Monthly Archives: February 2008

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Optical Illusions

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Sony Bravia Color 01 Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion Sony Bravia Color Image 01

This print advertisement formed part of Sony’s successful Bravia campaign in the UK and Argentina. This is the best of the four print ads in the series.

Go ahead and stare at it. It will vibrate till you are crazy. Some viewers have said it looks like the snake’s eyes in The Jungle Book movie.

The type of optical illusion used in the ad is called physiological illusion.

These are caused by the effects on the eyes and brain from excessive stimulation of a specific type – brightness, tilt, color, movement. Here brightness and color combine to make the effect.

It is believed the stimuli have in the early stages of visual processing, individual dedicated neural paths. When only one or a few channels have continual stimulation, a physiological imbalance develops that alters perception.
Wikipedia Optical Illusion

 

Sony Bravia Color 02 Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion Sony Bravia Color Image 02

This print advertisement formed part of Sony’s successful Bravia campaign in the UK and Argentina. This is the one of the four print ads in the series.

Move the image slowly around the screen to cause the image to develop waviness. The largest image size works best.

The type of optical illusion used in the ad is called physiological illusion.

These are caused by the effects on the eyes and brain from excessive stimulation of a specific type – brightness, tilt, color, movement. Here movement plays a big part in the illusion.

It is believed the stimuli have in the early stages of visual processing, individual dedicated neural paths. When only one or a few channels have continual stimulation, a physiological imbalance develops that alters perception.
Wikipedia Optical Illusion

 

Sony Bravia Color 03 Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion Sony Bravia Color Image 03

This print advertisement formed part of Sony’s successful Bravia campaign in the UK and Argentina. This is the one of the four print ads in the series.

The type of optical illusion used in the ad is called a scintillating grid illusion, a sub-type of physiological illusion.

These are caused by the effects on the eyes and brain from excessive stimulation of a specific type – brightness, tilt, color, movement.

It is believed the stimuli have in the early stages of visual processing, individual dedicated neural paths. When only one or a few channels have continual stimulation, a physiological imbalance develops that alters perception.
Wikipedia Optical Illusion

The grid “is constructed by superimposing white discs on the intersections of orthogonal gray bars on a black background. Dark dots seem to appear and disappear rapidly at random intersections, hence the label “scintillating”. When a person keeps his or her eyes directly on a single intersection, the dark dot does not appear. The dark dots disappear if one is too close or too far from the image.

“Observations suggest that a minimum of 3 x 3 evenly spaced intersections with superimposed discs are required to produce the effect. This requirement suggests the participation of global processes of the kind proposed for the linking and grouping of features in an image, in addition to local processes.”
Wikipedia Optical Illusion – Grid Illusion

 

Sony Bravia Color 04 Optical Illusion
Optical Illusion Sony Bravia Color Image 04

This print advertisement formed part of Sony’s successful Bravia campaign in the UK and Argentina. This is the one of the four print ads in the series.

The type of optical illusion used in the ad is called physiological illusion.

These are caused by the effects on the eyes and brain from excessive stimulation of a specific type – brightness, tilt, color, movement. Here brightness and color combine to make the effect.

It is believed the stimuli have in the early stages of visual processing, individual dedicated neural paths. When only one or a few channels have continual stimulation, a physiological imbalance develops that alters perception.
Wikipedia Optical Illusion

 

Credit: Sony

Newborn Stars

     
  Kool Image

Rho Oph Cloud Star Forming Region

Rho Oph Cloud Star Forming Region

 
 

Newborn stars peek out from beneath their natal blanket of dust in this dynamic image of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Called "Rho Oph" by astronomers, it’s one of the closest star-forming regions to our own solar system. Located near the constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus, the nebula is about 407 light years away from Earth.

Rho Oph is a complex made up of a large main cloud of molecular hydrogen, a key molecule allowing new stars to form from cold cosmic gas, with two long streamers trailing off in different directions. Recent studies using the latest X-ray and infrared observations reveal more than 300 young stellar objects within the large central cloud. Their median age is only 300,000 years, very young compared to some of the universe’s oldest stars, which are more than 12 billion years old.

This false-color image of Rho Oph’s main cloud, Lynds 1688, was created with data from Spitzer’s infrared array camera, which has the highest spatial resolution of Spitzer’s three imaging instruments, and its multiband imaging photometer, best for detecting cooler materials. Blue represents 3.6-micron light; green shows light of 8 microns; and red is 24-micron light. The multiple wavelengths reveal different aspects of the dust surrounding and between the embedded stars, yielding information about the stars and their birthplace.

The colors in this image reflect the relative temperatures and evolutionary states of the various stars. The youngest stars are surrounded by dusty disks of gas from which they, and their potential planetary systems, are forming. These young disk systems show up as red in this image. Some of these young stellar objects are surrounded by their own compact nebulae. More evolved stars, which have shed their natal material, are blue.

The extended white nebula in the center right of the image is a region of the cloud which is glowing in infrared light due to the heating of dust by bright young stars near the right edge of the cloud. Fainter multi-hued diffuse emission fills the image. The color of the nebulosity depends on the temperature, composition and size of the dust grains. Most of the stars forming now are concentrated in a filament of cold, dense gas that shows up as a dark cloud in the lower center and left side of the image against the bright background of the warm dust. Although infrared radiation at 24 microns pierces through dust easily, this dark filament is incredibly opaque, appearing dark even at the longest wavelengths in the image.

 

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Update 20080223: A monograph, ASM-0001 is avalable on the astronomy download page and a 35×23 inch poster can be purchased at the SciTechLab Store.


 

February 10, 2008

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    This week from the Annels of Science    
         
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February 10

   
  Image 01
Deep Blue
Photo courtesy IBM.
1996

 
Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania
A computer system developed by IBM named "Deep Blue" was the first chess-playing computer to win a chess game against a reigning world champion (Garry Kasparov) under regular time controls rules.

Deep Blue was a combination of special purpose hardware and software with an IBM RS/6000 SP2 (seen here) — a system capable of examining 200 million moves per second, or 50 billion positions, in the three minutes allocated for a single move in a chess game.

 
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February 11

   
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Thomas Alva Edison
1847
An original Edison light bulb from 1879 from Thomas Edison’s shop in Menlo Park. Photo by Terren.
 
Milan, Ohio
Thomas Alva Edison, prolific American inventor of light bulb (d. October 31, 1931), was born.
 
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February 12

   
  Image 01
Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron (England, 1815-1879), 1868
1809

 
Shrewsbury,
Shropshire, England

The English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin (d. April 19, 1882) is born. He published in 1859, the book On the Origin of Species, which put forth the concept of evolution.
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February 13

   
  Image 01
William Bradford Shockley. British-born American physicist and co-inventor of transistor. 1956, He won Nobel Prize in Physics. Government photo.
1910

 
London, England
Nobel laureate (Physics in 1956) William B. Shockley (d. August 12, 1989), inventer of the transitor was born.
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February 14

   
  Image 01
Image by SciTechLab.
1961
Photo couretsy of NRCC.
 
Berkeley, California
Lawrencium, element 103, was discovered by Albert Ghiorso, Torbjørn Sikkeland, Almon Larsh, and Robert M. Latimer at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory (now called Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) on the University of California, Berkeley campus.
 

1990

 
Solar System
U. S. space probe Voyager I takes first image of the Solar system showing the Sun as “star like” and six planets (Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Venus, Earth and Jupiter) as mere dots.
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NASA photo.
   
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February 15

   
  Image 01
Portrait of Galileo Galilei, ca. 1639. By Justus Sustermans (1597-1681).
1564

 

Pisa, Italy
Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist mathematician, and philosopher (d.16420108) was born. The father of modern science developed working telescopes that had upright images, championed Copernicanism, and encouraged systematic qualitative experiments to learn about the world.

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Niklaus Emil Wirth
1934

 
Winterthur, Switzerland
Niklaus Wirth (d.), Swiss computer scientist was born.
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U.S. Army photo.
1946

 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
ENIAC (for “Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer”), the first general-purpose electronic computer, unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania.
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February 16

   
  Image 01
Photo by Realman208.
1923
Photo by Chicago Daily News, Inc., 1924. Library of Congress.
 
Valley of the Kings, Egypt
Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
  Image 01
Photo by Jscott.
1978

 
Chicago, Illinois
The first computer bulletin board system is created by Ward Christensen.
 

Northern Lights

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Northern Lights
Fish-eye lens view of the northern lights taken mid July 2004.

Lights along the northern horizon give an orange cast to the low clouds while alluring green and purple hues of the aurora borealis or northern lights glow powered by energetic particles at the edge of space.

The Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major is on the left and on the right is Queen Cassiopeia in the constellation Cassiopeia. Between them in the middle, is the Little Dipper in the constellation Ursa Minor. The end of the Little Dippers handle is Polaris, known as the North Star.

 

Credit: Philippe Moussette at Observatoire Mont Cosmos, Quebec, Canada