MagicSHELF Update

So I've been in contact with Uncle Url of Linky Dinky, and as a consequence I've become a firm believer in the brilliance and ingenuity of the magicSHELF. Everyone needs to have one of these! Well, that may be, but the behind-the-scenes story is that Uncle Url and I have worked out a deal. He's sending me a magicSHELF (and an extra one which I can give away as a prize). I'm going to test it out and verify that it does indeed work as advertised. Then he'll be able to use me as an objective, third-party endorsement. In return, when he mentions my endorsement in his newsletter, he might also mention that I have a book coming out. So it's like a cross-promotional deal. The catch is that I can't actually spill the beans on how the magicSHELF works, in order to maintain the air of mystery about it. [It is a magic trick, after all, and it's not good form to reveal magic tricks.] So I can say that it works, but not how... though it's really not too hard to guess how it works, so I don't think I'm keeping a big secret. However, by mistake, I already spilled the beans. So I now have to "reclassify" that information. Everyone please forget what I posted two days ago. (Oh, and expect to see me soon on one of those late-night infomercials: It slices! It dices! It's the incredible magicSHELF!")

Update: Uh, yeah. Before anyone else accuses me of being "Bought for 4 pieces of aluminum" (ouch, that hurt), let me point out that this is a magicSHELF we're talking about. I really do think it's a fun, cute, novelty item. (I've always been a sucker for stuff like this. As a kid I was a huge fan of the clapper and chia pets.) It's not like I'm lending my name to promote Lifewave Energy Patches. The magicSHELF is real and really does work, despite being of mysterious workings. And sometimes it's better to let certain things (Santa Claus, jackalopes, magicshelves) maintain a bit of mystery, rather than ruthlessly exposing their inner workings. Plus, having linkydinky mention my book in their newsletter is an incredible opportunity to get the word out about it (I worked pretty hard on it, so I'd like to give it every chance to do well), and refusing this opportunity in order to uphold the principle that the secret of the magicshelf MUST BE EXPOSED just seems kind of idiotic to me.


Posted on Thu Jan 26, 2006


Um, WTF?
Posted by Matt  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  03:58 PM
You've got to be kidding. So we're supposed to trust you on other hoaxes from now on? Bought for four pieces of aluminum.
Posted by Doug Nelson  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  05:04 PM
Well, the thing is, the magicshelf isn't actually a hoax. It's real. It really will hold up your books. So I have no problem endorsing it as real. And plus, it is a cute gimmick/conversation starter. So yeah, you should still trust me on other hoaxes.

Now people may say it's overpriced. But on the other hand, people willingly shell out $18 for t-shirts that they could buy at Target for $3. That's the economy of the internet. And if people want to make their own magicshelf, there's nothing stopping them. But a lot of people might prefer just to pay a few extra bucks to have it all pre-packaged and explained for them.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  06:32 PM
...It must somehow sandwich between the pages/covers of the book...but I can't figure out how. I see you've sold your sould for a promotion - that's okay Alex...I thought it would happen one day, just not a day so soon. 😉
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  08:55 PM
Oh no alex. Now you've done it. You said "...I'm lending my name to promote Lifewave Energy Patches."

What? Misleading you say?? Since when has lifewave mislead anyone???

(can you feel the sarcasm?)
Posted by Razela  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  09:53 PM
If a debunker does not debunk things that are trivial (or cute) then how do we know when something is trivial or too cute to debunk? The slippery slope is born from "no big deal" compromises.
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  10:12 PM
>> how do we know when something is trivial or too cute to debunk?<<

You use your common sense. (For instance, I have a page on which I imply there really is a Museum of Hoaxes. Hint: it's a joke.) Remember, there's also a slippery slope of skepticism that leads to being a humorless bore. Anyway (cries in frustration), there's nothing here to debunk. The thing is real!!! It's just a clever way of concealing a shelf.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  10:56 PM
I don't have a problem with you endorsing the Magicshelf - it is a nice item. However, I more have a problem with you presenting it as a 'hoax' in the first place. I guess we have to trust you on the fact that you got puzzled by the Magicshelf only *after* you had it on your site, and hence closed the deal afterwards, and not the other way around. Because that would be very disappointing...
Equally important is the principle of being objective. I see that in the original post, mine and other comments with a link to the SelfShelf, a variation on the Magicshelf, are unaltered. Cool.

So I support the fact that once in a while, when a great opportunity comes along, you should grab it with both hands and don't be too strict on yourself. As long as you keep up this great site which makes me smile every day (which few sites do!), I won't mind... too much.
Posted by Robert Wood  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  03:37 AM
Hey, Robert, Alex never 'present[ed] it as a "hoax" in the first place'! If you're a regular visitor, you must know that he often posts responses to enquities from readers about things that seem suspect but are actually real (like the insect sweets company Hotlix, reviewed a day or so ago).

He never said this was a hoax. A bit of a con, maybe. A rip-off, perhaps. But not a hoax:))

As to Lifewave patches, I can personally testify that they are real and they work. No hoax. No rip--off. No con. Trust me - I may not be a doctor, but I play on on the Internets.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  05:24 AM
Dang, give ol' Alex a break. So he was asked to endorse a product... Big deal, had it been you, you'd have done the same thing, as would I have, had the opportunity came up for either of us. So what is all the hype about anyhow? Perhaps the inventor of the Magicshelf has come up with the Pet Rock for your generation, and 25 years from now everybody will perhaps stand back in somewhat of an awe at how much money was made on such a "stupid idea (only 'cause we didn't think of it first)".
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  05:46 AM
What I think might be getting lost here, is that the magicshelf is a very simple magic trick/illusion. I don't think it's ever been the case that debunkers should go after magic tricks (unless they're being used to scam people, which isn't the case here). In fact, if a person performing an illusion asks that its secret not be revealed, it's kind of polite to honor that request.

Linkydinky first asked that I not post explicit instructions detailing how the magicshelf worked, and I thought that was a reasonable request. After all, it is just a magic trick. However, they never asked me to remove anyone's speculations about how it worked, and I wouldn't have done that. Then they floated the idea of using me as an endorsement to reassure people that, despite being an illusion, it actually was real. And I thought that was a good idea. That's all that happened.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  08:34 AM
Or perhaps there is no endorsement and this is all an elaborate hoax to improve the sales of both Alex's book and the magicshelf?

Can't believe you all fell for it. Rubes!
Posted by Chris Carlisle  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  12:42 PM
Umm Alex, I'm confused. Are you really promoting this POS wall bracket as a novelty item? Or is the promotion of a cheesy trick shelf, on your otherwise brilliant website, a hoax? Frankly, the Tight Tee Shirt Girls were a better idea.
If you
Posted by CCC  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  02:05 PM
Folks, I'd like to jump in here with a reaction or two. Firstly, let me ask a question: how much do you pay Alex for all the work he does busting hoaxes and entertaining you?

Secondly, I found out about the magicSHELF thread at MOH when somebody sent me the link about a week after it began. Upon investigating, I wrote Alex that I was happy he declared our product NOT A HOAX, and that was the end of it.

Later that same day, I realized it wasn't right to post my copyrighted instruction manual, so I asked him to take it down, which he promptly did.

Even later that same day, I had the idea to use Alex's "NOT A HOAX" certification as a way of lending some gravitas to magicSHELF's sales page. During that conversation, he let me know that Linky & Dinky were mentioned in his new book regarding our Bush IQ gag! Hence the idea was born -- I'll mention his book in my newsletter with the NOT A HOAX angle, and then again with the Linky & Dinky angle (we're psyched over getting written about!) and he let's me tell people he found magicSHELF to not be a hoax.

Is that corrupt? I don't think so. This arrangement is no different than car-pooling, by getting a piece of each other's exposure.

It's business, it's not personal. In my opinion, he should be selling "NOT A HOAX" certifications to everyone who qualifies, and for big bucks, too! That's all the Better Business Bureau is, a certification that you're clean.

I'd rather have Alex stand up for me than the BBB any day!

"Uncle Url"

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
"I'm taking care of business for Linky & Dinky & Binky"
Posted by Uncle Url  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  02:24 PM
Jeez. I can't believe there's even a can of worms opened on this! This is a working relationship. It's even cool. How many detractors visited the L&D site? Did anyone notice the perfect mesh of MofH and L&D other than Unca Url & Alex (hell even THAT sounds good!)

magicSHELF is one of those 'wish I'd thought of that' things which, if I had, I wouldn't have been able to market in such a cool way. MofH is even cooler than snopes!

I think you guys should go a step further and offer a package deal. Buy "Hippo Eats Dwarf" and get $5.00 off the magicSHELF. Or vice versa.

Man alive, don't anyone see the symbiosis?

Good luck to BOTH of ya!!!

P.S. I have no idea why I continually type it as "magicSHELF". Bizarre.
Posted by Bill  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  04:01 PM
Really, I just want to know, if it works the way the comments in the previous thread indicated it works... how does it work with a glass wall like the website claims it will? That'd have to be some pretty strong adhesive that I wouldn't want to use on a glass wall, I'd think.
Posted by Eric  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  04:02 PM
Geez, leave Alex alone. So he endorsed something. Big deal! I actually thought it was funny. Plus, I actually think the magicSHELF is pretty cool.
Posted by Sakano  on  Fri Jan 27, 2006  at  05:10 PM
Alex, Uncle Url, Bill, Sakano... What you guys said!!! That's what I was trying to say... I drop in the MofH EVERY day, and have been checking on the status of this story in particular. Quite frankly, it's quite amusing, and if the evening news were to get ahold of the controversy, think of the sales... Bill's idea is pretty sweet too... GOOD LUCK to both Alex and Uncle Url on this issue...
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  03:57 AM
Heh, it's so funny that there is contraversy over this. I really want a magic shelf, and if i wasn't a poor college student I would totally get one. I think it's really cool looking and definitely fits in with the whole theme of MoH. They seem to compliment each other, and I really don't see what the problem is with some cross promotion, especially since LinkyDinky is even mentioned in Alex's book.
Posted by Razela  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  11:31 AM
Hehehe Now I am going to have to buy a magicSHELF. It is perfect for displaying Alex's Books, they just seem to fit so well together.

Alex, I think it is cool that you decided to keep the mystery about how the magicSHELF actually works. The mystery is what makes magic so fun. 😊
Posted by Myst  on  Sat Jan 28, 2006  at  04:25 PM
Geez, if I had known that it would have caused this much ruckus, I never woulda sent the magic shelf question to Alex in the first place. But now that they have a cross-promotional thing going, I am glad I did! Right on, Alex! Way to go Unca Url! Yay!
Hey, since I did send this to you, Alex, can I have the spare magic shelf? 😛
Posted by thephrog  on  Mon Jan 30, 2006  at  02:17 AM
Everyone should give AL a break. Plus the way people keep going on about this is creating even more hype about the shelf...Hence I shall be buying one(just to understand how the damn thing works) and putting Alex's book on it!
Posted by Merve  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  12:54 AM
Being given something, and then saying that it works as advertised doesn't seem like too horrible a sin. As long as it's not a lie.

The thought process of "I can't tell you how it works, but it does" sounds familiar though...
Posted by hcmomof4  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  01:52 AM
This is a video of my Magicshelf. It takes you to and there is a preview before you click on the video

Posted by What???  on  Mon Apr 17, 2006  at  07:29 AM
Sorry about that I forgot the link
Posted by Nod  on  Mon Apr 17, 2006  at  07:31 AM
OMG, people, it doesn't take a genius to figure out from the photo that the bottom "book" is the "shelf". It's the only "book" without a paper jacket, it's larger than the rest of the books, and it's firmly against the wall.
Nothing to see here, move along.
Posted by OMG  on  Sat Sep 01, 2007  at  07:47 AM
Try to see the secret of Magic Shelf
Posted by magicshelfsucks  on  Sat Sep 01, 2007  at  07:53 AM
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