Category Archives: Life

Seeing Faces in Images

Ever look at something and all of sudden you see a face or another kind of object?  Today I saw a giant lobster shape in the clouds.  My son saw it too.  Sometimes being told about an image is enough to make someone else see it.

[ found this post in my drafts.]

Just a few minutes ago I’m watching a science video on how a type of caterpillar moves (its gut acts as a piston!), and wouldn’t you know it, I see a face on the xray image.  Look at the image at about 1.47 mins.  See if you can see the face.  Hint, its not a full face*.

Today (6 Aug 2010) my son calls me to his room. After a shower a drop fell from his hair and landed on a cardboard and, yup, it formed a face. I guess this perceptual tendency is genetic.

Good article on this phenomenom:   “Faces, Faces Everywhere”, The New York Times,

There is a term for this phenomenom:  Pareidolia.   Wikipedia mentions this in the Apophenia article where it says:   “…it has become more widely used to describe this tendency in healthy individuals without necessarily implying the presence of neurological differences or mental illness.”  That’s a relief!

More importantly, I think, is the possible connection this type of illusion may have with popular delusions that keep professional skeptics in action:  Pareidolia entry in The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

*The face in the video is the bottom half of an old man, it goes by quick, and unfortunately if you pause it, a big forward image is overlay ed..  At top is the bottom of the nose, the horizontal line below is the mouth.  It reminds me of some sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci or another artist.

Further Reading

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Arguments for the elimination of the internet?

Of course, the title of this post is ludicrous, the internet has a been a marvel and has changed the world.  Who would have thought that we would have Farmville, perverts showing their wieners on Chatroulette, terrabytes of 140 character notifications of bowel movements on SMS, people spending thousands of waking hours on virtual worlds, every flavor of pornography, advanced multiprocessor systems for perfect transmission of misinformation, and a host of low moral technological advancements.  🙂

The above is all in jest.  Of course, any new technology will have positive and negative ramifications.  Automobiles get you places but also kill people.  However, there are more indications for reasons to be more cautious in providing Internet access in places like schools, children at home, and workplaces.

Jerry Mander wrote a book on reasons for eliminating television.  This was way before the internet broke out into common use in a big way.  I wonder how those arguments would play in this new medium?

The automobile ushered a new ere in social evolution and freedom.  However, today we are reaping the results of not thinking it through:  the energy costs, health, resources, and employment costs.  I bet we spend more on total automotive upkeep (from road maintenance, energy use, automotive legislation, to health costs due to injury and environmental unintended consequences) then we do on education.

Will the Internet years from now be as much of a minus as a plus? A bigger minus; already we see rampant security and privacy incursions. Even the criteria of truth is changing, just as digital imaging allow the reconstruction of reality. Will decades later be a realization of a cyberpunk continuum, where the everyman is just an information tuple ripe for exploitation by an extremity of views but nowhere a lasting gestalt to hold it together and sustain society?


7/22/2010:  Today I had to cook supper and forgot how a certain dish was prepared.  The explanation I found in the book “How To Cook Everything” did not really explain it so I, of course, went online.  I found out how to do it on YouTube.  Yea, amazing.  There is no excuse for being ignorant in today’s world.


Mander, Jerry; “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television”,  Harper Perennial, 1978,

Internet Access Linked to Lower Test Scores, Katie Ash, Digital Education,

“Do home computers help or hinder education”,

“The Acceleration of Addictiveness”, Paul Graham,

“Video killed the Radio, the Internet killed Thinking”,

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Line drawing of my arrangement of components on pegboard

Declutter Your Workstation Desk

If you have a bunch of wires, cables, and power bricks around your desk at home you will one day want to organize it.  I finally decided to do something when I couldn’t trace a line from a USB drive to its power source.

For do-it-yourself people this site,Declutter Your Desk, presents a very practical method.  He used a Pegboard mounted underneath the desk so that everything could be under the table but off the floor.  The site has great pictures of some arrangements and the feedback from visitors give even more ideas.  For example, instead of the original hasp and dowel connection, I used the Hanger Bolt and Wing Nut alternative.  So my parts list was:

  • 5 each 10-24 X 2″ Hanger Bolts, $0.99
  • 5 each #10-24 Wing Nuts,  0.99
  • Bunch of Zip Ties, 3.95
  • Bunch of Twist ties (for wire neatness)
  • 1 Pegboard , 5.99

For a total of $11.92.  Not too bad.  Below is the layout I used.  I still have to add my network switch and cable modem.   One thing that would have helped is a hinge on one edge of the pegboard so that changes could be made easier.   I don’t like the use of zipties, hard to remove, but Velcro straps don’t fit in the Pegboard holes.  BTW, how do you screw in a Hanger Bolt?  I found the answer here.

Line drawing of my arrangement of components on pegboard

hidden pegboard

Maybe I’ll post a photo of the finished project later…..

Some links

Examples of workspaces:




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