First published here on Mariano’s Scifoo14 blog

There is a curious connection between the city I live in (Turin, Italy) and the Bay Area. Italy’s first capital city in 1861 and home to the House of Savoy (the royal family), Turin has always been open to esoterists, alchemists, astrologers and clairvoyants. At the end of 18th century it hosted the first Mesmeric Society founded by Sebastiano Giraud.

In 1939 Giorgio de Chirico, founding father of Metaphysical Art, defined Turin

the most deep, enigmatic, and disquieting city, not just in Italy but in the whole world.

According to a local tradition, Turin lays on the vertex of a giant “Black Magic Triangle” together with London, England and San Francisco, CA.

As a homage to this impalpable liaison, I have just submitted the abstract for a “Lightning Talk” to be given at Sci Foo 2014: “A truly Mesmeric Act”.

My Lightning Talk at Sci Foo 2014: a truly Mesmeric Act

Far from the obscure implications of Black Magic and VooDoo practices, my talk will be a 5-minute playful experience involving all the audience at once: a magic act lying at the intersection between recreational mathematics and the tradition of Italian historical novels. Its recipe? Just mix a brain teaser by Martin Gardner, the atmosphere of a baroque building in Turin and an unexpected, subversive ending in San Francisco sauce.

Will you attend the shortest and funniest Mesmeric Act you will ever experience?

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