Yonkel by Al RossonYonkel

I remember reading some years ago that Halloween was considered (at least informally ) National Magic Day. Most likely in honor of the passing of magician Harry Houdini on Oct 31st 1926. I'm a lifelong enthusiast of magic and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California. I got really inspired recently by a video clip featuring one of my favorite magicians, Fred Kaps. I made this video clip this past Halloween 2010 which is just a portion of a cups and balls routine. Yonkel is a nickname given to me by my good friend and amazing Magic Castle performer, Len Reid. 

The Parabolic Projection Praxinoscope by Al RossonThe Parabolic Projection Praxinoscope by Al Rosson

Click here to view the video of this praxinoscope built with a parabolic mirror to create the illusion that the character is actually standing in front of the curtains and in the middle of the stage (rather than behind a frame or window). It must be viewed with both eyes for the illusion to work properly. This effect was used in the early 1990s for the Sega arcade game Time Traveler. As an optical toy this Parabolic Projection Praxinoscope is unique. Click this to watch the video.