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By Micahel Pakenham and Micahel Pakenham,SUN STAFF | March 25, 2001
There's nothing new about New Age spiritualism. Fantastical superstition will infest humankind as long as there are people who live in scorn or terror of reason. To most others, after the first look, the bulk of this bunk - from ouija boards to channeling - is both boring and trivial. This was not so, however, when two of the most imaginative and forceful men on earth carried the debate into a love-hate collision of epic magnitude. That tale is the subject of "Final Seance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle," by Massimo Polidoro (Prometheus, 275 pages, $25)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2014
One of author Steven Galloway's most vivid childhood memories is of sitting at a picnic table when he was about 5 years old, playing checkers with his great-uncle Johnny. "He let me beat him, and I knew he let me beat him," Galloway said recently when describing the inspiration for his new book, "The Confabulist. " "But I felt incredibly proud and happy because that meant that I had some merit in his world. "The problem is that Uncle Johnny died the year before I was born. " Since making that unsettling realization, Galloway, now 38, has been fascinated by false recollections.
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NEWS
By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,SUN STAFF | August 31, 2004
A ghostly sight hung over the Annapolis harbor yesterday. About 10 a.m. - against a backdrop of bulging gray storm clouds - a tall yellow crane lifted the hull of a sunken ship from Spa Creek near the Naval Academy's USS Maine Memorial. Using four cables attached to a nylon sling, the crane tugged cautiously at the sea-worn sailboat Houdini, which had smashed into the academy's seawall during Tropical Storm Isabel almost a year ago and has remained an eyesore and a safety hazard. What emerged - inch by inch - looked more like a specter than a sunken sailboat.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sam Sessa and Baltimore Sun reporter | May 30, 2012
Baltimore magician (and self-proclaimed "world's youngest escape artist") Spencer Horsman slipped out of a straightjacket and avoided almost certain death on last night's episode of "America's Got Talent. " Horsman, a 26-year-old who runs the South Baltimore bar Illusions with his father, had "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon strap him into a straight-jacket. He then hung upside down, between a set of metal jaws with nasty looking spikes, held open by a rope. The rope was set afire, and Horsman had a minute and 20 seconds to escape before the jaws clamped shut on him. "Do not try this at home," Cannon warned as Horsman's escape began.
NEWS
By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,SUN STAFF | August 14, 2004
The 43-foot mast juts out of the Annapolis waters: an eerie, unsightly reminder of the destruction wrought by Tropical Storm Isabel last fall. By the end of the month, however, the remains of the sailboat Houdini might no longer haunt the city's shoreline. During the week of Aug. 22, a volunteer salvage unit of the U.S. Navy is expected to arrive in Annapolis to lift the boat's wreckage from the waters of Spa Creek near the Naval Academy's USS Maine Memorial. The removal follows a nearly yearlong standoff among the boat's owner, Bruce Ekstrand, and officials with the city, state and Naval Academy over responsibility for removing the vessel, which smashed into the seawall Sept.
NEWS
March 25, 2007
New York -- Get ready for CSI: Houdini. A team of forensic experts will pore over the exhumed remains of renowned escape artist Harry Houdini to determine whether he was killed 81 years ago, the head of the investigative team said last week. "Everything will be thoroughly analyzed," promised James Starrs, dean of the disinterment dream team of pathologists, anthropologists, toxicologists and radiologists. "We'll examine his hairs, his fingernails, any bone fractures." Legal paperwork necessary to dig up Houdini's body from a New York City cemetery will be filed tomorrow to get the process started, said Joseph Tacopina, an attorney representing Houdini's family.
FEATURES
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,SUN STAFF | November 15, 1997
Harry Houdini, the greatest escapologist the world has ever known, promised his wife that if he died before she did, he would try to return to her from beyond the grave.For a less audacious, less imaginative man, such a vow would have been merely ludicrous. But for the first quarter of the 20th century, Houdini had astounded the whole world by extricating himself from every imaginable restraint. His resolve to cheat even death carried an undeniable plausibility, so much so that hundreds of thousands of people regarded his burial as only a first act.If anyone could return from the Great Beyond, who else but the "Master Mystifier"?
FEATURES
By Lisa Respers and Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF | December 5, 1998
Johnathon Schaech has it all: A starring role in TNT's new film "Houdini," a beautiful actress girlfriend, and all the buzz in Hollywood as the next "it" actor.But what the Maryland native wants may be more difficult than any of the death-defying stunts he recently performed as the famed magician: for the Orioles to regain some of their lost powerhouse players."We lost Palmeiro," groaned the 29-year-old actor during a telephone interview from the New York set of his new independent film, "Who's On First."
NEWS
By Chris Hutchins and Chris Hutchins,COX NEWS SERVICE | November 3, 2001
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - It seems morbid, celebrating a death day. Commemorating the anniversary of a person's death is such a downer. "Happy Death Day To You" just doesn't have the same ring, does it? But it seems appropriate, somehow, to celebrate Harry Houdini's death day. The man who captivated audiences by taunting Death - who was buried alive several times, and escaped - died 75 years ago, on Oct. 31, 1926. Halloween. Somehow, that seems appropriate, too. Houdini was the best. Before David Copperfield, before David Blaine, there he was: climbing into a milk can filled with water, its lid riveted on after Houdini had squeezed inside; slipping out of a straitjacket while hanging from his ankles, upside-down, above city streets; escaping from his glass-walled Chinese Water Torture Cell.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | December 2, 1998
The continual tug-of-war for local ratings supremacy swung decidedly in favor of WJZ, Channel 13, last month, as the folks at Eyewitness News finished first in four of the five daily news slots and in a virtual tie for the fifth with rival WBAL, Channel 11.For the November sweeps, WJZ finished on top at 6 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. At 5 p.m., the two stations had almost identical numbers, with WBAL garnering a 9.31 rating, WJZ a 9.26. Each ratings point equals about 10,000 viewing households, meaning WBAL and WJZ were separated by an estimated 500 households in a market of nearly 1 million.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza, The Baltimore Sun | November 26, 2010
Every Friday night for the past three years, to the delight of an audience, magician Spencer Horsman has escaped from his straitjacket. By his own estimate, he's done the trick 400 times. And until a recent Friday, he'd never made any missteps in a routine, invented by Harry Houdini 100 years ago, that is fraught with peril. Near the end of the routine, while hanging from a crane, he had almost freed himself from the jacket. But suddenly, with all the spinning, a bolt loosened, and the crane, the straitjacket and the 125-pound magician hanging from it all fell on the stage at Federal Hill's Illusions: Magic Bar and Lounge . One minute, the audience was clapping, bartender Ben Rosen recalled; and the next, there was "thud" and "a bunch of gasps.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2010
My object is to mystify and entertain. I wouldn't deceive you for the world. — Howard Thurston If Central Casting were looking for an archetypical prestidigitator, it could do no better than George Goebel, the veteran Baltimore magician and Houdini expert who also owns A.T. Jones & Sons, the Howard Street costume shop. "In our day, magicians looked like magicians. Today, they wear jeans and other outfits," Goebel said in an interview the other day. "A magician should wear a full dress suit, pique vest, turban and have a beard.
NEWS
By LAURA VOZZELLA | May 11, 2007
They've seen it all, apparently, at the city permits office. Which is why nobody blinked when Spencer Horsman, son of circus clowns, came in recently looking for a special events permit for a crane. "Doing construction?" the woman at the office asked. "I'm using it for displaying something," Horsman said. "What are you displaying?" "I'm escaping from two straightjackets and the crane's going to be dangling me 50 feet in the air," Horsman said. "OK." You can catch Horsman's act - a first, he says; Harry Houdini did it with just one straightjacket - at 9 tonight at 1025 S. Charles St. That's just outside Illusions Magic Bar and Lounge, which the magician runs with his father.
NEWS
March 25, 2007
New York -- Get ready for CSI: Houdini. A team of forensic experts will pore over the exhumed remains of renowned escape artist Harry Houdini to determine whether he was killed 81 years ago, the head of the investigative team said last week. "Everything will be thoroughly analyzed," promised James Starrs, dean of the disinterment dream team of pathologists, anthropologists, toxicologists and radiologists. "We'll examine his hairs, his fingernails, any bone fractures." Legal paperwork necessary to dig up Houdini's body from a New York City cemetery will be filed tomorrow to get the process started, said Joseph Tacopina, an attorney representing Houdini's family.
NEWS
By TED KOOSER | August 6, 2006
As a man I'll never gain the wisdom Sharon Olds expresses in this poem about motherhood, but one of the reasons poetry is essential is that it can take us so far into someone else's experience that we feel it's our own. - Ted Kooser "My Son the Man" Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider, the way Houdini would expand his body while people were putting him in chains. It seems no time since I would help him to put on his sleeper, guide his calves into the gold interior, zip him up and toss him up and catch his weight.
NEWS
By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,SUN STAFF | August 31, 2004
A ghostly sight hung over the Annapolis harbor yesterday. About 10 a.m. - against a backdrop of bulging gray storm clouds - a tall yellow crane lifted the hull of a sunken ship from Spa Creek near the Naval Academy's USS Maine Memorial. Using four cables attached to a nylon sling, the crane tugged cautiously at the sea-worn sailboat Houdini, which had smashed into the academy's seawall during Tropical Storm Isabel almost a year ago and has remained an eyesore and a safety hazard. What emerged - inch by inch - looked more like a specter than a sunken sailboat.
NEWS
By TED KOOSER | August 6, 2006
As a man I'll never gain the wisdom Sharon Olds expresses in this poem about motherhood, but one of the reasons poetry is essential is that it can take us so far into someone else's experience that we feel it's our own. - Ted Kooser "My Son the Man" Suddenly his shoulders get a lot wider, the way Houdini would expand his body while people were putting him in chains. It seems no time since I would help him to put on his sleeper, guide his calves into the gold interior, zip him up and toss him up and catch his weight.
NEWS
By Molly Knight and Molly Knight,SUN STAFF | August 14, 2004
The 43-foot mast juts out of the Annapolis waters: an eerie, unsightly reminder of the destruction wrought by Tropical Storm Isabel last fall. By the end of the month, however, the remains of the sailboat Houdini might no longer haunt the city's shoreline. During the week of Aug. 22, a volunteer salvage unit of the U.S. Navy is expected to arrive in Annapolis to lift the boat's wreckage from the waters of Spa Creek near the Naval Academy's USS Maine Memorial. The removal follows a nearly yearlong standoff among the boat's owner, Bruce Ekstrand, and officials with the city, state and Naval Academy over responsibility for removing the vessel, which smashed into the seawall Sept.
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