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Atlanta Magician – Mentalist – Speaker Joe M. Turner | News and Comments from the Chief Impossibility Officer

Archive for August, 2008

Salzman Test – solution

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on August 29, 2008

The correct answer is that the middle object doesn’t belong… because, in fact, it belongs.  Each of the other objects has a characteristic — number of i’s, color, shape, or border — that differentiates it from all the others.  The center object has no such unique characteristic.  It is actively similar in most respects to all the other objects.  But as a result of not being actively unique in comparison to all the others, it achieves a passive uniqueness.

Several things struck me as I considered this puzzle.  It reminded me first of the one kid in the classroom who isn’t a non-conformist.  Who, exactly, is really the most “diverse” character in a room where everyone but one is trying (too hard?) to be demonstrably diverse?  “I want to be an non-conformist, just like all my friends…”

From an entrepreneurial standpoint — and an artistic one — I started to think about differentiation between competitors.  We think about how important our USP is, or whether we have a truly different approach to what we do… but the question arises: if we aren’t perfectly unique, can that sometimes actually imply that we do have something unique?

Remember — you are unique and special… just like everybody else!

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The Salzman Test: a psychological puzzle

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on August 28, 2008

When I was in Louisville this summer, I spent a bit of time talking with Dr. Kenneth Salzman, a clinical psychologist who has a magical background as well.  He showed me an interesting test and I asked his permission to share it with you.

Consider the following:

The Salzman Test

The Salzman Test

Did you figure out which one doesn’t belong?  Email me if you think you have it — but explain your answer!

I’ll post later with the solution as well as a thought or two about how it applies to some other questions.

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Summer 2008 ends like Michael Phelps

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on August 17, 2008

Summer’s end?  Summer 2008 has been great, and just when you think it’s winding down, it pulls a Michael Phelps finish and pushes just a little farther, a little higher, and keeps getting just a little better!

After the New York and Ocean City trips I did have some time to spend with our visiting Latvian goddaughter, Vika, who we were hosting for a month.  My week in Louisville interrupted my time with her, so when I returned, I really focused on spending time with my family and with her.  I had a two-day show in Macon, Georgia the weekend she left for Latvia, but I did make back to the airport to have some “goodbye time” with her there before her departure.  Kudos to Delta Air Lines for allowing one host parent for each hosted child to accompany that child back to the departure gate!

While that day felt like an ending, the next day was spent packing the show to return to Kiawah Island for a final show of the summer there.

This week brings another trip, this time to Jackson, Mississippi to speak to a group of healthcare managers and professionals there, then I’ll return to Atlanta to lecture and perform at the SEAM convention.

SEAM 2008 logo

SEAM 2008 logo

Like Phelps reaching for the wall, August just keeps pushing along right until the very last moment.  It just won’t quit.  It’s been a great month.

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