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Klaku sur desegno por grandigi ĝin.
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Rivail was born in Lyon, France, in 1804. A disciple and collaborator of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, he spoke several languages and taught mathematics, astronomy, physiology, French, physics, chemistry and comparative anatomy. He was already in his early fifties when he became interested in the wildly popular phenomenon of spirit-tapping. At the time, strange phenomena attributed to the action of spirits were reported in many different places, most notably in the U.S. and France, attracting the attention of high society. The first such phenomena were at best frivolous and entertaining, featuring objects that moved or "tapped" under what was said to be spirit control. In some cases, this was alleged to be a type of communication: the supposed spirits answered questions by controlling the movements of objects so as to pick out letters to form words, or simply indicate "yes" or "no."