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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Magic Of Sheer Will

In the late 1960s, a young Israeli man named Uri Geller gained a substantial amount of attention and fame following a collection of remarkable demonstrations on US and British television. In full view of astonished audiences, Uri was seemingly able to manipulate metal with his mind. Spoons softened in his hands, keys curled at the gentle stroke of his fingers, and he was able to cause compasses to wobble at his cajoling. He was also known to restart stopped wristwatches by merely holding them in his hands. According to Geller, these feats were the products of sheer will, a phenomenon known as psychokinesis.

In addition to his mental metallurgy and magnetism, the dashing young Israeli demonstrated potent psychic abilities, most notably in his ability to reproduce drawings which he had never seen. A volunteer would draw a picture while Uri was not watching, and Geller would use his gifts to attempt to reproduce the image. Although his recreations were not always completely accurate, they were sufficiently similar as to provoke astonishment from onlookers.

Geller's high-profile exploits in the 1970s significantly raised awareness of "paranormal science" worldwide, and since that time many have gone on to mimic his feats. Though there are throngs of skeptics who have reproduced his handiwork under the harsh light of reality, there are still a handful of yet-to-be-explained effects exhibited by Geller and his spoon-bending contemporaries.

Most Americans became acquainted with the charismatic Uri Geller following a series of high-profile television and magazine appearances in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As the cameras looked on, spoons softened and became almost taffy-like in his fingers. Often his audiences were awestruck when a spoon's head separated from its body and clattered to the floor. An early Uri Geller TV appearanceWhen he reanimated wristwatches on television, he further dumbfounded observers by urging viewers to each hold their own broken wristwatch if they had one, allowing him to act as the psychic conduit. Much to their amazement, some of the viewer's watches reportedly started ticking again.

By 1972, the media frenzy surrounding Geller finally drew serious attention from the scientific community as supporters and skeptics began to polarize. In order to better understand Uri's methods, the scientists at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) asked him to participate in a series of impartial experiments. Uri eagerly agreed. For five weeks, researchers Harold E. Puthoff and Russell Targ made the controversial character the target of their scientific scrutiny as he was subjected to a host of laboratory adventures.

Following some informal demonstrations by Geller, Stanford's first test revolved around a number of drawings which had been made prior to the experiments and placed in nested envelopes. Uri was asked to recreate each selected image on his own paper. Some of the drawings had been examined by the researchers before entering the experiment room with Uri; some were double-blind, where not even the researchers knew what was within each envelope before it was opened; and some of the images were brought in by outside consultants, sealed in their envelopes before arriving at the facility. Before most of these experiments Geller expressed a measure of insecurity about his abilities, and in fact he declined to respond about 20% of the time due to lack of confidence in his response. But for those he did complete, he displayed a shocking level of accuracy. His representations were crude, but they frequently bore an unmistakable resemblance to the original, though sometimes reversed.

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Posted by Ajay :: 9:43 AM :: 0 comments

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