Mark Wilson

QUESTION:  The word prestidigitation literally translates to what?
A)  Magical trick
B)  Quick Finger
C)  Press Digits
D)  Dexterity

Yesterday's blog was dedicated to Harry Houdini, the man whose name has become so closely connected to magic and escape that his myth lives on a full ninety years after his death. Bob Omrod included miniature posters honoring this famous celebrity in his homage to magic, as he did the name Mark Wilson. Maybe not quite as famous as Houdini, Wilson became fascinated with the art of illusion at a very young age, and spent his life perfecting it.

Born in 1929, Wilson turned his love of magic into a career, working as a boy in a magic shop, and then (obviously) getting a degree in business administration, before seeing opportunity in a new innovation/revelation of the early-50's called television. (For the record, we know that the fundamentals of television were developed during the 1920's, but it was only after the Second World War that they reached a mass audience in the United States.) At the age of 26, Wilson developed his own television program, A Time For Magic, in Dallas, Texas, sponsored by Dr. Pepper. Five years later, with the advent of videotape, he became the first nationally syndicated television star with his Magic Land of Allakazam, which aired almost one hundred episodes. He remained in the public eye through much of the 1970's, and occasionally appears to this day, assisting his son Greg in his own programs.

ANSWER:  B)  Quick Finger. preste is French for 'quick' and digitus is Latin for 'finger.'