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Whit Haydn
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The one on the left is a real shell.

Andrew Wimhurst has directed me to a site that has an alternative view of this controversy by Steve Pellegrino that many might find interesting:

http://magic.atomicbrew.com/
Daegs
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Just wanted to report in, as of 4:10pm central time, September 29th, they are still teaching Bob Sheet's move on the instructional video.
Larry Davidson
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As I've said before, do the right thing. Voice your opinion with your wallet.
Whit Haydn
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Penguin has now removed the references to the "Street Shells" from their web site. Even though they still refer to their shells as "Street Shells" on their promotional video, this is a satisfactory response to the School for Scoundrels, and resolves our main complaint.

However, they still teach Bob Sheets' acquitment move on their instructional video, and this should be changed immediately.

Thanks everyone for your support in this.
sleightly
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Sorry I'm so late to the party! I've been too busy actually running the shell game (four hours straight yesterday alone) to have time to spend time setting up a photo shoot...

Thanks to Randy for his kind words about La Maggiore. He is very passionate about his favorite shells and for that I admire his willingness to voice his opinion even when it might not be popular...

To address Whit's challenge to Randy... Most performers would be very hard pressed indeed to find the wonderful shells that I used as the basis for La Maggiore. They are not commonly available in the United States and are not produced agriculturally in great quantities and therefore won't show up in your local grocery store. Randy's main complaint about the Street Shells appears to be about the pale color (when compared to normal walnuts and is apparent when you look again at the photos Whit posted) as well as certain production quality issues that may be out of Whit's control.

To look at a true third-party review of each of the synthetic walnuts shells currently available, I would recommend you check out the blog Whit mentioned above http://magic.atomicbrew.com/ to see side-by-side photos of all the shells and to get commentary from someone who actually plunked down his own cash just to see the differences (which, incidentally, shouldn't the major magazines have to do?). Steve has expended a great deal of his time, effort and cash to this end and I highly admire his willingness to take and report from a consistent, specifically critical viewpoint.

We need more like him.


Posted: Sep 30, 2004 11:44pm
---------------------------------------
Just for the fun of it, here follows a few shots in the natural versus molded shell series...

Can you find the molded La Maggiore shell in the first two shots?

The first one to correctly identify the molded shells in Shots #1 & Shots #2 will receive a free Vernet set of shells...

The photos can be found at:

http://www.threeshellgame.com/cafe.htm

Good luck!


Posted: Oct 1, 2004 12:16am
---------------------------------------
In the spirit of fun, and to correct an earlier statement of Whit's, there have always been (from the inception of threeshellgame.com) three photographs of La Maggiore beside a standard Diamond walnut on the bottom of the Specifications page...

http://www.threeshellgame.com/specs.htm

I had forgotten they were even there and taking Whit at his word, duplicated them with some additional captioning at the bottom of...

http://www.threeshellgame.com/cafe.htm

As for the "Often referred to as “Italian walnuts,” (quoted from threeshellgame.com), I think the page above makes up for such an egregious error, n'est pas?

;O)

That's it, nothing more to see, go back to your pitches...

Check 'em all out guys and gals, and find what works best for you. I know which I'd choose... time for y'all to make up your own minds...

Now, hopefully the twelve of us can get back to our lives...

ajp
ASW
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Okay, break it up you guys, or I'll have to spray you with the garden hose. Darned kids.

Steve Pellegrino has posted a swathe of reviews on his site (see Whit's post above). In Steve's opinion, Andrew's shells get the blue ribbon, best of show. However, Steve's best advice is to make up your own mind.

I did ages ago - I use the La Maggiore shells because I have big mitts, but I think that the SFS, La Maggiore and the Black Fox shells are all on a par in terms of quality.

cheers
Andrew Wimhurst
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BobSheets
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Wow. It took a week but Penguin re shot their training video for the shells and REMOVED my "work" from the site.

What will they remove next the Asher Twist? Talked to Lee about something else and he mentiioned that his move, from his video, has been shown on Paul Wilsons Richochet training tape at Penguin.

How about the Magic Makers RAPE of the John Kennedy Line including the Mystery Box. It's now called the Mini Magic Card Box...OF DEATH.

Bazaare de Magia Watch and Wear has reincarnated as The Time Machine. Dubious Dominos is now Magic Monte Dominos.

Viking got ripped for the Impossible Penetration and Magic Makers calls it the Fantastic Finger Chopper.

John Cornelius and his Thought Transmitter.

All of them will be in my magic prayers.

Bob.
Whit Haydn
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That's good news, Bob. Let's hope that it presages a new way of doing business for these two companies. Their past behavior is deplorable.

I do not understand Steve Pelligrino's defence of Magic Makers and Penguin on his website http://www.magic.atomicbrew.com .

He implies that if their behavior is not illegal, it is not unethical. That is not the sort of point of view that I would like to see become commonplace in the magic community.

It would be the end of community and the beginning of cutthroat competition, increased secretiveness, less sharing, and the withdrawal of the best magicians from teaching, lecturing, and producing dvds and products.
Lee Asher
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Great news Bob....

I think Genii, Magic Magazine, Linking Ring, and MUM (and any others) should reconsider their advertising strategies. It truly starts with them. Right now, I hold them as responsible as Penguin. They get the word out to everyone - they give Penguin creditability.

This whole "CANT REFUSE ANYONE AD SPACE" is a joke.

Unless you deny them because of Civil Liberties, it's fair game. No more hiding behind that one boys...
You are all private publications. Welcome to the NO SHIRT, NO SHOES policy. You CAN refuse service to anyone you want!!

The question now remains, WILL they REFUSE SERVICE??

The artists of magic have had enough. Without the artists, there can be no art. Magic is in a very dangerous position now.

Will this art survive??

Good luck Penguin - you are going to need it!

A fool you thought had no juice,
Lee Asher
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Dave V
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I just saw the new video. My next question is: Why didn't they do that in the first place? They keep following the same pattern. First they do what they must know is the wrong thing, then wait a few weeks and make it "right" (usually about the time they sell out of the first run, hmmm) It also seems to be about the time they start giving it away for "free" when you buy something else. They'd do much better if they fixed it first, then they wouldn't have to give away their mistakes.

The new video is much nicer. One and a half minutes longer, much better explained, the Bob Sheets move has been replaced with a more generic (but similar) move that doesn't violate anyone's property rights, and a few other ideas were added that weren't there in the first video. I'm even thinking of using one of their ideas with my shells and the "Perfect Pea" that will allow the spectators to handle things at the end without fear of them discovering the "secret."

Thanks Penguin for fixing this, but you're not off the hook yet.
Just remember. We'll be watching...

Bob,
I think your "secret" is safe. The "penguinites" have already started talking about "improving" your move, and taking a big step backwards at the same time. Without seeing your full video they'll never know how good it really is.

That's the problem with getting something for "free." If they don't have to pay for it, they don't assign any value to it and are quick to move on to the next magic "freebie."
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Randy Sager
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Sorry have not been able to post in few days due to wrk and other things needing to be done.

Sorry if My original post was abit harsh. As Andrew said I am passionate about the shells I have chosen. I too think Steve Pellegrino gave a great review of shells on his blog.

whit I am not the only one who has commented on the color of the Street Shells. Others have said there more of an almond shell color then walnut. The real point tho is use whatever set you like the best. It doesn't realy matter what I or anyone else says. You have to decide for yourself what is best.
Whit Haydn
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Thanks for the advice, Randy. I will take it under consideration. Smile
Bill Palmer
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Bob Sheets wrote
Quote:
Bazaare de Magia Watch and Wear has reincarnated as The Time Machine. Dubious Dominos is now Magic Monte Dominos.


This is actually a bit more complex than that. Watch and Wear actually was one of the versions of Perfect Time that Collectors Workshop put out. Bazaar knocked it off. Then they claimed that George Robinson had given them permission for it. What George told me was that he finally told them "Hell, go ahead and make it. I can't stop you."

Regarding Steve Pellegrino's apparent defection to the Forces of Evil -- well, it's embarrassing. He goes off about the Linking Lifesavers/Magic Mints controversy without knowing all the facts. That whole thing started five years ago when Colin shipped the first ones to Hocus Pocus.

His analogy of the Chinese manufacture of the computers is totally off-base. Those are done under license from Apple. The knockoffs aren't done under license from anyone.

I'm embarrassed a bit, because he seems to think that I am an unbiased authority on the cups and balls. I'm not. I have definite biases. And I'll have more. I plan to have cups made to MY specifications. And I'm not an authority. I'm a beginner. I don't think he calls me an authority, though. I really don't want to go back and find out. I feel dirty when I visit that blog.

I do feel that he is being somewhat unfair by singling Whit out on this whole thing. It's not right, and it's not kind.

One charge in particular that bothers me is the implication that Whit and the School for Scoundrels are doing something that is somehow underhanded by republishing Tom Osborne's book on the shell game. This book is in the public domain. It's one of those that fell through the cracks in the copyright law, because of the demise of the various people involved in its publication and the various problems in the copyright law. This is a "no harm - no foul" situation.


I thought Steve was better than this.
"The Swatter"

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Whit Haydn
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Thanks for your comments, Bill.

I would like to point out that we do not, and have no intention to, publish Tom Osborne's book "The Three Shell Game." Edited by Ralph W. Reed, and illustrated by Bill Hana.

We sell it, but like all the other dealers, buy it from wholesalers. I believe the publisher is Lee Grey, and the copyright is listed as 1975, Lee Grey. The original copyright is 1938, Mitchell Kanter. I do not know, but have no reason to believe the copyright is not still in effect.

We do not know why, and do not like the fact that Tom Osborne's name is removed from the book as the author. I have brought this up several times to knowledgeable guys, and no one has been able to enlighten me.

The original forward was signed by Tom Osborne, as I have one of the original copies. It is now signed by Mike Kanter, and to all appearances, the book was written by him. This is not right.

However, we have no reason to assume that the copyright for the book was not owned by Mitchell Kanter or that it is not currently owned by the publisher.

That is all we know about it at this time.

We list the book in our catalog by its true author, the late Tom Osborne--a very important and seminal magic writer.

We make it available to our customers because it is perhaps the most important book on the shells available to date, and the work in it, though sometimes hard to decipher, is right from the streets and extremely valuable to any worker.

If it were true that the book is public domain, we would be glad to republish it in its original form with the credits as they should be. As it is, we make it available to our customers with the assumption that it is under the copyright of the publisher.

I do not know if the publisher Lee Grey, who has many magic writing credits, is still around, and have not been able to locate the address listed at 200 S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Hopefully, someone who knows the story of this wonderful book's heritage will chime in here.

Anyone that knows more, please help.


Posted: Oct 2, 2004 9:37pm
-----------------------------------------
With regard to Steve Pellegrino's blog, I have to admit that I kind of like the snazzy-looking hat who has put on my photo. But I did not feel that this statement was fair or accurate:

"To get directly to the point--Whit isn't so concerned about "ethics", but more concerned about another company selling shells. He wants two things--to be perceived as THE expert in the field and to be the only person selling artificial shells. These two things conflict with each other."

I have never claimed to be an "expert" at the shells-- only a student of the game. I have tried to give my best advice and help about the game whenever questions were brought up on the board, and I have tried to be fair in talking about my own and others products.

I admit to being a bit biased about my own design, which I guess is only natural, but this bias is something I have always readily admitted.

It is simply untrue that I want to be the only manufacturer of shell sets. I have made as much money selling other peoples products as my own, and the more sets and varieties of design available, the happier we at the School for Scoundrels become. We think it is great that there are a variety of shell sets available that suit the various needs of our students and customers.

We think that the upsurge in interest in street cons is great, and welcome anyone who has something new and different to offer the fraternity.

I don't believe I have ever put down the La Magiorre or the Black Fox, or any other shell sets.

Even in my admittedly biased description of the Magic Maker set, I tried to give them their due, although I really do not like the fact that they settled for a copy of something already available when they could have created something new and better with little additional work.

I do not like the fact that they copied a set already in existence, or that they attempted to usurp our brand name for the second time. I did not think it was necessary for them to copy their instructions and illustrations from Tom Osborne and Frank Garcia without crediting the sources.

I did not think it fair or right to use Bob Sheets work in their free downloadable instructions.

The complaints about Bob Sheets and the use of our brand name have been corrected by Penguin, and we thank them for that. Our other concerns remain.

The School for Scoundrels was an early supporter of Andrew Pinard's La Magiorre Shells, and supplied him with our Perfect Peas at below wholesale price so that he could include them in his set.

Andrew has given us support in return, and although we sometimes debate the various merits of our respective shells, we certainly have never suggested that either set is less than worthy.

I take strong exception to the description of my longtime posting on this subject on this and other boards, and I think that Steve's blasts against me are unfair and unwarranted.
Bill Palmer
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I may be wrong about the copyright on the Tom Osborne book. However, the original copyright ran out in 1966. If the copyright was renewed on a different edition, it may fall into the same "nether region" that the Bobo book did. OTOH, Steve is completely out of place for blasting anyone for selling copies that are being published by someone else, especially if that person assumes that the copies are legal. Since School for Scoundrels is not publishing the Lee Grey edition, he is pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

I'm just curious about what got to Steve on these posts in the first place.
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bishthemagish
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Bill - Whit...

The reason I feel that he is posting this way is to get us all talking about the site and perhaps get us over their to defend our views.

I was attacked on my spelling and because I happen to like Doc and he comes out and calls Doc a crook.

This guy lives here in St. Louis and for a while was selling web hosting and I was one of his customers for a while. I understand he knows some names in magic as we all do and for a while lived in Wisconsin.

I know a lot of Wisconsin magicians having lived there before Chicago.

Well he is not selling band with and it seems that he is doing this and there is a lot of other forums. In order to do this and make money you have to have members and hits.

In order to get members and hits so you can charge you have to get a lot of traffic over there. What better way than to insult and question people in other forums and have them come over to defend their statements?

It is all a con as far as I can see it.

It sort of reminds me of the rant sheet that Burling Hull put out called the gosh darn truth about magic. With him arguing with a mentalist about something that the mentalist said about Burling...

This person is not a professional magician. He has done shows but it is a part time thing and he doesn't make a living doing shows.

I feel this whole thing is about getting well known people over there at his forum and get them arguing about things and then he profits by hits and advertising.

He may be want ing Penguin to be his advertiser because many of the good advertisers are already advertising at other forums and I know as bring related to a dealer. Many magic dealers do not have the advertising money to spend on this kind of advertising.

My feeling is that his forum and posting is just not worth my time because the more you defend the more he will bait you and it will go on and on. It is just not worth it.

I feel that I should just leave it alone and I don't care what he thinks or says. Because I know what I am and what I can do.

Bill and Whit your tops in magic and have the years and rep to back it up. He only hurts himself when he insults us because if we do not play ball in his ball park it only will make him mad and sooner or later people will get tired of his ranting and raveing.

Because deep down they know what is good and what is false and what are lies.

As my Mom and Dad would say rise above it!

So I see it is that he is baiting us... And he is a master at it
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Bill Palmer
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Well put, Glenn.

And as long as we don't take the bait, he is no longer a master.

It's easy to pick on someone's spelling.

Synce I never make misteaks, I don't' have annytthing to wory about.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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bishthemagish
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As my son would say - Bill you are cool...

I feel sorry for Whit he has taken a lot of below the belt insults on that forum. And Whit is a great guy and his school of scoundrels is a great place to buy the shells.

Also this guy says that he has advertising but he has not taken any money from this advertiser. I used to buy web hosting and it wasn't free.

If it isn't money he is getting from magic dealers I am sure he is getting product from them.

I know this becaue he mentioned some of the perks that he got from others that he did web sites for. So I would say he is getting products instead of money!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Steve Brooks
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There seems to be several so-called Blogs related to Magic on the web - and why not? They cost the owner/user nothing, and most can say what they want under any ficticious name they choose and with little chance of anything being done about it (No consequences for their actions).

A good analogy would be the tabloids we see near the check-out counter in the grocery store. A lot of claims and slanted stories - few facts. The papers know it's usually more work then it is worth to take them to court, plus there are a lot of ignorant and uneducated folks willing to believe the tall tales contained inside. Just remember, for every story there are always two sides. Smile

Most of these Blog authors remind me of Snipers. You know, it's easy to hide on a hillside sporting a high powered rifle shooting at cars on the freeway while you're hiding in the trees.

Just for fun, I looked the word SNIPER up in the dictionary:
---------------------------------------
snip·er ( P ) Pronunciation Key (snpr)
n.
1) A skilled military shooter detailed to spot and pick off enemy soldiers from a concealed place.

2) One who shoots at other people from a concealed place.
---------------------------------------------------
I think the definition above says it all.

I think one of the Blogs mentioned to folks if they didn't like what was being written, then folks needed to stay away. I agree. Stay away. I would say the same to those who do not care for The Magic Café and our membership. Yet folks who do not care for this site keep coming back, amazing.

I know if I got kicked out of a Café for misbehaving and I hated the food anyway, sneaking back in on a daily basis would be pretty ridiculous. Yet it happens here all the time. It takes all kinds to make the world turn.

Anyway, to get back on topic, so far (I've never actually seen Whits shells yet) I like Andrew Pinard's La Maggiore shells. I wrote a review about them Here!

Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Riley
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Whit and Glenn

Just a note to let you know how much your posts are valued at the Café.

I believe it was Dai Vernon who said to Michael Ammar
"If you didn't have the ball, no-one would be chasing you"

And Steve: thanks for making it all possible Smile

Riley
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