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Reflections

Why do mirrors reverse left and our right but not up and down

By Jim Holt   January 2001

The other day, as I was wandering down an old tenement block on New York’s Lower East Side, I chanced on an odd little shop. It sold only one item: mirrors which do not reverse left and right-or True Mirrors, as the store calls them. There was one in the shop window. Looking at my reflection in it, I was appalled by how crooked my facial features seemed, how lopsided my smile was, how ridiculous my hair looked parted on the wrong side of my head. Then I realised that the image I was confronting was the real me, the…

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