate things along the way.

Selfish or Altruistic?

When performing tasks we are either being driven by a selfish part of our brain or the altruistic part. Both can’t operate at the same time and the selfish brain will hijack the altruistic brain given half a chance.

For this reason we should be careful to offer a reward for tasks which may be done better for altruistic reasons. Such behaviour has seen great teachers become poor ones and rewarded children perform worse on tests.

Group Dynamics

In groups we see 4 types of people – initiators, blockers, supporters, observers and they are all important in helping the group reach correct decisions. People are reluctant to voice opinions which differ from those of a group, unless someone else has voiced an alternative opinion.

Key Learnings

Irrational sways are everywhere an affecting our lives. Being aware of them can help us to avoid the pitfalls of irrational behaviour.

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Derren Brown, Tricks of the Mind Extracts. Audiobook Review

This audiobook is taken from the fantastic book Tricks of the Mind and teaches the basics of hypnosis, a couple of magic tricks and some powerful memory techniques.

Disk 1: Hypnosis

Derren says he thinks hypnosis is very safe but gives 7 rules to bear in mind just to be extra cautious:

  1. Don’t try to hypnotise someone who is clearly disturbed or has epilepsy
  2. Don’t attempt any therapeutic change unless you are suitably qualified
  3. Treat hypnosis as a gentle tool
  4. Everything you do contributes to the hypnosis. Don’t get flustered
  5. At end make sure person is completely out of belief that they are hypnotised
  6. Take it slowly and only try in a controlled environment
  7. Treat it first as a relaxation tool and move slowly into administering suggestions

What you learn:

  • In its simplest form hypnosis is pacing someone’s experience then leading them to behaviours you want.
  • Use presupposition. This means you presuppose something to be true eg. as your eyes get heavier/ you can wonder how deeply you are going into trance
  • Use double binds where the only options are 2 you have suggested.
  • Tone of voice – gentle and relaxed
  • Use imagery to involve all the senses
  • Don’t contradict yourself and don’t be specific

Framework:

  1. Prepare subject and induce light stages of trance, this may include eye closure
  2. Deepen the trance through a metaphor such as going down the stairs
  3. Carry out your hypnotic work
  4. Fully awaken the subject

Disk 2: Magic

Coin Trick – A Coin Slide

The trick involves sliding a coin off a table, pretending to pick it up and pulling it into your lap.

The trick is enhanced by using another coin for misdirection and placing the coins on the table in advance.

Card trick – A Sucker Trick

  1. Get someone to shuffle cards (need someone with basic overhand shuffle)
  2. Look at cardface then immediately turn away and spread the deck in your hands, showing everyone faces of deck
  3. Turn face down and place squared up on table
  4. Bottom card is key card
  5. Get person to cut deck in 2 and place top half to your right
  6. Turn away and remove card he cut to (top card of bottom half) and look at it
  7. Pick up bottom half
  8. Tell him to replace card
  9. Get person to shuffle cards again
  10. Say you will put cards face up on table and he is not to react if you see his card
  11. Turn over 1 at a time, card after key card is his card. Carry on after chosen card appears but make sure index of chosen card remains visible to you
  12. Stop then ask to bet that next card turned over will be the card
  13. Then reach for the card in pie and turn over

Magic tips:

  • Most of the magic is created after the trick
  • A state of amazement leaves spectators more open to suggestion
  • To make them look less foolish people will trick themselves eg. Think they definitely saw card in magicians hand
  • Magic is helped by people watching closely and using the off beat when both you and they relax
  • Conjurer creates false trail of events
  • Best to be simple and direct

Disk 3: Memory

No such thing as photographic memory. A few people have an idetic memory and can hold the image of a scene in their minds but it typically can’t be held for long and is prone to distortions. Individuals with great memories use rich mnemonic strategies.

Memory is a set of processes. We can remember 7 or so units after which point we instinctively want to break it down into smaller chunks.

Linking System:

  1. Use vivid images and attach strong emotions
  2. Elements should interact
  3. Picture should be unusual

Uses of linking system – shopping lists, tasks, speeches and for actors

Drawback – if stuck on 1 word system breaks down

Loci System:

  1. Use a route you know with locations on the way.
  2. Take a list of things and relate an item to each location.
  3. Place a strong visual representation at each location.
  • Memory palaces – Expand number of loci eg. In your house
  • Its better to have action take place inside something
  • You need to go through things in fixed order eg. Clockwise
  • You can use for permanent memory.
  • Expand loci – have a door from your house lead to another familiar building. Use places from real life eg. museums you have visited

Remembering Names

  1. When you meet with someone immediately think of someone you already know with the same name
  2. Imagine person in front of you has been made up to look at bit like the person you know

or

  1. Connect name with another image eg. Mike becomes a microphone stand, bill becomes an invoice
  2. Find something memorable about the person’s appearance. Better to be a physical feature
  3. Link the 2 together
  • Its best to make image as efficient as possible
  • Can put other info into scene
  • Importance of reviewing

Rating:

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Your Inner Fish, Neil Shubin – Review

Your Inner Fish is all about human evolution.

By looking at fossil records, genes and life on earth today we can work out where we came from and its fascinating.

It is no exaggeration to say this book will change the way you look at the world.

Chapter 1: Finding Your Inner Fish

375 million years ago a fish called Tiktaalik appears in the fossil records in Greenland.

With its flat head and primitive limb-like fins the Tiktaalik fossil is a sea dwelling fish evolving to being a land living animal.

It was cleverly discovered by Shubin and his colleagues after studying the geology of the area and making precise predictions about the fossil record.

Chapter 2: Getting a Grip

By looking at animals with limbs scientists noticed animals as diverse as bats, horses and frogs all have a common design for their limbs, the only thing that changes is the shape and size of the bones.

Humans can rotate our hands relative to our elbows,using a pivot point. This lineage can be traced back to Tiktaalik who could also bend its elbow.

Life in and out of water is not that clearcut with some ancient and modern day fish having lungs.

It appears that fish began growing limbs to escape the water and the fierce predators that lived there.

Chapter 3: Handy Genes

Each cell in our body contains the genetic code to make the whole body.

Different genes are active in the different cell types and genetic switches help assemble us. Interestingly the gene responsible for limb and fin development is the same.

This points to the fact that the evolution of limbs from fins did not require any new genes.

Chapter 4: Teeth Everywhere

Looking at teeth gives us lots of clues about our genetic heritage.

Mammals have a single jaw bone and top and bottom teeth which match up. Reptiles have jaws with many bones and replace teeth continually. Primitive fish like Lampreys have no jaws and feed by attaching themselves to other fish and feeding on their body fluids.

Human teeth reveal that we are all purpose eaters, having incisors specialised to cut food, canines in the back and molars in extreme back to shear or mash food.

Our teeth are the hardest parts of our bodies, Hydroxyapatite giving them their hardness.

The primary purpose of teeth is to allow us to eat things that are bigger than our mouths.

Chapter 5: Getting Ahead

In this chapter we learn that the essence of our heads goes right back to worms.

The muscles in the head are attached to the brain and organs. The nerves in the head look very much like the wiring in an old building, not making logical sense. They have evolved that way to accommodate other features eg. giraffes neck.

Chapter 6: The Best Laid (Body) Plans

The plans for our bodies goes back to fish and if you think about it that’s quite logical. Their bodies are lined up like ours, they have heads and spines.

Animals in other lineages such as sponges and jellyfish have fundamentally different body plans.

Chapter 7: Adventures in Bodybuilding

In experiments using bacteria, predation has been shown to produce multi cellular organisms from single celled ones over a number of generations.

Around 1 bn years ago bacteria began eating each other and at the same time oxygen levels increased in the atmosphere which allowed for multi cellular organisms to survive.

We evolved from these multi cellular organisms, with cells specialising and eventually leading to skeletons and limbs.

Chapter 8: Making Scents

Our sense of smell goes back to being a fish.

Lampreys and Hagfish have single nostril and extract odours from water. Lungfish have 2 kinds of nostrils, external and internal which is similar to the structure we have.

Mammals developed a much greater sense of smell and in fact a whole 3% of the human genome is devoted to smell.

Humans though, like other primates with colour vision, have a diminished sense of smell. Apparently there was an evolutionary trade off between the 2.

Dolphins have no sense of smell and use what was their noses as blow holes to blow out water.

Chapter 9: Vision

The eyes capture light and transmit it to the brain where it is processed.

An amazing 70% of our sensory cells are used for vision.

Fascinatingly, the origin of the eye can be traced right back to bacteria!

There is a single gene which triggers the formation of the eye called pac 6 and this is the same in many creatures with eyes.

Chapter 10: Ears

The history of the inner ear can be traced to ancient fish and the neurons even further.

Mammals’ middle ears are different to other species, having 3 bones.

Interestingly one jelly fish, the Box Jelly fish has 20 eyes, though no other type of jellyfish has eyes.

Chapter 11: The Meaning Of It All

Looking at a human is like looking back in time through our evolutionary heritage. Some of our features started with bacteria, some with fish, others as mammals.

If we look at other animals it becomes apparent which parts are similar. We have many similarities to a Polar Bear, fewer with a Turtle and fewer still with a regular fish.

Many human illnesses are a result of our sedentary lifestyle when our bodies are built for an active one.

Epilogue

We should embrace scientific study without fear.

Maybe it will give us a deeper understanding of human nature and help us cure illnesses

Rating:

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Mentalist Profile: Derren Brown

Derren Brown is the best mentalist of his generation.

He is constantly advancing his skills, innovating with his performances and calling out fake psychics and other frauds too.

Seeing Derren Brown perform it can be hard not to believe he possesses psychic abilities.

This guy knows what is going on in your mind, often because he has created the thoughts himself!

Early Career and TV

Brown started out at university as a hypnotist then started learning and performing close up magic in the cafe’s of Bristol.

Developing his skills over the next 7 years in Bristol Brown hit television in 1999 with 3 specials which later became the ground breaking series Mind Control. >>Derren Brown – Inside Your Mind [DVD]

Derren Brown Trick of The Mind 1 [DVD] [2004] followed on from Mind Control and the 3 series were very much a natural progression.

Trick or Treat (2007 – 2008) surprised applicants with Derren appearing out of the blue to give people a trick or treat. He hypnotised one guy and dropped him of in Marrakesh and dropped one girl, tied up, in a sack into a lake!

In The Events (2009) Brown stuck people watching at home to their seats using sublimnal messaging and bet £5,000 of a viewers money on the spin of a roulette wheel, and lost :(

Also on TV we had Derren Brown Investigates (2010) and The Experiments in 2011. In one episode of In The Experiments Derren got someone to ‘assassinate’ Stephen Fry and in another got someone to admit to a murder they didn’t commit.

TV Specials: Russian Roulette, Seance, Messiah, The Gathering, The Heist, The System, Hero at 30,000 ft, Miracles for Sale.

Live Shows

Watch some of Derren’s live shows and see his masterful control of the audience. 2011-12 he is touring Svengali.

Some of his other live shows include: Derren Brown Live (2003-04), Something Wicked This Way Comes (2005-06), Mind Reader – An Evening of Wonders (2007-08), Enigma (2009-10)

Skills

Derren Brown uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship”

He is a master reader of people’s body language, he uses NLP to put thoughts in peoples minds, he uses lots of psychological tricks like perception without awareness and his memory techniques are something to behold!

He is a master of conjuring and hypnosis and teaches some of his tricks in his books.

Derren Brown emphasises the importance of showmanship and involving the audience.

 

 

What Every Body Is Saying, Joe Navarro – Review

What Every Body is Saying is a detailed book on body language by one of the world’s leading experts.

Joe Navarro has dedicated his life to studying body language, a passion which began aged 8 and led him to a 25 year career in the FBI.

A mix of theory, scientific facts and careful observations fill the book with revealing insights.

Chapter 1: Mastering the Secrets of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication constitutes 65% of all interpersonal communication and if your not already you should start paying attention because our body language tells the truth!

Joe has 10 commandments of body language which include conscious and continuous observation, establishing baselines, looking out for changes, discomfort and not staring at people 😉

Chapter 2: Living Our Limbic Legacy

Think you’re clever – well you should be, you have 3 brains!

Your mammalian ‘limbic’ brain controls your body language and works on a freeze, fight then flight basis.

This survival mechanism evolved millenia ago and is still useful in our survival today. When we are comfortable we demonstrate high confidence and when not comfortable we show low confidence behaviours.

If we are uncomfortable we use pacifying behaviours to stimulate our brains into feeling better. There are differences between men and women but in general these behaviours take the form of  touching our necks, our faces, whistling, yawning, touching our legs and hugging ourselves.

Chapter 3: Getting a Leg Up on Body Language

Forget eye contact and hugs, if you want to know what someone is feeling take a closer look at their legs!

Peoples’ legs give away uncensored information about their inner most thoughts.

Look out for happy feet, which way feet are pointing, the knee clasp and leg splay to gauge what someone is thinking.

If we are comfortable we will cross our legs, and lovers will mirror each others legs. Significant changes in leg movement, foot freeze and the foot lock and leave indicate a lack of comfort.

If you want to know if someone likes you when you meet them when you have shaken their hand see if they stay still or move towards or away from you.

People walk in 40 different ways!

Chapter 4: Torso Tips

People turn towards things they like and away from things they don’t. If we can’t turn away from something we dislike we use our arms as a shield.

When trying to assert dominance people may puff up their chests or splay their torso.

Like the legs, the torso is honest, partly because it contains all our organs!

Chapter 5: Knowledge Within Reach

Arms are used to display dominance for example arms akimbo and the hooding effect, we throw our arms in the air when we are happy and hug people we like. Touching someone’s arm is one of the best ways to instantly gain rapport.

We also put jewellery on our arms to demonstrate wealth.

Chapter 6: Getting a Grip

Our human hands are unique amongst the animals and by using them correctly we can become more persuasive, likeable and credible :)

You can offend people with your hands by pointing, snapping your fingers or flipping the ‘bird’.

Look out for steepling, thumb displays, genital framing, frozen hands, hand wringing, neck touching, microexpressions as all give away our subconscious thouhts.

When shaking hands, don’t try to assert dominance it doesn’t work, giving a good firm handshake is the best bet!

Chapter 7: The Minds’s Canvas

Our facial expressions are a universal language. Humans are capable of more than 10,000 different facial expressions.

Because we can control our facial expressions we can mask emotions but faces are still useful for gauging emotion.

Look out for eye blocking behaviours like squinting and pupil constriction. People do this when they don’t like what they see. Likewise, if what they say is agreeable we see pupil dilation, eyebrow arching and flashbulb eyes.

Contempt is shown by the rolling of the eyes and sneering. The lips, nose, forehead, cheeks all give information away and If the face is sending mixed signals, the negative emotion is more honest.

Interestingly eye contact does not indicate honesty and is often used by psychopaths!

Chapter 8: Detecting Deception

Despite the inherent honesty of our body language, when the body lies, its still hard to tell. Even the most gifted body language readers can only detect deception 60% of the time. Polygraphs are only 60-80% accurate. That’s because lying is a survival tool.

When trying to detect deception make sure you know the base level of body language when comfortable. Look out for blocking using objects, pacifying behaviour, clusters of behaviours, synchrony and emphasis.

Pay attention and get a good view!

Chapter 9: Final Thouhts

We are taught to listen to what people say, see what peoples bodies are telling you and a whole new world of communication will open up!

Rating:

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A Mind Of It’s Own, Cordelia Fine – Review

What goes on up there?

A pregnant Cordelia Fine went to great lengths to find out.

She bring scientific research to life with personal anecdotes, humour and a passion for psychology. Read on…

Chapter 1: The Vain Brain

The vain brain has a lot to answer for. It makes people think they are more ethical, better employees and better drivers than average and that’s just the start.

We give ourselves all sorts of credit for our successes and let ourselves off the hook for our failures to protect our egos.

If we think we are going to do badly we don’t try to give ourselves an excuse for failure.

We spend time with those who think we are great and have a massively optimistic view of our future health, wealth and happiness.

The vain brain is needed though – those with a more accurate view of reality are often clinically depressed and optimistic people live longer!

Chapter 2: The Emotional Brain

Whether you like it or not your emotions play a big part in the workings of your mind. Take this interesting nugget – your emotions are often aware of things BEFORE you are consciously aware of them.

Happy and sad films alter our perceptions, emotions affect how much pain we feel and emotions even affect what we actually see!

People with damage to the emotional parts of their brains can find it near impossible to make decisions, some feel permanently detached from reality, some even think they are dead :(

Chapter 3: The Immoral Brain

Our judgements which we think are based on logic are often based on gut reactions or moral intuitions. Our need to believe in a just world means that we often believe people have brought misfortune upon themselves.

We hold others up to judgement for things whilst letting ourselves off for the same thing. We are basically illogical and mean people!

We judge ourselves morally superior, and think if our intentions were good that’s the main thing, even if the result is catastrophic failure.

Our morality can easily be altered by circumstances too. In an experiment 2/3 of people administered a highly dangerous voltage to fellow human beings.

Authority was a big factor here and has been shown to play a big part in immorality, as a cursory glance at the history books will confirm.

Chapter 4: The Deluded Brain

150 million Americans believe its possible for someone to be physically possessed by the Devil and 25 million Britons believe its possible to communicate with the dead.

In short many of us are deluded. There is a fine line between regular day to day delusion and being banged up in the funny farm too. People can quite easily be turned temporarily insane.

Our minds are shown to be illogical again – beware asking your loved one ‘don’t you love me any more?’ and if there is no correlation between things your brain will help out by making one up.

Some of the truly deluded think their family has been replaced by aliens or that others are controlling their actions… and then there is religion.

Chapter 5: The Pigheaded Brain

Beliefs are a funny thing. We quickly form beliefs based on the evidence, (even if that evidence is telling us the exact opposite?) and won’t let go of those beliefs, even if they are completely discredited later.

Other people’s beliefs have a huge impact over us too so lets hope mummy really believes her little angel is a genius!

Chapter 6: The Secretive Brain

The unconscious mind, one of my favourite subjects.

The big take-away from this chapter is this:

Areas of the brain are dedicated to specific subjects, they are called schemas. If a schema is activated, it will affect your behaviours. Schemas can be activated through environmental factors without your knowledge. Think about that one for a second.

The unconscious walks us places and drives our cars too – but we knew that already.

Chapter 7: The Weak Willed Brain

Face it – your will is weak. Use it up during the day and spend the evening sprawled in front of the TV watching East Enders.

Our willpower is undermined by a bad mood, rejection and distress.

However, keep working that willpower and it will eventually grow strong.

You need your unconscious mind onside for success. Help it out by writing detailed plans of what you intend to do :)

Chapter 8: The Bigoted Brain

Stereotypes, there must be more to life!

Beware stereotypes. They affect you whether you like it or not. We need to do away with them because people which suffer from negative stereotypes are at a disadvantage – and what’s fair about that?!

It’s those blasted schemas at work again… however all is not lost. Become aware of how blatantly bigoted you are being and do away with it now! (apparently its not that hard).

Epilogue: The Vulnerable Brain

Your brain is with you 24/7 so you better get used to it.

We are at the mercy of our emotions and the environment.

Our brain is constantly doing stuff and not even doing us the courtesy of letting us know.

Fortunatel, if you have read this book you might be able to work yours a bit better :)

Take- Aways:

Our motives are often hidden, even from ourselves.

Beware your schemas (and be aware of other peoples), they are critical in the way we behave and can be easily triggered.

Expectations of yourself and others play no small part in behaviour and performance.

Beliefs – easily formed and hard to shift.

Take control of your brain by writing out a plan!

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Dynamo Magician Impossible Review

Disc 1

In part 1 Dynamo visits Miami, Manchester and London. He presents an award at the Prince’s Trust awards, hangs out with Ian Brown and amazes some sexy women.

Some of his tricks on this disc include twisting a glass bottle, stealing someone’s identity and levitating a guitar!

Dynamo performs a number of mind reading tricks in part 1 including an impressive mind read on Ian Brown.

He performs two other mentalism tricks in London. For the first Dynamo gets two people who know each other to name the same country and repeats this with three different pairs and three different countries. He also does a trick where he touches the male partner of a young couple and the girl feels it!

Oh and did I mention the walking on the Thames thing… well he does that too :)

Disc 2

In part 2 Dynamo is back on the streets of Bradford and London, visits the Snowbombing festival in the Alps, and tops things off by amazing the guests at Rios Ferdinand’s party.

He defies gravity again with bank cards and coins, turns snow into diamonds, drives blindfold round a racetrack and makes his exit from Rio’s party by walking through a glass wall.

In London Dynamo exactly guesses the amount of change in someone’s wallet and back in Bradford he performs 3 mind reads, including a contact on someones phone. Hypnosis is surely at play in the walking through glass effect.

Disc 3

Dynamo’s mentalism tricks are undoubtedly the strongest effect in this episode. I am talking about mind reading 5 guys playing dominos at a park in Miami and mind reading 2 songs from a local DJ.

The effects he does around the pool table are also very impressive.

The tricks with the biggest ‘wow’ factor are effects at a roof party where Dynamo seemingly teleports and another where he blows letters from a cinema billboard.

He also does a cool trick where he seaparates the ice, water and teabag from an iced tea and burns a $20 then makes it reappear inside a lightbulb.

Disc 4

Dynamo performs some really cool mentalism tricks in this episode. He mind reads a number between 1-1000 from Nick Hogan and a random place from a girl in the street and Natalie Imbruglia. He draws the same as a street artist back to back too.

Dynamo stretches himself physically in this episode, stopping his heart for 10 seconds and bench pressing 3 x his own bodyweight in the gym.

There is also seemingly a miracle when Dynamo brings a wall full of ornamental butterflies to life and an amazing prediction live on Radio 1.

Bonus Disc

Behind the scenes and extra footage.

Interestingly Dynamo says he is not a mind reader though does use some techniques to create that illusion.

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