This will make you look away

Christian Bale in the Prestige. There’s only one way he can do that trick… isn’t there?

Has a friend ever told you they’ve seen someone who looked just like you? It’s not that hard to find people who look similar (and it can be quite useful in certain magic tricks as you can imagine!) but there’s a slightly more creepy kind of ‘doppelganger’. Legend has it there are ghost-like beings that take on the form of their victims, and whose appearances are a bad omen.

The internet is full of spooky doppelganger stories (the story of Emilie Sagée will give you goosebumps) and a few famous people are said to have had visits from mysterious doubles.

Abraham Lincoln supposedly saw a vision in the mirror of his face reflected twice, one paler than the other – his wife thought this meant he would be re-elected, but die in his second term, as indeed he did. The poet Shelley saw a vision of himself pointing to the sea shortly before drowning in it, and writer Guy de Maupassant’s double helpfully dictated his work for him. After Queen Elizabeth I saw her dying double in her deathbed, she soon followed suit.

What do you think? Is it just electrical stimulation of the brain, a glimpse into a parallel universe, a side-effect of too much absinthe… or are there things out there we can’t explain?

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Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

Cognitive scientists say that we can predict the future up to one-tenth of a second before something actually happens. Our brain is constantly slower than the things that happen around us, this means it takes a little while for our brain to convert what we see into what is actually happening right now.

The lag in what we see and what our brain processes are compensated by our brain’s motor system, it offsets the delay by predicting the events that are most likely to occur. It’s a useful evolutionary trait which has allowed us to close the one-tenth second gap between our sight and our mind.

Optical Illusions work by making our brain predict what should be happening in front of our eyes. The trick is that our mind’s perception does not match that of reality.

Ali x

Live Science: Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered

Optical Illusions are the Simplest Form of Magic!

An optical illusion for you, a real trick to the senses wouldn’t you agree?


I just love optical Illusions. The experience is based on our sight and how our eyes interpret what we see. Optical illusions are all about perception and presentation, it’s the simplest form of magic!

The illusion of 3D in cinema is a hot topic these days but I won’t tell you how it works. It takes the magic out of the experience, and to be honest I really don’t know. I just know that the amount of technology used to trick our brain into seeing 3d images in cinemas is immense.

Ali x

Also here’s some last minute news for a show I’m doing tonight at Shoreham’s Outside the Box Comedy Club  here, Come on down if you’re nearby!