Monday, December 20, 2010

Moving to a nudist colony where there are no assignments to grade

When I started undergrad I'd do two loads of laundry every two weeks: lights and darks, with towels and sheets added wherever there was room. This was pretty much my whole wardrobe.

Now, with a little creativity, I can get by without doing laundry for almost a month. When the time comes (as it did this evening) it means SO MUCH LAUNDRY. Considering I am only one person, who is generally not sweaty and gross, and generally does not spill food on herself... it's a lot of laundry.

At the moment, I'm running a light and dark load of "hang to dry", then it's a light and dark load of things that are dryer friendly. Tomorrow morning will be sheets. Thursday was towels. This is ridiculous.

At the moment, I'm also supposed to be finishing grading assignments for that class I TA that was done a month ago, but I just wrote an exam this evening! That's supposed to be a free pass to do nothing for the rest of the night. Incidentally, it was also probably my best exam ever, in part due to the fact that I studied for it to procrastinate on grading.

You'll notice that this post does not contain a photo of my dirty laundry. I'll accept "thank you"s in the comments.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Red-Green 3D glasses are festive, right?

I'm currently in the depths of revising for an exam, trying to get some grading done, and dreaming about baking cookies shaped like Christmas trees instead of doing any of this nonsense. Today's revision project is a chapter on 3D vision - like Avatar or the red-green glasses that used to come in cereal boxes and were way cheaper than going to see Avatar.

My textbook came with red-green glasses, which is awesome.
It was more expensive than seeing Avatar, though.
One of the things I learned along with how 3D vision works, is how to make pictures that look 3D. And so, I present to the world my very-own home-made 3D work of art. red-green glasses required.

And people still think a PhD in Psychology is impractical.
So how does viewing that picture with 3D glasses make your brain think there's a hole in your monitor? And why doesn't it work if you have lazy eye?

Fact #1: Unless you have lazy eye, by virtue of having two eyes, your brain always gets two very slightly different pictures of whatever it is you're looking at. One from your left eye, and one from your right eye. If you do have lazy eye, your brain ignores one of these pictures in favour of the other one.

Fact #2: There is a systematic relationship between the differences in the two pictures and how far (in depth) something is from the thing you're looking at. 

Here's what's really cool - the brain can exploit these relationships at high speeds to give us this extremely vivid perception of depth. Usually, we don't think photos are 'missing' anything, but the difference between a perceived depth and a projection of a 3D scene on to a flat surface is really amazing once you see a 3D photo. 

There are a ton of beautiful stereo-photos of old japan, taken by Japanese photographer Enami, collected on Flickr by Okinawa Soba
From Okinawa Soba's set
If you make them into animated images, the depth appears.

I used photoshop to make this one
Again, from Okinawa Soba

into a 3D image that works with red-green glasses: 


Fun! Unfortunately, I don't think photoshopping 3D images is going to come up on the exam.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mon (Notre) Beau Sapin!

On Saturday Tory and I went to the Atwater market and procured a beautiful five-foot fir tree because we were both in need of some Christmas spirt to see us through December.

We brought it home on the bus, which was not as difficult as it sounds.

This afternoon we dusted off the decorations and decked the tree out in blue, silver, gold, and not-quite-enough aubergine.

A beautiful (lonely) not-bright-violet ornament.

Apparently aubergine is out and the purple of the year is violet which will not do. It turned out well, anyway.

A full view of the tree.

A bit of a snowflake theme emerged, which
we picked up in the ribbon we got for a garland.

I love these disco-ball ornaments we got at dollarama. They add just
enough of a playful bling.

Not bad for a dollar store star.