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Nikita Zykov
Nikita Zykov

The Kid With X-Ray Eyes _BEST_

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The Kid with X-Ray Eyes

Now comes a teenage girl from Saransk, Russia, who claims to have X-ray-like vision, which lets her see inside of human bodies, to make diagnoses that often are more accurate than those of doctors. First widely hailed in Russia as "the girl with X-ray eyes," 17-year-old Natasha Demkina has a growing following of patients, doctors, journalists, and others who are convinced her powers are real.

Based on our preliminary research, we suspected Natasha may be using a remarkably simple but convincing technique called "cold reading," which is commonly used by psychics, astrologers, and other fortune tellers. It works especially well with people who are eager to believe the reader and therefore inclined to interpret misses as hits. Typically, the psychic offers a smorgasboard of statements while looking for any that are confirmed or get a reaction. In most cases, the client willingly twists what was said to fit his or her experiences -- "a male relative with a name like James or John" is interpreted as meaning "Aunt Jane who passed away last year."

So we designed a simple test that would eliminate the possibility of using cold reading to fish for correct information and to prevent Natasha from making diagnoses that could not be disproved without an autopsy. We recruited six volunteers, who each had a different medical condition visible on X-rays, plus a "normal" subject who had none of the six target conditions. Natasha was handed six test cards, each with a description of a target medical condition, in English and Russian. We also provided her with anatomical drawings to make sure she understood exactly what to look for and where to look.

The Discovery Channel program, The Girl with X-ray Eyes, has been broadcast in Europe and Asia, but not yet in the United States. I hope it will be broadcast here as well. As a well-known television doctor in the England should have learned, after being frightened by Natasha's reading into having unnecessary invasive medical testing, getting an unfavorable horoscope from your astrologer is one thing, but getting 'medical readings' from a psychic may prove hazardous to your health."

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X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes has to be one of my favorite Roger Corman films and one I revisit on many occasions since I first saw it in 1989. I know the year because it was shown on British TV as part of director Alex Cox presents Moviedrome series that featured so many classic films. Check out my Moviedrome appreciation post I did a while back to see what it was all about or get a nostalgia fix if like me, you fondly remember the series.

Ray Milland does what Ray Milland does best, play that moody, cantankerous old fella. He goes into the part nice and slowly, working his way up the stages of anger, like the levels of a retro arcade game to reach the boss level. Bit tetchy and irritable moving on to an old grouch curmudgeon with a short-temper leading on to full blown short fuse of anger of the highest proportions. He has real reason to start to lose his cool but the guy does bring it on himself in the name of science and the desire to invent a revolutionary new step in the realms of the physical and material world!

By the time that the NHS was introduced in 1948, lay people no longer operated x-ray machines, and indeed radiographers had divided into sub-specialisms (notably therapeutic and diagnostic). The creation of nationalised health care facilitated the further standardisation of x-ray procedures and training regimes, and also enabled the amassing and comparison of data about x-ray use and efficacy. Early public information films promoted the NHS by portraying its innovative medical technologies, now available to everyone without cost for the first time. X-rays in particular were tied to early representations of the NHS by the NHS, and were the focus of public health campaigns around tuberculosis in the 1950s.

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The user can see x-rays, electromagnetic waves of high energy and very short wavelength, which is able to pass through many materials opaque to light. This can be used for medical purposes such as the detection of cancers, tumors, blackened lungs, etc. The skill of perceiving a specific location (i.e. artery) is given by partial reflection of the ray from each specific surface surveyed.

After he accidently kills Brant by pushing him out the window during a heated exchange, Xavier flees the scene of the crime and hides out in a seedy, low-rent boardwalk carnival, where he puts his gift to good use by working under the name of Mentalo, a mystic seer who ekes out a living by using his vision to read the questions written out by rubes on a folded sheet of paper. While many of those who work with him think he is just another carnie conman, sleazy barker Crane (Don Rickles!) senses the chance to make some money and convinces Xavier to leave the carnival and set up shop as a diagnostic doctor for the sick and elderly.

At the time of its release, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes spawned not only a paperback novelisation tie-in written by Eunice Sudak (published in the US by Lancer) but also, amazingly enough, a one-shot comic book adaptation published by Gold Key and featuring a beautiful piece of painted cover art, along with some stills from the film inside. They are essential pieces of ephemera that any die-hard fan of the movie should seek out. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes also made a belated appearance on the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland #242 (May/June 2006), which featured a portrait of a wide-eyed, vacant Milland from the movie.

Christianne Benedict is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She blogs about movies at, among other places. Christianne lives in Central Missouri with her partner and her dogs.

The story of a 'mad doctor' makes a strong distinction between gaining knowledge, and using it in the real world. Dr. James Xavier (Ray Milland) has perfected a serum that allows him to see through solid matter, by which he hopes to better cure the sick. His friends Dr. Brandt (Harold J. Stone) and grant representative Diane Fairfax (Diana Van Der Vlis) warn Xavier against proceeding, but he throws caution aside. His eyes soon mutate into super-sensitive organs. Although the doctor is granted access to a new visual world, his augmented sight gives him nothing but grief. Committees don't believe Xavier's claims; they cut off his funding while Brandt and Fairfax worry that the serum is affecting his mind. Xavier saves a small girl's life, but is forced to hijack another doctor's operation to do so. Questions of medical ethics become moot when a terrible accident convinces all that Xavier is insane. Drifting first on the carnival circuit as "Mr. Mentalo," and then in the inner city as a faith healer, Xavier's new "vision" makes him a fugitive from the law and traps him in an environment where he's almost helpless. He thinks he's seeing ever more deeply into the universe, but he doesn't recognize people sitting in front of him. Seeing through his own eyelids and a pair of leaden glasses, Xavier begins to wish he could find darkness again.

Known commonly as "X", The Man with The X-Ray Eyes, "X" is Roger Corman's best and most mature Science Fiction film. After a series of erratic but intelligent exploitation attractions Corman surprised the industry by becoming a quality interpreter of Edgar Allan Poe. Those main attraction hits gave the director mainstream box office credibility, and he began experimenting with different kinds of movies. This mystical science fiction thriller proved him fully capable of juggling high-powered ideas.

Corman gets a top-rank performance from Ray Milland, whose commitment to the role is complete. As in Roger Corman's The Premature Burial and his self-directed Panic In Year Zero! Milland takes the film seriously, bringing a different personality to the part than would Vincent Price. The actor puts across the early expository scenes with perfect clarity, and expresses well Dr. Xavier's growing hysteria. It's implied that the "X" serum affects the doctor's mind, like the invisibility formula that transformed Claude Rains' Griffin into a power-mad maniac. We prefer to interpret Dr. Xavier as a sane man understandably overwhelmed by the information / revelation overload pouring into his brain from his rapidly mutating eyeballs. Like The Who, he can see for miles and miles. When your brain is exploring other dimensions, it's easy to lose one's grip on things like personal relationships. 041b061a72


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