• KYW- News At 5/6 PM
    05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A center city Philadelphia bookstore hosts a magician and wordsmith tonight at 7pm, a man who has explored what magic means to us all.

“Magic taps into that part of us that’s always eight years old,” says Alex Stone, a self-described “magic geek” who is author of Fooling Houdini.

It’s not exactly a book of tricks or a tell-all exposé of some of the biggest illusions, but it ties those things together with an explanation what makes magic “work.”

For example, Stone notes, people really aren’t very good at multitasking.  That’s good for a magician trying to distract us, but not so good when we’re talking on the phone while driving.

“The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine ran a study on this,” Stone tells KYW Newsradio.  “It’s been shown that cell phone drivers are about as safe as drunk drivers.  And hands-free devices do nothing (to reduce the risk).  And this is sort of proof of this idea that it’s not your hands and it’s not even your eyes — it’s your brain, that there’s a limit to how much we can pay attention to at once.”

…which is precisely the flaw that magicians exploit.

And Stone says people enjoy the deception of magic even when they know how it’s done.  He’ll be appearing tonight at 7pm at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at 18th and Walnut Streets, on Rittenhouse Square.

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