Friday, February 16, 2007

Not what it seems

I know I rant about the barebones freaks of the model world, and this link is to another of those stories.

But that's not quite what this post is about.

Surely you'd expect journalists to be able to spell? It's their livelihood, after all.

Look at the fifth paragraph. Should that be 'bouffant' hair?

Or maybe this journalist is having a subtle dig at the world of fashion?

4 comments:

Southern Writer said...

Rom, please run over to Cheryl's blog, watch the video, and tell us how that's done.

http://cherylmills.blogspot.com/

Southern Writer said...

Buffoon hair! Snort! That's so funny!

Romulus Crowe said...

I took a look at Criss Angel's building float levitation, and it's pretty convincing.

Danuiel Dunglas Home was reported as doing similar things, but Criss Angel is a stage magician who hasn't made any claim to paranormal activities. That's not to say he doesn't have any ;)

Looking at this with skepticism turned on full, I'd say it was either a crane or a horizontal wire between the buildings.

A horizontal wire would be the most difficult. It would sag in the middle so he'd risk getting stuck, unless the 'arrival' building was substantially lower than the 'departure' building. They look to be roughly the same height. The advantage would be that anyone watching will be looking for a wire above, not either side. There's also no risk of a crane coming into shot.

Old science fiction films (pre-computer graphics) used a similar trick: fly the spaceship upside-down and turn the camera over. In the final film, the suspending wire is under the ship, where nobody is looking for it.

A crane seems the most likely culprit here. The hood on his jacket, which seems out of place on such a sunny day, would hide the bulge of the harness and the wire. Thin, strong wires are available: he'd need two for stability and an especially skilled crane operator.

The amazed spectators would all have to be in on the trick. That's the case more often than you'd think with tricks of this magnitude.

Camera angles would need to be carefully planned. Angel's shadow appears nearer to us than he does in any shot where it appears. So the sun is ahead of the camera - so the crane's shadow won't come into shot. It'll be behind the camera.

Also note the shaky camera work on some of the rooftop shots. These are professional cameramen. They don't shake the camera unless they don't want to risk getting too clear a shot.

I can't say that this is how it was done, but it's one way it could have been done. On the basis of the information available in that video, I can't say he didn't really levitate!

Stage magic is fascinating. I spend too much time trying to work out how the tricks are done. It's an important subject for a paranormal investigator though, since it's easy to be fooled if you don't know about these kinds of tricks.

Criss Angel is a particularly impressive performer, but I don't think he really levitates. If he really had that power, he'd no doubt be in some Government lab somewhere being studied!

Unfortunately, that's yet another reason for anyone with such abilities to keep quiet, and why I don't believe anyone will ever claim James Randi's prize.

If you prove you can really do something like levitation, the military are going to be very interested in you.

It's in the nature of real psychics that they are not at all interested in the military.

Southern Writer said...

I've seen Angel on TV once or twice; I in fact, saw this very trick, and it was viewed from several angles, including the ground. It was pretty impressive. I thought if anyone knew how he did it, you would. Love the last line you wrote there. How true.

Thanks for taking the time, o ye of the 25%. :-)

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