I have a busy day but I just had to take a little time this morning to give a nod to a legend. In case you didn’t know, today is Houdini Day. Born Erich Weiss sometime in the early 1870’s, he took the stage name Harry Houdini in tribute to the renown French magician of the Victorian era — Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin.
My first exposure to Houdini was in an old Tony Curtis movie. I loved that movie. When I was a kid, whenever it would rerun on TV, I’d be right there in front of the screen. In my youth there was also a popular TV show called The Sixth Sense. The show’s bizarre episodes were written around some real unexplained tidbit. The presented facts naturally got me interested in mysterious things. It also renewed my interest in Houdini because the movie bestowed extra sensory perception on him. I did a little research of my own and discovered that was all Hollywood glamorizing. Harry Houdini was just a talented magician who understood redirection and illusion and had a knack for marketing. It didn’t make him less fascinating to me.
One of the more interesting things I learned about this showman was his belief in “It takes one to know one”. Because of Queen Victoria’s prolonged mourning for her Albert, death was in vogue in Victorian society. In fact, a whole death industry sprang from it and some of the stuff was pure baloney (and a blog post for another day). Houdini’s mastery of illusion set him against fraudulent psychic mediums who used their own form of smoke and mirrors to pull a fast one on people seeking to reconnect with loved ones who had passed on.
During his psychic medium debunking campaign, he set his sights on renowned Spiritualist Mina (Margery) Crandon and proved her a fraud. Prior to this revelation, Houdini was good friends with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man with deep beliefs in Spiritualism who also believed in Crandon’s psychic abilities. Their friendship ended. No one likes to feel the fool.
Here’s an interesting clip about Harry Houdini.
Happy Houdini Day! I wish you a day of magic and wonder.
Here’s one for today:
Quadrimular (adjective 1664)
lasting for four years
I’ve temporarily cut back on blogging for my put-my-life-back-in-order spring cleaning — a project known far and wide as the Annual Purge. Thanks for stopping by even if there isn’t much new to see. I have no time for blogging right now, but the extinct word of the day is updated daily.
Coming soon to my satellite blog ~
For ten days in April I’ll be participating in the Authors in Bloom blog hop over on http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/ . This blog hop is all about showing the many facets to an author’s life. One of the more unusual things I’ve done in my life with this man of mine was lead wild foods programs for Chicago’s Field Museum.
For this event I’ll be sharing my recipes. I hope you stop by. You may have delicious ingredients waiting in your backyard.
I’m currently participating in The Romance Reviews’ Anniversary party. My particular part in the contest is over, but the celebration runs all month long and there are a lot of prizes to be had. See what I have up on my newest satellite blog:
See what’s happening on the blog today
We’ll soon have a new April contest on our website. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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