Puzzle Pieces and Optical Illusions
A Hands-On Exhibit

Puzzle Pieces consists of twelve colorful tables, each one equipped with a different puzzle. Two tables feature iron link-type puzzles which were invented by blacksmiths and tinkers to amuse their customers while they waited for their horses to be shoed or thier pots and pans mended. Other tables feature assemblages of shapes or illustrated blocks that have to be arranged just so to win the game.

Optical Illusions demonstrates how our eyes and brains, which ordinarily work in perfect unison, can get their signals crossed. The units in this exhibit show how our vision can be confused by shapes and lines that are arranged in a certain way, or run together, as in a zoetrope. There are also distorting mirrors that stretch or compress our image, showing what you would look like if you would only stick to your diet, or obversely, what you would look like fif you really let yourself go! Another unit features a two-way mirror that allows two people to combine their facial features. What fun for an engaged or newly married couple... they can see what their offspring might look like!

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