By Alex Wiggan (and Ryan the work experience lad) Hello science lovers and welcome to another chapter of How To Become A Superhero. Today we're looking at how Ryan could use the power of his mind to woo his ideal girl. I say ideal girl, but in truth Ryan will go with any girl that will have him and as we enter our 14th chapter things are getting pretty desperate.
Anyway, today's superhero is Marvel's mutant master of telepathy Professor Charles Xavier, so we've come to The Farmers, in Poynton, in the hopes that Ryan can put what he's about to learn to the test.
Fingers crossed... as we get going!
THE PROFESSOR XAVIER PITCH:
How to become Professor X
Do you dream of having a mind that will make the ladies go weak at the knees? Do you want to show off your mental powers of persuasion? Well by the sounds of it you want to have skills on par with the X-Men's mutant mind master, Professor Charles Xavier. By having the ability to read minds you'd know exactly what women want and would be able to prove that you're the perfect guy for them. This would have ladies loving the fact that you know them better than they do and you'd have more attention than you could shake a stick at!
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WOMEN WANT AND I WANT MORE ATTENTION THAN I CAN SHAKE A STICK AT, SO TELL ME MORE! ALTHOUGH, FROM PAST EXPERIENCE, I'VE DISCOVERED SHAKING STICKS AT WOMEN IS NOT REALLY A GOOD IDEA.
No. No it is not.
Anyway.... if you want to improve your mental powers of persuasion then you need to become an illusionist or a mentalist!
Yep, someone like Derren Brown. Remember when we looked at David Copperfield in chapter six in relation to illusions? Well Copperfield used the art of illusion to convince an audience that he could make the Statue of Liberty disappear in front of their very eyes and it worked because people believed in what they were being told. Derren Brown employed a similar technique as a mentalist, by using the art of misdirection to manipulate minds.
TELL ME MORE!
Brown, is an illusionist and mentalist, known for his impressive mind reading act. Yes it is an act, which Brown himself openly admits, as it makes use of psychology, misdirection, the art of suggestion and a big dash of showmanship. He started his early career with magic tricks and hypnosis and has since gone on to perform live seances and live Russian Roulette on TV.
SO HOW DOES HE DO IT?
Well mentalism is a performing art and mentalists appear to be able to use telepathy, precognition and mind control (amongst other things), in order to read a person's mind. However Brown, unlike say someone like Uri Gellar (another famous mentalist), admits that although he appears to be telepathic, there's actually a lot of manipulation involved. Brown specially selects the participants who take part in his act and he also uses misdirection, suggestion, sleight of hand, hypnosis and even his own memory, in order to pull off the illusion! He guides the thoughts of his participants, through a combination of all of these techniques, and then reads their body language so that he knows where to lead their train of thought next. Put simply he tells them what they think they are thinking!
SO IN THEORY IF I BECAME A MENTALIST JUST LIKE DERREN BROWN WOULD I BECOME PROFESSOR X?
Yes. According to Marvel Comics, Xavier is one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet, however if you want to appear to be one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet then by developing skills just like Derren Brown you'd be able to convince your date that you could read her mind! With skills like these you'd be able to think one step ahead and always know what she was thinking. This would allow you to sidestep any future arguments and you'd never miss her birthday/your anniversary/your kid's first birthday.
DATING PLAN OF ACTION: Mentalism + Illusion + Ryan = Professor X
That's all for this week, keep thinking 'science'!