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The PsychoDrome: A brilliant new effect. A Martin Breese exclusive. A wooden arrow is placed on a needle, which is set into a solid brass rod which in turn stands upon a handsome, polished hand-turned mahogany base. The magician concentrates and moves his hands gently over the arrow and it begins to turn. Then, to make the effect even more impossible, a clear dome is placed over the arrow and still the arrow moves on command!
The magician tells a story of how Professor Rhine at Duke University was conducting tests on Extra Sensory Perception - ESP as it is called in the psychic world. The magician shows a pack of ESP cards (not supplied) and explains how these very cards were used in the ESP experiments. One volunteer stood behind a screen and placed one card at a time on the table and the other volunteer had to guess which of the symbols was on display. Certain of the volunteers being tested for ESP had a much higher than average number of correct hits and Dr Rhine became sure that certain members of the population possessed a distinct psychic ability.
In order to test the power possessed by these individuals Dr Rhine also developed the PsychoDrome equipment. The magician shows the PsychoDrome base and the wooden arrow which is handed to a spectator to examine. The perspex dome is under a cloth or otherwise not on show until later. The magician further explains that the arrow was placed on the needle and was able to spin freely.
The magician spins the arrow and allows it to come to rest. 'This was how the PsychoDrome was used,' he explains and he waves his hands gently above the arrow and slowly of its own accord the arrow begins to turn. Unfortunately Dr Rhine was very upset to discover that the PsychoDrome device was not at all accurate and certain of the volunteers were found to be cheating even though this seemed to be almost impossible. 'Apparently,' explains the performer, 'two of the volunteers discovered that if they blew very gently on the wooden arrow as they passed their hands over it then the arrow would start to move.' At this point the audience will believe that the secret of the effect is being explained to them and in many cases they laugh at how they and Dr Rhine had been fooled.
The magician continues with his story: 'One day Dr Rhine discovered what was happening and instructed his technicians to ensure that the apparatus could be protected from those who were cheating. The lab technicians produced a transparent dome (at this point the dome is shown to the spectators and placed over the arrow and on to the mahogany base, so that it is clear that no-one could make the arrow move by blowing on it) and the magician stresses this fact. 'Still,' explains the magician, 'certain of the volunteers moved their hands over and around the dome and the arrow began to move and spin.'
As this is explained the magician moves his hands around the dome and the needle begins to move and revolve. A spectator is invited to assist in the experiment and the magician holds the wrist of the assistant and asks the assistant to move his one free hand around the dome. At the same time the magician moves his free hand around the dome and again the arrow begins to revolve.
Everything can be examined at the end of the performance.