In 1889, the Urania Astronomical Society of Berlin
put together an illusion of a trip to the moon and a solar eclipse, created with painted scenery, transparent screens, and a variety models, created live before an audience. Three years later, the same show was presented at Andrew Carnegie's Music Hall, as covered in Scientific American
, a decade before Le Voyage dans la Lune
, the film by Georges Méliès (previously)
. The stage show was documented in 1897, in Magic; stage illusions and scientific diversions, including trick photography
(Archive.org, direct link to Trip to the Moon
; also available on Google Books
). [via io9, who have a summary of the special effects
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 26, 2013 -
Have you ever wondered why you don't see motion blur when your eyes flick to a new position? Why, if you sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself, you never see your eyes move? That is saccadic masking
, one of
the lies your brain tells to avoid confusing you.
Have you noticed that the first tick after glancing at a clock with a second hand can take more than one second? No, it's not just you! That's a related phenomenon called chronostasis
, or more commonly the stopped clock illusion
posted by gilrain
on Aug 16, 2012 -
Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion
: Out-of-body experiences are just part of Ehrsson's repertoire. He has convinced people that they have swapped bodies with another person, gained a third arm, shrunk to the size of a doll or grown to giant proportions.
[ . . . ]
But Ehrsson's unorthodox apparatus amount to more than cheap trickery. They are part of his quest to understand how people come to experience a sense of self, located within their own bodies. The feeling of body ownership is so ingrained that few people ever think about it — and those scientists and philosophers who do have assumed that it was unassailable.
[ . . . ]
Ehrsson's work also intrigues neuroscientists and philosophers because it turns a slippery, metaphysical construct — the self — into something that scientists can dissect.
posted by troll
on Jan 3, 2012 -
"A wonderful brain interprets something differently from what it actually is, but it doesn't mean it's made a mistake. It took the information it had and did it's best job
." Those are but two tricks from Jerry Andrus
(1918-2007), self-taught magician and illusionist, and one of great renown
amongst other magicians
. But he was more than a slight-of-hand man: he was also a poet, philosopher, inventor, humanist, agnostic, and skeptic
. There are an impressive number of videos of him online, these are but a few to get you started down the rabbit hole: Jerry Andrus is visual poetry
(Google video / YT
, 28 minutes) :: Jerry Andrus at the Magic Castle
(G.vid, 49 min), Jerry Andrus at 83 his Optical Illusions
(G.vid, 41 min) :: Jerry Andrus and Ray Hyman on Uri Geller
(YT, 26 min) :: James Randi on Jerry Andrus
(YT, 5 min) :: James Randi - who was Jerry Andrus?
:: James Randi describes Jerry Andrus
. The last two clips are from Rex Young
, a young illusionist who has recreated many of Andrus' illusions on his YouTube channel
, and made some of his own
posted by filthy light thief
on Sep 12, 2011 -
The average human eye has three types of cone cells, each of which is sensitive to a different wavelength range of visible light. The difference in the relative signal from the three cones allows us to distinguish colors. Unfortunately, since these sensitivity ranges overlap, there are some combinations of signals from the cones that can't be created by light emitted from a real object. These are the so-called "imaginary colors
". However, by selectively overstimulating
one or more types of cone, we can still perceive these colors; this is the principle behind the Eclipse of Titan
, an optical illusion which produces both a green and a cyan that don't otherwise appear in nature. (Similar effects can be seen in the Eclipses of Mars
, and Triton
.) [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good
on May 10, 2010 -
"The most important of the all-too-human functions of consultants is to sanctify and communicate opinion. Like ministers of information, consultants condense the message, smooth out the dissonances, unify the rhetoric, and then repeat and amplify it ad nauseam through the client's rank and file. The chief message to be communicated is that you will be expected to work much harder than you ever have before and your chances of losing your job are infinitely greater than you ever imagined."
If you've ever known a management consultant, this explains why they always seem to have that "outrageously unjustified level of self-confidence." A fascinating insider's look into the anthropology of business consulting -- Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese
on Sep 16, 2009 -
The American Hologram
We suffer under a mass national hallucination. Americans, regardless of income or social position, now live in a culture entirely perceived inside a self-referential media hologram of a nation and world that does not exist. Our national reality is staged and held together by media, chiefly movie and television images. We live in a “theater state.”
posted by idixon
on Apr 23, 2009 -
Surreal photographic Foodscapes by photographer Carl Warner.
Strawberry hot air balloons, towers of cheese, potato boulders, green pea boats on seas of salmon, spice roads, and sugar beaches populate these intricate and luscious scenes. More dishy foodscapes (the plate rainbow = ♥!)
and other wonderful visual tricks at his Flash site
in the "Fotographics" section (look for the fabulous forest of boots and the white cotton winter wonderland!). [more inside]
posted by taz
on Feb 2, 2008 -
See For Yourself
- Purves Lab's optical illusions web page with empirical explanations of familiar and unfamiliar illusions.
posted by nthdegx
on Nov 16, 2007 -
Garbage + illumination = art? Various artists
carefully pile rubbish on a gallery floor, or meticulously assemble a collection of ordinary items, plug in a light source, and create incredibly detailed and surprising shadows on the wall. Meanwhile, blog commenters cry "Fake!" and "Photoshop!". I guess they didn't see any of the Quicktime movies of Shigeo Fukuda linked here
posted by maudlin
on Jun 20, 2007 -
Your daily dose of perception-bending.
Stare at the center of this video (wmv or flash) for a minute or two then look away from the screen at your surroundings. You'll experience an interesting and somewhat disconcerting effect. Not appropriate for anyone prone to headaches or seizures.
posted by brain_drain
on Aug 28, 2006 -
Masters of Deception
"There are a number
of incredible artistic works
featured in Masters of Deception, which require movement to appreciate their full impact. Additionally, I had in my possession various interviews with some of the book's featured artists that I wanted to share with my readership. Unfortunately, the publisher was unwilling to produce a CD to accompany the book
. I have created this web site, therefore, to augment and enhance the reader's experience by presenting those works and interviews that I could not present in book form." Al Seckel.
posted by hortense
on Aug 19, 2005 -