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After 112 Years, Society of American Magicians Elects First Black President in St. Louis

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Caroline Yoo
Kendrick "ICE" McDonald, being inaugurated as the first black president in the Society of American Magicians's 112-year history.
"Illustrious compeers!" says magician Dal Sanders, his mic-amplified voice booming across a 21st floor meeting hall within the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis.

"It is my duty to govern with mission and unity," he continues, "to expound the law, to obligate neophytes and to instruct in the mysteries. By the power invested in the presiding officer of the Society of American Magicians, I now declare open and ready for business this regular meeting of The Society."

"To the honor of our most illustrious," intones an audience of roughly 120 other magicians. Little has changed in the Masonic-style rituals of the Society of American Magicians since its founding in 1902, but this year's annual meeting, which happened to be held on Thursday in St. Louis, was very different: By the meeting's end Sanders passed the presidency of the Society to Kendrick "ICE" McDonald, the first African American to ever hold the post.


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The Bachelor: Inside a Reality TV Casting Call

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Caroline Yoo
The area's most eligible eye candy auditioned for The Bachelor this past weekend.
Love was in the air Friday afternoon on the sixth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, where a total of 208 single ladies and gents auditioned for the upcoming season of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette -- 209 of them to be exact, if you include a painfully out-of-place Daily RFT writer.

The St. Louis casting call was part of the producers' nationwide search for men and women "ready to find true love" on future seasons of both shows. Despite the fact that very few bachelors and bachelorettes attain happily-ever-after endings, most of the contestants I met -- drawn from Missouri, Illinois and even as far away as Arkansas -- told me yes, they are ready to try anything, even reality television, to find love.


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Casting Call: Are You Cool Enough To Be on St. Louis' Crappy Version of The Hills?

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YouTube
A new reality show is casting twentysomethings in St. Louis.
Are you a twentysomething fresh out of college, spending your days at Whole Foods and your nights at Bar Napoli, always surrounded by a group of loud, crazy friends?

We know a television company that wants to put you on TV.

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Welcome to St. Louis, Boston Red Sox Fans: 5 Tips for Getting Around

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Midwest Nerd, Flickr
Welcome! We're from the Midwest, so we'll be nice to you even while we secretly hate you.
Hello, and welcome to all you bearded, bean-eating Bostonians traveling to our fair city for Games Three, Four and Five of the World Series!

St. Louis has its quirks, and our Midwestern charm-slash-Catholic guilt won't allow us to leave you in the lurch as you try to get around. Because when you fly home after losing three straight games here in St. Louis, we want you to think, "At least St. Louis was a fun town!"

Here are five things you should know to have a great time in the Lou:

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Daily RFT Hits Bankrupt at The St. Louis Wheel of Fortune Auditions

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Photos by Allison Babka
Vanna White and Pat Sajak grace the side of the Wheelmobile.
During St. Louis' recent Wheel of Fortune auditions, Daily RFT decided to see if we could make it onto the game show that we grew up watching with Grandma. Unfortunately, we hit "bankrupt" without ever leaving our seat.

Thousands of Wheel hopefuls -- including Daily RFT -- crammed into the event center at River City Casino over the weekend, where "America's game" made its first St. Louis stop since 2010. The long-running show's Wheelmobile regularly tours the country in search of interesting contestants who know their way around the alphabet. The Wheelmobile layovers serve as the first step in the game's multi-level tryout process, with select contestants being called back for another audition within a few months.

"When we come to St. Louis, auditions are always packed," says David Strathearn, director of marketing and promotions for Wheel of Fortune at Sony Pictures Television.

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[VIDEO] Here's How it Felt to Run the Zombie-fied 5k in Wright City

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Image via
Click the video below to see what it felt like to outrun zombies
We value our brains and avoid feeding them to undead creatures. Thus Daily RFT decided not to enter the Run for Your Lives 5k last Saturday in Wright City.

Related content:
Fun-Run Phenomenon Must Die!
Which Zombie 5K is Right for You?

But a contestant apparently ran the race with a head-cam, and has since uploaded the footage to YouTube.

So now you can get a little taste of what it was like.

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Barrel Roll Man Aims to Break World Somersault Record on Art Hill This Saturday

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Who's ready for a barrel o' fun on Art Hill?
Last November, the Barrel Roll Man -- a group that goes around the world doing somersaults for charity -- attempted to set a world record for somersaulting on Art Hill. They failed.

This Saturday at 2 pm, they're trying again.

The existing record for group somersaulting was set almost exactly a year ago today, when 835 kids and parents went a-tumbling in Zurich, Switzerland.

Then Barrel Roll Man tried to one-up the Europeans on Art Hill last November, but they drew only 100 people (bwomp bwomp!). On Saturday, they're giving it another shot.

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"Batman" Lenny B. Robinson Stops in STL with Tricked Out Batmobile [VIDEO]

batmobile
Courtesy of Superheroes for Kids
It's not an easy week to be a Batman impersonator. Lenny B. ("as in Batman") Robinson came to St. Louis this week to take his new custom-made, obsessively-detailed real-life Batmobile to visit kids receiving treatment at the St. Louis Children's Hospital. In the wake of a shooting that claimed 12 lives at a midnight screening of The Dark Night Rises, the hospital canceled Robinson's visit.

Robinson has been driving across the country, stopping at hospitals to visit with sick children as Batman and he says he hopes to continue to bring happiness to others, despite the recent tragedy. 

Daily RFT found the notoriously reclusive, quirky superhero [impersonator] in the Bat Cave (eh hem, the underground parking garage at the Hyatt Regency) and spoke to him about the shooting in Aurora, his kids, and driving a car that shoots fire but doesn't have A/C (go figure).

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Loop Parking Lot Meters Get Yarnbombed

This is a Daily RFT exclusive. The parking meters in the parking lot of the Tivioli have been "yarnbombed" again (see previous incident here). This time the suspect wrapped fuzzy monster feet around the base of all the meters. No injuries reported except to the self-esteem of this staff writer.
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Photo by Nicholas Phillips
Tivoli parking meters done got yarnbombed.
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ShootPaul: Go Ahead, You Know You Want To

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image via
Paul Jackson and Jake Houvenagle, the masterminds behind ShootPaul.com, and a friend.
About six months ago, Jake Houvenagle and his friend Paul Jackson came up with a stupid drunken idea: They would build a Web site that would allow users to virtually shoot at Paul with a paintball gun, sort of like a live-action video game.

Unlike many stupid drunken ideas, this one is actually going to come to fruition. As you read this, Houvenagle, 29, and Jackson, 28, are assembling their shooting gallery in a warehouse in downtown St. Louis. (Houvenagle will reveal only that it's near the corner of Tucker Avenue and Washington Boulevard.) Soon they will start testing. If all goes well, the site, called ShootPaul.com, will go live at the end of May.

So why are they doing this?

"As we get closer to launch, I ask myself that question all the time," Houvenagle admits.

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