Archive for November, 2005

Thanksgiving… or not

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday… I’m told. You share time with your family and give thanks for all that you have. What is it that I should give thanks for first..? Maybe I will give thanks for the things that haven’t happened… atleast haven’t happened today.
Here we go…
I am thankful that nobody has puked on me or anything else… today.
I am thankful that nobody has washed their hair in the toilet …today.
I am thankful that nobody has washed the dog in the toilet … today.
I am thankful that I did not find Kait and her boyfriend in a room alone with the door closed… today.
I am thankful that I did not have to watch Elmo or listen to Muzikgarten… today.
I am thankful that no police have shown up at my house for any number of reasons… today.

To me… this is alot to be thankful for. I would write more but I am too tired to think anymore due to the fact that the above list is the ONLY things that didn’t happen… today. Maybe tomorrow my list will be longer….. but since there is only a 1/2 day of school, I highly doubt it!

I don’t believe my eyes

Friday, November 11th, 2005

I tripped across a blog entry today that has images which are supposed to show how stressed you are (and perhaps your criminal tendencies) according to how quickly the images appear to move.


The image move fairly slowly for me which I guess means I’m not too stressed (and am feeling fairly law-abiding to boot). I also notice that when I stare directly at the images they don’t move at all. My guess is that the illusion is caused by small eye movements across the image, so perhaps the more stressed you are, the more eye movements you have.

Another blog entry has another series of optical illusions. eg:

(Stare at the mark in the center – you’ll see a series of magenta dots one of which appears to disappear, turning into a greenish dot which moves around the circle. After a while, the magenta dots will disappear, leaving only the greenish dot.)

The photoreceptor color cones in our eyes can become temporarily exhausted when looking at a color and since the other receptors are still “fresh”, they send out signals which appear as an opposite color. Optical illusions highlight the fact that much of what we “see” doesn’t exist at all but is being invented by our brains. I wear glasses, purposefully manipulating my vision so that I see things more sharply, voluntarily participating in the common consensus that objects further than a foot away from me are not fuzzy-edged blurs of color and light. In just ordinary clear sight our brains automatically fill in the blanks in our vision from the blind spots at the optic nerves in our eyes.

On one hand, it’s more than a little disconcerting to realize how much of what we take to be reality is not. On a deeper level, beyond sight, if you’re not so keen on how you’re perceiving things at a particular time it can be kind of comforting to understand that it may not be real.