Cork Magic Trick
It's a well known fact that magicians must keep their art shrouded in secrecy, for the fascination one experiences when watching a magic performance stems from the question: "how'd he do that?" Magic is about making the impossible appear possible, through the extraordinary powers of the magician; at the most basic level, this is often achieved through skillfully rendered optical illusions of various kinds. Since I'm not a magician, but just a John Doe having stumbled upon this trick, I thought I'd share it with factoid readers. For hours of fun, I recommend showing it to people who've had a few drinks, and to offer them the possibility to try to emulate it themselves. Following, then, is the secret to the magic cork trick...
Take two standard corks. The trick works better when each cork carries some kind of distinctive feature which sets them apart. For example, I've used one wine cork and one Champaign cork. It doesn't matter which varietal you use. Place each cork all the way in the pocket between your thumb and index (see fig. 1).
Tell your spectators that the trick involves getting both corks out of their pockets while using only thumb and index. Notice how the wine cork is held by my right hand. Try to make it look as casual as possible.
Here's where the magic comes in: this is the most important part, and the secret you should keep if you aspire to become a true magician. Instead of grabbing each cork in a straightforward way, you'll have to rotate one of your arms, in order to form two parallel lines with your thumbs (see fig. 2).
Next, place the thumb and index of one hand on the tips of the other hand's cork, and do the same with the second hand (see fig. 3).
Pull both hands apart, as you keep hold on the corks of the opposite hands (see fig. 4). The wine cork is now held by my left hand. Presto!
There you have it, folks. The Magic cork trick! It may take a few tries before executing it properly, but with a bit of practice, you'll be able to bewilder family and friends.
ps. Please excuse me for not using white magician's gloves. I thought I had some around... I'll try to update these pictures soon.