May 12, 2009
Thank you to all who have visited this site. I have been overwhelmed with the number of people that have looked over the site and who have an interest in our amazing visual system. November 2008 was a record for The Amazing Eye — 1,174 visits!
As you can tell I’ve taken a sabbatical from the blog to work on my new blog called The Seeing Eye Blog. It’s purpose is very different from The Amazing Eye. It is to aid entrepreneurs and small business owners to create an atmosphere of customer service. I know — it’s not even a distant third cousin thrice removed from the purpose of The Amazing Eye. However, I’ve felt that it’s intent of treating customer as they should be treated is of greater urgency and importance.
Explaining the amazing human visual system is facinating, but transforming businesses and people is essential.
May 29, 2008
I remember getting my first pair of glasses at 14 years old. When my optometrist recommended them, visions of being called “four-eyes” and random punchings by the many prominent bullies at my school filled my mind. To make things worse, just a few months after getting my glasses, my orthodontist recommended braces! A very traumatic childhood indeed.
Research to the rescue! Kids may have a few less social problems to worry about in light of a new study.1 42 girls and 38 boys were shown various pairs of pictures of children, which included one child with glasses and the other without. About two thirds said the children wearing the glasses looked smarter and 57 percent said they looked more honest.
In my personal and professional opinion, children are not very interested in looking smarter or more honest when I tell them they need glasses. Kids mostly just want to fit into social circles with their peers. This is where the study results get interesting. Despite a child’s social fears with glasses, the researchers did not find any significant preference in who they’d rather play with, who looked better at sports, who looked more shy, nor who was better looking.
In the exam room, I find that girls tend to be more accepting of glasses. In fact, occasionally I’ll exam a child that attempts to trick me into thinking they need glasses. These children are almost exclusively female between seven and 13 years old and later admit that one of their friends just got glasses. They squint and strain to make out the biggest “E” I have despite the computer analysis of their eyes showing they have little or no need for corrective lenses. As a doctor, I can’t just assume the child is not being truthful. So after a battery of tests to verify eye health and by using some tricks of the trade to ensure good visual performance, I notify the parent in private without embarrassing the child. Hey, it’s rough being a kid these days.
April 24, 2008
I recently watched a well-done documentary on the architectural marvel, the Parthenon. Feel free to watch the whole program on PBS’s website. If you do, you can skip this post, because I’ll paraphrase just a part of the documentary here that deals with illusions.
As you can see from a close look at this picture, the columns are made up of multiple stacked “drums.” Recently, while the Acropolis Restoration Project was attempting to rebuild the 46 columns, it was discovered that the drums had very slightly different diameters. This finding suggested that the columns were not straight, but were curved (wider at the bottom). In fact, very few of the parts of the temple had a straight line to it, even the foundation was “bowed.”
Amazingly, it was determined that the ancient Greeks were aware of optical illusions and used them in the architecture of the Parthenon. The building was a tribute to the goddess Athena and was built to be a symbol of perfection. They realized they must use optical illusions to create a temple that appeared perfect. You could even say that they incorporated optical “refinements” rather than illusions. The intended purpose of these refinements has still not been determined. Many believe they give a lifeless edifice an appearance of a living and breathing creation.
November 16, 2007
Welcome to my new blog! Return often to discover interesting stuff about your eyes. I became an optometrist for many reasons. The funnest (most fun?) reason is that the eye is one amazing organ! Yah sure, you could say the heart is also amazing. It beats over 100,000 times per day and can do so almost flawlessly for over 75 years. But it ain’t got nothing on the eyes. Trust me on this one.
Most of the posts will deal with:
- Amazing things the eye can do
- Optical illusions
- Important or interesting news regarding vision
- New technologies for vision
I will do my best to keep my postings interesting and understandable. This will be fun.