A deceptively unstable coffee table by Evan Gurgui

It's not for households with nervous people.

It's welded together so it won't fall over.

Evan Gurgui on Behance>>

Koringa! The Only Female Fakir in the World


Orphaned at age three, she was raised by fakirs in Bikanir, India, where she learned the exotic arts of sorcery.

She walks uncut over broken glass!

She dances barefoot on the edges of razor-sharp swords!

She walks over hypnotized wild crocodiles!

She will hypnotize YOU!

Enjoy these publicity posters, photos, program inserts and footage from the circus performer Koringa, whose real name was Renée Bernard. She was a leading act for the Mills Brothers Circus in the 1930s.


Read this article: Koringa: From Biknar to Blackpool, Cabinet>>

Koringa: new discoveries. Raffaele De Ritis' Novelties and Wonders>>

The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King

The company's "smiling Bob" ads boosted sales
of their male enhancement product Enzyte.
Customers were less than thrilled 
when they got the bills.

Steve Warshak owned an extremely profitable company which sold male enhancement pills. There was no proof the pills actually worked as advertised, but that wasn't illegal. In fact, the lead FBI investigator on the case said:
“It’s not illegal to sell snake oil if people are willing to buy it.”
However, Mr. Warshak was in big trouble for defrauding his customer's credit card accounts:
Warshak was the founder of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, a Cincinnati company that sold a wide range of supplements but made most of its money on one blockbuster product: Enzyte. Warshak sold countless men on the simple idea that happiness was just a little blue pill away. His pill had a six-letter name, just like the prescription drug it was designed to evoke. But unlike Viagra, Enzyte was “natural” and could be ordered without a prescription in the privacy of one’s home.

...prosecutors alleged that Warshak had exploited that desire for privacy to bilk his customers out of more than $100 million. The scam was simple, they alleged: Get a customer’s credit card number by offering a free sample (pay only the postage!), then charge the card again for more product than the customer ever ordered. Enzyte was marketed to men who didn’t want to go to the doctor, the government argued, and thus were likely to be ashamed of their sexual inadequacy. Warshak figured he could steal from these customers with minimum risk, prosecutors said; embarrassment would keep them from complaining.
From prison, Mr. Warshak maintained that he made some mistakes, but they were merely "growth issues."

Read about the con man who said it wasn't his fault, and if it was, the government was coming down too hard on him: The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King. Steve Warshak made millions on "natural male enhancement." Now he's doing hard time. GQ>>

Since the article was written, he did get a reduced sentence: Warshak's 25-year sentence cut to 10,>>

The 60-second $1 million casino money scam

Want to steal? Steal from the 
machines that give you "your" money.

How to exploit a security loophole. From Forbes magazine:
Ara Keshishyan put together a crew and gave each of the participants so-called “seed money,” which they deposited into Citibank checking accounts that each had recently opened.

After arriving at their targeted casino, the conspirators went to on-premise cash advance kiosks and withdrew multiples of the deposits that they had previously made into the Citibank accounts. Apparently, Keshishyan had discovered a glitch in Citibank’s security protocol whereby multiple withdrawals made within 60 seconds of each other at the kiosks would result in cash payments from the various cages at the casinos. The deposits and withdrawals were each kept under the federal transaction reporting level of $10,000 so as to conceal detection.

Being the alleged brains of the operation, Keshishyan kept the collected funds and doled out cuts to his conspirators.  His take was generally used for gambling.  On top of having gamed the Citibank cash advance process, Keshishyan and his crew were often “comped” into the casinos with free rooms based upon the level of their gambling.
They were caught, and Citibank said it closed the loophole.

Citibank And Casino Cash Gone In 60 Seconds And Bad Guys Comped, Forbes>>

Monster mouth zombie makeup

The big mouth makeup is by 
Reddit user "specialx".

It's unfair to judge the above picture in the glaring light. The following nightmarish animated gif version of another person's makeup definitely benefits from the dark, grainy black and white zooms and edits.

May I present to you my Zombie Walk makeup, Reddit>>

She was tricked into reading a sex abuse joke


A BBC radio presenter was tricked into reading a sex abuse joke on the air.

To understand this prank, you've got to know something about Jimmy Savile, who passed away in 2011. He was an honored UK media personality who worked a great deal with children.  After his death, credible allegations surfaced that he was a pedophile with as many as 300 victims.

Listen to the clip:

Good Morning Ulster - Jimmy Savile 2012 10 26

If you're Brit-speak challenged, here's the text version, which the female presenter says offers “an alternative view on the Jimmy Savile story”:
“I wish everyone would stop criticising Jimmy Savile. He was a nice man. When I was eight he fixed it for me to milk a cow blind-folded.”
- Jimmy Savile let me milk cow blindfolded - prank text BBC Radio Ulster reporter red-faced, Ricky Gervais in stitches, Belfast Telegraph>>
- Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal, Wikipedia>>

The caramel apple onion Halloween prank

Here's something funny to hand out to those 
pesky trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Just be careful they don't return the favor.

Distorted heads and bodies by Levi van Veluw

 Levi van Veluw is a Dutch artist
who messes with his own head.
(Natural Transfer 1)

Veneer 3


He also messes with the bodies of his family,
in this case his father, mother, brother, sister 
and himself, in "Family, Origin of the Beginning".

Levi van Veluw / Family / Origin of the Beginning

Levi van Veluw>>

Magician pranks people with a startling head trick

Why is this woman laughing hysterically?

Magician Rich Ferguson pranks people with his Halloween head drop illusion in San Luis Obispo, California. Some of the responses aren't so great, but the first and last reactions make the whole video worth it.

Halloween prank

Bicycle animation optical illusion

You attach it to your bike and then film it.

Katy Beveridge styled this illusion on phenakistoscopes, an early device that produced the illusion of animation.

The movement can only be seen when the bicycle is filmed.

The Bicycle Animation

She sells them at etsy>>

17 naked bodies painted into a car crash

 Look closely and try to find all seventeen. 

The naked and near-naked bodies were transformed into the wreck as part of an Australian campaign to stop speeding drivers.

This sculpture used body painting and clever arrangement to create the illusion of a vehicle.

Emma Hack was the "skin illustrator" in the project. She likes to paint directly on human bodies.

Body Crash - Behind the Scenes

Body Painting Film

Emma Hack>>

Beijing acrobats optical illusion

He really has to tilt his neck back...


Identity thief is not a master of disguise

Joshua K. Pinney, ineffective costumer

Mr. Pinney stole a man's identification and tried to get the man's bank to issue him a new debit card. He said he was in a recent accident, which was why he looked different than the guy in the ID.

The ID had already been reported stolen, and Mr. Pinney's disguise was not particularly effective.

He was arrested.

Man's identity theft attempt falls flat at Des Moines bank, Des Moines KOMO>>
Found via Boing Boing>>

Creepy whale voice sounds almost human

Meet NOC. He wants to speak to you.
A new paper published by the National Marine Mammal Foundation in the scientific journal Current Biology sheds light on the ability of marine mammals to spontaneously mimic human speech. The study details the case of a white whale named NOC who began to mimic the human voice, presumably a result of vocal learning.

"The whale's vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance," says Dr. Sam Ridgway, President of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. "These 'conversations' were heard several times before the whale was eventually identified as the source. In fact, we discovered it when a diver mistook the whale for a human voice giving him underwater directions."
NOC Mimicking Human Speech

Revenge of the tech paper nerds

Don't mess with smart people.

Need to write a technical paper but want that paper to make no sense at all?

SCIgen is a program that creates random Computer Science research papers. The papers have the look and feel of a real paper but are full of nonsense.

Yet some have been accepted at conferences.

Mathgen is a program that does the same for mathematics papers. One of its randomly generated fake papers was accepted by a journal for publication.

Why do tricksters create and use these programs? If you have to ask, I'm sorry, but you obviously do not understand the nerdster (nerd trickster) mind.

Nerds laughing (from "Revenge of the Nerds")

Are you more of a liberal arts type of person? Go to this site and insert whatever topic you know nothing about - but would like to pretend to write about - at this essay generator>>

- Mathgen paper accepted!, Thats mathematics>>
- SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator, MIT>>
- Found via Marginal Revolution, Nonsense paper accepted by mathematics journal>>

Spooky face in a mirror illusion by David Andora

Make your own Haunted Mansion decorations

Spooky face in a mirror special effect

Find out how to make it at Instructables>>
Mr. Andora really likes Halloween: David Andora>>

The man who pretended to be a serial killer

Thomas Quick

The Swedish man, whose real name is Sture Bergwall, called himself Thomas Quick and confessed to 30 murders, some which involved rape and cannibalism. Despite the lack of physical evidence, he was tried and convicted of eight killings.

Then he said he made it all up, and his confessions were false.

If that's true, why did he pretend, and how did he convince an army of smart people that he was a notorious killer?
Bergwall had always wanted to meld in. He was a teenage misfit. He grew up in a small town in rural Sweden, one of seven siblings raised according to strict Pentecostal beliefs. He describes himself as a "creative and ambitious" child, interested in theatre and writing. At 14, he realised he was gay. Ashamed by his sexuality, he hid it from his deeply religious parents. He started experimenting with drugs – amphetamine was his favourite – and, at the age of 19, was accused of molesting adolescent boys. Later, he tried to stab a former lover. In 1990, he robbed a local bank dressed in a Santa Claus outfit to feed his addiction. The clerk recognised him. He was incarcerated in Säter hospital for psychiatric treatment. Not a stable individual, then, but not a serial killer – at least, not yet.

As a young man, Bergwall had always hankered after being taken seriously and treated as an intelligent person. For a while, he wanted to be a doctor and read up on psychoanalysis. In Säter, he began to realise he could use this knowledge to get the attention and acceptance he craved. "What would you say," he asked his therapist one day in 1992, "if I had done something really bad?"

"That created a reaction, an interest," Bergwall says now. "I said: 'Maybe I murdered someone' and once I'd said that, there was no going back."

A chair that's not quite there

There's a reason this chair has holes in it.

Designer Tuomas Markunpoika Tolvanen was inspired by his grandmother, who has Alzheimer's disease, and created a chair which retains the shape of a solid chair.

He made it by welding steel rings over an existing wooden chair, and then burning away the original chair with fire.

Before the burning.

Engineering Temporality by Tuomas Markunpoika Tolvanen, Dezeen>>

Zipper-head zombie face makeup

A most disturbing zipper face
(Click to enlarge)

This might be the most gruesome and deceptive Halloween zombie face involving zippered skin.

Compare it to examples of non-zippered zombies from a 2011 zombie walk in Paris, France:

A magician stretches comedian Phyllis Diller

She said she wanted to be taller...

On this 1966 episode of the Hollywood Palace TV variety show, magician Kirk Kirkham performed his signature trick of "Stretching a Woman". Here, he stretches actress and comic Phyllis Diller.

He owned the stretching apparatus once used by the magician Howard Thurston.

Stretching a Woman with Phyllis Diller

Mr. Kirkham normally stretched his wife Phyllis. Here he is on the 1950s TV show "You Asked For It", with host Art Baker, before he refurbished the stage illusion to look more modern.

Stretching a Woman on "You Asked For It"

The magician Carter the Great had also performed the illusion, calling it "The Elongated Maiden", a "baffling Chinese mystery":
A pretty Chinese girl tied to a torture rack, without seeming discomfort, apparently permits her head and limbs to be stretched yards away from their natural positions.

Kirk Kirkham>>

Watch a black and white video get more colorful

All is not what it appears to be

Eran Amir messes with your eyeball's rods and cones:
A black & white video created by painting a whole room (including myself) in shades of grey. All footage was captured on camera in colour.
Even when you know what's happening, it's hard to see all the changes.

Black & White (In Colour)

The Secret of Black & White (In Colour)

Magician does sleight of hand... with no hands

Mahdi Gilbert

Mahdi Gilbert has no hands, but he can still cheat at cards.

In this video, he demonstrates his abilities at performing what's called a blind overhand shuffle, where he can control a group of cards on top of the deck while shuffling the rest of the cards.

Overhand Blind Shuffle (Top Stock)


"I got poked in the eye."

Criminal gang imports fake white powder

Oh no, it's not OMO!

You can make money counterfeiting anything.

In Sydney, Australia, police confiscated 40 tons (5,000 buckets) of a washing detergent called OMO.

The detergent was fake.

A criminal syndicate had imported the counterfeit washing detergent from China and labeled it OMO.

Police seize counterfeit washing powder, SkyNews, Australia>>

To be a good art forger, make them believe

When giving an interview, the art forger 
Wolfgang Beltracch displayed "a healthy 
amount of what the Germans call 
Selbstgefälligkeit, or self-satisfaction."

Learn how the con-artist painter Wolfgang Beltracch conned the art world. The beginning:
...He enjoyed some early success as a painter in his own right, contributing three works to a prestigious art exhibition in Munich in 1978. But, by his own admission, he was more drawn to the outlaw life. One day during his wanderings, he bought a pair of winter landscapes by an unknown 18th-century Dutch painter for $250 apiece. Fischer had noticed that tableaus from the period which depicted ice skaters sold for five times the price of those without ice skaters. In his atelier, he carefully painted a pair of skaters into the scenes and resold the canvases for a considerable profit. Thirty years ago, fakes were even harder to detect than they are now, he tells me. “They weren’t the first ones I made, but they were an important step.” Soon he was purchasing old wooden frames and painting ice-skating scenes from scratch, passing them off as the works of old masters.
Eventually, after years of creating forgeries, he was caught, and received a light jail sentence. How was he able to get away with it for so long?
Today, critics are divided about how good a fraudster Beltracchi was. Daniel Filipacchi says he remains impressed by Beltracchi’s talent. “He’s a genius. The Forest (2) is very, very well done, and the other ‘Max Ernsts’ that I’ve seen are all amazing paintings.” Werner Spies agrees: “They can only be described as the work of a brilliant forger.” But Aya Soika thinks Beltracchi’s greatest talent is as a self-promoter. She notes that his use of a projector suggests that at least some of his work was the result of meticulous duplication rather than artistic creativity. Ralph Jentsch dismisses the bulk of Beltracchi’s forgeries as “rubbish” and “crude fakes.” Scoffing at Beltracchi’s self-portrayal as a brilliant role player who inhabited the minds of great artists, Jentsch says Beltracchi approached painting like “someone decorating a Christmas tree. Add some lights here, some balls there. An artist doesn’t work like that.” So how did so many art experts fall for Beltracchi’s rubbish for so long? Jentsch traces the failure to sloppiness, laziness, and in some cases, a powerful desire to believe. The Beltracchis cleverly exploited the blindness and gullibility that pervades the high-stakes world of art, where connoisseurship and provenance can get lost in the frenzy of excitement over a new find. They also took advantage of the particular circumstances in Germany, where the Nazi past can perversely be used as a sort of shortcut to legitimacy—tapping, as well, into deep reservoirs of German guilt and loss. The Beltracchis, Jentsch says, were “very clever . . . from a psychological standpoint. They thought, How can we make people believe our story?” And, he concludes, “they carried it off brilliantly.”
Read the story: The Greatest Fake-Art Scam in History? One of his forgeries hung in a show at the Met. Steve Martin bought another of his fake paintings. Still others have sold at auction for multi-million-dollar prices. So how did a self-described German hippie pull off one of the biggest, most lucrative cons in art-world history? And how did he get nailed? Vanity Fair>>

Find hidden images in this fat face

Can you find them?
(Click to enlarge)

There are pictures hidden inside this cover for the first album released by the rock band Warrant. The artwork for their 1989 debut album Dirty Rotten Stinking Rich is by Mark Ryden, who continues to make paintings, with increasingly surreal content.

"The Pumpkin President" by Mark Ryden

Mark Ryden>>

How one magician fooled his volunteer

"And for my last trick, I need 
a volunteer to bury me alive."
(Click to enlarge)

A comic by Ryan Hudson, from Channelate.

This is the reason that you must listen to a magician's words very carefully. He did say "And for my last trick..."

Found at Roland Henning's The Weekly Magic Failure>>