The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

When it comes to recent thrilling, suspenseful movies full of mystery and that make you think, one of the main ones that come to mind is The Da Vinci Code.

Based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown of the same name, Tom Hanks stars in the movie as symbologist Robert Langdon, who, along with cryptologist Sophie Neveu, ends up on a dangerous adventure in search of treasure following a murder in the Louvre with a cryptic message left behind with the body found in the shape of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Langdon and Neveu must decrypt the message and follow the clues revealed in order to find the Holy Grail before those who would use it for evil purposes.

Da Vinci Code

The clues that had to be deciphered are in essence riddles that lead from one clue to the next, starting at the beginning with the murdered body. Once that clue was deciphered, they were led to the “keystone”, which was an item essential to finding the Holy Grail. The keystone is a “cryptex”, or cylindrical device with five rotating, concentric rings with letters on them that have to be lined up correctly in order to open the device and retrieve the item inside – in this case, a slip of papyrus with the next code on it. The box with the cryptex contained clues to its password. Within the cryptex is a smaller cryptex with another code, which leads them to a new location and a new cryptex which leads them to the final location where they find a message about the location of the Holy Grail.

There are also some clues supposedly hidden in Da Vinci’s The Last Supper that point to a close relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

The Da Vinci Code did receive some criticism from many Christian denominations for some of the ideas Dan Brown put forth in it regard to the Holy Grail, such as it actually being documentation showing that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children, and also that it is the tomb of Mary Magdalene. They denounce this idea as an attack against the Roman Catholic Church. It has also been criticized for historical and scientific inaccuracies. Despite all of this, however, the novel and movie both have received high praise from readers and critics, and Dan Brown’s further novels have been best-selling books as well, though none have received as much hype as The Da Vinci Code.

Angels and Demons, the second movie (but first Robert Langdon novlel) with Tom Hanks reprising his role did fairly well at the box office and earned some praise, but not on the scale of The Da Vinci Code. The third movie, Inferno, is based on the fourth Robert Langdon novel and will be in theaters in October, with Tom Hanks once again staring. This time his character, Robert Langdon, will be fighting both amnesia and a global bioterrorist attack.

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Escape rooms through an American’s eyes

Enjoy An Adventure In the heart of London! We all live for a little thrill and adventure, but if you’re the type of person who thrives off mysteries, clues and complicated puzzles that require great thought and focus, you might be missing out if you haven’t yet explored a live escape room. If you’re not sure what a live escape room is, let’s fill you in—you might be just around the corner from an amazing adventure!

puzzled woman

A live escape room is actually a creative concept, especially for fans of mystery novels who wouldn’t mind partaking in a real-life mystery of their own—of course minus the guns, violence and near-death experiences! A live escape room is basically a room in which you are trapped with other players. There can be anywhere from two or more players in a given room and all of the players have to work together to escape the room within a set period of time. In order to escape, however, you must discover the various hidden clues, objects, and riddles throughout the room and solve the puzzles that result from each clue. The object of the game is to solve all the clues and escape the room before time is up. The final clue will help you toward your escape. Statistically, the more players you have, the better chances you have of being able to escape before time lapses.

It’s said that one of the first escape rooms developed in Silicon Valley, California in 2006 had clues and riddles that were actually inspired by the books of the famous mystery author Agatha Christie. From there, the concept of live escape rooms spread and really gained momentum in 2010, when it traveled throughout the U.S. and across the globe to countries like Japan, China, Taiwan and then continued to gain popularity in places like Australia, Europe, and South America. Today, the most well-known escape rooms are organized by ClueQuest, ClueJob, The Escape Hunt Experience, AdventureRooms and Puzzle Break. To make for greater excitement, escape rooms can adopt a variety of themes from mysterious to downright scary.

Many people are looking for something different and exciting to do—because, let’s face it, being kept hostage by the television can only be entertaining for so long. And with so much action all around us in movies, books and the news, it’s tempting to dig for some livelihood in our own lives. Live escape rooms are a great and novel way to have fun with any group of people. Plus, they’re ideal for a wide range of ages, from youngsters to the elderly. In fact, they’ve become a popular choice of group activity for companies that look to promote and practice team building activities during work outings. They’re also great for groups of friends who are looking for a good time to engage in something unique apart from the usual movie/dinner routine. But live escape rooms could also be a great alternative for families who want to participate in an activity that will help engage every member of their clan and create a sense of bonding. And they’re also, of course, a popular choice among gamers and tourists.

There can be lots of  benefits of going to a live escape room. It’s great to keep your mind fresh, active and sharp. And if you’re looking for a way to get those wheels in your head spinning, a live escape room could be good way to get your mind engaged as you work together with a group of people to mull over clues and puzzles. Focusing on solving a mystery or a puzzle can also help pull your mind away from the daily tensions of life. Plus, solving problems is a great way to practice your logic applications skills and, at the same time, study and possibly adapt how others apply logic to practice sound decision making and calculated judgements. In fact, in China, the “South China Morning Post” touted the benefits of live escape rooms by stating that many students who went to frequented these rooms were individuals who were extremely stressed and overworked. The games were an outlet to distract them from those stresses and allow them to re-channel their energy through focusing on solving challenging problems.

Where you can go to visit a live escape room in London, United Kingdom If live escape games sound like they might be right up your alley and you live in the London, United Kingdom area, you’re in luck. Escape Land is conveniently located on Oxford Street. Our escape rooms are recommended for people 16 years of age and older; however, kids are welcome too as long as they are accompanied by at least two adults. Teams can consist of between two and six players, but if you have a larger group of people, you’re also welcome to split your group into two smaller teams and race against each other in separate rooms to see which group is able to beat the clock and escape first. So if you’re looking for your next adventure with a new date, an old partner or even with your co-workers and want to add a fun twist to what could be another boring night out at dinner or the movies, you might just discover your next adventure awaiting you in a live escape room. In fact, live escape rooms are not only about escaping a room within the amount of time allotted, but also in a way about escaping the mundane, routine nuances of daily life. And there’s nothing more refreshing than being able to inject life with some incredible fun!

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An escape artist – Houdini

The Master of Escape – The Life of Houdinihoudini handcuff poster

Houdini is the greatest Man of Mystery to have ever lived. He astounded and awed audiences with his escape from his greatest trick, the Chinese Water Torture Cell. No one could figure out how this Man of Mystery managed to escape time after time from his many different predicaments. Each trick seemed to just be a game to this man, each daring escapade just another task he made look easy. There is a lot more to this man than just meets the eye, though.

 

Harry Houdini was actually born as Erich Weisz, “Harry Houdini” comes from his childhood nickname “Ehrie” and homage to Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. He was born in Hungary, though after he moved, he claimed to be born in Appleton, Wisconsin. He was always quite fascinated with the game of magic and he began to perform, drawing crowds and attention as he managed to wriggle his way out of trap after trap.

He married Wilhelmina (Beatrice “Bess” Houdini) Rahner, who actually became his onstage partner as well as his partner in life. The magic in the air around him translated into their marriage as well, and they were lifelong performers.

Other than his magical talents, Houdini had many other interests to keep him preoccupied. Among these interests, Houdini enjoyed aviation and film. In 1909, he actually purchased a plane and was attempting to become the first to complete a controlled power flight over Australia. He did complete it but was more than likely beaten by Capt. Colin Defries. In his film passions, Houdini launched a career on the big screen. His first film, Merveilleux Exploits du Célébre Houdini Paris, was released in 1901, and showed off his marvelous escapes. He was the star of several other films and later started his own production company in New York, Houdini Picture Corporation, and had his own film lab, The Film Development Corporation. Sadly, both of these failed though he did become the president of Martinka & Co., which is America’s oldest magic company.

There is a lot of questions surrounding Houdini’s death. The only known fact is he died of peritonitis from his appendix rupturing on October 31, 1926. He was 52 at the time of his death and still performing his amazing stunts. It is unclear whether a student was testing the strength of Houdini’s stomach and punched him or if he was poisoned by a group of angry Spiritualists. However he came to his demise, he left a huge legacy and a hole in the world of magic that no one has yet filled completely.

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History of the Rubik’s Cube

A three-dimensional combination puzzle, the Rubik’s Cube has been fascinating children and adults since it was first officially licensed in 1980. A cube with six faces covered by nine stickers of white, red, orange, blue, yellow, and green.

Today, there are over 350 million Rubik’s Cubes that have been sold since the product was first licensed in 1980. While many people associate the cube with the 1980s when it first hit the scene, it is arguably the highest selling puzzle game today.

 rubiks cube (more…)

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A Brief History Of Exit Rooms

A lot of people wonder where this whole escape game craze has started. While there are several theories, they all agree that live versions orginate from computer games. The first game where the player was trapped in a room and had to escape was John Wilson’s 1988 text adventure: Behind Closed Doors. The term ‘escape the room’ came from Mystery Of Time And Space, an online graphic adventure game created by Jan Albartus in 2001. The genre was further popularized in 2004 by the Japanese “Crimson Room” game by Toshimitsu Takagi.

escape room history

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