Boy, somebody sure did a crappy job painting me.
Yo yo yo mah peeps! I was planning on using the next couple of posts updating the ancient life series, focusing on the Cambrian fauna. I was going to take pictures to offer up examples.
However, due to an aggravated injury to my shoulder, I find I can't safely move the cabinet that contains the fossils I wanted to share. So, I have to postpone those posts.
Instead, I have something really good for you today, to make up for it.
Did you know, that on average, you're blind for 40 minutes out of every day? And sleeping doesn't count. Nor does having your eyes closed.
For 40 minutes, every day, while your eyes are open, and you're 100% awake, you are blind. As in, you can't see a thing. Nothing but blackness. And, if it didn't happen, you'd really be messed up.
It's called Saccadic Masking, or Visual Saccadic Suppression.
A saccade is the scientific name for a rapid eye movement. And, our eyes do nothing but move rapidly. And, we don't like it. Remember the movies 'Cloverfield', or 'The Blair Witch Project'? Remember the unique style of filming? They filmed those movies as if they were being shot with hand held cameras. That results in shaky video. Some people couldn't watch those movies as the shakiness made them nauseous.
That's because our brains don't like jerky movements like that. And, as I said earlier, our eyes do nothing but move in jerky motions. Don't believe me? Look at someones eyes and see how they move. Ask them to look down, and then slowly look up. For them, it's all one, smooth motion. But you saw a series of rapid jerks.
Our brains, in an effort to counter the saccadic movements, shuts off your vision several times a second. What you see as continuous vision is actually more like a strobe effect. While your eyes are actually moving, you can't see. You can only see while the eyes are stationary.
It's much like a movie you see in the theater. What your watching is nothing but a series of still pictures played in rapid succession, and that imitates movement. But, there is no movement anywhere on a movie reel. The movement you see is an illusion because the film moves at such a rapid rate that you can't tell it's a series of still pictures.
And, that's what your eyes do. Our vision seems smoother than film, though, because we see at about 60 frames per second. That means you brain turns off your eyes about 60 times each second. Movies show at 24, 36 or 48 frames per second. If your a computer nerd who has to have the latest and greatest graphics cards, if you get more than 60 fps in your games, it's all wasted. Your eyes can't process information any faster.
A scientist, George McConkie, used computers to track each individual saccadic movement in volunteers eyes, and using that information, he fucked with their minds. He displayed text on a screen in front of the subject, and when the brain turned off the vision, he changed the text. In every case, the test subjects were totally unaware of the change. Even though they were looking right at it, they couldn't see it.
If it weren't for the brain doing this for us, you would spend every day viewing life like you were watching Cloverfield. And that would suck. Just like the movie.