Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Trick for My Grandchildren

My son-in-law glares and growls when his daughters ask me to do magic. “Magic isn’t real,” he insists. And dutifully, his children repeat. “Magic isn’t real.” But they want me to do magic anyway. I’m always on the lookout for ways to make the magic happen in their hands. Usually, this means I’m teaching science, not doing magic. Science looks often like magic. In fact, I think a major appeal of science for many scientists is the fact that they are doing what was formerly impossible.

Think about it. A microwave oven is a scientific gadget. You put food in. You push a button. The box does NOT get hot, but the food inside does. That has to be magic.

Or put smelly dirty clothes in water with a little slimy liquid made from fat and lye. Slosh them all around for a while. Soon the clothes are clean again. Magic.

Hit two pieces of flint together. You get sparks. Magic.

I could continue this list for hundreds of pages.

I want something that looks like magic, but does not lend itself to scientific method for examination. That means something from the magic shop.

I was poking around on YouTube and saw a video with an Egg Bag in which the assistant holds an empty bag. She checks the bag. It is empty to her satisfaction. Then she clucks like a chicken, and an egg appears in the no-longer-empty bag.



I bought an egg bag. I can’t wait to hear my grandchildren cluck like chickens. My son-in-law is going to have a lot of explaining to do. I’ll visit them next week.

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