It Pays to Smile - Optical Illusion
This started out as just a clever trick to do with an ordinary dollar.
This started out as just a clever trick to do with an ordinary dollar bill and has turned out to be a leadership demo that really leaves a lasting impression on students. Believe it or not, you can make George Washington's face smile or frown on a dollar bill if you know the secret to this visual foolery!
- A new, crisp one dollar bill
The secret is in the way that you fold the dollar bill. Just follow these simple steps...
- Start with George's portrait facing you.
- Make a "mountain fold" through the middle of George's left eye. In origami terms, this means to fold the bill away from you.
- Make a second mountain fold through the middle of his right eye. Make sure that these creases are sharp.
- Make a "valley fold" between the two previous folds so that the crease is between George's eyes and nose.
- Pull on the ends of the bill slightly so that you can see his entire face, but make sure that the folds are still present.
- Hold the portrait side of the bill in front of you with the face tilted upward. Notice how George smiles at you!
- Slowly begin to tilt the bill downward as if George was looking at the floor. Don't take your eyes off George's face because his smile will magically turn into a frown! Be ready for a spontaneous chorus of oohs & ahhs!
Use different dollar bills ($5, $10, $20, $50, even $100) to see if you can alter the emotions of some other presidents. Is Abe hiding a smile?
How does it work?
The George Washington facelift is a great example of an optical illusion. The opposing folds cause the features on the face to bend and contort, depending on how you look at them. Although it's a very simple activity, it's one that you'll do forever!
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