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True Mirror

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 1

  • pg 1
									                                                                                                                                                                                    'True Mirror'


                                                                                                                   IMirror,!romPage 18)                   John Walter "Then there were             "They are usually abnormal," "ay"
                                                                                                                                                          people who Raid they didn't see          John Walter." Among Amorlcnn
                                                                                                                   IntrodllCCS yoll to .omconc yoll        any dlfferenee,"                       pro"ldont", f,)r In"tanco, tho "mnll
                                                                                                                   rarely encounter: your.elf. It'. not        And to a few come palnl\ll mo-     porcentage with right parts woro
                                                                                                                   tile self you shave every morning,     mcntsofRelf-recognltlon,                not universally lovod: John Tylor.
                                                                                                                   or apply makeup to. It's the .clf           Walter recalls a movie actress     James Buchnnan, Andrew John-
                                                                                                                   everybody el.e sees. It Is the face    who took one look Into tho True         "on. Che"ter Alan Arthur, Warron
                                                                                                                   your wife kisses, your girlfriend      Mirror and exclaimed that Rhe n-        HardIng
                                                                                                                   slaps, the face you must, at some       nally understood why she was al-           Abraham Lincoln, JImmy Car-
                                                                                                                   point In your life, turn to the mu-    ways getting cast In roles portray-     ter and Ronald Roagan all had
                                                                                                                   sic.                                   Ing "tough, hard-boIled women,"          right parts, but swItched to loft.
                                                                                                                                                          Bcfore that moment, she saId, she       John Waltor says he even wroto to
                                                                                                                   Mirror, rnlrr<)r                       never could undcrRtand why pco-         Pre"ldont Carter In 1979 and
                                                                                                                         'rhat there Is a dllTercncc be-  pIc would RCC   hcrthat way,            urgod him to swltoh frmn right to
                                                                                                                    tween your mirror Image and the            To both John and Catherine         left, which he did a fow wook" aftor
                                                                                                                   reRi you may be .omethlngyou are       Walter, the True Mirror Is more         Walter'" lotter. Not In tlmo, appnr-
                                                                                                                    Rlready aware of Maybe you don't      than a device that might make           ontly, to provont bolng oustod by
                                                                                                                   care. After all, your reRllma!(e Is    money (which It may If they suc-        rlght-partor Ronnld Rongnn Nor
                                                                                                                   knowable. It Is rcvcRied In photo-     coed In automating production           ha" ho over aoknowlodj(ed thnt ho
                                                                                                                    graphs or on video. But for most      and bring the price down I\"om the      modo the "witch on the advlco of a
                                                                                                                    people, It Is the mirror that tells   $200 to $300 to somewhere near          stranger. (Bill Clinton's hair pnrt
                                                                                                                    them each day who they are, what      $70 for the small one, There are no     lean.. to the right.)
                                                                                                                     tlleylook like. And ItUc., to them.  planR for tho moment to antomatc            Actor" with rlj(ht hnlr pnrt", nc-
                                                                                                                         WRIter Is a 31J-ycar-0Id New      pNJductiun of tho lurgcr mirror,       cording u) tho Waltors' tho,)ry,
                                                                                                                    Yorker, a computer scientist with      which tcnects tho Image from           usually portrny speclnc kinds of
                                                                                                                    a degree In phy.lc. who does con-     head to wulst, Whatever the price,      oharaotors: sclontlsts, artIsts, vll-
                                                                                                                   .ultln!( work. III hi. .pare tlmc hc   II,IR, t,o the Wallers, a machine ca-   Inln", mentnlly dlsturbod pooplo.
                                                                                                                   a.semblrs the Trllc Mirror. by         palJlc of healing a Rtymlcd pRychc      Most masoullno horoo" nro left.
                                                                                                                    hmld He and hi. 34-year-old sis-       by correcting a flawed Relf-perccp-    porters, as are most people.
                                                                                                                    ter, Catherine, a sometime movie       tlon,It promises restored self-con-        The Waltors suspect that peo-
                                                                                                                    actress who .tudlrd anthropolo-       ndence, they believe,                    ple In show business -casting
                                                                                                                    gy, operate out of a minute, dull          And some of It, at least, has to   agonts, directors, hair stylists -
                                                                                                                    apartment In the warren of the fi-    do with the way a person divides        are aware of this distinction, If on-
                                                                                                                    nancial district In lower Manhat-     the hair on hlRhead,                     ly subconscIously. Why else, they
                                                                                                                    tan CUrrently they are looking for         Skepticism about this Is cer-      ask, would Christopher Reeve
                                                                                                                    a storefront to open a shop; thcy      tainly permissible, though It Is       have hi" hair parted on the right
                                                                                                                    are working with a New Jrr.cy          probably Inadvisable to laugh out      while playing Clnrk Kent and on
                                                                                                                    pla'ltlcs company to nnd a WIlYu)     Imld, John Wultcr Is obvloURIybal-      the loft whllc playlnR Buprnnnn?
                                                                                                                    hldllstrlallze production uf tl1rlr   nllccd nlld wcll-integrutcd, nut the    WhY,lndrod?
                                                                                                                   product.                               Ron eaRllyled by fanclflll notions,         It'" not rn..y to know whnt tn
                                                                                                                         They seem a very contempo-        Ills trulnlng In phYRlcRand com-       concludc about ail this John Wal-
                                                                                                                    rary pair, hrlght and attractive,      puler science Inclines him to ra-      tcr hlmsclf admits "most pooplc
                                                                                                                     manifestly levelheaded -except,      tlonul,unulytlcul thought.               think It's ofT thewnll" (A "ubtlr
                                                                                                                    perhaps, for that dubious busl-                                               nod of assent I" permissible.)
                                                                                                                   ne.. about the hair part.             '1'I1C nawL'd part
                                                                                                                         But there Is nothing dubious        Waltcr's youth was none too          Seeingreality
                                                                                                                    about the True Mirror, which Is happy, he admits, He was not                      More rensonablo, porhnps, Is
                                                                                                                    really two mirrors Joined In a box shunned, but neither was he wide-          Catherine Walter's argument thnt
                                                                                                                    at a perfect 1J0-degree  angle. When ly popular, "I had three or four         the false information provided by
                                                                                                                    one looks Into the box, the re- friends to my name," he recalls, "I           a standard mirror can load to an
                                                                                                                    fiected Image Is not only true, but was leaning toward being a nerd. I         Imperfect porceptlon of the physi-
                                                                                                                   three-dimensional.                    was very Introverted, spent lot of       cal self, and this In turn can pro.
                                                                                                                         The Walters are convinced time by myself as opposed to be.               duce social awkwardness. The
                                                                                                                   their device Is the first perfect re- Ingoutandabout,"                         True Mirror, they assert, clearly
                                                                                                                   alization of an Idea that has been        He couldn't figure out what the      corrects that problem,lflt Isone.
                                                                                                                   around for some time, frequently problem was He was amiable,                       It Is also true that gazing Into
                                                                                                                    patented but never produced good-looking, His mirror told him                 this mirror can be unsettling, to
                                                                                                                    without fiaws. John Walter discov- that,                                      degrees that vary from person to
                                                                                                                    ered the nrst patent for the Idea        Then one day, while lookIng In       person. (I felt slightly uncomfort-
                                                                                                                     when he went to pat~nt his own that mirror he realized that he               able, and after about 10 seconds
                                                                                                                    device, about seven years ago. It parted his hair dIfferently I\"om           wouldn't look again. But I was un.
                                                                                                                    had been registered by a Catholic most others He parted on the                certain whether my faint unease
                                                                                                                    priest named John Joseph Hook- right. Nearly everybody else part-             came from the unexpected view of
                                                                                                                   er. who lived In Derby, England. ed on the left,-where the flat, re-           myself or the fact that two people
                                                                                                                    Hooker iI,tended to create "cer- versing mirror showed his part to            were watching me watch mysolf.)
                                                                                                                    tain and useftll Mirrors for Obtain- be                                           It Is likely that any odd reac-
                                                                                                                   ing True or Positive Refiect!ons."         Not knowing really why -may-        tions have to do with the fact that
                                                                                                                   His patent was recorded Sept. 27, be he felt he mIght do better so-            when you look Into the True Mir-
                                                                                                                   1887.                                  cially If he conformed -he joIned       ror you are seeing a new face, not
                                                                                                                        But the WRIters found no ev!- the majority and began parting his          the face you are so accustomed to
                                                                                                                   dcnre tt1at Hooker ever built his hair on the left" Life changed,              seeing In the mirror. Thefactnl
                                                                                                                   mirror. Nor have they .cen any            "I began having a great time,"       a"ymmetrle" that often pre"enl,
                                                                                                                    product8 that mIght have fiowed he said, "I had lots of friends. I was        themselves In the True Mirror
                                                                                                                    from tho 15 other patents for tbe 19 at the time and It was very              have always boon there, but your
                                                                                                                    device that have been registered strange."                                    brain, whloh searches for symme-
                                                                                                                     over the years. Whatever, the Idea      He was not entirely convinced        try, and Is your friend, has aIr-
                                                                                                                    Is now In the public domain, and by this experience that the way a            brushed them out. If you were to
                                                                                                                    what the Walters' patent Is for Is person arranges his hair could so          look Into a True Mirror for several
                                                                                                                   the trlldemark name, True Mirror.      dramatically alter self-presenta-       weeks the brain probably would
                                    perspective, manyofus haveour self-
                    From John WaIOOr's         too                                                                       John Walter says he made tIon, So he began observing peo-                do its work and they would disap-
                      imagebackward.Hehopeshis 'Troe Mjrror' will fix that.                                        about a hundred variations of the ple with this In mind, He collected          pear again.
                                                                                                                   True Mirror before he got It right.    photographs of the famous: ac-              But the True Mirror, as the
                        n,l    RICHARD           O'MARA          :   BUN     BTAPP                                 The proj)lem was a vexing seam In tors, presidents, politicians, His           Walters Intend, Is not for groom-
                                                                                                                   the cent!!r of the Image, where the sister got Involved, and eventually        Ing. It's for introspection, for de-
                 EW YORK       -Do     YDU                                                                         two mirrors come together. He they formulated a theory:                        termining and nxlng Identity. Of
                    know who you are?                                                                               eradicated this by using hlgh-           "A left, hair part draws uncon-      courso, certain profes"lonals nnd
                                                                                                                    quality pptlcal glass, and placing scious attention to the activities         uses for it, and these tend to make
                    WhRt you really 10Dk                                                                           the refiectlv" material on the front   that are controlled by the left,        up the mlllority of the Walters' 011-
                   Ilk,,? Do". your mirror                                                                          of the glass Instead of the back, hemisphere of the braln,Ie, actlvl-         entole, Thoy Include aotor", danc-
                        the
                   t,,11 truth?                                                                                    where I~ Is on conventional mir- tics tradItionally attributed to              ers, portrait artists, psyohlatrlsts
                                                                                                                   rors.                                 masculinity, A right hair part           -people like Dr. aerald Epstein,
                       Ofcour.e It doe.n't, It                                                                           The Walters have been selling draws unconscious attention to             a Manhattan psyohlatrlst, who ex.
conceAl. thInK" by distorting them, Hold                                                                           True Mirrors for about six years, the actIvities that are controlled           poses his patients to It.
 n newspAper up to n mirror, CRn YDU                                                                                 by wor'; of mouth mainly. Brian      by the right hemIsphere of the              "I've had people look Into this
                                                                                                                    Connolly, a New Yorker, who pub- brain, I,e. activities traditionally         mIrror and get very upset, and
rend It? Not unl"s. you can read back-                                                                                                                   attributed to femininity,"               have an Imbalance, physloally
                                                                                                                    lishes a magazine called Natural
word                                                                                                               Health IInd Fitness, bought one           The Walters deduced that men         stumble," Epstein said.
   Hold up your wAtch, Can you tell the                                                                             and uses It for Introspection. "I and women whose hair part Is not                He doesn't use It to treat specif-
time? Not unless your eyesand mind can                                                                               look Into It for nve or 10 minutes In accord with their gender face          ic disorders, "but to show people
                                                                                                                    three or four times a week," he difficulties, (Women are more fa-             somethIng about themselves thoy
effortlessly reverse the numbers to                                                                                 said "I~ reveals parts of me I'm vorably seen if they part on the             are not seeing It has Immediate
                                               Road block: A minlallire//el/awtaxi gel,.lhe7'nIeMllTOr
counter the mirrors, elTect, MilTors do tt'.r,,/1eeterilnllt'omlrrorsjatnedlnaboxala90,riegreeangle  lreallnenl-     very unfamiliar with."               right, except for women In              therapeutic efTect. It's as though
                                                                                                                                                         hIgh-powered jobs traditionally          they oan see themselves as wit-
 elnn thIngs like this They obscure the                                                                             Mixedreactions                        performed by men; for them a left,      nesses, step back and observe
plain, encode the clear,                                  has encouraged him to formulate some eccentric                 So fer the WRIters' marketing    part Is acceptable,) Right-parting      themselves Instead of being
   Most people don't think about It much, John theories-one about what your hair part means-                         plan ha. beenunaggressive. Main- men, the Walters conclude, are              wrapped up In the experience of
 Walter doeB,                                             and to Invent a device to counter the mendacity of         ly they display their mirror at less popular, among other things.            themselves."
                                                                                                                    street f~lrs. They have drawn In-
    Wslter Is a thin man with wakeful eyesand a qul- mirrors,
                                                                                                                   terestlngreactlons.
et voice fun of patience, For about 20 years now he         He calls his invention the "True Mirror," Not                "SOI11C people love It. Some
ha. been preoccupied with the elTects common              only does his mirror renect back a page of text          people /late It. Some people have
Inlrrors'hnve 01' pcople's sensc of .elf.\deHtlty, It     that Is pcrfectly bltelugiblc; It ISce MilTor, 5t'l      even rlln away screaming," said

								
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