Geek-out Sunday part XX: science party tricks

Don Herbert, Mr. WizardEver since I was a kid I’ve been a sucker for the fine line where science and parlor magic seem to coexist thanks to the likes of Don Herbert (a.k.a. Mr. Wizard) and others.  Thanks to his Mr. Wizard’s Supermarket Science I had my parents and grandparents constantly running to the grocery store to pick up random odds and ends that on more than one occasion required clean-up efforts on par with an EPA Superfund site.  This passion has recently been rekindled thanks to my two daughters who are now entering elementary school and bringing home little science projects (hello popcorn rock).

Professional magician and professor of psychology Richard Wiseman has created a series of videos, a number of books, and a very popular blog taking Mr. Wizard’s work out of the laboratory (or the kitchen) and into everyday life.  Below are 30 of his “quirkology” science party tricks that – if you’re a true geek – you’ve probably seen before or (at the very least) can describe the science behind.  Needless to say if you’re breaking out some of these tricks to amuse your friends, you might want to consider moving on to a more lively party.

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