...Searching back into the deep dark vaults of the past, we find a short, very short essay. It appeared in the first issue of a small letterpress fanzine called Slant, which, if you'll read the "Autobiographical Notes" in this volume, was the project of two new Irish fen, James White and Walt Willis. And this essay, which greeted the world in late 1948, was the first published work of Walter A. Willis.....



(SLANT #1, NOV '51)

DR. RHINE'S study of parapsychology has now been published in England, and those of you who read Williamson's "And Searching Mind" will notice with interest that the experiments in telekinesis were performed with a pair of dice. These the subject had to will to come up "sevens", i.e. 6&1, 5&2, or 4&3, and the results were such as to rule out chance as an explanation.

There seems accordingly to be no doubt that telekinesis (the control of inanimate objects by thought) does frequently occur. But how are we to reconcile this conclusion with centuries of human experience of the obdurate intractability of certain material objects, in particular, buttered toast. As the old poet says:

I never had a piece of toast,
Particularly long and wide,
But fell upon the sanded floor,
And always on the buttered side.

The explanation undoubtedly lies in Dr. Rhine's apparatus. It will not have escaped the incisive intelligence of my readers that the total of the numbers on the opposite sides of the two dice is also 7. It is now clear that the apparent success of the subject's will is really an abject failure: THE SIDES ON WHICH HE WAS CONCENTRATING ARE ACTUALLY UNDERNEATH.

It is not, however, necessary to conclude that materiel objects are activated by a malign intelligence. Indeed the apparent anomoly we had discovered provides us with a valuable clue to the mode of operation of the telekinetic faculty. Its effect is apparently to increase the gravitational inertia, or weight, of the object concentrated upon. Thus, the butter on the toast, which has, for the entire period of its fall, been assailed by the whole power of the human mind, in agonised concentration, acquires enough extra weight to turn the piece completely around in mid-air. I need hardly add that the same force acting on molecules of water easily explains the delay in the boiling of a watched pot.

Data entry by Judy Bemis