Magic and Life

Household Illusions, Entry #2

Hey guys! This week is gonna be incredible! Is your week gong to be the same? In this blog post I wanted to talk about another common household item, that now a days, seems to be absolutely everywhere. It is the ever present plastic bottle.

In the video link at the bottom of this post, I show a lot of spectators how I can seemingly put the very object in their possession into a sealed plastic bottle within a couple seconds. For example one of their cell phones.

The most basic performance of this illusion is when the magician asks their audience members if any of them has an empty bottle they would care to part with. Then ask any other audience member if they could borrow an object that could fit in a bottle but not fit through the mouth of it. The magician takes the object from the second person and then walks over to the first person with the bottle. The bottle is taken and then given to the second person for inspection. When the bottle is handed back to the magician, the magician immediately transports the object into the bottle from the bottom or the side. At this point the magician holds up the bottle to prove the object is truly now, inside the bottle. The magician then hands the bottle over to the second person to keep (with their object inside) and the illusion is pretty much finished.

The inventor of this type of illusion is not actually known since the effect itself has been performed with common objects and sealed containers ever since 100 BC or even earlier. No definitive proof is available. From coins in a spectators pocket, to a large pocket watch that is most certainly far to big to fit through the mouth of a bottle. There are countless methods and endless applications for this very simple yet memorizing illusion.

Ever wonder where “the plastic bottle” originated? In 1856 Alexander Parkes invented the first man made plastic. In 1862 he presented it at the London International Exhibition as a material that had an abundance of uses for every sort of storage and material replacement application, namely glass. Through the century, many chemists developed more pliable and varied compositions of this man made material, spanning its versatility into every facet of our worldwide human productivity. Because of it’s very serious impact on our environment due to it’s non-biodegradable properties, recycling this material became a huge concern which started in the 1970’s. But recycling certain types of plastic is not as easy as you may think. You can’t just melt it down and reform a lot of it. Because the chemical composition will permanently change from its original state before it was formed (which is called virgin plastic). For example, about 40% of “plastic soda bottles” are actually washed and reused “as is”. This is what the industry calls “down-cycling”.

Oh, speaking of plastic soda bottles (as per in my magic performance video link below), it was the inventor Nathaniel C. Wyeth that came up with the chemical plastic composition in 1973, that could withstand the carbonated pressure that soda created. It is called polyethylene terephthalate… I don’t even want to try and pronounce that one.

If you try, I bet you can find about 20 different types of plastic in just one room of your house. It’s everywhere! Even coated on a lot of soft bound book covers as a plastic laminate.

Here is the video,

Take care you guys!

-Seth

“When the improbable stands before you, strive to achieve the impossible. You might be surprised at what you are capable of.”

For tickets to my next show in October, follow this link:
https://www.unlv.edu/event/magic-seth-grabel-benefit-unlv-performing-arts-center


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