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Hydrophobic sand turns to goo in water and magically turns back to sand when dry

Hydrophobic sand aka magic fairy dust isn’t something new. But seeing the effects of in action is always impressive. Just watch it go from sand into this metallic goo once it sinks into a cup of water. And even cooler, watch it transform back from goo into grains of sand once it exits the water. » 8/21/15 9:30pm 8/21/15 9:30pm

20 of the Most Useless Dungeons & Dragons Spells Ever

Wizards are the most powerful characters in Dungeons & Dragons, as the hundreds of spells available to Magic-Users, IIllustionists, Necromancers, Clerics, Druids, will attest. But for every Meteor Swarm, Time Stop and Resurrection there are a dozen spells that are utterly worthless. Here are 20 D&D spells almost no… » 8/17/15 1:46pm 8/17/15 1:46pm

Video: Anodizing titanium reveals so many beautiful colors

Here’s a fun video showing the rainbow of colors that anodized titanium can become. There are blues and purples and gold and it all changes so fast. It’s basically magic (or science!) that just applying voltage to a piece of titanium in an electrolytic bath can transform the color completely. » 5/04/15 11:13am 5/04/15 11:13am

Seeing a trick from a magician's point of view makes it more impressive

This video of a magician's card trick flips the perspective around so that we can see everything from the point of the view of the magician. Somehow with the reverse angle, it adds more 'magic' to the trick and makes what the magician does seem even more impressive. I got lost just watching him shuffle. » 4/14/15 7:40pm 4/14/15 7:40pm

Trying to Make Game of Thrones Valyrian Steel Sword With Real Materials 

Nothing reigns consistently in HBO’s Game of Thrones (and George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” book series that inspired it) except Valyrian steel, a magical sword material. Valyrian steel is, of course, extremely not real. But materials scientist Ryan Consell took a look at its chemistry anyway. » 4/07/15 10:30am 4/07/15 10:30am

This bubble magician totally has secret powers

This dude figured it out. While the rest of us foolish adults stopped playing with bubbles after the 4th grade, Su Chung Tai kept on going and became awesome at it. So awesome that he holds Guinness World Records for bubble blowing and can pull of tricks that probably involve sorcery and a heavy control over the… » 3/11/15 8:29pm 3/11/15 8:29pm

Ordering $500 of Random Crap by Text Message with Magic

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'll take it as a compliment that Brent Rose—occasionally of Gizmodo dot com—saw fit to explore the wondrous and alarming world of Magic in this video short for Wired. Giz got a fish, but Brent got a much larger collection of impressively random things. » 3/02/15 6:45pm 3/02/15 6:45pm

A Same-Day Delivery Startup Brought Me a Fish We Both Assumed Would Die

No one ever needs a live pet fish, three gallons of water, a fish tank, a heater, food, and various fish home accoutrements at a moment's notice. And yet, at 11am on a Tuesday, I texted a stranger and told them I needed all of this, and yes, I needed it today. Three hours and $200 later, my new friend arrived. » 2/25/15 2:15pm 2/25/15 2:15pm

This Machine Turns Water And CO2 Into Petrol

Despite all the efforts to the contrary, it's an uncomfortable truth that our world mostly still runs on oil, made from dead little creatures and pumped from under the ocean. So a machine that could generate oil, without the need for drills or rigs or pipelines, just by combining hydrogen and CO2, sounds quite… » 11/22/14 3:06pm 11/22/14 3:06pm

These Magic Tricks Were Designed by Artificial Intelligence

Here's some great news for aspiring magicians looking for original illusions to launch their careers. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have successfully taught an artificial intelligence computer program how to create new variants on existing magic tricks that are able to fool an audience, even if… » 11/17/14 1:34pm 11/17/14 1:34pm

The Secrets Behind Harry Houdini’s Ten Greatest Illusions

There is an unwritten rule among magicians never to reveal how a trick is done. So when a 2004 exhibition explained Harry Houdini's illusions, magicians around the world were apoplectic. David Copperfield called it a breach of magic protocol, and performers declared that they would boycott the exhibition. Many claimed… » 11/04/14 9:00am 11/04/14 9:00am

This Levitating Furniture Isn't the Finale of a Vegas Stage Show

Were Penn & Teller to finish their popular Vegas magic show by simply rolling out this furniture set and relaxing while reading the paper, there would still be a standing ovation. Because Lago has managed to create the illusion that this sofa, chair, and coffee table are all floating—and you'll want to believe, even… » 10/03/14 4:36pm 10/03/14 4:36pm

This Magician Uses Smartphones To Captivate a Distracted Generation

At one time, close-up sleight-of-hand magic relied on coins, cards, and currency, but since most tricks require an audience to pay close attention, it's hard to compete with distractions like Facebook and Twitter these days. So as the folks Cool Hunting discovered, magician Doug McKenzie decided to just incorporate… » 8/07/14 3:49pm 8/07/14 3:49pm

Magician can guess the card you're thinking about through this video

Our eyes are too slow and our brains are too easily fooled. Just watch this video where Illusionist Eric Leclerc shows off by reading our minds through a simple YouTube video. He plays around with us in the beginning but at the end, he just jumped through the computer screen to peer into our wrinkled brain. » 7/21/14 8:58pm 7/21/14 8:58pm