Friday, August 30, 2013
Secrets of Magic Revealed by Mister Whizzo
The Sunrise: This one has been an audience pleaser since forever. Who doesn't love a gorgeous sunrise? People say, "Amazing," "incredible," "I can't believe it." The whole secret behind this trick is the sun isn't rising at all! It's just an illusion caused by the rotation of the earth. Simple right? Like a lot of tricks, it's obvious once you know the secret.
A Single Perfect Flower: This is kind of a small-scale trick compared to a sunrise, maybe, but it still gets plenty of audience reaction. People go on and on about how amazing it is that the flowers come back in the spring. Rubes. I mean, how many times can you get some people with the same trick. So how's the flower thing done? Look, the whole thing's gimicked up with anthocyans - that'll give you almost any color you want: red, blue, you name it. Then you use plain old chlorophyll for the green parts, that gives it contrast. Then for the scent, a lot of times it's just short-chain ketones or something like that. You want to use something that's pretty volatile and will disperse when exposed to air. Some trick, huh?
Childbirth: Oh Lord, every time I hear some yokel rave about the miracle of childbirth, I just about split a gut. Miracle shmiracle. The whole thing comes down to nucleic acids, can you believe it? They got to be twisted up, right, so it's like a spiral staircase going down on one side and up on the other. Then you just got to encode it with these nucleobases, but what makes it such a snap is you only need four different nucleobases to do the whole job - I mean anything from a tree shrew to an elephant, just four different nucleobases.
Time: Okay, so how about this one. Summer seems to last forever, right? I mean June, the July, and August, and it just goes on and on, and suddenly bam! It's over. Betcha can't guess how it's done. Well, the thing is... What you do is... Well... Fact is, I haven't figured that one out either.
Watch this space - tomorrow I kick off the new feature, If I Only Knew Then... with guest blogger, George Singleton!