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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Breaking The Rules

It's strange that humans spent so much time building rules out of nothing, and then find it amusing and novel when those rules are ignored.
I think most successful TV shows take full advantage of this fact (eg, Buffy)

Sparks Extinguished

Although I still think Sparking Mad was a good idea in theory, in practice I don't have enough oddball scientific ideas to keep it going, so I've reposted everything that was there here and deleted the other blog.

Orange Eye

(Orig 29 May 05)
Everyone who photographs people knows about the unfortunate 'red-eye' syndrome that spoils the unplanned photograph. I had a lot of this in the last set of photos I took, but I noticed one in particular that has orange eyes rather than the standard red.

While I know a very little about optics from first semester Physics, I can't put my finger on why this would be so.

So I decided to check it out.

After Googling, a microsoft site on red-eye removal/avoidance explains that red-eye is caused by a camera's flash reflecting off the blood vessels at the retina/back of the eye. A more scientific page (found at the site for Imaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology), corrects this - it is a reflection of the pink photopigment in the photoreceptors of the retina. (Photoreceptors are "where the light is absorbed and transformed into the electrochemical signals used by the nervous system. This change is called TRANSDUCTION.")

I had fun for a while finding my blind spot on the same page, and I noticed that the description of various parts of the eye gives the index of refraction for both the lens in your eye and your cornea (clear external layer). Refraction is when light bends as it passes from one kind of physical medium (e.g., air) into another (e.g., water).

You've probably seen pictures where light is shone into a glass triangle, and comes out as a rainbow - because blue light bends more than red light. So my theory is that my friend's eye appears orange because when the light bounced off the back of her eye, it was bent and split like in the prism, showing an orange colour rather than red. This would probably only happen when the eye is at an angle to the camera, as my friend's was.

I haven't been able to find anything to support this, except for confirmation that the red eye effect is sometimes orange. I did find out in the process (here) that a cat's eyes will glow green rather than a human red-eye, and this is because cats and some other animals have extra reflective surfaces in their eyes which help them see light when we humans can't.

If anyone has any further light (sorry) to shed on this matter, I'd love to hear it!


(orig. 13 May 2005)
Check out this article, about psychopaths in the workplace.

Fading to Orange

(Orig. May 13 2005)
The sunset today was spectacular, considering that I couldn't actually see the sun - there was mass cloud cover today. So as I walked home drenched and getting more drenched, I was amazed to see the sky very orange in that direction and, due to the water everywhere, the whole street was reflecting the orange of the sky. The effect was as if a coloured filter had been placed over my eyes - the street was almost literally fading to orange.

Water breaks up incoming light, so my theory is that lots of water blurs the colours of everything seen through it so much that it seems to become one solid colour. Because the strongest light at the time was orange, everything seemed orange.

The sky was very pink a little further to the south. I could just imagine the orange streets changing colour as you travelled. I would have loved to get a photo of tonight's sky, as well as the orange street.

Motion Paint

A friend just sparked the idea of paint that changes colour when the car is in motion. I'm sure this is possible, but I wonder just what the paint would react to. Air pressure? Heat?


One of the things that amazes me most about humans is that they will give names and meanings to things that they don't or can't understand, or to things that don't even exist, and can then use these things as an integral part of their society.






We are constantly building something out of nothing. And yet, somehow, that has made us the most dominant species on the planet.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

This Book


That Book

Well, I honestly hadn't intended this. I was quite prepared to wait until I'd re-read the last book before i even bought the new one. I hadn't been feeling the effects of the hype, as i had with the previous one, and i had no intention of rushing the experience.
I wonder where that plan went?
Okay, so I found a copy very reasonable at BigW, took it home, read the first chapter and was still quite prepared to put it down and go through book 5 before progressing any further. I've now read over 200 pages in one day, which I suppose should have been expected with the amount of idle time on my hands.
Without giving anything away, I can say that my impression of the book currently, almost halfway through, is that things are almost too familiar, in the sense that although new information is being given out, new mysteries are coming to light, there is decidedly less drama than the majority of the other books. Or rather, not exactly less, but nothing direct and foregrounded as yet. The plot at the moment is reminiscent of Chamber of Secrets for a variety of reasons - not in the details, but in the general ideas - although Prince currently lacks the danger and suspicion of Chamber. I have a feeling that i'm in for a huge development that will come crashing out of nowhere, a major case of pulling the rug from under my feet, but as yet I have not the slightest clue what it could be.
Although I have things to do after I wake - rehearsal for a Shakespeare play, packing for a trip to see the family - I will no doubt have finished the book before I fall asleep again.
Here's to willpower!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Okay, today is the day before a month after my last post, so I was looking at deleting the blog, but have since caught myself reading through everything I wrote since Pandora's inception, and realised I can't let myself just delete the whole thing without saving the majority of posts and comments... and it would be a whole lot easier just to leave the blog where it is.
There are things I definitely will want to reference again, link to, and revise.
So on this, the last day I had before deleting, I am posting.
Even if this blog just exists as somewhere to hold ideas I can later link to to save re-typing, it will continue to exist.

In other blog-related matters, MSN Spaces still seems like a great set-up, but it's major drawback is that you must have an MSN account and be logged in just to see someone's space.

In personal matters, I've joined a circus group, a group rehearsing Titus Andronicus, am still doing Microelectronics but considering changing to psychology, and something really weird has happened to my shoulder - like it's popped out of joint or something. Not hugely, and not painful after the first two days, but rather disconcerting. I really only just noticed the difference between the two shoulders.