Monday, October 15, 2007

More Thoughts on "Mind Freak"; Also: the Sweet Insanity That is the Georgia State Fair

Thought I'd throw in a little more about that spinning dancer illusion/mind test. Blogger Andrew Sullivan posted the test up on his blog (he was clockwise), and not long after, readers started writing in on ways to force the direction to change. Here's the link, but I'll just write what the reader wrote here:

"Stare at her left heel, the one that "hits" the "floor". Now look at the reflection of the foot as it hits the floor. "Make" it change direction. Imagine it goes counter clockwise. Soon it will. There is some kind of "jerk" in the image...when the loop starts again or maybe it is on purpose. That's where I can reverse it.

Now, while still concentrating on the "reflection" of her left heel, bring your focus out a bit until you see her leg swinging counter clockwise. If it is still going clockwise, look at only the reflection of her foot again. Keeping trying that until you get the leg swinging counter clockwise."

This method didn't really work for me, but when I opened the page again with the spinning woman on it, it was counter-clockwise for me, and, for a little while, impossible for me to force her to change direction. (The method that does seem to work, is to start typing into the URL bar above the dancer, anything will do just so long as your attention is fixated there, and as you're typing, the dancer will switch back and forth down in your peripheral vision. That works really well for me.)

By now, I don't know at all what this test proves, if anything at all. On the face of it, it purports to show once again how "creative" people are right-brain dominant and will see the woman turning clockwise, and how "logical, analytical" people are left-brain and will see a counter-clockwise direction to the spinning. But the results so far, sent in by the folks who read this blog, don't seem to neatly conform to this standard. For example, my wife, who's very strong analytically, saw the dancer spin only clockwise, and never once counter-clockwise. A lot of you who I know to be quite strong creatively, saw it switch back and forth without either direction emerging dominant. And now I'm seeing it counter-clockwise. Does that mean that I'm having a left brain day today? Doubtful I've ever had a left-brain day. So maybe it means this test says a lot less about us then the test's makers had hoped. Maybe.

In other news, I went to the Georgia State Fair yesterday. Good times. Here are some pitchers.

Just a wide shot of the fair. This was the section containing all the rides that I'd never ever go on. So, you know, kind of boring to me. But there's fair-food here too, so not a total waste of time.

There were quite a few canopies covering a phenomenon I'd never seen nor heard of before: extravagantly souped-up golf carts. This seems like a deeply redneck thing to build, buy or covet, but the fact is I would really love to drive and/or ride around in one of these things. The way these things have been supercharged, they seem like the safe alternative to ATVs. Then again, the taller and faster they get, the likelihood of toppling seems greater, no?

Here's another one. Check out the raised back seat. At a certain point, you do enough of this up-souping and they just become a Popemobile. And who wouldn't want to take the Popemobile for a spin?

This is me just prior to experiencing the taste explosion that is the Deep-Fried Twinkie. At first: not so much. It just tastes like fried dough, which is good, but nothing to write home about. But then comes the cream filling and this is what cinches the deal: the cream is still cold. The outside of the package being so hot, the still-cool center is a shock, but a glorious shock of delight at that!

Here are some people who have either a.) eaten nothing at the fair, or b.) want to bring what they've eaten quickly back up. I don't think even astronauts would ride this thing.

The words 'Pork' and 'Butt' together are disgusting enough, especially in that they are meant to describe a food item, but the fact that it's 'on a stick', makes it somehow seem palatable. Oh what sweet madness the State Fair!

This character seems to be the next evolution in sidewalk entertainment. First there were mimes and jugglers and caricature artists, then came the breakdancers, then the unconvincing statues that turn out to actually be people who move suddenly in order to scare small children, and in 2007 it is the 7-foot tall robot man with an outdated crew cut. While my father-in-law and I went to retrieve the car, my wife said she saw a child screaming for its life upon her first sighting of the metallic and oft-dancing robot freak, shouting, "I don't want to see the robot!" I think the true mark of a successful sidewalk novelty is whether or not they inspire a feeling of horror and/or loathing in small children. So this guy's got to be the next big thing. The person inside the suit is raised up on mega-platform shoes, and the flat-topped robot head is planted atop the person's actual head. The robot's elbows are actually the man-in-the-suit's arms. Pretty ingenious, and the effect is mesmerizing. It took me a minute to discern whether or not it was an actual robot. The second time we came across this guy, my wife and in-laws and I were all gawking appreciatively at him when the robot leaned down to my wife who was standing in front of me. It said in its synthesized robot-voice: "I don't want to alarm you, but although you're looking at a giant in front of you--" my wife started to laugh here, knowing where he was going with it, "--there is also one standing behind you." The crowd laughed with the synthetic freak at my own natural freakiness, suddenly the center of the group's attention. I saluted lamely to laughter. As the robot shifted his attention to another gape-mouthed child, he saw in his peripheral vision that I was leaving, turned and said, "Fe-fi-fo-fum, dude."

Anyway, don't be surprised if this thing appears on a promenade, boardwalk or Monster Truck rally near you.


blankfist said...


Cranesy, the test has made it to the number one spot on Don't take too long to get there, because it will probably soon drop off the top list - usually they only stay up there for a day or two. I had to post it. I was going to give you a shout out, but that video has had almost 4000 views, and I'm sure you wouldn't want that sort of traffic to your blog.


harwell said...

That's pretty lame of Heath taking credit for something he had nothing to do with isn't it?

Anyway, you murdered that twinkie dude. Way to go!

blankfist said...

Wow, Crane, the spinning girl thing has been at the number one spot for a while. 5114 views. I'm glad I didn't cite your blog as the spot where I found it. Could you imagine 5114 people stopping by your blog to read it instead of the four that currently do? Yeah, I bet you'd hate that, so that's why I took all the credit.

JudgeHolden said...

You just want the Inanities all to yourself. And who wouldn't? Really?

But seriously, you're the one that first posted the video up on Videosift? Who knew my mom was so ahead of the curve on this one? She sent me the email link the day before I posted it up.