Archive for the ‘Strange But True’

Moving Images 0

Posted on August 20, 2009 by noncon
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Which of the animated gifs above do you like best?

I like the spirals best. Actually, that is the only right answer. Not because I insist you agree with me, but because it is the only animated gif * out of the two. The other is a still image. What? You think it’s moving? Had a little drink, have we?

The optical illusion works by using specific colors with black edges and white edges in relation to each other, and is known as anomalous motion illusion.

Still don’t believe me? OK, look right in the center. It should stop moving. It didn’t with me because I can’t keep my dyslexic eyes still, but it did slow it down a lot! So now you might be able to stagger home without falling.

* prounced GIF,  not JIF – (that drives me crazy!)  – It’s short for Graphics Interchange Format. You wouldn’t say “Giraffics Interchange Format”, would you?  OK, maybe you would.

First image Triple Spiral Labyrinth (animated) by AnonMoos
Second image: Sea Sickness; an anomalous motion illusion by Walter Anthony

Sick Doctors 2

Posted on August 20, 2009 by noncon
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Riffraff, Doctor and Beloved Stethoscope

The NHS is planning to improve working conditions for workers in an attempt to reduce the epidemic of sickness rates among staff. Read more Here.

They’re wasting their time. I used to work for the NHS and when doctors insist on wearing stethoscopes round their necks, while in the canteen eating their lunch, it’s clear that sickness goes very deep.

Do they not have access to bags, pockets or lockers?

Does wearing a stethoscope make the doctor’s food taste better?

Do they think the chef might need a checkup?

(OK so it was a teaching hospital, with newly qualified doctors, but alas, it was not only the newbies that wore the stethoscopes).

Are they so insecure that they feel they have to stand out from the riffraff? It wasn’t everyone, of course. In fact a lot of surgeons found it as funny as I did that so many doctors felt the need to do this. I wondered if perhaps surgeons were immune from this affliction, being known as Mister or Mrs, instead of Doctor!

No wonder the staff are taking sickies in their droves. When the disease of self importance (read self loathing) spreads throughout a hospital, it can only create more stress among staff, due to abuse of power.

Stethoscopes are comfort blankets for these poor souls and it could well be the stricken patients who are the healthiest creatures in the place.

Google Maps Street View Camera 3

Posted on August 19, 2009 by noncon
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Caught in the Bermuda Circle of Google Cam

Phone Boxes Caught in Google Cam's Bermuda Circle

I am intrigued by the Google Street View Camera. It sits on top of a large van or a VW Beetle and roams round the streets of the earth snapping everything in it’s path in a 360 degree fashion. Then the images from the 11-lens camera are stitched together (sometimes not very well – see telephone box on the right missing two letters) to enable users to move around their street (or the street of the person they are stalking) from inside an invisible sphere.

googlecam1I have never seen the camera-ed up vehicle, but then, would I really want to? I have seen the result of having people in the vicinity when Street View Cam is on the loose, and it’s not nice. One of two things happen.

You are either forever immortalized with your face blanked out, making you look like an android from another planet, or it was five minutes before lunch when the Google staff member was editing your photo, and chose to cut corners, meaning you never got blanked out at all. You are now forever immortalized on the internet with a ridiculous, perplexed look on your face (wondering why there is a black disco ball mounted on top of a car), where anyone can zoom right in to the painfully sharp photo, and instantly recognize that you are instantly recognizable.*

This happened to someone I don’t know. manshotbygoogle

But I found him when browsing the streets of… I’m not going to tell you where. And I’m not going to report the image to Google either. Whenever people have noted interesting finds on Google Maps Street View, it has promptly been removed. But lets see how long it takes them to find this one with no location information whatsoever.

I have blanked out this guy’s face for his own protection (although I don’t know him, I’m guessing the original is not the most flattering photo of him). They leave his face intact but blank out the plate of the car behind him. Go figure. Even stranger; his hip and parts of the brick wall have been blurred.

The other thing that intrigues me is the distorted Bermuda Circle that appears at the bottom of the images that makes cars look like they’ve been chopped up and put back together by an abstract artist who hates cars.

It’s not nice to witness that your car has suffered this fate, but London phone boxes don’t seem to have any objections.

* (in the case of recognizable individuals, you can ‘Report a Problem’ to Google and they will remove or blur the image).

Why Michael Jackson is Famous 0

Posted on August 17, 2009 by noncon
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Someone asked me why Michael Jackson wore tape on his fingers and I wasn’t sure, so I did a search online. As I typed in “Why Michael Jackson” Google very helpfully finished my sentence, by using the most popular searches beginning with the same words. And being about Michael Jackson, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of searches, possibly millions. So I was rather surprised to see the phrase “Why Michael Jackson is famous” in the drop down menu, but it seems a substantial number of people didn’t know who he was (I’m guessing) until he died.michaeljacksonsocks

I never found a definitive answer to why he wore tape on his fingers, although vitiligo and his burn accident were reputed to be possible initial causes. And apparently, he liked the image so he kept it.

And who was going to argue with him? He was the only person in the world who could get away with wearing trousers that were too short, but then most of us don’t wear Swarovski crystals on our socks.


Sadie The Dog 0

Posted on August 12, 2009 by noncon
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Has Sadie learned to poop near the bin?


Sadie the dog is nine and such a good-natured dog. Don’t ask me what breed she is; a bit of everything we think! She was left abandoned in a house by people who just moved away, and couldn’t be bothered to give her away. Nice.

On her walks she loves to chase the ball, but only until she gets tired, then she refuses to bring it back, instead opting to roll in the grass. You know the manoeuvre; the writhing one dogs do. She is very good on her walks. She always goes away from the path to poop.

On our usual walk, there are two bins dog walkers can put bags of poop in; one at the beginning and one at the end. Sadie likes to do her business about a hundred yards past the first bin, and I always walk back with it. She seemed confused at first, but then got used to it.

But today she actually pooped right next to the bin! Was this a co-incidence? Or has Sadie learned that we don’t have to walk back the way we came if she poops next to the bin?

I’m guessing: co-incidence.

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