Last day in Guangyuan

Today will be our last day in Guangyuan and tomorrow we will travel to Deyang.

Today morning we had a conclusive discussion-meeting, where all orphans reported their experience and learning, as well as we volunteers having speeches about what we wanna say. The govermental head of the department of living-regulation also joined us.

She (the govermental department head) originally planned to only stay 20 min, but because of influential speech given by the orphans and the attraction of my magic, we made her stay the whole 2 hours and had lunch with us. which is quite an impressive achievement.

Also in this meeting, I recieved the Recognizable Volunteer Honor. I’ll upload the certivicate later.

the department head, she was well-attracted by my magic–of course, everybody is attracted by magic– and request us to stay longer and do something for her. She requested us to do some performance to elders, and that is also part of my intention, so we decide to stay one day longer and leave tomorrow.

She mentioned she can officely help us register magic4hope here in Guangyuan.


I survived (literally survived and I’m still alive) the worst shower

Uhh!!!! Yesterday when I took shower the door lock got stuck!!! I was trapped in the bathroom! I was almost gonna stay there in the water steam for the whole night!!! and it was cold water shower!!!  And when I raise my hand I accidentally touched the light bulb and got burned(now recovered already). Notice I still have water on my hand and water has the highest heat capacity! how many watts does the light bulb has!!! the worst shower!!! Fortunately I climbed out from the window!!! it was the third floor!!! Can’t imagine if I got a accidental trip while climbing!! Fortunately another volunteer was outside to help me!! It would’ve been a tragic if she wasn’t there!!! Because I won’t have my phone while taking shower!!! Then I’ll be completely isolated from outside world! I’m still alive! I didn’t drop to ground state while climbing!

Revisit boys and girls club July 13 2012

Revisit boys and girls club

As I didn’t pre-request for explicit permission to photo the children this time, I just shot a picture of the setting

As I mentioned earlier, I revisited the Boys And Girls Club Merced to perform to the children there again. I postponed writing this blog until now it because I was really too tired–after getting only total 15 hour sleep in the past three days of finishing a presentation on Wednesday, finishing and submitting my research conference abstract and going on street promoting Magic4Hope on Thursday, and of course visiting Boys&girls club yesterday.

Last night I finally got a good sleep and woke up today @2pm; I hope I still remember what happened yesterday–I’ll try my best to include all details.

Yesterday, I woke up at 6:30am to prepare. The performance started 9:30am and ended 12:20pm. I performed to all children there in the B&G club–I made it!
It was very delightful to see all kids still remember me and my name. They even tell who I am to other kids who wasn’t there last time.
Long distance away when they first saw me, they already started to be excited and wave to me and shouting out my name. As I wave back, they became more excited.

In the performance, I combined the story of 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the method that they can help into the magic show to make it both entertaining and educational. The story goes on with the magic goes on simultaneously.
After the performance, they not only were amazed by the magic, but also well-informance of the earthquake. I then passed out the brochures (thanks to for sponsoring printing them) to the children that they can take home and show to other people; I truly believe they will go home and do it because I built an inter-personal relationship with them, and due to the audience-interactive nature of close-up magic, they are now part of the magic, part of the story, part of the earthquake (I’ll make a fabulous salesman if I ended up going to this industry–which I won’t).

Except the first-grade children asking all kinds of random questions and discussions, all other children behaved nicely and listened to me carefully. Those young kids were still of determined to let me make them disappear. They were so so so so determined on that, I really need to figure out a way to make them disappear before next time I revisited.
There was an African American girl who especially wanted to help them and write to them, so I told her that she can visit and click on eCards of Blessing to write a message to them and I will bring this message to the orphans I visit.
In general, the older they are the easier I can deal with them. Especially those 7-th grade children were well-informed by my magic show.

After the performance ends, which is already their lunch time, I hung out with them a little bit and did some small magic tricks. They loved me so much that they can resist their natural desire of food and turn back to watch me and not letting me leave–like the question I asked first time I visit there: if the magic show will go on one more hour but you’ll miss your lunch, do you want to stay? All kids with no exception and no hesitation answered they will stay.
And another thing I learned is that, I should never use money to do magic to those crazy kids. They will literally rip my suit apart to look for and take the $1 I just made disappear.

After the performance, I went directly to Hometown buffet due to hunger (I still haven’t eaten anything yet!) and lazy to go home and then walk to Hometown buffet. (Hometown buffet, where most of my scientific research was made).
I directly went here with my suit on and all other stuff, I overheard the table next to me had a kid having birthday. Since I already have my suit on and props ready, I did a small trick to help celebrating his birthday–and surprisingly generated $5 donation for

It is a delightful experience to work with those children. Their laughter is what I’ll never forget; their joy is what will continue to motivate me. After yesterday, I can now proudly say, I am also one of those people who can create excitement by showing up, generate noise by raising my hand, making people cuddle around me by curling my finger — without using scandal for propaganda, without being sexy for attraction, without singing baby baby baby to make girls crazy.

I am John Li, now a rockstar scientist
–like Ironman

John Li

Street magic

Tonight was very productive; I hand out 40+ brochures.

For a digital copy of the brochure, please click here

That might not sound like a big number, but consider I did that in this short time tonight. And EVERYBODY was seriously reading it. This 100% response rate is very amazing. We all had the experience that somebody hand you a flyer, you glance at it and you throw it away. I think it is very remarkable everybody read the brochure so seriously. It is also due to my interaction with my audience that made the story a part of the magic, so my audience also feel they are part of the story (the power of close-up magic to interact with people personally!!)

I was quite surprised to see people once a while that already knew me and following my website — it’s good to know I didn’t build a website that no one reads.

There were quite a few surprise from tonight:

I prepared 3 decks of cards and turned out I only needed to use one–it’s always good to come prepared that under-prepared.

One of my audience even ask for my autograph, and of course I signed his brochure with my artistic-scientific signature I’m always proud of.

The first two people I performed to just gave donation right away, that was unexpected and appreciated!

Today I really performed to all kinds of people: Old, young, man, woman, boys, girls, homeless people and even those “scary people”; and it is glad to know magic can even go into those “scary people”‘s heart.

I took the bus home, that was a two-hour-long ride. And even the bus drivers knows I’m John Li, and he even know I often ride the bus with my apartment-mate Brian! On my way back, I was too tired I just slept on the bus. Thanks for the bus driver wake me up at my stop. I was tortured by the presentation two days ago and staying up very late to finish my abstract for my research conference.



David Burke for typing up the brochure for helping us printing 250 brochure, and those brochures even come already folded!!


brochures sponsored by

My UC Merced McNair program director Jesus for driving me to main street.

I want to thank all of you above. Without you, tonight would not be possible.


Also I’d like to acknowledge Starbucks for sponsor a cup of water so my throat didn’t burn after talking to 40+ people.

And of course the two donators for donating $5 and $1.