We are currently experiencing larger than anticipated quantities of life. This may result in irregular posting and delays in communication. Thank you for your understanding.

13 October 2020

A clear solution for face coverings?

Recently on social media, I’ve seen it suggested that clear plastic "mouth shields" are ideal cloth mask substitutes for performers because they allow the audience to see your facial expressions.


Before you throw away your cloth face masks, be sure to ask yourself (or the mouth shield manufacturer):

Is there scientific evidence to suggest their mouth shield is as good as cloth masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19?

If the manufacturer says that their mouth shields are just as effective as face shields in preventing the spread of COVID-19, consider that the health care community does not support the use of face shields alone as source control (not sharing your germs) or as protection (not getting other people's germs). [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10]

 


Cheryl Brown of CBC News, published the following on August 29, 2020 in the article "Can I use a mouth shield instead of a mask? Your COVID-19 questions answered" [emphasis mine]:

  • "The experts say no."
  • "'I don't think they're a really good alternative at all,' said Dr. Susy Hota, medical director for infection prevention and control at the University Health Network in Toronto, in a recent interview on The National." and
  • "Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, also said he's 'not a fan' because mouth shields don't collect droplets like a mask would."

 

As you make your decision, please consider your health and the especially the health of those with whom you'll be spending your time.



 

 

 

--------------------

References:

[1] “Focus on: Face Shields for Source Control of COVID-19.” Public Health Ontario, 16 July 2020, www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/ncov/main/2020/07/covid-19-face-shields-source-control.pdf?la=en.
 
[2] Gray, Richard. “Why a Face Shield Alone May Not Protect You from Coronavirus.BBC News, BBC, 6 Aug. 2020, www.bbc.com/future/article/20200806-are-face-shields-effective-against-covid-19.
 
[3] Roberge, Raymond J. “Face Shields for Infection Control: A Review.Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Taylor & Francis, 2016; 13(4): 235–242 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015006/.
 
[4] Woods, Michael. “Face Shields vs. Face Masks: Which Is Better?CTV News, CTV, 14 July 2020, ottawa.ctvnews.ca/face-shields-vs-face-masks-which-is-better-1.5023909.
 
[5] Hensley, Laura. “Face Shields Are Easier to Talk in, but Are They Safer than Masks?Global News, Global News, 18 June 2020, globalnews.ca/news/7075262/face-shields-covid-19-coronavirus/.
 
[6] “Can a Face Shield Be Used as a Substitute or a Replacement for a Mask?” Ottawa Public Health, www.ottawapublichealth.ca/en/public-health-topics/masks.aspx.
 
[7] Duong, Diana. “Masks vs. Face Shields: Which One Is Safer?Healthing.ca, PostMedia, 27 July 2020, www.healthing.ca/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus/face-shields-vs-masks-guess-which-one-is-safer.
 
[8] Schimelpfening, Nancy. “Why Plastic Face Shields Aren't a Safe Alternative to Cloth Masks.Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 Sept. 2020, www.healthline.com/health-news/why-plastic-face-shields-arent-a-safe-alternative-to-cloth-masks.
 
[9] “COVID-19: Considerations for Wearing Masks.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html.
 
[10] “Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19?ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 1 Sept. 2020, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200901112231.htm.

12 October 2020

Nova Scotia's Ben Proudfoot wins best director

You may remember that Ben won International Brotherhood of Magicians' Youth Close-Up Magic Contest in 2007.  Congratulations Ben!

 

From the September 28th article "Ben Proudfoot wins best director for short film at Raindance Film Festival" by Susan Bradley in CBC News:

The short films reveal the passion, deep roots and tenaciousness of the artists. "They're our history, our culture, who we are," the 24-year-old said in an interview Monday from Bath, England.

Raindance is one of the largest, most influential independent film festivals in the world, operating in major cities including London, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Berlin.

Proudfoot, who founded Breakwater Studios Ltd. in Los Angeles in 2012, is a graduate of Citadel High School and an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician, winning Canadian and International championships.

​He turned his talents to filmmaking and attended the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.

Read more.

11 October 2020

How to date a deck of (USPC) playing cards

ICYMI Lee Asher Tweeted: Oct 14th -17th @52PlusJokerClub will hold their annual playingcard collecting convention virtually- free to all. YOU ARE INVITED! 

 

From Lee Asher's blog:

How Old Is Your Deck?

The following material, designed to assist collectors in dating their U.S. decks, is produced here courtesy of the 52 Plus Joker Organization. It appeared originally in an article by Margery Griffith, then curator of the United States Playing Card Co. Museum in Cincinnati, in their quarterly bulletin 'CLEAR THE DECKS' in April 1991.


Find Your Ace of Spades


Like knowing the grade of your cards, a dating aid can be very useful. For decks manufactured by United States Playing Card Co., a dating code was placed on the Ace of Spades at time of manufacture. The code first came into use in 1904 and it applies only to Aces of Spades that bear a letter plus a four digit number. Combinations with fewer numbers have no meaning for collectors.

Right from the beginning in 1904, the same codes were used by National Playing Card Co. and New York Consolidated Card Co., subsidiaries by then of USPC. Andrew Dougherty and Russell Playing Card Co. also used these codes, as they became part of USPC in 1907 and 1929 respectively.

Read more.


10 October 2020

Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB)

From the Government of Canada website:

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) gives income support to employed and self-employed individuals who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are not entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. The CRB is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

If you are eligible for the CRB, you can receive $1,000 ($900 after taxes withheld) for a 2-week period.

If your situation continues past 2 weeks, you will need to apply again. You may apply up to a total of 13 eligibility periods (26 weeks) between September 27, 2020 and September 25, 2021.

CRB application is not yet open

Details about how you can apply will be available on October 12, 2020.

Read more.



[with thanks to Peter Mennie]

09 October 2020

Carisa Hendrix in the Globe and Mail, 12th Night, and a Neil Gaiman shout out

From the October 6th article "How Canadian magic star Lucy Darling pivoted online – and found new fans (like Neil Gaiman)" by J. Kelly Nestruck in The Globe and Mail:

While Lucy Darling has a quick wit, her hands are even quicker: her legerdemain surprised and startled me time and time again. Table magic doesn’t have quite the same impact over livestream that it does in person (I kept wondering what was happening outside the visual frame), but a card trick she performed at the end wowed me and is still enjoyably tying my brain up in knots.

On the whole, An Exceptional Night In was one of the most polished and professional Zoom performances that I’ve tuned into to date – which is not a huge surprise, given that it is directed by Jim Millan, the former Crow’s Theatre artistic director who works with comedy and magic supergroups The Kids in the Hall and The Illusionists.

An Exceptional Night In is “at” The Citadel until October 17 – and information for all of Lucy Darling’s upcoming performances can be found on her website.

Read more.

[With thanks to Keith Tomasek for letting us know!]



From the October 5th article "An Exceptional Night In With Lucy Darling: get Zoomed on magic and mixology" by Liz Nicholls in 12th Night:

Henrix is also, incidentally, the Guinness record-holder for how long she can hold a lit torch in her mouth (witness the documentary Girl On Fire). Which would seem to have only a peripheral connection with her expertise in card tricks or cup-and-ball games. And none at all with Lucy’s uncanny ability, having asked an audience member for the name of their favourite book, to produce that very volume. Right then and there.

It’s a startling array of skills, to say the least, that Hendrix brings to the table (hers, as it happens in these COVIDian times). And one of them, you’ll discover, in a live Zoom “meeting” that brings 36 of us together, along with Lucy’s assistants, is an uncanny knack for making magic “real,” which is to say convincing, online.

Read more.




ICYMI, Neil Gaiman agrees: