So Derren Brown had a new programme on Channel 4 last night, “An Evening Of Wonders” (UK readers can click the link to view it again), and it was everything I’d anticipated and more. For those of you who live on Mars, Derren Brown is the most amazing psychologist, magician (ish) and showman I have ever seen. His act consists, basically, of reading and manipulating his subjects, for example guessing intimate details of people’s lives just by hearing their voices and convincing bookies that he has a winning ticket for a horse race when in fact he backed a loser. He has been banned from every casino in the UK, and more than likely worldwide.
The best thing about it all is that he stresses there is absolutely nothing psychic or magical about his show, it’s all down to psychology. He’s a practitioner of NLP as well as all sorts of other psychological jiggery-pokery and his shows are, behind all the razzamatazz, amazing demonstrations of how the human mind works and how easily we can trick it into doing silly things. I wholeheartedly recommend buying this book, Tricks Of The Mind, in which he not only explains many of his techniques but also presents an impassioned defence of rationality and skepticism, which makes him something of a hero.
One other thing – he is rather dashing in his Victorian stage garb and immaculately groomed beard but I’m sorry ladies, he prefers chaps. Which amuses me as my ex fancied the pants off him 🙂
While we’re on the subject of cool things I was browsing Boing-Boing today and came across a link to the work of a young artist called Olly Moss. I had a wee poke around his site and found, to my delight, that I already owned a t-shirt designed by him and had contemplated buying another.
I wasn’t prepared for the coolness of his finest work though, a t-shirt design just dripping with geekery, simplicity and uber-retro charm. I couldn’t find anywhere to buy it so I had to email Olly himself who, to his credit, got back to me pretty much straight away and pointed me in the right direction. The design is below and I’m ordering it as soon as I finish writing this. In the meantime I order you to visit at his site, marvel at the wonders and, above all, buy his stuff!