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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Lighting a candle with your thoughts (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mikael Eriksson
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A friend once told me that he had witnessed how a friend of him, when they were meditating, lighted a candle with the power of his thoughts. I trust my friends words that he saw it, but the explanation might be another. I have searched for such an effect, but could not find any. It seemed that there used to be one, or it´s a dangerous thing to do. Does anyone have any advice to give about where to find such an effect, or whether or not it is dangerous?

Mikael
Ian Rowland
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I've seen this kind of thing mentioned in various books. The typical approach is to use chemicals which can spontaneously combust in air, allied to some time delay mechanism such as evaporation. Don't ask me for more details because I'm not going to go through my library searching for examples and, in any case, I doubt you seriously want to try and add this item to your program!

There are also mechanical / electronic versions of this effect, but obviously only suitable for highly contrived stage or performing conditions.

A slightly more practical trick is to cause a cigarette or wooden match to spontaneously combust while it rests, untouched, in a clear, empty ashtray. This takes some preparation with two freely-available chemicals, but it can be done and it IS practical (I featured it in my stage act for a number of years).
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Mikael Eriksson
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Ah! Yes now I remember this was in a David Harkey book I had. Good you mentioned it, this is something I think I will try as soon as possible!

Mikael



Quote:
On 2002-03-03 19:57, Ian Rowland wrote:
A slightly more practical trick is to cause a cigarette or wooden match to spontaneously combust while it rests, untouched, in a clear, empty ashtray.
Greg Arce
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Potassium permangenate and a bit of glycerine and Poof!
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
vovin
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I have this in the form of demon's dirt and I have to say it is very hard to get it to work. The problem is you can't time well when the reaction will take place. sometimes it takes 20 minutes. So I have only experimented with it a few times but it is not that reliable at all.
brainman
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I agree to vovin - I do not like the "noise" it is making...
and it does sprinkle this awful color around.

In different frums I asked about a method to get a flame via remote control...I think this should be possible - but no one seems to know..

Majoral Juan?

phanthomas
vovin
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we'll I can tell you this is something I had considered if you bust the glass from a small bulb leaving the fillament intact. When you apply a current to the bulb it will get real hot and will ignite a wick if the wick is wet with some kind of fuel.

Bad part is setting this kind of contraption up on a candle is kind of impractical.

I have tried it and found it successful if you split the candle in half and run the wires up the middle hollowing out the insides for the bulb and wires. then with a remote you can activate it but I don't think it is worth the trouble.
berseus
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If there is no useful method for lighting a candle maybe there is one for putting a candle out (it is not as marvellous an effect but i still think it has good potential).

I have been thinking about it a little for the last couple of months but haven't come up with a good method.

Maybe an airpump in the sleeve or something though it might be too obvious...

How could it be done?

/ Karl Berseus
"How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else." - R. Buckminster Fuller
MichelAsselin
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I thiunk putting out the candle is a lot more 'buyable' from an audience standpoint. Maybe putting out 2 mentally candles out of a field of, say, 10; the second one as an afterthought. But this would play better with a haunted house theme, otherwise you might be expected to be able to pull it off anytime, anywhere.

And that, I think, is one of the hallmarks of good mentalism; the audience should feel that you could pull this off under conditions other than the 'staged'.
" , ? ; !!! "
- Marcel Marceau, Feb 30, 1945.
Marduke Kurios
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Here are a couple of ideas you might like...

To light the candle, put a small airplane/hobby glo-plug into a candle mold. Should be no problem. Attach your wires to a remote built into the base. (similar to vovin's idea, but I suggest making the candles yourself, from scratch. It's fun, and easy).

Have a small iron weight attached to the bottom of the wick (in the holder). A magnet applied to the bottom of candle, inside the table/book will pull the wick downward, extinguishing the candle.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile - awe in unison
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Love always.

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Marduke Kurios
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BTW - I have used the potassium/glycerol system with great success.
It is important to weigh both chemicals exactly. It will work within 5 seconds everytime. The chemical must be measured exactly the same each time (or as closely as possible).

Tissue paper works the best to get it going. Then you can use another combustible to continue.

One routine I used it for was getting a spectator's pay envelope to ignite with their money inside. The look on their faces was priceless.

While the chemicals are relatively safe when stored separately, GREAT CARE must be used. The potassium will stain your hands. The more finely ground it is, the faster ignition possible.

ALWAYS have insurance when using ANY type of fire in your show. Don't leave home without it. Trust me on this fact. It's inexpensive piece of mind. SAFETY above all else.

This is for educational and entertainment purposes only. I accept no responsibily for the results of your actions, and by reading this post you agree to indemnify and hold me harmless from any liability or problems arising from you using this information, in any way.
Without prejudice.

PM me for more information. Copyright 2002.
Live well,
Laugh often,
Love always.

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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Greg Arce
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Oh, well, let me give out a personal effect with these chemicals. Take the potassium and put a small amount into the center of a piece of tissue. The piece of tissue would be no bigger than a dime. And the amount of potassium would be slightly larger than the head of a paper match. Roll the piece of tissue up so it looks like a tiny comet with all the chemical in the head. Take a matchbook and open it up. In the back row of matches you will see that there are empty rows made by the spaced out matches. Shove the comet into the middle most row so that the head is flush with the other match heads. Close the book and then place a large drop of glycerine on the front of the match book so that it is over the are that the comet lies within. Place the match book on a convenient spot with the drop facing the ceiling. You're now set. Talk about PK powers or pyro-psychis... what ever. Pick up the matches and say as you open the matchbook. "You know why they tell you to close match book before striking?" You have open the matchbook cover then folded it back behind the matches so that all the matches are exposed. Say, "because if you struck a match while it was open the spark could set the other ones off. Watch." You are going to hold the matchbook at your fingertips and at the bottom near the the staple. As you adjust the book there you other hand comes across to help and you squeeze the back cover against the back row of matches. The drop of glycerine will soak the tissue. Seconds later, as you stare intently at the matches, a wisp of smoke will appear then a spark and suddenly all the matches will go up in flames. Take your dramatic pose. Now use your other hand to smack the book... supposedly to turn off the fire. It will turn the fire off, but it will dislodge the chemical comet that will fall to the floor looking much like a burnt match head. There is nothing to find now so hand out the book if you'd like.
Have fun.
Greg Arce
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
lesterkirad
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I have a few questions about these chemicals. I have them and was playing around with them, but I could never get them to produce a flame. Are they even supposed to make a flame, or just heat? What ratio do you mix them in? Also, concerning the matchbook, are you saying that you put the glycerine on the outside and you let it soak in to the inside of the book? Thanks for your help.
Ben Blau
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Though I've never tried this, I've often wondered if it would work: When I was a kid, I used to play with what were called "model rockets." They had sort of compacted gunpowder engines, which were set off by a special filament called a "solar ignitor." This was hooked up to a large battery; the DC made it hot enough to light off the engines. If anyone remembers these, the ignitors have a black tip, which doesn't look unlike a candle wick. This could be rigged so that the tip is placed against the actual wick, which itself is treated with a combustible substance to get the flame started easily. The "leads" could be concealed inside the wax, and connected to wires hooked up to the battery.

Certainly, this wouldn't be an examinable prop, but it might be a nice visual start to a formal parlor show of mentalism. Someday I'll go to the trouble of trying it.
magus
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the chemicals WILL work- BUT- the Potassium Permanganate must be fresh, you must seal the bottle after you remove some to experiment (every time) or it goes bad (a friend who used this for a couple of effects also told me to keep it out of sunlight- I don't know about that- but I'll do it anyway)
use a minimum of glycerine (so it will still burn) and it gets hot, then it bubbles and flames on- I used to have a flashpaper fuse going to some flamable material- using the potassium permanganate and glycerine just as an igniter.
crappy deium-



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Greg Arce
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Quote:
On 2002-03-24 13:14, lesterkirad wrote:
I have a few questions about these chemicals. I have them and was playing around with them, but I could never get them to produce a flame. Are they even supposed to make a flame, or just heat? What ratio do you mix them in? Also, concerning the matchbook, are you saying that you put the glycerine on the outside and you let it soak in to the inside of the book? Thanks for your help.


No. You put a drop on the outside of the book... you have to do this a short time before you're ready to perform because the glycerine will either roll off the book or soak as you've stated. The drop is on the outside, but when you open up the cover to show the matches you place the cover behind the matches... picture closing the cover again but bypassing all the matches. The drop will now be in close proximity to the hidden pellet. All you have to do is squeeze the top of cover against the matches and the drop will soak into the pellet. I hope that explains... I know it's hard to describe without seeing it in action.
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
lesterkirad
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Thanks. That clears it up. I can't wait to try it.
lesterkirad
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Another source of chemicals that can be used to create self lighting effects is Keith Clark's "Encyclopedia of Cigarette Tricks". It mentions several different chemical combinations that can be used, but I wouldn't know how to go about getting any of these. I seriously doubt you could get any of them. Also, with potassium permangenate and glycerine, where is a good place to obtain these. I got mine through the self lighting match trick, but it was $25. I didn't know if there was a cheaper way to get it.
vovin
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Quote:
On 2002-03-20 09:55, berseus wrote:
If there is no useful method for lighting a candle maybe there is one for putting a candle out (it is not as marvellous an effect but i still think it has good potential).

I have been thinking about it a little for the last couple of months but haven't come up with a good method.

Maybe an airpump in the sleeve or something though it might be too obvious...

How could it be done?

/ Karl Berseus


How about using a stream if inert gas coming from your sleeve. It would replace the air around the flame, and since fire needs oxygen to burn it would smother it. dunno if it would actually work but it might.
Necromancer
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About magically extinguishing candles:
Burger refers to "Ghost Candles" in his book, Spirit Theatre (I don't recall the original source). He also admits that they never worked that well for them, and they were something of a hassle to make, but the theory seems like it should work -- hollow candles attached to a board; wicks threaded through the candles and out the underside of the board; at the appropriate moment, wicks are retracted from below, extinguishing the flame.
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
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