Engineers have found that under the right conditions, ordinary clear water droplets on a transparent surface can produce brilliant colors, without the addition of inks or dyes. By tuning size, illumination angle, and curvature, MIT engineers can produce brilliant colors, in patterns they can predict, in otherwise transparent droplets. (1)
Under the right angle, everything changes.
Look at a mountain from the sky and it will look like a tiny dot.
Look at a small chair from up-close and it will look like a mountain.
Multiple wildfires have ravaged the western United States in the past month, scattering particles of ash and smoke into the air. On Wednesday, residents across the West, woke up to a dark, bronzed sky that nearly shut out all daylight.
But as people tried to capture the scene, many noticed a strange phenomenon: Certain photographs and videos of the weird orange sky seemed to wash it out, as if to erase the danger. In some cases, the scene seemed to revert to a neutral gray, making it impossible for the people experiencing the problem to document it and share it with others.
The cause of this is interestingly simple and unsettling.
The un-oranged images were caused by one of the most basic features of digital cameras, their ability to infer what color is in an image based on the lighting conditions in which it is taken. Like the people looking up at it, the software never expected the sky to be bathed in orange.
You see, digital photography camera sensors are color-blind – they see only brightness, and engineers had to trick them into reproducing color using algorithms. A process called “white balance” replaced the chemical, color tone of film. But automatic white balance isn’t terribly reliable. Under the blood-red San Francisco sky, white balance did not have a reference against which to calibrate accurately. Because everything was red, the software assumed that the entire scene was generally neutral. (Note that this is not a problem of digital photography alone. The same problems exist for film cameras: Different stocks of film and development processes had their own renditions of color) (source)
Do you see now?
The most certain things in life, are the ones you need to question.
Past experiences shape what we see
more than what we are looking at now. A new study argues that humans recognize
what they are looking at by combining current sensory stimuli with comparisons
to images stored in memory. (1)
Seeing what you see. Only because you
have seen other things before.
Go back. And try to take a look at
what you first saw.
One hundred billion or so neurons are also incredibly fragile.
If the tiniest thing goes wrong with a
particular connection – maybe something misfires, or a certain neural pathway
is blocked – things can fall apart very quickly. And, oddly enough, even
without any injuries or structural malfunctions, the human brain can get weird
all by itself – turns out, it’s surprisingly easy to trick it into seeing and
hearing things that aren’t actually there.
And no, it does not involve a bunch of
drugs to make yourself hallucinate. The brain can do all that on its own, you
just have to know how to manipulate it right. As the guys in a Scam School
video from 2016 demonstrate, if you create a situation of intense sensory
deprivation using some common household objects, you can induce some really
strong hallucinations that mess with both your sense of sight and sound. After
20 minutes, the Scam School guys reported seeing “blooms of colour”,
like when you rub your eyelids, that would soon form shapes like dinosaur
silhouettes, jellyfish, and the Eye of Sauron. One heard screams, and the other
What they’re doing actually follows
the principles of an actual scientific phenomenon known as the Ganzfeld effect.
The Ganzfeld effect describes how when you are exposed to “an
unstructured, uniform stimulation field” – such as seeing blackness and
hearing constant television static – your brain responds by amplifying neural
noise in an effort to find missing visual signals. (1)
You see nothing. You touch nothing.
And yet you want to feel something.
But in a dark cosmos full of
existence, there is no need to sense anything. In a world of One, there is no
need to feel or touch; you are already part of the totality of being. And yet
all humans do touch. And yet, all humans hear, see and smell. Because they do
not just want to live. They do not just want to be. They want to die. Afraid of
their own existence. Discarding their own nature.
Inspired by the human eye, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an adaptive metalens, that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.
The research was published in Science
“This research combines
breakthroughs in artificial muscle technology with metalens technology to create
a tunable metalens that can change its focus in real time, just like the human
eye,” said Alan She, a graduate student at SEAS and first author of the
paper. “We go one step further to build the capability of dynamically
correcting for aberrations such as astigmatism and image shift, which the human
eye cannot naturally do”. (1)
We arrogantly celebrate the creation of an “eye”. But we have forgotten than it is not an eye that we need in order to see. We used to know that there is no river at all, until the moment we stepped inside it. And ever since, we have been dragged away from home by that nonexistent cold river’s current…