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Welcome to our Tomorrow's World Christmas fair, complete with
sideshows, replete with magic, mystery and scientific illusion.
And to probe our mysteries, we have once again a group of hard-eyed
professional experts waiting and panting
and ready to start on our magical mystery tour, and our first guide
will be the impresario of the changing face,
the charming Miss Judith Hann,
and she has her own speciality in transformation scenes.
And then, to mystify us all with his anamorphic art, and I bet you don't
know what that means, Mr William Woollard, an old friend of audience.
And now come over here,
television's first mathemagician whom we have
lured from his beautiful country seat at Ludlow and he,
Mr Michael Holt, is going to baffle us with every conceivable
kind of mystery, so you'd better keep an eye on him.
Then, lured from the halls of academia,
which means he's very clever, Dr Stuart Anstis,
and anyone who's brave enough to participate in his experiments
will be, literally, electrified,
and finally, to get us under way with his ghoulie ghosties,
Michael Rodd to prove beyond peradventure that now you see it,
now you don't.
Never a truer word. Who wants to meet a ghost? Follow me, then.
Right across the fairground, over here.
Leave some room for me in the middle or the spell won't work.
Now, we need a little ghostly gloom.
Young William here is looking into the mirror, but he's not
thinking about himself. He's thinking about the lovely Susan.
Now, in all the best stories, Susan would be his girlfriend.
-Are you William's girlfriend?
-That's a pity,
because we could use this magic mirror to show Susan and William
what their children might look like if they decided to get married.
-Shall we do it anyway?
We've got to do some magic words and it goes like this -
mirror, mirror, on the table, show me their children if you're able.
Ready? All together.
-Mirror, mirror, on the table,
show me their children if you're able.
Very, very weird and there it was, Pepper's ghost
named after the Victorian gentleman Mr Pepper
who invented the technique. He was the original.
It's all done with mirrors, man,
and his work was used by such magicians as the Great Masculine
to make people appear and disappear,
and indeed Mr Pepper himself had great fun doing what we've
just done, showing Victorian couples what their children
might look like if they got married. Now, this is how it works.
William isn't looking into a mirror at all. He's looking through a plain
piece of glass and on the other side is Susan, and when the light is
shining brightly on Susan, William can see Susan through the glass.
But if Susan's light goes out and William's light comes on,
what Williams sees is his own, much brighter, reflection
in the pane of glass.
But what is really interesting is what happens
when we put both lights on at the same time.
A strange blend of faces emerges called Pepper's ghost.
You changed your mind about getting married, perhaps?
Right, over here, everybody. Come on. Enough of Pepper's ghost.
Come and look at yourselves in these mirrors over here. Over here.
There's nothing mystical or marital about these like Michael's mirrors.
They're just plain distorting mirrors.
And if you stand in front of them, you can change.
See, this one gives you legs ten-feet long.
If you hold your hands up, you get great long, sort of, claws.
This one makes you into a dwarf and this one,
this one gives you a strange mouth. See that, Karen?
Now, what they can't do is to make you look anything like you really are, but here
we've got mirrors that can make things clearer than
they really are. If you come over here, we can see.
Stand round the front there, round the front, everybody.
Enough of those mirrors.
What do you think that is, anybody? Any idea?
Worms? Lipstick marks, perhaps? No?
Well, if I put it down here
and put this cylindrical mirror over that circle, what have we got?
Yes, the ten of hearts and hearts are trumps today.
Let's try this one. Go round the front again.
What do you think that is? Yes? Mountains?
Valley? Moon? A face, you say.
Let's see. Shall we put it down?
Get that, Jackie, and put it over the circle and what have we got?
A witch in a green coat.
OK, over to here, and this idea of hidden art that can only be
revealed in a particular way has fascinated artists for centuries.
-Here's another example of it. Any idea what that is?
A road? Just a series of lines.
But look at that, Jackie, from one side.
Look on the edge. Can you, Jonathan, you have a look? Along the edge.
-That's right, there are four faces.
It's an idea that's also fascinated scientists, of course,
they call it making transformations.
We remember the astronomer Copernicus,
because he made an enormous transformation
thinking of the stars and the planets, imagining himself to be
standing not on the Earth, but on the sun,
but let's get back to these pictures.
Yes. Dougal. Florence.
-Let's see. Yes, it's a monkey blowing a trumpet.
And one final go over here. What about this view of the Earth from...
-That's the moon.
-Is it? Put the mirror on.
Come on, Jackie, put the mirror on.
It's a pink tiger, isn't it? Yes. Something you don't want to catch
by the tail. Right, finished mirrors,
over to Judith who's got a competition. Follow me.
First of all, something really easy.
-Can anyone tell me what this is?
A face, that's right, it is a face, yes.
Now, a scientist called Gerald Fisher has discovered how
to turn a face like that into something else.
Not another face, something really different.
Now, I want you to listen to what you've got to do.
I'm going to walk behind these statues and take these things off
and when you see the face changing into something else,
and when you're sure you know what it is, I want you to run over
and sit on the chair underneath the statute.
If there's somebody there, just sit on top of him, pile yourselves up.
-Right. Are you ready to go?
No, you wait over there and just watch.
Anybody can see? No?
Onto number three.
Ah, John's seen a change.
On to number four.
Five. Can you all see it now?
And number six. Two left. Jackie's just coming on there.
Now, as you can see, they've all seen the change at a different time.
John was the first one. Jackie here was the last.
We don't see it at the same time.
To some people it changes into a girl much earlier
and if any of the men watching at home found that the face
became a girl much earlier, down at that end, it's tempting to
read into that something your wives might not approve of!
Haha! Well, I don't know about that, Judith,
but certainly, wild horses wouldn't get me to confess how soon I saw it.
Come with me and see what we have over here.
We had a very quick look at Mr Michael Holt, the mathemagician,
but now watch closely and see what he has to show you.
Thank you, Raymond.
Now, would somebody like to try on a waistcoat and...
Oh, here you are. Would you try on this waistcoat?
We've met, haven't we? It's Sanjay, yes? Right.
And here is the coat. Your arm out, that's it.
In with that arm and in with that arm.
Now, here is a challenge which you might like to try at home
and that is to see if you can take the waistcoat off without
taking the jacket off, without taking your arms out of the sleeve.
Off you go. See if you can try, come on.
No? Do you give up?
Well, look, shall I show you?
-Shall I show you how to do it?
-I can't do it.
-You can't do it.
Well, very well tried, anyway. Very well tried. Would you sit down?
Give him a good hand. That's terrific.
-Now I'll show you how it's done.
You see, you undo the waistcoat like this
and we've got the right kind of music for this.
And you take this arm here
and you put it through the waistcoat like that, you see?
And then you feed the waistcoat all the way through, but I'm going
to turn round so as you can see
what's happening at the back, like that.
And you just feed the coat through, making sure you haven't got
anything in the pockets.
If you've got an awful lot in the pockets,
you're never going to do this.
And then you get the waistcoat right over onto the side
and you just slip the elbow through, like that.
Now, we've now got the waistcoat entirely on this
side of the jacket, you see. Here it is. All here.
Now, all I have to do is put the waistcoat right down
the sleeve here. That's it, it's going down.
And then try and get it down right past the elbow.
Put my hand up the sleeve here to pull the waistcoat down, like this.
And here we are.
And I pull it out. Oh, Christmas!
Ah! There we are. Thank you very much.
And there you are.
Now, I would like somebody to help me bring out these three dice here.
Could I have you, you, Mark. And could I have you, Sue, isn't it?
Out you come. Will you bring the dice out here?
I'm not going to watch what you do while you turn them.
Turn them round. Michael is going to see fair play.
And then would you stack them up into a tower? Have you done that?
-Nice big tower, that's it.
-Yes, nice big tower.
What do you want us to do now?
Can I just turn around and show you what I want you to do next.
What I'm going to do, can I move around here.
What I want you to do is to look at the bottom face, then
look at the hidden faces in there, the two,
and the two hidden faces in there, add them all up, that face,
that one and that one and the bottom one, add them up
but don't tell me what the total is
and I am going to try and find out. All right? You know what to do?
I'm going to turn my back and I won't watch what you do.
Let everybody see.
I don't think your maths is very good!
THEY WHISPER AND CONFER
Right, are we agreed?
We had a little bit of trouble making sure
we had the right total, are we all agreed that that is the total?
We are. I'll now hide it.
Sit down, then and we'll see if the mathemagician...
-Can I turn around?
Right, thank you very much. Here are the dice.
And I've got to look at them and I will try and read your mind.
I know it's like the key of a door less one. It's 20.
-Is that right?
-There you are.
Now, you want to know how that's done? I'll tell you.
It's absurdly simple.
You see, I know that the opposite faces of a dice add up to seven.
Four and three. Add up to seven.
And so do all the other faces.
So all I have to do is add up the faces on three dice making 21
and then I take away what is on the top dice,
the top face of the top dice and it is as simple as that.
Now, see if you can work out the next trick.
Now look, this is an ordinary gyroscope top
and if I pull this string, with a bit of luck
we will be able to spin it up like that.
Take it in your hand. Now turn it about. Does that feel funny?
What does it feel? Does it feel as if it wants to move itself?
Feels kind of alive, does it? If you turn it like that?
Very strange things, gyroscopes.
They don't like being moved, do they?
Right... Now, here we've got a disc of paper
and if I spin that up very fast
that is now being a gyroscope, too.
But not a stiff gyroscope like the metal top.
Watch what happens when I turn this.
Isn't that extraordinary?
You see how it's all distorted?
Now that may give you some idea of the problems which face
engineers when they have to make things spin very fast
and these things then start to behave like gyroscopes.
Suppose, for instance,
that disc of paper was the spinning rotors of a helicopter.
Well, none of us would want to go for a ride
in a wobbly helicopter like that, would we?
What have we got here? A circle with an ordinary pendulum.
If I flick it, it swings backwards and forwards, doesn't it?
If I turn this motor on...
it jumps about all over the place.
If I turn the motor off,
and hold it up here,
what would you expect to happen if I turned the motor on now?
What would happen?
It would go around, would it? Shall we try it? Shall we?
Hold it up, turn the motor on. And it doesn't go around.
If I flick it slightly, it becomes a very stable upside-down pendulum.
That's remarkable, we can explain that mathematically,
but no-one has yet been able to explain that physically.
There's no physical, watertight explanation.
Let's leave those noisy pendulums alone
and try two other pendulums, these swings.
If you stand over there, we have Susan and Sue on the swings.
They are going to sit right still without swinging at all
themselves, I'm going to swing one of them
and let's see what happens to Susan over there.
Don't move, either of you. I'll just swing Sue here.
They're connected by that loose strap up ahead. What happens?
Sue starts slowing down and Susan speeds up. Mind your head.
And then Susan starts slowing down and Sue speeds up again.
Susan has now stopped.
And now Sue is slowing down and off goes Susan again.
Great idea for having in a park. Stop. End of swings.
Let's go across to Raymond.. Off you get, kids. There we go.
Raymond has another stall going over here.
Look what's coming now.
Now, the trouble with these mechanical toys,
although they're very charming, is that they run into things.
And when they run into things,
they get stopped and it always happens under the piano,
or behind a cupboard, or something awkward like that.
So let's put this little pussycat in a cage and then see how he makes out.
Let's start him up before we put him in.
This is the most difficult part of all.
In it goes. Now...
See? You can't stop him!
Do you see? What he does is he climbs up the wall
of the ball and manages to keep going.
And that has all to do with something called feedback control.
It's a very simple example of it, but without feedback control,
there would be no television, no space flight,
and indeed, no living creatures,
because robbed of feedback control, none of us could even exist.
To learn more about it, over to Dr Stuart Anstis.
Here's a nice piece of feedback. Tucked away inside this little box
is an electronic eye,
looking through this large, square lens at this picture tube.
But it's not only looking at the television tube,
it's also controlling the picture on its face in a most remarkable way.
Unfortunately, at the moment, the eye is confused by all the studio lights
and so let's get, Stuart, first of all,
to cover the eye up with a black cloth,
so it can only see the screen, and if we get the gallery to take the
studio lights down, we might be able to conjure up some electronic magic.
Right. Now, can everybody see that line on the screen?
That white flashing line? Yes, of course you can.
Now, so can the electronic eye, but more than us.
It's rather cleverer than our eyes.
It can not only see the line, it can actually tell the line where
to go, so that it can go on seeing it.
So if I try to cover up that line with my hand,
then the line won't allow me to do that.
The eye will control it to stop it happening.
So you see, I get an outline of my hand.
Even if I open my fingers and close them like scissors,
there the line very cleverly follows the outline.
It never gets concealed. Now, have a go at that, William.
That's a very nice name you've got.
Put your hand in gently. Open the fingers, very gently.
And close them again.
You see? The line still follows your hand, take it out.
In you go again. Open the fingers, close them.
Take this shape, this cut out of a face we've got, push it in cos
that line always wants to run away. It's frightened of reflected light.
In goes the face. And there we can see the outline of that cut-out face.
Now, can you hear anything else happening?
BUZZING As that face goes in?
-What can you hear?
-A noise, yes.
Now, that noise depends upon the shape of that line.
Stuart's keeping it on the screen for us. There it is.
Now, have you ever heard the sound of your own face?
You haven't, have you? No, neither have I.
But if we're very careful, you might be able to achieve that.
Kneel down... See, the line's frightened,
it runs away as soon as you go near it.
Now, if you put your head carefully between the electronic eye
and the line, the screen, there's your face.
Stick your tongue out. And again.
Stick your tongue out.
That's your face, I can see your tongue out.
Now, that, for the very first time, live on television,
the sound of William's face with his tongue out.
This feedback business works the other way round, as well.
Not only do we need the right information to enable us
to do whatever we do normally,
if we feed ourselves the wrong information,
we can make life impossible,
we might even find we were unable to stand up, for instance.
Now, how are we going to prove that?
Well, here in the studio, we've got a room with a trolley in the middle
of it and the trolley is on wheels, but this is no ordinary room.
The walls of this room are not connected to the floor.
And with the help of the strong arm of Stuart Anstis, I can show
you that we can move the walls without moving the floor.
In other words, this room behaves in a way that our mind will find
difficult to cope with.
Right, Stuart, let's see who's had a heavy tea.
Come on, Martin. Try an experiment and we see
if we can make you behave in a strange fashion.
Stand in the trolley, on the rubber. Now, face the other way.
That's right, turn yourself round.
And look up perhaps at one of those pictures. Lovely. Now then...
You tell me what you think is happening.
I don't want you to sway. Stand still, whatever happens.
You're swaying, aren't you?
Now, what do you think it is that's moving?
Well, turn round and have a look and see what is happening.
The floor isn't moving, is it? What is?
So now you know what's going on, turn round and see
if you can stand still again.
Look up at the wall, hands by your side.
Do you think he's standing still?
He's not, is he? It's jolly difficult. Well done, Martin.
Even when you knew what was happening,
you found it impossible to stand still and I can hardly blame you.
Come on, Helen. We'll try something else with you.
Have you had a heavy tea?
You have? Oh, dear. We might have a problem here.
Step up, then.
Hands by side. Don't touch the rails.
Now, Stuart's made a few adjustments.
You see if you can tell me what's happening.
You tell me if you think she's going to fall over.
She's not doing very well, is she?
What do you think is happening, Helen?
It's very confusing, isn't it? Let's try something else.
If I told you I was moving, would you believe me?
Really and truly?
Yet everybody else can see I'm the one that's standing still.
You're the one that's moving!
Feels funny, doesn't it?
Yes, they did it to me on Tomorrow's World not so long ago.
Thank you very much.
Have you ever wondered why your ears are where
they are on the side of your head?
You haven't? It's something I ponder every day.
But not all living creatures do have ears where ours are.
Some, like the cricket, for example, have theirs on their legs.
Well, that, for the time being, is what we've done to Sophie here.
Now, with her, we can find out what the cricket's world would sound like
or what our world would sound like if we had our ears around our ankles.
If Sophie will jump, if Stuart will hold her satchel,
jump a little bit, Sophie. Hear that sound?
It's quite deafening!
Right, back you go on the target, Sophie,
and Stuart will help you put your ears where they should be.
Meanwhile, over here, we've got
William with ears in an even stranger place, on his hands.
How does that feel, William...
Matthew! ..to have your ears on your hands?
-Not very different.
-Not very strange.
Wave your arms around, so we can hear what it feels like.
Move one past me as I speak.
Move one past my face as I go on speaking.
VOLUME FLUCTUATES Can you hear my voice dying away
-and building up again?
-You can? Right.
Now, all of you, how would you like best to have your ears?
On your hands, like Matthew here, or where the rest of us are?
Come with me, Matthew. On your ears.
-Where would you like to have your ears?
-Where they are.
I just want a trial to see. Are you ready, Sophie? Right.
All these boxes are empty, except for two.
They've got something ticking in them.
What you're going to have to do
when I say go is to run down the side of the table, as
fast as you can, try and find a box that's got something ticking in it.
Now, be very quiet, everybody,
cos we've never done this experiment before. Excuse me, Stuart.
And we're not quite sure it's going to work.
Right, when I say go, off you go. Find the ticking thing.
Listen with your ears, Sophie.
Listen with your ears.
LOUD TICKING Any luck?
BOX RATTLES She's right! She's right!
So it seems better, doesn't it, to have your ears up here?
Just before we make sure, let's run another test.
Matthew, you go back to your target. Sophie, go back to Stuart.
You've got to close your eyes,
mustn't open your eyes during this one,
so you can't see where you're going,
and they're going to spin you round, so you don't know where you are.
Blow a trumpet.
Everybody? John? You have a go. Stand on this target.
When I say blow, you blow your trumpet and these two are going
to try and find their way to you with their ears.
Now, Matthew, it would be better
if you hold your arms out sideways, like a bird, give you a better sound.
Right, are you ready? Right, blow.
Now, we've crossed over Matthew's ears.
We've connected his left hand to his right ear
and his right hand to his left ear.
But he still seems to be doing very well.
Judith is stopping him bump into things.
Oh, a dead heat!
Open your eyes. Absolutely dead heat. Well done!
Well, I think you deserve to have the things you found in those boxes.
Those things that were ticking. Let's open it and see what they were.
Shall I open it for you?
Right, here's a Christmas riddle for you.
What musical instrument starts life encased in a mixture of horse
hair and cow dung
and ends up being played by someone standing 30 or 40 feet away?
Yes, of course. A church bell.
This one weighs 500 weight, but guess how much Big Ben weighs. Any guesses?
13 tonnes, 1,000 weights, three-quarters and 15 pounds,
so that's a pretty big bell.
But you know, to the scientist, a bell is a machine for transforming
the energy of something moving into the energy of musical sound.
One large lump of metal, the clapper,
hitting another large lump of metal, the bell.
And actually, what that makes is a most unmusical crash.
Just listen. BIG BEN SOUNDS
Now did anyone hear an unmusical crash? Be honest.
No, you didn't, did you? Not one of you.
It doesn't sound noisy. It sounds beautiful and musical.
Because our brains are so quickly overwhelmed by the sheer
music that the bell makes that we miss the awful noise.
So now, let's play a recording of the bell backwards,
so that the crash comes at the end,
instead of the beginning, and
then let's listen and see if we can
hear this crash I'm talking about.
Listen. BELL SOUNDS BACKWARDS
Did you hear it?
And what the body of the bell is designed to do is to soak up
the energy of the crash as quickly as possible
and channel all that energy into beautiful musical notes.
Now, we're going to play you a recording of Big Ben a little
bit at a time and we'll show you the sound on this screen, too.
Do you see? Just like an explosion. THUMP
That's that tremendous impact of that huge clapper hitting that huge bell.
Now, by modern electronic means, you can in fact find 30 or 40 notes in a
big bell like this and I can show you what I mean by ringing the individual
notes in this bell, not with a great big clapper,
but by a tiny electronic vibrator here.
LOW NOTE HUMS
Can you hear that?
Now that's the low note.
Now, let's increase the frequency of the vibrator and see
if we can get the next...
NOTE GETS HIGHER
See? That's an octave above. Another pure musical note.
Now we can get some harmonics. MULTIPLE NOTES HUM
See, I'm using this little vibrator
instead of the big hammer and picking out the individual
notes of this bell, which has already been tuned.
MORE NOTES HUM Listen to that.
-Do you think we can find any more? Let's try.
HIGH NOTE HUMS There's a high note.
MORE NOTES HUM That's a lovely note.
HIGHER NOTES SOUND
Now, of course, we can hear them all at once, the old
fashioned way, by striking the bell and now,
we shall hear all those individual notes as one beautiful chord.
BELL HUMS You can hear the individual notes.
But of course, you don't
need a great big piece of metal like that to produce such beautiful music.
Ring out, wild bells!
THEY PLAY GOOD KING WENCESLAS
Come on, let's all join in, come on.
Let's all stand around. Come in, let's have the whole cast.
Yes, thank you, William, bringing in the music.
Michael, the other Michael.
Have you all got your music?
What better note on which to end our programme.
On behalf of all of us in the studio, a magical Christmas to you all.
# Good King Wenceslas last looked out
# On the feast of Stephen
# When the snow lay round about
# Deep and crisp and even
# Brightly shone the moon that night
# Though the frost was cruel
# When a poor man came in sight
# Gathering winter fuel. #