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Orinoco -

Perseverance pays off.

I found this film of a skater repeatedly failing to pull off a tough trick while talking about his journey very easy to relate to.

JonPeat - - Parent

I had seen this video before and I enjoyed it, I watched it again and I still enjoyed it. I think it is a good motivational story and I admire the guy’s determination.

But.., does anyone else wonder if that trick could have been broken down into more manageable steps (excuse the pun…) and practised better so that he could hit the trick in a shorter timeframe or with greater consistaency?
I know nothing about skateboarding and the relative difficulties of tricks but are there similar / easier variations which he could have learnt to train up for ‘the big trick’?

By his own admission he is ‘Not a consistent skateboarder, doesn’t land stuff every try at all. I fall most of the time.’
Could all that energy and determination been better directed at improving his consistency to better enable him to tackle that very hard trick?

It seems to me he threw himself at this trick, nearly every day, for two full years. Had about 100 attempts each time he tried it, 2000 attempts, and in all those attempts he nearly got the trick about 20 times.
He bled and hurt himself and had 2x trips to hospital, cracked ribs, he smacks his head on the tarmac (you can die from that!), not to mention the emotional upset he went through during the ordeal.
At the end of it, when he nails the trick, he is pleased. But he is more happy that he doesn’t have to try it any more than that he got the trick itself. It was an ordeal which is now over which is why he was happy.

I think that attitude of single bloodymindedness and determination is useful in the juggling world if there is a trick that you really want to get. But, I would argue that it is better to channel that energy through a targeted practise structure to build your consistency in order to nail that hard trick, rather than repeatedly hurling yourself at the trick in one go. I am personally motivated by the small gains you make along the way, little steps, than slogging your guts out for two years solid for that one moment when you get the trick. I think it builds a more consistent juggler.

Obviously different approaches work for different people.
This isn’t to say that during a practise session I do not try tricks that are above my technical level, I do, you should always test your limits. But I would never spend 2 years throwing myself up against a wall unless there were some hand holds in place to help me get over it.

This subject interested me enough to write a post about it, I would be interested to hear other people’s views and experiences of this.

Cheers, Jon

Orinoco - - Parent

Right from the beginning he is always close to getting it. Aside from a couple of attempts where he bails out of the run up, every jump in the video he makes the distance, the board goes through the correct rotation, most of the time both feet land back on the board. There is no obvious (to me) progression of improvement. He's just not landing the trick. This of course assumes that all attempts were similar to those shown in the video. I'm inclined to believe this is the case, but am probably allowing myself to be swayed by the sincerity of his narration.

Speaking as a non-skateboarder I'm probably talking out of my arse (this has never stopped me before, & is not going to stop me now) but I don't think it could be broken down. The height & distance of the jump, the surface of the run up & landing zone etc. are all going to be unique to those set of steps. So to do the trick there he has to practice it there. The landing of the jump depends on the flight, the flight depends on the take-off & the take-off depends on the run up so all of those things need to be practiced together. So the only other item that could logically be isolated from the trick is the rotation of the board, which given that from the start of the video he is managing to do he already has worked on that skill presumably elsewhere.

Putting on some pads would have kept him in better shape & allowed him more attempts.

peterbone - - Parent

Sounds more like a mental block, not believing in it enough or fear of injury preventing him from landing it.

JonPeat - - Parent

I don’t believe that this guy has any fear of injury. He appears to be fully committed to each attempt. Orin’s point about the pads is a good one though!

JonPeat - - Parent

I do see what you mean about the correct board rotation and his landing on the board each time and also the need to practise the trick on those particular steps.
Are there simpler jumps that he could have performed off of those same steps in order to get that same landing sensation? As you say, it appears that the landing is the major problem.

I am not a skateboarder either, I am curious that if he practised the trick in a different (smarter..?) way he could have achieved better results, sooner.

Cole Perkinson -

Hi all! I'm writing as a new JugglingEdge member to announce JuggleMIT 2017, a festival celebrating juggling, object manipulation, and circus arts, taking place from September 22-24, 2017 on the MIT Campus in Cambridge, MA. JuggleMIT, now in it's 4th year, is the largest juggling festival in Massachusetts, offering a weekend of workshops, activities, shows, and good clean fun for the entire family! The festival kicks off on Friday with open juggling, introductory classes, and a stage show, followed by glow juggling outside on the lawn. A full-day workshop and activity schedule on Saturday culminates in the JuggleMIT Circus Show, featuring 10 world-renowned jugglers and circus performers. Sunday features more workshops, MIT-themed juggling games (e.g. nerdy MIT-themed juggling Simon Says, volleyclub, egg juggling, and combat juggling), and prizes. So whether you want to learn a new skill or just unwind with friends, come check out JuggleMIT and experience a one-of-a-kind weekend of crazy good fun!

Okay, formal pitch aside, I think you'll genuinely enjoy JuggleMIT. We've put together a list of incredible performers for our Circus Show this year, including The Red Trouser Show (Boston Faneuil Hall performers), Jonah Botvinik-Greenhouse (2014 WJF overall champion), Matan Presberg, Cate Great, Paris the Hip-Hop Juggler, Susan Voyticky, Alex the Jester, Joe Showers, and Chloe Walier. Full festival passes run at just $30 for the weekend and are available at Tickets for the Saturday Show are available at

For more info about JuggleMIT, and to register and sign up to volunteer or teach workshops, check out our JuggleMIT 2017 event page ( and website (, still in development, so pardon our appearance!). Feel free to direct any questions to me or

- - - - -

Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Cole Perkinson, and I'm a third year PhD candidate in Physical Chemistry at MIT researching ways to reduce thermalization losses in solar cells. I started juggling at age 6 in Portland, Oregon, and I have been a regular attendee of the Portland Juggling Festival. I am currently the president of the MIT Student Juggling Club, which meets every Sunday 3-6pm at MIT's lobby 10 under the Great Dome. It's open to everyone of all skill levels, and we're more than happy to teach, so do drop by if you're ever in the area!

Hope to see you at JuggleMIT this year!
- Cole

Orinoco - - Parent

Hi Cole, welcome to the Edge. JuggleMIT sounds like a great lineup. Any chance you could make it closer to England?

Mike Moore - - Parent

Looks like a great fest! Joe's told me about how much he's enjoyed JuggleMIT before, especially the special brand of Simon Says.

I did a little Googling because I didn't know about thermalization losses in solar cells. That looks like an area capable of making a huge difference in efficiency. What kind of solar cell are you using?

Jamie-Lee Burns -

Hi all, Jamie-Lee here. Member of rhythm and balls.

Orinoco - - Parent

Hi Jamie-Lee, what colour is your hair right now?

Mike Moore -

Orinoco, I am convinced my progress with inverted sprung cascade is 100 % attributable to you making the "inverted" modifier. Thank you.

Orinoco - - Parent

Wow! That is super smooth. Well done!

Loving the plug for #GuelphJugglingFest2017 in that clip too.

Mike Moore - - Parent

Thanks! And thanks for the subtle reminder to use the hashtag. Someday I'll remember the first time...

Mike Moore - - Parent

Then you'll like this video, too!


I always feel bad posting advertisements so I've decided that I should give something useful before/through the ad.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

Very nice Mike. The festival looks great!

Mike Moore - - Parent

Thanks! We're trying to expand a bit this year, actually having a show and guests. I'm a little nervous about how the money shakes out because the show location was a bit pricey and I'm fronting it myself. As long as we don't get a horrible turnout we'll break even (and make some money to partially distribute to performers if the turnout is modest to good) but it's still on my mind.

Either way, it should be an exciting fest. Emily and I finished designing a particular puzzle for the escape room last weekend that combines 52 (very short) puzzles into one! Still working on how to use the solution to the mega puzzle in the next steps.

Fun fun fun, I love making puzzles.

Julius - - Parent

Nice man! You will quickly surpass me. Orinoco please remove the modifier this dude is progressing too fast.

Orinoco - - Parent


Mike Moore -

Pattern modifier: inverted

I searched through the pattern modifiers and found "is" for inverted shower, but no standalone "inverted" modifier. Does it exist/how would I make one?

Orinoco - - Parent

It does not exist/you write some code for the records section :P

I've never gotten around to adding this to the records section properly for two reasons. Firstly, inverted (& inverse) are usually stated before the pattern unlike all the other modifiers, which means I have to write some code & can't just update the modifier definitions & I'm lazy!

Mstly though it is because I'm not sure my understanding of the terminology is the same as everyone else's. My basic understanding is:

Inverted = upside down
Inverse = time reversed

...but I have heard jugglers use these two terms interchangeably, which strikes me as wrong. But inverted also means inside out & inverse also means opposite so not entirely out of the question.

Going by my definitions, every pattern has an inverse, but not every pattern can be legitimately inverted(?). I try to configure the modifiers so that you can't record impossible patterns. I haven't really figured out in my mind how to differentiate what is & isn't possible.

In the meantime though try using invt+ or invs+ before the pattern code in your input eg. # 3b invt+sprungcas I trust you to use it responsibly!

Mike Moore - - Parent

I agree with your definitions (though I seldom hear inverse), and I would not use the terms interchangeably. With "inverted", I'm of the camp that it can ONLY be applied to 2xs (I could maybe be convinced to include 1s...maybe), and it means to "be thrown such that its path goes over (both of?) the other balls".

These days it's also applied to Julius's fantastic sprung cascade pattern where he throws it over 2 of the 3 other balls. Everyone's accepted this because throwing the 2x over all three of the other balls seems infeasible.

Weeee, thanks for the add! I wonder if Julius will add his record to it!

Orinoco - - Parent

Interesting observation about inverted patterns must contain a 2x throw which goes over everything. I'd not thought about it that way before. All the inverted patterns I've seen are box & shower variants where the inverted pattern looks like the base pattern reflected along the horizontal axis, so I have been taking inverted literally.

With hindsight 'underlined' & 'overlined' would have been a better descriptor for these patterns.

Julius - - Parent

Ok I juggled a little bit today and attempted a longer run. Also I decided to jump on the instagram bandwagon but I think it's too hard to use if you don't have a smartphone like me, so maybe I will immediately stop using instagram.
I count 83 flip flops so thats 166 catches correct? I will now try to set my record in the record database.
Quinn Lewis asked me a few months ago to make him a video like this and I sent him a very bad quality video, this video has better quality so I hope he sees it! (maybe someone can send it to him)

Mike Moore - - Parent

I've passed it on to Quinn. Ahh, such a good pattern.

I'm with you when it comes to instagram. It's HORRIBLE on anything but a smartphone (which is why I really have to force myself to watch anything on it). It's too bad that all the amazing juggling on there isn't somewhere with a better desktop interface.

Julius - - Parent


Yea it's ridiculous, there isnt even a straightforward way to upload something

JonPeat -

The Sheffield Circus Convention 2017 – Review (UK)

My review of the Sheffield Circus Convention is now available for your perusal:

Thank you once again to the organising team for putting on the event. :-)

Cheers, Jon


Orinoco - - Parent

I think fire ukulele would be good. No particular reason, I just always wish they were on fire.

It's Him - - Parent

Fire drums!

Same reasoning. Thankfully there isn't the same amount of drumming happening at BJCs at the start of the millennium it was almost constant.


Cedric Lackpot - - Parent

> Thankfully there isn't the same amount of drumming happening at BJCs at the start of the millennium it was almost constant.

Still there, just drowned out by middle-aged whining ;-)

Orinoco -

New edition of Spectacle now available.

bad1dobby - - Parent

Any thoughts on the last para in the book review, Orin?

Orinoco - - Parent

I thought that was completely unnecessary to be honest. Languages evolve constantly. That statement came across as very King Canute-esque.

Generally when I write I will use neutral pronouns (them, they etc.) unless I know the gender of the subject. Personally I've never really thought of (red & blue) clowns as even having a gender. They certainly don't procreate, I think they just burst into existence with a shower of confetti.

I read a lot of articles from places like Long Reads, The Feature, Longform & the use of female pronouns is happening all over the place. Using the masculine pronoun to refer to an arbitrary person is still dominant (perhaps 3:1 ish?) but at a much lower ratio than I recall from 10, even 5 years ago. I'm guessing the vast majority of Mr Albrecht's reading is in the field of circus so has perhaps not come across the change that has been happening in other fields.

bad1dobby - - Parent

'Canute-esque' is good, although I hardly think the tide has turned. More like he dipped his toe into a tiny eddy and felt the need to reprimand it for not behaving like all the other water.

Orinoco -

Latest act from the Raw Art stable:

Performers are Anatoliy Ignatov & Valeriy Ganzyuk. Anyone know if Anatoliy is a relation of the Sergei's?

Scott Seltzer -

OMG, are you missing the IJA 70th Annual Festival that started this week? Well, you can read all about it on eJuggle with updates daily:

Mike Moore - - Parent

Finally read through these and enjoyed them (especially the silly snippits) very much. "Only at a juggling festival can you get hit in the head with a flying object someone else has thrown, apologize for getting in the way and actually mean it."

Little Paul - - Parent

Whoever wrote that is clearly not a Brit

Orinoco - - Parent

I remember at the EJC in Carvin 2004 my friend Dave & I attended a takeout workshop. One of the moves involved clawing a club out of the pattern from above, swinging it behind you at arms length in a full circle to place back in the pattern from above. I on't know where he came from but at precisely the wrong moment a chap appeared from nowhere & took one of Dave's wild swings to the face. This was followed by a competition to see who could apologise the most.

Scott Seltzer -

What the heck is juggling anyway? Erik knows!

The Void - - Parent

I disagreed immediately. I mean, why would such a smart fellow choose to film in portrait?
— The Void (@TheVoidTLMB) July 14, 2017

I agreed with the preamble, but it got problematic when the actual definition started. But is such a long definition useful?

barnesy - - Parent

Yeah, TL;DW.

I followed a little of the Facebook discussion about how this definition had been whittled down to mere pages (or was it reams?). I'll have a look at that if it appears but I don't consider a 15 minute video to be information, especially one which didn't seem to yield a point when I skimmed through it

erik aberg - - Parent

Barnesy, here you go:
Juggling is a genre of activities related to the default form. The default form is the three ball cascade.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

How far does the border have to be from the 3b cascade before it becomes 'not juggling'?

erik aberg - - Parent

It's not about distance. It is an on or off switch. Is there a relevant relation or not? Is there another genre that has a stronger connection to the subject than 3 ball cascade, or other established forms of juggling?
One thing to always remember, is that we are dealing with communication and the meaning of a word here. For an example, if I walk into a pizza place with another juggler and the pizza chef is throwing the dough around, I could easily start talking to my juggling friend about the pizza tricks as juggling, and he would know immediately what I was saying. If the person I was talking to was a non-juggler, it might be harder, since it is not as certain that he would see a connection to other already established forms of juggling.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

Perhaps dance is the default form? I think there's an 'outside' and 'inside' of what juggling is. The inside is - feeling a motion.. a dance. The feeling is the same as dancing, you're using an object/s (balls, poi, pizza etc) to feel the dance instead of your body. Skateboarding is using your body and an object to feel it. The playing of a musical instrument isn't related because of the lack of motion.. you're feeling rhythms & melodies.. but not motion. Does that make any sense? Not sure myself.

Little Paul - - Parent

Far TL; Can't be bothered to W - but:

Is a definition even useful?

Definitions usually only serve so you can point at things which don't fit the definition and exclude them. Something I haven't been interested in doing with "juggling" for a while

lukeburrage - - Parent

I like the idea of exploring the boundaries of a concept, as it lets you find areas that haven't been explored yet. However, defining what the word juggling means is a different exercise of defining what "juggling is", or can be. Completing the first step is probably useful before beginning the second step.

However, if I'm to watch a long video, it has to be more interesting than that in the first minute for me to continue on with it.

erik aberg - - Parent

Luke, if you want to claim that the word juggling represents something different than "what juggling is" you will have to explain that difference. The word juggling is only a representative for a concept. I does not matter if you try to leave the area of language and the meaning of words, when you still use language and words. Using words in communication confines you to their meanings, unless you explain how they would differ.

erik aberg - - Parent

Little Paul,
We use the word juggling, and we mean something when we do. Therefore, I did not make a definition. Its already there, I have no say in the matter. I can only describe what the word means already.

Q: Is a definition even useful?
A: Yes, because when we understand deeper what it is that we are doing, we can reach further, and be more effective. We can communicate better. Removing confusion is both pleasant and aesthetical.

"Definitions usually only serve so you can point at things which don't fit the definition and exclude them."
For sure you can come up with more uses to understanding language and the meaning of words, than that one.

erik aberg - - Parent

What is problematic about it? if you let me know I can explain.

erik aberg - - Parent

Void, I was rushed and time was limited. The purpose of the video is to reveal the general thoughts. I am not great at explaining, and I am afraid those who wants to understand might have to get involved in the discussion. What is unclear? please tell me, and I will do my best to explain. Not only has the definition of juggling been an area of much disagreement, it also seems as the approach to it differs greatly, from person to person.

Mike Moore - - Parent

For those who find this video too long to be palatable, start here:

Ameron Rosvall - - Parent

And here is a summary of the definition, which may or may not make sense unless you watch the whole thing.

"Juggling is a genre of activities which are related to the default form. The default form of juggling is the 3 ball cascade."

Topic of discussion: is the default form really the 3 ball cascade?

Orinoco - - Parent

I am now tempted to watch the whole thing because that is not something I'd expect from Erik. There must be a lot more to it than that.

I always use the definition: "Doing what doesn't need to be done in the most difficult way possible."

I've tried to find the source of this definition a few times. Earliest reference I can find is from Jerry Carson in 2001, which is almost certainly where I picked it up from originally. However, Jerry's message suggests it comes from further back.

peterbone - - Parent

Wouldn't that definition include many other activities such as skateboarding, rock climbing and base jumping?

ChrisD - - Parent

Yep, and Brexit.

Orinoco - - Parent

...& 'defining juggling'.

erik aberg - - Parent

If someone is interested to read more about the definition of juggling, there is some discussion about it in this thread:

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

That link didn't work for me but does.

pumpkineater23 - - Parent

Interesting. Thanks for the link. Objectepisodes looks great!

Mike Moore - - Parent

The Kingston Jugglers have, "Doing the unnecessary the hard way" on their t-shirts and they've been around a while. Greg Phillips would probably know when they started using it.

Scott Seltzer - - Parent

Slightly different wording from 1993:,p28.htm 2nd paragraph.

Orinoco - - Parent

Longtime friends David Cain and Jay Gilligan won the Fargo Intermediate and Juniors Championships

David, are you younger than I think, or is that sentence missing a 'respectively'!

Daniel Simu - - Parent

The pictures in the article clear that up, respectively indeed

Monte - - Parent

Why is it important to define juggling? Is it just so you can deny it includes poi?

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