When I was a kid growing up in Missouri I used to spend a lot of Saturday afternoons at the magic store. I'd ask to see one trick after another, and after awhile I got a dandy magic show. Of course, I was often shamed into buying something, then running home, practicing the trick in my room, and inflicting my proud possession on friends and family. It was fun, except when I blew the trick and sheepishly left the room for more practice.
That brings me to this particular Saturday afternoon, where I was able to browse the iTunes store for a good trick. It's more of a digital than a tactile experience, but it's fun just the same. If you're a magic buff, be sure to get a look at Magic Compass, [App Store link] a new addition to the collection of tricks for the iPhone and iPod touch.
This $0.99US piece of legerdemain has a spectator put a coin, or any other object to the bottom, top, left or right of the iPhone. A tap of the finger reveals a compass which rather magically determines where the object is. The trick can be repeated. The object doesn't have to be metal, so any thought of some electronic homing device goes out the window. To some spectators, it will look like physics, to some like magic. I think most people will find it hard to explain. The trick has a well produced video tutorial to teach you the secret, and then gives you a way to hide it from prying eyes.
Here's a link to a video from the developer that shows you a demo of the trick. It is easy to learn, and a great thing to just pull out of your pocket when you get together with friends.
For me, it was a great reminder of many happy Saturday afternoons in another time and another place.
Here are some screen grabs: