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The Ugly Truth

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 02:06 PM

If you haven't yet listened to our Black Box episode, turn back now! Major spoiler alerts ahead! And if you have, and have decided against better judgement to destroy the magic and learn the ugly (potential) truth behind the Piddington's mind-reading radio program, then proceed with caution. 


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Comments [14]

Boh from Cape Cod

Am I so much of a skeptic that I found this to be anticlimactic?
My aha moment was the realization that I hesitated in fear of learning something that I couldn't unlearn. Yet, in reflection, the ugly truth is the one that is not learned. It's the pretty lie. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Feb. 28 2017 05:05 AM
Rachael from Pennsylvania

i wholeheartedly disagree that this is a disappointing revelation; i absolutely had my "aha!" moment finding out how they did this trick.

in fact, while listening to the episode, i had an idea that the information was known in advance, but wasn't certain how that could be. it was really cool learning this information =]

Apr. 13 2016 08:46 AM
Kavya from Stanford, CA

I couldn't hear anything either -- but found the audio here instead:

Apr. 13 2016 12:08 AM

I'm so glad you posted this! I came here expecting to be disappointed, but I feel sooooo much better knowing the answer and I feel like it did give me that "aha" moment you were talking about in the show.


But as a mathematician, there's something aesthetically pleasing about her knowing the answer in advance and the trick being how you're going to fake the audience into thinking their doing a random thing!

Mar. 29 2016 11:47 PM

I couldn't hear it either. Bummer! I think you have to donate FIRST then you can hear it. Haha. Clever clever!

Jan. 26 2016 04:10 PM
Christopher from Portland, OR

Can't hear it either :(

Nov. 23 2015 11:44 PM
David Thurman Willoughby from D@fni @l 62563 <


Oct. 24 2015 08:41 PM
Rachel from Australia.

I heard it fine. Its really the only possible explanation and what i thought when listening to the episode...she knows the words in advance.

Aug. 22 2015 06:57 PM
Carol from Texas

I was able to hear it. Thank you so much for sharing the secret! I love the way Krulwich expressed his disappointment with a Bronx cheer and I love how Penn Jillette then replied that he might also consider the "secret" behind multiple mall Santas. Magicians are so vested in protecting the illusion and for once, I get to know how it's done. Thanks again!!

Jul. 30 2015 11:22 PM
Arianne wack

Hi everyone,

In order to hear the audio you must click through the "Proceed with Caution" hyperlink. Then click through the following screens, order to find the audio player. If the player isn't working for you, please email us at and we'll try to figure out what may be happening on your end!


Jul. 01 2015 11:26 AM

I hear nothing aswell, some kind of social experiment?

Jun. 30 2015 06:30 PM

Even using that link from steven, I don't hear a thing. :(

Jun. 30 2015 04:05 PM

found this link, try this one out

Jun. 30 2015 12:03 PM

So is this link supposed to be silent? I hear nothing on the recording after trying to play it several ways. Is THAT the ugly truth?

Jun. 30 2015 12:44 AM

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