The Spinning Dancer: left brain/right brain optical illusion

The Right Brain vs Left Brain test … do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

I first saw this about a couple two or three years ago.  The ‘spinning dancer’ optical illusion has made its rounds on the internet for a few years.  I would surmise that more of you than not have seen it, pondered it, probably even argued about it.  Most of you probably then forgot about it.  From what I could conclude, it was an unexplained phenomenon.  And believe me when I tell you, I scoured the internet in search of an explanation of the mechanics involved with creating an animation in which a dancer appeared to spin different directions to different people, and different directions to the same person at different times.   I could not stop looking at it, thinking about it, and trying to figure out how it worked.  Clearly, the dancer isn’t moving both directions at once.   Yet different people see it spin in different directions, reverse direction at different times and without appearing to actually change direction.  There was nothing in the animation code that could explain the trick.  I asked the smartest people I knew and read everything I could find on this ‘spinning dancer’.  I read anything I could find remotely pertaining to such visual phenomena .  Nothing or nobody could provide a satisfactory explanation – or even a reasonable hypothesis – of what was really going on . Then one day, while doing and thinking about something entirely unrelated, I had an “ah-a” moment. I am relatively certain that this is how it works…

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Our way or…

Afghan Election is a Moment of Truth for Zealous Liberal Aggressors by Simon Jenkins /

As is too often the case, the platform for sober, rational perspective is the op-ed. Cognizant analysis of misguided policy is political science, and arguably inconsequential. Consequences are the offspring of decisions, in this context, decisions made by a de facto political aristocracy largely sheltered from the effects of the choices they made on our behalf. Unfortunately, the consequences are inherited by disenfranchised populations desperate and determined for some quantifiable consideration for their best interest. Meanwhile, the shot-callers for religious extremist of every stripe raise their hands to the sky shouting “God is Great” or “Hallelujah” because a generation of zealots has been seeded on a scale they could have hardly otherwise accomplished themselves. Until we demand rational, cognizant thinking of our elected officials – and allow ourselves to be led by statesman rather than politicians – we will continue to propagate the consequences of misguided policy upon the world. Until then, luckily, voices of people like Simon Jenkins will occasionally rise above the noise.

The “is – is” Epidemic

And now, something from the archives: This clip is required viewing! Seriously, this is one of my all time favorite virals.   This video DELIVERS! Smart,  quirky and hip – this is as cool as a grammar lesson gets.  The subject is the increasingly common tendency to say “is” two times when commenting upon what something ‘is…’

The point is is that it’s not necessary to say ‘is’ twice.

Short attention spans and tabloid news cycles have given us app driven interpretations of current events and syndicated hack.  The socially networked  have been quick to trade a functional command of  language  for electronic shorthand and a slang driven vernacular.  Clever, funny and original, this clip delivers a sardonic indictment of our priorities as a presumed educated and informed society.  It manages an entertaining lesson on the mechanics of English grammar and correct usage while delivering a powerful, relevant message.

(It also must be said, the tempo change and ending montage ‘kicks ass’!)

This is effective communication, with purpose.

Teach the 1st Ammendment and Constitution Day

Teach the First Amendment and Constitution DayEditDelete

Preserving this right  is one of the greatest challenges our nation faces.
We must endeavor to meet this challenge or risk the loss of this inalienable right
for not only ourselves, but for our children.

Banksy – Outdoors

The proverbial writing on the wall… Banksy makes it vital and relevant. His genius is that he is able to articulate his vision on monumental scale with a creative process rooted in an intuitive understanding of the modernist ethic of function defining form as well as an unwavering commitment to his ideals – which are as unorthodox as are his methods and medium. And in so much as his function has redefined form, his understanding and commitment to disclosure has redefined presentation.

Fear this…

A modern day Da Vinci?