What I do isn’t psychic. What I do isn’t supernatural. It has absolutely no relation whatsoever to those other realms, whether or not they even exist. – Marc Salem
My friend Andrew told me about this show, and I highly recommend the May 2005 60 Minutes segment (transcript), where Salem repeatedly stuns Mike Wallace with his ability to guess words on a page of books people are holding, serial numbers on currency, the sum of numbers chosen my audience members, etc. I’ve seen tricks like this before, for example, from street performers on Pearl Street, but Salem (real name is Moshe Botwinick) takes it to another level, and is willing to explain, in a calm matter-of-fact manner, some of the skills he has which allows him to accomplish seemingly miraculous feats. In short, Salem is keenly perceptive of people’s body language, just as I’m sure many professed “psychics” are. He has assisted and trained law enforcement in detecting lies, directed research on Sesame Street, and according to his website, “has been on faculty of several major universities for close to two decades.” Since Salem recommends the book The Silent Language by anthropologist Edward T. Hall, I wonder if Salem is familiar with the work of Paul Eckman. Or maybe he’s just a natural. According to this profile in the Jewish Journal, his PhD research focused on nonverbal communication. (Yes, I searched Google Scholar and Web of Science for papers. No luck.) Anyway, just watch the video – fantastic!