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Perspective and Illusion

48 49 ITs magIc the highest and lowest forms of trickery Sometimes things happen which seem impossible. When the writing on the wall appeared at Belshazzars Feast, while some read it, and others either called for more or ran away in terror, at least a few must have wondered how it was done. Just as our senses can be fooled, so can our expectations of what is possible. The pictures shown here are all wellknown effects that seem magical if one does not know their secrets. Particularly entrancing to the mind are manifestations or disappearances, which tend to be explained away as having either psychological hallucinatory, technological trickery or alien, or spiritual divine or psychic causes. The glass in the stage ghost illusion below is a great metaphor. Above left Scratching a tablecloth causes a coin to move from under a glass. Above right Joseph Ferdinand Plateaus revolutionary Phenokistoscope, which produced the illusion of moving pictures. Below left Alexander Graham Bells new telephonic invention must have seemed like magic to many people. Below right A Gyroscope magically defies gravity.
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