March 29th Smoke and Mirrors Day

Smoke and Mirrors is a term associated with seeing something, or not seeing something, that is there. It’s the difference between the real and what we often think is real. Smoke often blurs our vision, it covers up things that might really be there, or hides things we think might be there but aren’t. Mirrors often let us see things that are not really there, or are hidden someplace else. Mix the two together and it is the perfect cover up. Imagine a huge army staring into a mirror and seeing another army as big as they are. Add a little smoke to cover up part of that imagine and the mind sees that large army but with the possibility that more hidden out of view. It’s magic but it seldom tells the whole story.

How to celebrate – Make sure what your looking at is not blurred by smoke and mirrors. Keep in mind that smoke and mirrors can be used when writing something as well as what you see. If something doesn’t feel right it might be covered up by smoke and mirrors.

March 29th Smoke and Mirrors Day

Smoke an mirrors is the idea of creating something that is not there appear there, or to make something appear different than it really is. It has been used for centuries. In fact most political figures use smoke and mirrors to divert attention from what they are really doing or really mean. It creates the illusion of something other than what it is., whether that’s an idea or a real tangible object. Magicians have used smoke and mirrors since magic was first used. In all honesty, there is nothing truly magical. The best magicians are very adapt at using smoke and mirrors so that you cannot see what they are actually doing. I admit, some are very, very good but you must keep in mind it is never what you think it is.

How to celebrate – Learn to do some magic tricks. Try to spot the illusion being created for you. Figure out where you can use smoke and mirrors in your daily life.

March 29th Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day

Today is the Festival of Smoke and Mirrors Day, or just Smoke and Mirror Day. It’s a day to question what you think you see because it may not be what you think it might be. Magicians use this art in their shows all the time. They get you watching something that takes your attention away from the actual trick they are performing.

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When something has no logical conclusion it can also be Smoke and Mirrors.  When we some5thing that isn’t really there, it’s probably smoke and mirrors. People who pretend they are something they are not, promises made that are never intended to be kept, what you want to believe is real but know it isn’t… that’s all smoke and mirrors.

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The entire idea is that you can’t see what is truly hidden by smoke, and what you do see in a mirror isn’t really there. How many of us live that way? We go to work and act one way, but at home we are someone different. We want to scream but know better than doing so. We become the mirror of what others want to see while we hide in the smoke of who we are.

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Oh well, that’s starting to get a little too deep. Just keep your eyes open so that you see the real thing, and not the smoke and mirrors being offered.

How to celebrate – Go see a magic show.

March 29th Festival of Some and Mirrors Day

Magicians rely on it, business depends on it and people are delighted by it (Most of the time), Yes, it’s Smoke and Mirrors. Meaning, of course, that you don’t really know that what you are seeing is real or not.

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It’s sort of like the shell game though at least in the shell game you know the pea is somewhere. With smoke and mirrors, what you think is there may not be there at all! What’s more, it may never have been there in the first place.

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For example, you know the picture above is not moving but still as you stare at it you will see movement. It’s like when you go into a store and find an item on sale for $2.00 when the normal price is $1.49. What a bargain! It’s on sale so it must be a good deal… but wait, it really isn’t!

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And depending on the way you look at this smoke in a mirror your perception will change. It’s still the same picture, it’s your mind that causes you to see it in several different way. Sometimes this is called a mirage which can be very bad in the dessert. Actually, come to think of it, it can be a bad thing no matter where you are.

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So shake you head and clear your mind, and see what is in the picture above.

How to celebrate – See if you can create your own illusion. See how many things you can find that take your attention away from what you are trying to concentrate on. Looking like you are actually doing work but aren’t is a particular art of smoke and mirrors.

Smoke And Mirrors Day

It seems we all love some form of magic.  We want to believe that someone is showing us something truly sensational and beyond the bounds of human comprehension.  The truth is, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Even the great Houdini was nothing more than an illusionist.  He was really, really good at it, but he tricked us into believing that he was doing something no one else could do.

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One of his more famous tricks involved being buried in a casket underground for a significant period of time.  Many others tried but failed, unfortunately fatally ending their acts.  So how did Harry survive when others failed?  Well, for months prior to attempting the trick he spent time learning to control his breathing.  Learning out to put his body into a state that it required, and consumed, very small amounts of oxygen.  He also chose an over sized coffin so that he could have the largest air supply available to him.  While others tried with small coffins that ran out of air, did no special conditioning prior to their unsuccessful attempts and even selected coffins that could not hold the weight of the earth piled on top of it, Harry had it all planned.  There was no magic.

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In another trick he was able to get out of a safe that was specifically built to hold him.  The trick here was to get the safe a day ahead of time pretending to need to stage it.  Well, stage it indeed his crew did.  They removed the springs in the safe and replaced them with softer springs, easier to manipulate.  He would have legitimate safe inspector come up to see that it had not been tampered with. (Nobody checked the springs because this was not an obvious, or easily done, job.) They would check the safe and Houdini himself and walk away satisfied all was on the up and up.  To reassure the audience he would also select a guest to come up with the safe people to check out everything as well.  The odd thing, that no one ever caught on to, was that the audience guest member would always be the last to leave before Houdini would be locked up in the safe.  This “Guest” was always a plant that slid Houdini the tool required to “spring” the lock and get out.  The safe was then covered by a curtain that allowed the sides to be seen so that no one could accuse him of going on or off stage.  Then hours would pass, long after the oxygen should have run out in the airtight enclosure.  The truth is, Houdini had been out of the safe within fifteen minutes of being locked up.  He would sit on top of the safe and wait for others to doubt anyone could survive this ordeal before revealing his great escape.

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His third great escape was one that had him, handcuffed, sealed in a crate and the crate lowered into the water. Houdini would first be handcuffed, making sure that only his “special” handcuffs were used.  They were real, and anyone trying them could not get out of them, unless you knew where the release was, which of course, Harry did.  Once he was in the crate, his crew would nail the lid down.  People would watch them, inspect the nails and verify that they were real.  They were, and equal to them was the nail trimmer that Houdini had inside the crate with him.  A boat would be brought along side with a crane and lift he crate up, moving out away from the dock slightly so the crate could be lowered into the water without interference.  By the time the crate hit the water, Houdini would already be free of the handcuffs and have started clipping away the nails he need to get out of the crate.  Now remembering he learned to control his breathing, he could stay under water for quite some time, when the crate was raised by the crane, Houdini would be sitting on top of the boards he had clipped away the nails from so that they would appear to still be in place.  The crate would be lowered onto the deck of the ship and while everyone paid attention to the Great Houdini, his crew would drive new nails in to replace the broken ones he had freed himself of.

It was all smoke and mirrors, and even Houdini told everyone that, though few believed him.  We see what we want to see, or in some cases, what a truly great performer wants us to see.  It is, more than often, not a true representation of what has actually taken place.

To celebrate: try learning a few card tricks to dazzle your friends!  Learn how to pull a rabbit from a hat! Run for a political office and try to make people think you are sincere!