Monday, April 8, 2013
"In this, our belonging issue, we have a young man who follows “the guy,” a dim girl who becomes part of an abusive “family,” townspeople sharing a sacrifice they hope will make all their lives better, burb boys and pixies trying to connect, and two people plotting to rescue a friend from a dangerous love. There are falling gods and faceless shape-shifters, an auditorium for autopsy and a welcome-home for dead cats, cave painters of dreams and a pyre cast in starstorm, a home for now or forever, safety in the foundering waves."
We Were Real, by Josh Eure
Delenda (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Little Bell, the Beasley Boys, and a Long Road Home, by Tim L. Williams
Shipwrecked (poem), by Adrienne J. Odasso
Tithe of Days, by Francesca Forrest
This Abandoned Sphere (poem), by David C. Kopaska-Merkel and Kendall Evans
Connectivity, by J. Rohr
No Face to Call Its Own (poem), by G. O. Clark
Post Trauma (poem), by Leslie Anderson
Cat Lady (poem), by Beth Cato
Nothing Good Can Come of This, by Patricia Russo
Earthsong (poem), by Alexandra Seidel
Art: John Stanton
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Thursday, April 4, 2013
|(Click on the photo for a larger version)|
Mary Ella - this statue of a child who died in 1875 is still the most visited monument at one of the largest cemeteries in the United States. The stereo pair was originally photographed in infrared, using a Harrison & Harrison 89B glass filter on a Nikon Coolpix 990.
If you gently cross your eyes until you see a third image in the middle, the middle image will be three-dimensional. For the subtractive illusion, I extrapolated from the concept of subtractive color used in printing, postulating that complementary magenta and cyan tints would cancel each other out in the brain. Therefore, the 3D image you see in between will be perceived as black and white. This effect is to my knowledge original.
Frequently, the first response I get when I show someone a cross-eye stereo pair, is, “I can't cross my eyes!” Of course you can - the key is to do it gently, without forcing. Try this experiment:
First, focus on something in the distance - as I write this, I'm looking at the doorknob to our kitchen door, about 20 feet away.
While staying focused on your distant object, touch your nose with your index finger. Notice that you immediately see two fingers. Now move your finger slowly out, 8 to 10 inches in front of your face, while staying focused on your distant object. I see two index fingers, and one doorknob. Now shift your focus to your index finger.
The stereo fingers converge, and now I see two doorknobs. Move your focus and attention back and forth between your finger and your distant object a couple of times. The point to this exercise is to demonstrate that our eyes constantly converge and diverge - it's perfectly natural, and necessary to see clearly!
It is only uncomfortable when you force your eyes; with practice, viewing stereo images with the cross-eye technique is easy and painless.
Now try this: With the Mary Ella stereo pair centered on your screen, again touch your nose with your index finger. Slowly move your finger out in front of you, staying focused on the finger.
Behind your finger, you will notice the middle image forming on the screen - you should already be able to see it in black and white. Keep focused on your finger while you move it out slowly - on the screen, you will notice the image of Mary Ella converging slowly as you keep moving your finger out.
When she is aligned, drop your finger and you should be able to see the 3D image, in black and white, clearly and without eye strain.
The subtractive illusion is intriguing because, while it is perfectly reasonable conceptually, it makes no sense experientially; like adding two positive integers and ending up with zero.
And, while it apparently works equally well on color and black and white photos, as a filter overlay, if the pair of filters is applied to a white background, the results perceptually (while viewing as a cross-eye stereo pair) are a gray patch between the two tints, or, alternatively, a magenta and cyan mix.
In the 3D image, something interesting appears to be happening in the brain - at the same time the 2D halves are being combined to produce the perception of depth, the colors of the tints are being subtracted from our final perception.
If you take two exact copies of the same image, combine them into a stereo pair and apply the tints, the subtractive illusion still persists - the tints vanish - but the combined image, while now flat, is by some people perceived as concave, like a photo held by the sides and bowed inward.
Most 3D aficionados I've corresponded with report a slight shift in state of consciousness while viewing in 3D, whether the materials are stereo pairs, anaglyphs or Magic Eye(TM) stereograms.
This “felt-sense” change in awareness is generally pleasant, and indicative of increased cooperation between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
The color subtraction illusion also requires hemispheric cooperation, and the combination of the two effects may involve more dynamic perceptual processing in the brain than either would separately. If you have one available, put on your headphones and listen to a binaural beat brainwave track, to engage another sense in an analogous fashion.
When applied with the proper sequencing of attention and appropriate metaphoric content, illusions such as this that stimulate perceptual processing can be integral in a program to heighten one's creativity and problem solving abilities.
To view this post on my web site 3AMBlue, click here.
(For an interview with me about this effect, along with a plug for my favorite photo software on Corel's web site, click here.)
(In regards to the psychology of perception, you might also find my 2011 post on Brown Noise of interest.)
Saturday, March 2, 2013
It’s just an old pop bottle. I went wandering with Flo through a nearby woods on the day of the Brickyard a few years ago. One of the two huge oaks anchoring the sandy shore of the west side of Falcon Run Creek, near the railroad trestle, had fallen–decades of erosion had washed away the grip the old tree once held on the land. Deep in the crater left by the toppled tree, I saw the neck of an old pop bottle jutting out of the sand and photographed it.
I pulled on the bottle cautiously, thinking it was most probably broken, but it was intact, full of sand, just scratched up a bit. We brought it home, cleaned it, filled it part way up with water and added some blue food coloring and a cork. The bottle’s shape was unusual to me, in that it didn’t resemble any soft drink brand I recognized.
How long had it lay buried in that sand, for an oak to grow to such a size over it, I wondered. It could date back to the time the trestle was built, circa 1908.
I took a few photos and put it away.
After more than thirteen years on the shelf, it has collected a healthy coating of dust; that has made it look more its age.
There are still moments to look at an old, worn coin and wonder at who passed it on when it was new and shiny, or who drained the old pop bottle on a hot summer’s day, and tossed it in the sand.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Lost and Lonely contents:
Losing, by Patricia Russo
Absurd Death Threat (poem), by J. J. Steinfeld
Ghost Gardening, by John Zaharick
Passing (poem), by Malcolm Morris
Skin Trade (poem), by K. S. Hardy
The Boat on the Plain, by Matthew Marinett
Catullus V.101 (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Atque in Perpetuum (poem), by Sonya Taaffe
Jason’s Roommate, by Philip Roberts
IN dreams i’m MAD, have VISIONS (poem), by Tom Pescatore
John Stanton (cover), Teresa Tunaley
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Sunday, November 4, 2012
We have a handmade sign, “Check for Kittens!” taped to our dashboard.
Eight years ago this month, on a cold and rainy November night, I hopped into our car for a quick grocery run. Just as I was about to turn the key, I heard the faintest “mew,” so soft I wondered if it could have been my imagination. I popped the hood, and huddled together next to the fan belt, were two tiny, wet, terrified kittens. I brought them inside and shortly they were warm and dry and their tummies were full. A couple of weeks later, the fellow who came to fix our cable asked to take the sisters to his farm, for his daughters, much to the relief of our two upstairs cats, who were happy to have the full run of the house again.
Since then, I’ve found a variety of critters under the hood – including a neurotic squirrel, who liked to gnaw on the electrical wiring – I trapped him, and released him into the woods, but not until after he managed to chew through our phone line. The same fate awaited a fat opossum, though I’m not quite sure how it managed to squeeze through the space to get up atop the motor. Emma and Samantha, pictured above, were caught on the engine just last year – they are two of the most gentle and affectionate cats we have had the pleasure to know.
There have been at least a dozen other kittens found under the hood of our car over the past few years.
PLEASE, be sure to check under the hood, especially now that cold weather is on its way. Who knows, the life you save might just be the lap kitty you couldn’t do without.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
The towering concrete grain silos on White River Parkway just west of White River and north of Michigan Street in Indianapolis have been a landmark here for generations. Formerly known as the Evans Mills Co. and later Illinois Cereal Mills, the plant was acquired by Cargill in 1994. When I was young, whenever we would pass the plant late at night, my father would slow the car a bit so we could catch the scent that seemed to fill that block only after dark. Even in the dead of winter, we would roll down the windows to catch the smell that most people agreed was that of popcorn; always to me, though, it was the aroma of fresh-baked sugar cookies, which mom often made in those days.
Though I’ve driven past those silos countless hundreds of times, only recently did Flo and I park nearby and stroll the circumference of the grain plant, on a dual-purpose photo shoot. Two short blocks west of those silos is an empty lot, at 733 Elder Avenue, where the infamous “Battle of Elder Avenue,” or “The Elder Avenue Shootout” took place June 30, 1954.
A YouTube Photo Montage tells the story: http://goo.gl/Jypf5
Still remembered and written about after all these years (SWAT Teams: Explosive Face-offs with America's Deadliest Criminals by Robert L. Snow, and mentions in Indianapolis Monthly magazine), the Elder Avenue Shootout ranks as a classic fiasco, in which former Central State mental patient Howard Ellis wounded his wife, then barricaded himself in his home, wounded eight policemen and single-handedly held off over two hundred law enforcement officers for two and a half hours. Ellis was killed when officers rushed him after more than ten thousand rounds had been fired into the house. My father was a rookie officer at the scene, and, with ten years military service, was one of the first to suggest modern S.W.A.T. training be implemented.
Another place to take a camera, and wander through my memories.