The Museum of Hoaxes
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magicSHELF Mystery Solved
Status: magicSHELVES are a kind of simple magic trick, but they do work (they will hold up your books)
Greg Cason broke down and ordered one of those LinkyDinky magicSHELVES that I posted about last week (I was tempted to do the same), thereby learning the secret of how they work. It turns out it's not a photoshop trick, nor are the books glued to the wall. Actually, they work almost exactly as I theorized. [edited out... I can't give away the secret. That would be against the magician's creed: never give away the trick!]

Update: Uncle Url himself (of Linky Dinky) sent me an email in response to the Museum of Hoaxes's ongoing magicSHELF investigation. Here's how it begins:

Alex -- You spilled my beans!
Well, all I've got to say is that I'm glad you concluded the story by allowing that our MagicShelf is, in fact, a "real" product and that it does exactly what it says it does. However... don't think so fast that the parts can be had at any local hardware store for 3 or 4 dollars.


For the full email click here. (It was a bit too long to post in its entirety on the front page.) Well, I hope Uncle Url doesn't harbor any bad feelings towards me for revealing the secret of the magicSHELF. It would kind of suck to get on Linky Dinky's blacklist. (There are many people whose blacklist I would be proud to be on, but I actually like Linky Dinky. They did come up with the Lovenstein Institute, after all.) But what can I say? The mystery of the magicSHELF was too tempting a puzzle not to try and solve. Anyway, I'm sure there are many products that can be constructed by do-it-yourselfers for a fraction of the cost, but since most of us aren't do-it-yourselfers, I doubt the market for the magicSHELF will be threatened by people buying the parts at the hardware store and making their own. Actually, I'm still tempted to buy one, since it would be an interesting conversation piece to have in my office.
MagicTechnology
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 25, 2006 Comments (7)
You're right, Alex, it's cute but not $18 worth of cute.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  05:01 AM
You seriously could not figure that out before hand? You say you suspected, but there is no other explanation unless you believe in magic or levitation.
The bottom book has to be the shelf.
Posted by pepe nero  in  new york  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  03:20 PM
Yeah, but I myself thought the shelf was a fake book--basically a plastic shelf made to look like a book.

I also thought it would've been included in the price--instead you have to retire one of your own books. Now I see why the photo showed the Bible Code--that's a book I wouldn't mind seeing glued shut.
Posted by Joe  in  St. Louis  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  03:42 PM
an improvement would be to use some kind of low-profile velcro instead of the sticky material, to make the 'shelf' book removable.
Posted by katey  on  Wed Jan 25, 2006  at  07:10 PM
It's pretty cool. I'd make one myself if I could, but $18 is a bit much.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  12:02 AM
It's easy. I'd recommend two smaller angle brackets for balance, but one wide one might do. Make sure that one end is short enough to fit in the book. Affix to the wall with anchors or ideally to a stud (drywall isn't too strong) then lay the book on the brackets with the bottom cover open. Velcro affixed to the bottom of the brackets and inside the cover of the book should keep the cover closed. Total cost, around $5 for the materials.

Just remember that the bracket arm must be flat or the book won't close fully. Also, be sure not to overload it or the brackets will bend and everything will slide off.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  11:05 AM
ok, i freely admit *i* don't know how it works.. lol might be the morphine tho... feel free to enlighten me if you know how..
Posted by Suzie  in  Canada  on  Wed Feb 01, 2006  at  10:29 AM
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