Getting the bird in the cage
Draw a picture of your favorite bird on a small index card. On another card the same size, draw a cage. Now tape the two cards, drawing sides out, on opposite sides of a pen. Spin the pen between your hands or fingers. Is your bird still free or did you catch it and put it in the cage?
Why does the bird appear to be in the cage?
It appears to be caged because of how your eyes and brain work. When you see the image of the bird, your brain holds onto the image for a short time--even though the image appears and disappears quickly. The same thing happens with the image of the cage. The two images actually overlap in your brain so the bird appears to be in the cage.
The technical name for this effect is persistence. It is what lies behind every movie and every TV program that you see.
Saturday, September 10, 2011