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*no explicit language. But poop does come up sometimes all the time.

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KAREN // @momopeche

Game geek, candyfreak, bad runner.  

EXPERTISE: Geography, Hip Hop, Dogs, Patrick Swayze, Scout


COLIN // @colin13

Cannot tolerate lines that are not 100% parallel or 100% perpendicular.

EXPERTISE: Classic Rock, Academy Awards, NBA, Star Wars, Sniper


DANA // @ItsKindaSweet

Kinda sweet, kinda hilarious. Game designer extraordinaire.  

EXPERTISE: Literature, Indie Rock, Pop Culture, New Zealand, Prince, Medic


CHRIS // @kobunheat

Walking retro videogame almanac. Ravenclaw.  

EXPERTISE: US government, James Taylor, videogames, Spy


138: Abracadabra



Shazam! Presto! Prepare to be amazed by origin stories, facts, and trivia about MAGIC. Chris tries to dazzle us (and YOU, the listener) with aural magic tricks. Find out why his mind-reading tricks work. Take our quiz about the magical products all around us. Open Sesame! Abracadabra! Hocus pocus! Find out how and why these magic phrases came to be. We all have heard about Harry Houdini and his great magical escape feats but did you know he was an avid mythbuster and skeptic? Oh yeah, and his on-and-off friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle. Dramaaaa.

ALSO: poop dust

RUNTIME: 54 minutes 23 seconds

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Featured Interlude Music:

"Do You Believe in Magic" by The Lovin' Spoonful  Amazon | iTunes 


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Reader Comments (7)

I loved this episode, but I just wanted to point out something.

You guys said that Houdini created the secret code word with his wife because he may have secretly believed that communication with the dead was true. That is not the reason that he set up the code word. He made it as an automatic debunking system. He knew that people were going to try and claim that they had communicated with his ghost after death. So he made up the code word with his wife so that if someone came along after his death claiming to have spoken to his ghost, the frauds could be found incredibly easy. If they could not provide the code word, then everyone would know they had not really communicated with Houdini.

December 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I loved the segment on Harry Houdini, especially the story about the school "Wax Museum". I didn't do the wax museum, but my 7th grade middle school history class did a similar thing where we had to do a report on a historical figure and then dress up as that person and present the report in front of the class. My report was on Harry Houdini too! After I listened to your podcast I had to go dig out the picture! Thanks brains!

December 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBen Hancock

On Chris's magic trick, I got the exact same answers as Karen, weird.

Also, my school did something similar to the wax museum thing, except it was for art class. We had to dress in costume and stand in front of a backdrop so we looked like a famous painting. It was awful.

January 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHunter J.

Thanks a lot for your post i really loved it
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