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> Welcome to the Mr. Wizard Show!
> Where each week we explore the exciting world of Science
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> Mr. W. - Today we're going to explore the exciting world of - Mirrors!
> And, we have six-year old Timmy visiting with us today.
> Mr. W. - Timmy, do you know what a mirror is?
> Timmy - Yea, you look at it, and it looks back at you; plus they're fun
> to break with rocks!
> Mr. W. - Oh Timmy! You should NEVER break a mirror; you could get a
> piece of glass in your eye and go blind. Besides, it gives you seven
> years of bad luck.
> Timmy - You don't actually believe that seven years of bad luck crap do
> Mr. W. - Well, no. That's just folklore, and I'm a Scientist!
> Timmy - A scientist? You're a dumb old fossil!
> (Mr. W. bends over and whispers in to Timmy's ear so the camera can't
> hear it) - I was educated at Harvard University you little smart-ass.
> Timmy - So what? That don't mean nothin'. We covered mirrors in class
> last year. What do you wanna' know about 'em?
> Mr. W. - Look at the mirror Timmy. Do you see how every thing is
> Timmy - Every thing isn't reversed.
> Mr. W. - Yes it is, see how left and right are reversed? Look, you
> move your right arm, and it looks like your left arm is moving in the
> mirror. See?
> Timmy - Yea, what about top and bottom? They're not reversed.
> Mr. W. - What?
> Timmy - Left and right are reversed, but top and bottom are not. How
> does the mirror know to reverse left and right, and not reverse top and
> Mr. W. - Hummmm... (long pause, then Mr. W. tries to change the
> subject)... Now let's see what happens when we bounce a laser off a
> Timmy - Hold it right there you phony. I want an answer to my
> question! How does the mirror know to reverse left and right, and not
> reverse top and bottom?
> Mr. W. - Look kid; I've studied all of the greatest minds in Science -
> Newton, Edison, Babbage, Einstein, even Steven Hawkins; they ALL say
> that everything is reversed in a mirror. Here... look. (Mr.W. quickly
> fumbles through an encyclopedia, then proudly pointing at an entry he
> says) Here! See? It says right here that EVERYTHING is reversed in a
> Timmy - I'm not arguing whether a bunch of men who died in antiquity
> said that or not; or if that's what the encyclopedia says. I simply
> look at the mirror and observe that everything is reversed in the
> horizontal plane, NOT in the vertical plane; then I ask "WHY?"
> Mr. W. - So you're saying they're all wrong? All the greatest minds of
> Science - wrong?
> Timmy - I didn't say that - yet. I examine the evidence and go where
> it leads me. If it turns out that 1000 years of Science is wrong, then
> so be it. A true Scientist doesn't come to a conclusion, then interpret
> the evidence to fit that conclusion. A true Scientist takes an unbiased
> look at the evidence, THEN comes to a conclusion based on the evidence.
> (Timmy rotates the mirror 90 degrees to one side.) Hummm... it still
> reverses left and right, and not top and bottom... must have something
> to do with the molecular crystalline structure of the reflective coating
> on the converse side of the glass substrate.
> Mr. W. - Molec... cryst...what? (Mr. W. tries to save face and cover
> his ignorance.) So then, what is your conclusion?
> Timmy - That you're an idiot.
> Mr. W. - No, I mean about mirrors?
> Timmy - Oh. I'm coming to the conclusion that 1000 years of Science is
> wrong. Mirrors do not reverse everything, only left and right. Look
> Mr. Harvard educated Wizard, I'm just a six-year-old kid and you're
> SUPPOSED to be so smart - HOW does a mirror know to reverse left and
> right, and NOT reverse top and bottom?
> Mr. W. - (pause, Mr. W. doesn't know what to do, so again he tries to
> change the subject) Ughhhh... We'll be right back after this
> (As soon as the camera cuts away, Mr. Wizard wipes the sweat off his
> brow. He's never been stumped before, especially not by a six-year-old.
> During the commercial, Mr. Wizard frantically asks the scriptwriters,
> and the on-site Scientific Consultant, but they don't know the answer
> either. Finally in desperation, he tries a few Scientific web Sites,
> and gets some hits.)
> Mr. W. - Welcome back. I was just showing little Timmy here that
> mirrors don't reverse left and right, they reverse in and out. Here
> Timmy, I found some Web sites that PROVE that I'm right! See, these two
> pages right here explain that mirrors don't reverse left and right, they
> reverse in and out. (Mr. W. knows full well that he wasn't saying that
> before the commercial, but he HAS to do something to save face.)
> Timmy - No they don't.
> Mr. W. - Yes they do! And it says so right here in these Web pages!
> Timmy - Those Web pages are wrong.
> Mr. W. - No, these Web pages are right.
> Timmy - No, they are wrong, and I can prove it. When you're driving
> your car and you look in the rear-view mirror and see an ambulance; when
> it is closer it looks closer, and when it's further away it looks
> further away. How about that, you dumb old geezer! Proof that mirrors
> don't reverse in and out like those Web pages claim.
> Mr. W. - Ummm, well... you do have a point there.
> Timmy - AND if you look in your rear-view mirror you can read the word
> "A M B U L A N C E", but if you look right at it you can't read it
> because it's backwards! The letters are not upside-down, just reversed
> left to right. PROOF that mirrors reverse left and right, and NOT up
> and down! It also proves that you and those stupid Web pages are WRONG,
> WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, W R O N G!!!
> (Mr. Wizard is thoroughly stumped; he's speechless. His whole
> self-image has been crushed by this bratty little six-year old. Mr. W.
> thinks to him self - "How can this happen? To ME of all people? I was
> the Valedictorian of my graduating class! This can't be real... but it
> is! What will my teachers think? What will my Mother think?!?!?! I'll
> never be able to face my friends again. I'd rather die than be trumped
> by a six-year old. Oh my God, it's on TV, in front of EVERYONE! I will
> never be able to show my face again; anywhere!" A full minute goes by
> while Mr. W. just stands there doing nothing but staring in to space.
> Finally... he snaps out of it and tries to recover.)
> Mr. W. - Um... Welcome back. Next we're going to see how mirrors are
> used in telescopes!
> Timmy - Wait! You haven't answered my question you stupid imposter!
> You wanna' be. You ain't no scientist; you're not even a good actor! I
> demand to know... How does the mirror know to reverse left and right,
> and not reverse top and bottom?