Author Archives: Chris Walden

About Chris Walden

Chris Walden is a multifaceted guy with a background in technology, writing, and theatrical production. He is the force behind Mythmade Productions in Austin, Texas and enjoys creating unique experiences for people that go beyond mere entertainment. He lives in Cedar Park with his wife, daughter and some number of cats. He is a regular correspondent for Saul Ravencrafts activities.

Come to a special celebration of Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday

Martin Gardner was a titan in the fields of math, magic, science, puzzles, games, skepticism, optical illusions and was an avid fan of Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes. Twenty- plus years ago, to honor Martin, a group of magicians, scientists, gamesters, puzzlers, magicians, skeptics and fans of Alice in Wonderland hosted a gathering in which each of these domains was celebrated and explored. This bi-annual conference, The Gathering for Gardner, meets in Atlanta GA. http://gathering4gardner.org

This year is Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday! G4G’s Celebration of Mind Committee, which formed after Martin’s passing in 2010, encourages everyone to hold an event or party to celebrate Martin’s legacy and continue his pursuit of a playful and fun approach to math, science, art, magic, puzzles, and all of his other interests.

We will be hosting a Celebration of Mind event on October 21, 2014 at the home of Brad Henderson, in Round Rock, TX. All people who share the interests of Gardner are welcome to attend, and participation is highly encouraged. Please bring something to show, perform, or discuss. Magic tricks, con games, puzzles and origami are all welcome – as are talks on mathematics, science, skepticism, and Alice in Wonderland. You can bring things to display and showcase, or get up in front of the group and dazzle us with your insights.

The event will be being at 7:00 pm with an hour of drinks, snacks and a viewing of items brought for display. (Soft drinks and water to be provided. BYOB welcome) The presentations will begin at approximately 8:00. If you would like to attend and/or present, please contact Roger Gorss at (254) 282-4305 or email roger.a.gorss.civ@mail.mil. (or RSVP via facebook with presentational topic). While there is no set time limit on presentations, we ask that all talks be concise and direct in effort to allow as many people as possible to share their experiences and expertise.

For more information on the Celebration of Mind: http://celebrationofmind.org/

PS, if you have a folding chair, please bring it. Depending on attendance we might need a few extra seats.

Venue: 1907 West Pflugerville Parkway, Round Rock, TX 78664 (the venue is a home In the city of Pflugerville, but the address is ROUND ROCK.)

Ring 60 balloon clinic was twisted fun

IBM Ring 60 held their monthly clinic this weekend. While not magic, balloon art is a popular related skill that many use to supplement their performances. JD Stewart led a group of intrepid participants through a squeaky lesson of basic twists, animals and hats. Here are some things that were explored:

  • Types of balloons and how to get them
  • Storage and care of balloons
  • Inflating balloons with hand-held or standing pumps (and a brief lesson on inflating by mouth)
  • Basic twists including the lock-twist, ear twist and pearl
  • Inking sculptures
  • Accessories to help such as aprons
  • Presenting balloon sculpture as entertainment

There was a bit of balloon carnage all over the room when we were done and we loaded all the finished creations into Carlos’s car to take home to his daughters—where they were well received.

For those interested in further exploration here are a few resources:
How to make animal balloons on about.com – simple instructions for several classic sculptures.
balloon-animals.com – Site with Los Angeles twister featuring several YouTube videos of some interesting additions to your repertoire.
fewdoit – unusual site featuring many different sculpts, some which look pretty unique and challenging.

Overall it was a great clinic and everyone, including the teachers learned something new.