Magic has been a great source of entertainment for the masses for thousands of years. Across the globe, under many guises, magicians have amazed audiences with seemingly impossible “miracles” using misdirection and clever trickery. The oldest recorded trick – that is to say one performed purely for entertainment and not under the guise of religion or supernatural power – dates back to ancient Egypt.
According to the Westcar Papyrus, a magician by the name of Dedi was famous for his miraculous feats. The Papyrus tells the story of how Dedi was called to put a show on for King Khufu. He proceeded to decapitate a goose, then reattach the head, bringing the bird back to life. He repeats the magic with a duck, then with a bull, wrenching its head off then bringing it back to life by reattaching the head. For his amazing performance, he is rewarded by being allowed to live in the palace. This trick is still practised by magicians to this day, thus making it the longest performed trick in history.
Usually to check if a person is dead, one checks their pulse and breathing. If you want to fake your death properly, you must be able to stop both of these. You can easily hold your breath, but how can one stop their own heart? The answer lies in a ball.
If you wedge a tennis ball, squash ball, baseball or any small but firm ball in each of your armpits and squeeze tightly, the pulse at your wrist will disappear. This pulse is the radial pulse, and the radial artery is a branch of the brachial artery further up the arm. If a ball is squeezed in the armpit, it compresses the brachial artery, stopping the blood flow to the radial artery and obliterating the radial pulse. Most people who are not medical professionals tend to use the radial pulse for taking a pulse, so this method can be used to make it look like you do not have a pulse. But as this trick only causes the radial pulse to disappear, it is ineffective if the other person takes the pulse at another site such as the carotid artery or femoral artery. However, if you can control the situation and the person checking to see if you are alive is not a doctor or nurse, then it is quite a useful trick to use.
Do you suffer from insomnia? Tossing and turning in bed for hours every night while enduring the onslaught of fatigue and a sense of uneasiness is hard on both the body and the mind. There are many “remedies” such as drinking warm milk or exercising lightly but those rarely help. If you find yourself staring into the dark ceiling and unable to fall asleep again tonight, try the following trick.
First, calm your mind and breathe deeply. As you breathe in, count “one”. Remove all other thoughts and focus on the 1. Now, breathe out. As you breathe out, count “two”. Inhale, 1. Exhale, 2. Inhale, 1. Exhale, 2. If you think about nothing other than your breathing and counting, you will find yourself drifting off into dreamland in no time.
Here are ten facts about you:
1. You are reading this right now.
2. You are thinking that is a stupid fact.
4. You did not notice I skipped 3.
5. You are checking now.
6. You are smiling.
7. You are still reading this even though it is stupid.
9. You did not realise I skipped 8.
10. You are checking again and smiling about how you fell for it again.
11. You are enjoying this.
12. You did not realise we have passed number 10.