A Guide to Distraction

Anonymous said: How would one go about distracting Sherlock Holmes?

I’d imagine success in this endeavor would largely depend upon total devotion to being as meticulous as possible. Leave no traces and appear completely unremarkable and uninteresting. Although brilliant, his vanity dictates only certain special cases receive his lofty attentions. Don’t be one of these.

J

Anonymous said: Do you find that some people are easier to distract than others?

Definitely. Sometimes characteristics of an individual can lead to their being an easier target to distract. Apart from specific situations, people who are especially self-absorbed or flighty tend to be less observant and more open to distraction. 

Emotional distress, such as depression, also leads to people being less aware of/concerned about their surroundings. The reverse is also true; people in an exceptionally happy mood tend to daydream often and miss important details.

However, circumstantial states, such as emotional extremes or stress, rather than personality, have a much greater impact on how easily a person can be distracted. Especially if you don’t know them personally.

J

courageousdreamer said: I'm training to become a magician and I find sleight of hand very difficult. Do you know some tricks as to how to distract your audience without making it obvious that you're doing some "magic"?

One of the most crucial aspects in any kind of magic, specifically sleight of hand, is the manipulation of the audience’s interest. The art of misdirection (or direction) is when a magician uses various methods of “guiding” the focus of the audience. This can be done in many different ways, so ultimately your method will probably stem from personal preference. Using physical movement, manipulating a “decoy object”, and even comedy routines or telling stories can all be ways to lead an audience’s attention from the object you’re really trying to manipulate.  The maxim “a larger action conceals a smaller one” is more or less the foundation that sleight of hand techniques are built upon. So any movement that appears obvious to the viewer is actually for concealing the small, hopefully unobserved, and crucial movements that make the sleight of hand successful. Sleight of hand is often difficult to learn, and as with every art, requires practice to perfect.

(Ex. In the French Drop: when “transferring” a ball or a coin from one hand to the other, move the hand that you’re pretending to switch the object to as if squeezing the ball or rolling the coin to make your audience believe that’s the hand which is actually holding the object.)

J

http://onin.com/fp/fmiru/fppatterns.gif
Fingerprints left on porous surfaces (unfinished wood, paper, cardboard) can last for up to forty years unless disturbed by water. Even then, however, some contaminate transfer prints may remain. 

http://onin.com/fp/fmiru/fppatterns.gif

Fingerprints left on porous surfaces (unfinished wood, paper, cardboard) can last for up to forty years unless disturbed by water. Even then, however, some contaminate transfer prints may remain.