Saturday, November 6, 2010

Staring into Space

I went to a wedding today. It was a great wedding and I'm very happy for them. Unfortunately, I wasn't entirely focused on the wedding the whole time. Now that I've written about several different topics, it's become harder for me to think of new ideas. So whenever I think about things in my daily life, I often think they would be great to write a post on. I'll sit there and dwell on it longer than normal, deciding what kind of things I could say.

Well this time I was staring at things. I believe a slow dance was happening and, not having a date, I was sitting down, staring at the wall or staring at the floor. All the while, I was thoroughly enjoying the stare. Have you ever had a good stare going and somebody stops you and asks what you're looking at. Who care's what I'm looking at! I'm just enjoying staring.

Those of you who have ever enjoyed a good stare, you know what I'm talking about. You find a good spot on the wall and just stare. Your eyes lose focus and it's just so relaxing. You don't want to stop staring, but several things keep you from staring forever. 1. After about 30 seconds, I start realizing that other people are probably noticing that I'm staring and thus think I'm weird, 2. Sometimes the most relaxing place to be staring is directly at a person and that's just awkward, 3. Some people just quit staring because they feel like they should be doing something more productive or social than staring at a wall.

It's probably good we all have our reasons for stopping staring. Things would get weird if everyone stared all the time. It would be almost as bad as if everything in the world, except for yourself, froze in place.

I won't go into the nitty gritty of staring, although there is much to be discussed, but I will explain some of the more interesting aspects to staring. To state my credentials, I'll tell you that I pride myself to be the Banks family champion in staring contests. I can stare for a long time and if you think you can beat me, challenge me and we'll see who the true champion is. Most of my studies on double visioned staring occurred at church when I was younger. I would focus on the pastor and see the man in front of me in double vision. I did all kinds of things during sermons, like making psychedelic images inside my eyes, but I'll save that for later.

The most relaxing stare is when your eyes go out of focus. I think they usually revert to the focus they would go to for looking at a far away object. So if you're in a closed space, likely your stare will result in everything going fuzzy. Everything goes fuzzy because nearby light isn't getting refracted like it should for a good image.

Also, you get double vision in an unfocused stare. I'm hoping that everybody else gets this too, because I have never had a conversation with anyone about double vision you get while staring...Wow it would be weird if nobody had ever noticed that but me...Assuming you all have noticed that before, we can continue our one sided discussion. First, a demo...

Hold your finger up in front of your face and focus on the wall. Don't worry about anyone thinking you're weird. You see two blurry images of your finger and the clear image of the wall. Since your lenses are focusing on a single point in the background, they're refracting the blurred image of your finger to two different spots on your two retinas. Somehow your brain puts together the images from both retinas to make what you see, which in this case is two fingers. You can see through the images of your finger because the other eye has an image of the wall on that part of it's retina.

Something else you should do: Put your two index fingers in front of your face and form an upside down V with them. Focus your eyes on the wall. You will notice that the majority of your two fingers are transparent except for a diamond shape right in the middle of the two images. Now that particular spot on your retinas has an image of something nearby (your fingers) on both retinas. Since there is an image at the same spot on each retina, they come together to form one object. That one object is some combination of your two fingers. Weird huh?

I can't resist it. I have to tell you how to make psychedelic images in your eyes. Close your eyes and cover them up with your hands so it's nice and dark. Now cross your eyes and move them around a whole lot so they feel kind of uncomfortable. Don't give up hope. Push through the pain! Now just sit there and stare into space (keeping your eyes closed and covered). You'll start out by seeing light that was temporarily burned into your retinas, but after a little bit that will go away and you will start to see the crazy stuff. You'll see all kinds of weird spider web designs, chaotic patterns, organized patterns, all kinds of stuff. The image will change some over time and I've found that in order to change the image it helps to cross your eyes and move them around. Sometimes it's hard to get this to work and it may take a good amount of time. But it's kind of interesting. Don't ask me how that one works. And you have permission to think I'm crazy if it doesn't work for you, but I promise that it works for me.

On a more serious note, be careful when you stare. It can, apparently, be a deadly hobby.

One a lighter note, I had never heard of a man named
Mike Tindall before today, but he's apparently a really good starer. The All Blacks staring team is the most recent SCS (Staring championship series) champions, however Tindall claims that he used to beat them all the time at staring contests. He has even had injuries such as torn hamstrings, broken legs, and even broken livers. The article has a typo and accidentally says that he is a rugby player. I've emailed The Independent to inform them of this error. I didn't read the whole article, or even pay much attention to it, but it sounds like staring is considered a pretty intense sport in some countries like the UK.

Song of the Day- Part of my recent Iron and Wine obsession: My Lady's House by Iron and Wine

1 comment:

  1. Jon, I usually get the psychedelic thing at night.