Let us assume he can do five simple tricks he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. There are his only tricks and he cant learn any more; he can only do these five. Its not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the other and he can move the coin through space. Hes legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

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Going through these cards reminded me of the original 23 Questions posed by the author. The following is the list of these original questions and my responses. I encourage it. Here goes: 1. Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks—he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

Plus the dude gave the world the gift of the Atom bomb, which killed almost people, and threaten to kill millions to this day. He can feed millions with all the rabbits he pulls from his hat. Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that—for some reason—every political prisoner on earth as cited by Amnesty International will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes.

You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots. Would you attempt to do this? I already hate watching those commercials where they show cats and dogs in terrible conditions and need my pennies a day. Let us assume there are two boxes on a table. You have to select one of these items for your home. Display of the skull must be apolitical. Which option do you select? Oddly, the creature who weighs seven hundred pounds becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end.

Meanwhile, the gorilla has made it clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent. But all joking aside, this super gorilla needs to play games that other gorillas are also playing. If there was a super gorilla football league, yes. For sure. But not with humans. I just think it would sway the game. It also gives threat to escalation. No sale. You meet your soul mate.

When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella but it will only sound this way to you.

Would you swallow the pill? My soul mate will understand. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device of you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you.

Would you still do this? It would be fun, actually. I think I have some pretty messed up dreams and would be cool to watch it all over again. Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity.

These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week. Loch Ness Monster, definitely. Always thought that that guy was super cool. Sasquatch was never intriguing to me, and the president may have had thyroid cancer. Pure speculation at this point.

Not just regular facts, but COOL facts. You meet the perfect person. Romantically, this person is ideal: You find them physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, consistently funny, and deeply compassionate. Like me. So yes. However, a curious social trend emerges: Though no one can prove a direct scientific link, it appears that almost 30 percent of the people who read this book immediately become homosexual.

Many of these newfound homosexuals credit the book for helping them reach this conclusion about their orientation, despite the fact that Interior Mirror is ostensibly a crime novel with no homoerotic content and was written by a straight man.

Would this phenomenon increase or decrease the likliehood of you reading this book? Or at least wait for the motion picture adaptation. You are watching a movie in a crowded theater. Though the plot is mediocre, you find yourself dazzled by the special effects. But with twenty minutes left in the film, you are struck with an undeniable feeling of doom: You are suddenly certain your mother has just died.

There is no logical reason for this to be true, but you are certain of it. You are overtaken with the irrational metaphysical sense that—somewhere—your mom has just perished.

But this is only an intuitive, amorphous feeling; there is no evidence for this, and your mother has not been ill. Would you immediately exit the theater, or would you finish watching the movie? Besides, have you met my mom? Nothing can kill her. You meet a wizard in downtown Chicago.

The wizard tells you he can make you more attractive if you pay him money. When you ask how this process works, the wizard points to a random person on the street. You look at this random stranger. Ostensibly, this person does not change at all; as far as you can tell, nothing is different. But—somehow—this person is suddenly a little more appealing. This wizard has a weird rule, though—you can only pay him once. You can only pay him one lump sum up front. How much cash do you give the wizard?

It would depend. Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly. What do you talk about?

For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves.

This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature? Insulting, but this is because Garfield is probably one of the worst things published at this point.

You have a brain tumor. Though there is no discomfort at the moment, this tumor would unquestionably kill you in six months. However, your life can and will be saved by an operation; the only downside is that there will be a brutal incision to your frontal lobe. After the surgery, you will be significantly less intelligent. You will still be a fully functioning adult, but you will be less logical, you will have a terrible memory, and you will have little ability to understand complex concepts or difficult ideas.

The surgery is in two weeks. How do you spend the next fourteen days? Having significantly lost my intelligence is as good as being dead. You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today.

You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls.

You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that—for some unknown reason—you have become obsessed with Canadian football.

And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong.


Chuck Klosterman



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