Your eyes and your brain can play tricks on you. The mind's eye can be easily tricked into imagining lines or images where they don't really exist. Hence, we have optical illusions (also known as visual illusions) that are characterized by visually perceived images that are deceptive or misleading like the one on the left, which can be either two faces or a candle holder depending on how you choose to visualize it.
This Amoeblog includes various optical illusions for you to take a look at. You can observe the altered images as the information is gathered by your eye and processed by your brain to give you a perception that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. You follow?
Anyways -- according to the experts in these matters, there are basically two main types of illusions. There are the physiological illusions that are the effects on the eyes and brain of excessive stimulation of a specific type -- brightness, tilt, color, or movement. And then there are cognitive illusions, where the eye and brain make unconscious inferences. That is why you may see something in an image that the person standing right next to you doesn't comprehend equally.
The optical illusion immediately above, which is one of the most commonly known, is a same color illusion in which Square A is exactly the same shade of grey as square B. The image shows what appears to be a black and white checker-board with a green cylinder resting on it that casts a shadow diagonally across the middle of the board. The black and white squares are actually different shades of gray. The image has been constructed so that "white" squares in the shadow, one of which is labeled "B," are actually the exact same gray value as "black" squares outside the shadow, one of which is labeled "A." The two squares A and B appear very different as a result of the illusion.
This clip fairly wraps up my mood this week.
Agh. Brian Wilson kills me. Absolutely kills me. I'll just be in my sand box over here.
Once, on the long long long orange lit drive home from L.A., crap-o car stereo blaring, my better half asked me almost incredulously, "Why is this album pretty much the best album ever made?!"
Why indeed? Sometimes writing about music is a real drag. Gene Clark's No Other truly is one of the most lasting and perfect albums I've ever heard.
On a tip from a coworker (I am almost certain it was Shayde), I bought No Other around four years ago. I liked Gene's previous album White Light, so I was ready to hear more. I popped in No Other and liked it immediately, but ultimately it was over time that this album became more and more haunting. Like, I couldn't get it out of my head ... like, for years. Seriously, waking in the night with just this one little moment of "From a Silver Phial" tinkering through my mind.
I read the liner notes earlier today from the cd reissue and someone describes Gene's sound as achieving the "Cosmic American Music" feeling Gram Parsons had once sought. I guess that's a fairly apt way to describe a fairly indescribable album.
Usually heavy production freaks me out. No Other was released in 1974, when it was all production -city all the time, unless you were Carly Simon or something, but let's not go there. The production work on this album is so layered, dense and, actually, perfect. There's wah wah guitar, backup singers, crazy piano licks. The best of L.A.'s session musicians were hired to play at the recording and they play the hell out of these songs, adding gravity to what was already great. The other thing that makes this album killer is that there is a theme and a thread that works its way through each of the songs and connects them, so as you listen closely to the album over and over again, it all becomes more and more clear and transporting.