Science-ish Tricks for Parties

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Want to impress your friends with science? Okay, not so much "science" as cleverly constructed bar bets relying mostly on physics, human perception, and some chemistry? Okay, then I've got a video for you! In this quick YouTube video, Richard Wiseman shows simple instructions for ten easy tricks. I tried several of these and mostly got them to work: the notable exception being the thing with not moving my ring finger when my middle finger was bent -- I was able to move my ring finger a bit, but perhaps I'm just talented that way.

In a followup, Wiseman shows us ten more "science stunts" for parties. I couldn't get the finger-sausage thing to work, and the penny stack is a little lame (it appears to be more an estimation challenge than a trick), but stepping through a postcard is clever, the liquid/coin/cork/fire thing is awesome, and the classic rising-arm-from-the-doorway bit is always fun for first timers.

See more such things at Wiseman's YouTube channel. Note that many of these are promos for his books on the psychology of perception -- others are various tricks related to human perception. I haven't read his books, but the guy makes some clever YouTube videos!

Got a Favorite Science-ish Party Trick?

Post it in the comments! Also I'd be curious whether any of our readers have tried any of the tricks shown in the videos, and have tips or stories of amazing, confounding, or bothering your friends with them.

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April 26, 2011 - 6:29am
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