The magician who calls himself the Amazing Randi is a skeptic who will pay $1 million to anyone who can offer proof of the paranormal. He's made a career out of debunking psychics, and he's now investigating 11-year-old Natalia Lulova, a Jewish immigrant from Russia who now lives in Brooklyn and claims to be able to see through blindfolds.
Lulova tried to win the prize last year, and lost. But a year later, she says her psychic powers have improved. She wears a special blindfold that looks like two Mickey Mouse ears. Despite wearing the blindfold, she can still read, play word games and identify colors. Journalists who look through her blindfold can't see a thing. "I don't believe in miracles," says Mark Komissarov a Russian cabdriver who is Lulova's teacher. Komissarov holds a weekly circle of psychics, composed of all Russians, where they spend 4 hour sessions testing their paranormal abilities. He says Lulova "is one of my best students."
"She's doing a blindfold act that a lot of kids can do," says Randi. "?Particularly in the former Soviet Union, [it's] a popular trick, but I've seen it all over Europe and in Korea."
When a reporter said he tried reading through Lulova's blindfold and could see nothing, Randi said, "Of course! You don't play the violin just by accident. You practice."
When Randi tested Lulova last year, Lulova read while wearing the blindfold, but Randi said she was peeking through tiny gaps the blindfold left between her nose and cheek, so he sealed the edges with duct tape. Lulova said she was so upset that her psychic powers left her for 10 months. Komissarov says, "In Russia we have an expression, 'blind from rage.'" But now Lulova has regained her powers and is ready to try again.
Randi ought to try challenging the CIA?they spent a lot of our tax dollars on psychics.
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