DFHC 8/31/2011

Dear Friends:

Yesterday, hidden symbols in corporate logos segued into optical illusions…and that was so much fun, I’m-a-gonna do Part 2 today. I scouted around the internet to find some doozies, and I think I’ve succeeded. Not that the “traditional” illusions aren’t cool, because they definitely are…but these are some I wasn’t that familiar with…and we start out with a lulu, which is an advanced form of doozy. Every line below…horizontal and vertical…is dead straight…but not one of them look it!

Now in the old days, you could fetch a ruler from the drawer and confirm for yourself this was true…today, with the graphic programs on computers, it can be done more quickly…and dramatically…

Actually, I have seen ones like this next one before, but it’s one of my favorites. See the “triangle” that’s pointed downwards? Well, if a triangle is a geometric figure composed of 3 lines, then this isn’t one, because there are no lines! But even if you examine this illusion closely, it’s still hard to believe there aren’t, because your brain refuses to believe you aren’t “seeing” honest-to-goodness lines! What’s more, this phantom triangle is so “solid,” it’s “covering up” a portion of the triangle below it, one that does have lines for sides…or does it?

This is an actual outdoor billboard. The painter is not real, just part of the illustration on the billboard…but if you were to see this in real life, day in and day out, you might wonder how he manages to always paint the billboard the same color as the sky behind it! And of course, that’s the trick…large hunks of the billboard have been cut out and removed, leaving those tricky white spikes…so that really is the the sky showing thru…d’oh! And the funny this is, at least for me…once you know the secret, it’s hard to see the illusion anymore…

One of my favorites paperbacks growing up…I still have it…was one on optical illusions. But it didn’t have any in color, and there are real mind-benders in that category…for example, look below…besides white, how many colors are there? Only 2…honest! One shade of magenta, and one shade of green, and that’s it.  I leave it to you and your image manipulation program of  choice to prove it.

But this next one is even worse. The 2 squares labeled A and B are exactly the same color!

At first I thought it might have been because the letter A itself was light and the B was dark, so I tried it with just one or the other…didn’t help…in fact, now they’re changing colors too!

Next, I copied the part of the B square and placed it in 3 difference positions…now we’re getting somewhere. When the B square is placed right on top of the A square, the colors do match…but not when place elsewhere, like on and next to the green cylinder. But how can that be?

Finally, I tried linking the A square to the B square directly with a sequence of B’s …and what happens is, those damned B squares gradually “change” their shade..or do they?… because to the right, in their original places, the A and the B squares are as different as ever. So I did the only logical thing. I gave up.

Finally, here’s a link to an illusion I can’t show you here because it involves changing images…but what’s happening is easy enough to describe: magenta-colored dots arranged in a circle are rapidly blinking one after another, in what the decorative lighting industry calls a “chasing pattern.” What harm could that possibly do, right? Hoo boy! Stare at the center black +. Very shortly, one of the magenta dots will turn green in color…this is called the Pacman Illusion, because that green one will quickly “eat” the other magenta ones…they will all disappear, until only the green one is left circling! Incredible, but true…try it…but 2 important cautions:

First…do not, even for a fraction of a second, avert your gaze from that black +…if you do, it’s very likely some or all of the magenta dots will suddenly reappear…which is pretty weird in itself…I mean, where did they go in the first place?…but not what the illusion was designed to do.

And Second…don’t spend too much time with this…just a couple of minutes max, then take a break…otherwise, you may feel some eye-strain or even the start a head-ache. Seriously.

P.S. Don’t give up with this one…try it for a few minutes, and if it’s not working…stop and come back to it later. It really is an astonishing illusion, but I think it must be very “finely tuned,” as you might say. Like those 3D Magic Eye pictures that used to be popular…it took some people longer than others to “see” the effect, and some never could. But if you keep at it…eventually you’ll be able to easily get to the final stage, where all you have is that one single green dot racing around the circle…then, at some point after that, the magenta dots will all pop back and the cycle will start anew…but it’s like they say: What are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?!


Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

NEW!   >>>>>   Audio samples at  http://stolfspots.podbean.com/   <<<<<<

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