A palm-reading will cost you extra

Mary
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Here at mental_floss, we make a point of telling you about things that happened in the past (executions of royal mistresses, origins of nursery rhymes, and so on). It's a little-known fact that we can also predict the future. For instance, I predict that you are about to read two paragraphs about The Amazing Criswell, a character I recently came across while doing m_f-related research:

The Amazing Criswell began his career as a television newscaster. One night he ran out of copy, and faced with the prospect of fifteen minutes of dead air before the closing credits rolled, he decided to tell his audience what was going to happen the next day. When one of his predictions actually came true, Charles Criswell King was transformed into The Amazing Criswell.

Over the next few years, Criswell became a celebrity psychic who astounded the world on the Jack Paar show by predicting the assassination of JFK. He also published several popular books in which he prophesied that Des Moines, Iowa would become a world hub of homosexual activity, Las Vegas would host the first interplanetary conference in 1990, and brain transplants would someday be available from vending machines.  

You can hear Criswell's predictions for yourself here. If you prefer slightly more realistic futurology, we'll be showing off our abilities at the Idea Festival in October, and also in a future feature (on the future) in the magazine, written by the Amazing Me.  

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June 20, 2006 - 5:53am
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