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    The science behind the Magic Eye craze of the 1990s - @community
    10/21/16 10:34:55AM
    The science behind the Magic Eye craze of the 1990s         Updated by Joss Fong and Dion Lee Oct 21, 2016, 9:50a   http://www.vox.com/videos/2016/10/21/13352804/magic-eye-explained       This iframe is not allowed In the year 1993, Congress passed NAFTA, the Buffalo Bills lost their third consecutive Super Bowl, Lorena Bobbitt grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and the world witnessed the birth of a pop-culture phenomenon based on an optical illusion. It was Magic Eye. These pictures, known in the vision literature as autostereograms, carry a hidden 3D image, discernible only when the viewer arranges their eyeballs in a particular way. Cheri Smith and Tom Baccei created the "Magic Eye" brand that contributed to their popular success in the 90s, but stereograms weren't new.Their lineage goes back to the 19th-century discovery of stereopsis — the depth information we get from having two eyes spaced slightly apart. This is the feature of visual perception that's manipulated by devices like the View-Master, the red novelty toy that comes with a reel of tiny dual photos. The original View-Master was the Victorian stereoscope, and it was as popular in the late 1800s as Magic Eye was in the 1990s.     I have never been able to do them the way you're supposed to, however. The image is supposed to pop out at you. The way I do it, the image is an indentation.: ">         Queen Victoria was an early adopter of the stereoscope, a device that presents a slightly different photo to each eye, creating a 3D scene in the brain of the viewer. | Hulton Archive/Getty Images Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was so enamored with the stereoscope that he created his own non-patented version of the toy and popularized it in the United States. Among his many meditations on the technology, he wrote: [T]he shutting out of surrounding objects, and the concentration of the whole attention, which is a consequence of this, produce a dreamlike exaltation of the faculties, a kind of clairvoyance, in which we seem to leave the body behind us and sail away into one strange scene after another, like disembodied spirits. Holmes would have loved Nintendo 64. The Victorian stereographs were typically photos or simple drawings. The real innovation on the path toward Magic Eye was research conducted by Bela Juleszin the late 1950s. Working at Bell Laboratories, Julesz showed that the depth perception from stereographs could be divorced from the depth cues we get from a photo, like shading, overlap, perspective lines, and relative sizes. And he demonstrated that by inserting depth into random noise: the random-dot stereogram:     These random dots contain a hidden shape that you can see if you diverge your eyes to point each eye at its own square. You should see three copies of the square rather than two or four, and the hidden image will appear inside the middle square. (Note: This isn't easy. Julesz would have originally viewed these through a stereoscope that delivers one image separately to each eye, but if you practice enough, you can "free-fuse" them). From that point, the next step was to re-create the hidden-picture effect in a single image, rather than two images that require hardware to view. A few iterations later and you've got Elaine Benes and Ross Gellar making jokes about stereograms in their respective fictional worlds. To learn more about the history of stereograms and see exactly how they work, watch the video at the top of this post or on our YouTube channel.

    Americans Are More Afraid Of Clowns Than Terrorism,Climate Change, Or Death - @community
    10/21/16 10:23:19AM
    We live in scary times. http://www.vox.com/2016/10/21/13321536/clown-scare-sightings-2016 In 2016, we’ve seen hundreds of mass shootings. We’ve watched the gap between rich and poor Americans widen. We’ve witnessed the fulminant rise of Donald Trump, whose nomination left Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein “truly afraid”for the first time in American politics. But in the eyes of our citizens, there is a graver threat at hand: clowns. In a poll we conducted with Morning Consult last week, 42 percent of Americans said they were, in some capacity, afraid of clowns. Among voters ages 18 to 29, nearly one in three admitted to at least a minor case of coulrophobia — fear of clowns. The poll, conducted October 15 to 17, comes amid the great clown scare of 2016: Since August, more than 100 “suspicious” clown sightings have been reported across the US, from Seattle to Bangor, Maine. We get it: Clowns are creepy. Especially when lingering in empty parking lots at 3:30 in the morning, holding black balloons. But are they scarier than real threats, like climate change, economic hardship, or the death of loved ones? According to Americans, yes. Yes, they are. We compared the results of our poll with a poll recently conducted by Chapman University, which asked 1,511 Americans to identify their greatest fears from a list of topics. Clowns outranked every single fear, save for “government corruption.” (Note that the Chapman poll only included “very afraid” and “afraid” as voting options, while our poll had “very afraid,” “somewhat afraid,” and “a little afraid.”) Americans — at least, those surveyed in our poll — are more afraid of clowns than a possible terrorist attack, a family member dying, climate change, biological warfare, and the always-terrifying Obamacare. Clowns also handily surpass classic fears like heights, needles, and ghosts. Oh, and dying. Because the threat of a clown is scarier than death itself. Two-thirds of Americans want a government crackdown on clowns In fact, Americans are so utterly petrified by clowns that they overwhelmingly support some kind of government or police-led takedown of any that roam the streets. When asked if various police or government forces should stop the great clown scare, two out of three respondents expressed that they’d like to see more intervention. And not just from local agencies: 36 percent wanted to see “much more” or “somewhat more” action on behalf of the FBI. Just to clarify, more than one-third of Americans want the FBI to invest its time and resources into investigating clowns. In a recent conference, White House press secretary Josh Earnest seemed to agree: “Obviously, this is a situation that local law enforcement authorities take quite seriously,” he told a reporter. “They should thoroughly review perceived threats to the safety of the community.” Americans are afraid of nearly all clowns It should be noted that this fear of clowns is not limited to the legitimatelyterrifying costumed pranksters who’ve recently emerged. We sent 1,999 Americans a variety of clown pictures and asked them to rate how creepy each one was, from “very creepy” to “not creepy at all.” The majority of respondents found most of the clowns to be scarier than things like needles and snakes. The two street clown images — both screencaps pulled from recent news footage — evoked the most fear: 91 percent of people found the images at least a little creepy. But even classics like a Cirque du Soleil clown (79 percent creepy), opera singer Luciano Pavarotti as a clown (62 percent creepy), and Bozo the Clown (48 percent creepy) — characters intended to be approachable, not scary — fared poorly. Ronald McDonald was the lone exception: Only one-third of respondents deemed the fast-food mascot creepy, and a mere 8 percent marked him as “very creepy.” Respondents determined a crappy MS Paint illustration (“cartoon clown”) to be creepier. But even Ronald wasn’t immune to the great clown scare. Last week, McDonald’s decided to cancel all of his public appearances until further notice — the first time that’s happened since the character’s 1963 debut. "McDonald's [is] mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities,” a spokesperson said in a press release, “and as such is being thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald's participation in community events for the time being.”

    Hillary’s Plot Against America - @community
    10/21/16 10:14:51AM
    Recent news and leaks make it clear that a plot is afoot. A smoking gun has been found. Republicans are committing political malpractice by not making it clear they are the last line of defense. ObamaCare is imploding, as was widely predicted upon its passage by Republicans and a range of non-partisan experts. The ObamaCare meltdown is even worse than we thought. Bloomberg News recently: A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise. At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage. Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals. It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain. Far more people are being afflicted by premiums and deductibles that are soaring, regardless of whether they have coverage under Obamacare plans or private or employer based insurance. Premiums are increasing by high double digits in many states (the national average premium increase will be 24.2% in 2017) and deductibles have grown so much that health care costs are devouring a record eight percent of the typical household budget in the wake of ObamaCare. Barack Obama’s oft-quoted promise that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” has been living up to its dubious distinction granted in 2013 as the “lie of the year.” Actually, it is the biggest lie in decades and he and his people knew it was a lie all along. Remember that the bill’s architect admitted that they relied on the “stupidity of the American people” to help the bill pass and three Obama speechwriters laughed about it on a PBS show. The lie may have been erased from the Obamacare website after it had served its purpose but many millions are enduring the reality of the disaster. Republicans knew it was a lie; not one Republican in either the Senate or the House voted for the absurdly titled “Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.” They tried to mitigate the damage from the deviously passed legislation by inserting into a 2014 spending bill a provision that prevents Obama and the Democrats from bailing out insurance companies. Barack Obama is again trying to circumvent the law by tapping the so-called Judgement Fund for billions of dollars to keep ObamaCare afloat. This would be illegal. House Republicans have filed a brief in a lawsuit that seeks to prevent the bailout of insurance companies. Clearly, Obama is trying to keep Obamacare on life support until …what? The facts and basic economics are on the side of Republicans; the program is a disaster. Even Democrats have begun to waken to the reality of the problems they face from ObamaCare. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, previously one of its most fervent supporters, declared Obamacare “no longer affordable.” Even President Obama, as much as he lives in some fabulist world of his own imagination, cannot avoid reality and admitted there were problems in his legacy achievement. Predictably, he blamed Republicans even though they opposed Obamacare at every opportunity. Were they to blame because they did not want to be complicit in the man-made disaster he and his Democratic allies have imposed on America? But there is a tell, and it reveals Hillary Clinton’s remedy for the ills of ObamaCare. is worse than the disease. Hillary’s frenemy Bill Clinton shockingly admitted that ObamaCare is the “craziest thing in the world” since Americans ” wind up with premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half and it’s the craziest thing in the world”. Clearly, Bill Clinton was sending a message -- wittingly or not -- that big changes were afoot and big government was coming to the rescue. What is Hillary Clinton plotting should she become President? Wikileaks revealed an email that is a smoking gun. Despite a massive media blackout, some of the emails see the light of day on social and conservative media. HillaryClinton wrote an email to senior policy advisor Ann O’Leary that disclosed she was working, behind the scenes (naturally since she has a public persona -- or multiple ones, actually -- and a private one) to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Jeffrey Anderson writes at the Weekly Standard: If further evidence were needed that this country faces two choices going forward on health care, a leaked Hillary Clinton email just provided it. The choices we face are (a) the repeal of Obamacare and its replacement with a conservative alternative, or (b) a government monopoly. Obamacare cannot last, and even the Democratic nominee for president is apparently seeking, and pushing for, its demise. A WikiLeaks release Tuesday shows Clinton writing the following in an email exchange, reportedly with senior policy adviser Ann O'Leary: In the email, Clinton conveys her support for Republicans' ill-advised effort to repeal—or delay—Obamacare's "Cadillac tax." (Such efforts are ill-advised because Republicans should be pushing for full repeal, not catering to various interest groups in pushing for partial repeal.) But the striking thing is Clinton's motivation: She wants the Democrats "to be careful" to let the Republicans' legislation pass, because that legislation, she conveys, "begins the unraveling of the ACA" [Obamacare]. That doesn't sound like someone who's trying to make Obamacare better, which Clinton has campaigned as being committed to doing. Rather, while posing as an Obamacare supporter, she has been eager to see President Obama's signature legislation "unravel," so that it can to give way to a true government monopoly. Hillary clearly wants her own legacy to supersede that of Barack Obama’s: HillaryCare. Recall that as First Lady during her husband’s first presidency she tried and tried but failed disastrously to get her version of healthcare “reform” passed. She seems very determined to leave her own mark, even if it meant conniving behind President Obama’s back to replace ObamaCare. What form would Hillary Care take? Phil Gramm wrote a Wall Street column giving us a glimpse of the horrors to come in “Where Clinton will take Obamacare”: In claiming earlier this year that the current U.S. health-care system “was HillaryCare before it was called ObamaCare,” Hillary Clinton was telling the truth—but not the whole truth (snip) HillaryCare was a comprehensive plan for the government to take over the health-care system, with program details and cost-control measures precisely defined. (snip) As with HillaryCare, a single payer, national health-care system has always been the goal. Hillary Clinton’s Health Security Act of 1993 would have broken the nation’s health-care system into regional Healthcare Purchasing Cooperatives, which would have collectively set treatment guidelines and implemented cost-control measures. (snip) The decisions of HillaryCare’s National Control Board, which would have determined every allowable benefit and treatment, would have been final—not reviewable by any agency or judge. (snip) Except for the fact that it is occurring right before the elections, the four largest national health insurers dropping out of ObamaCare is not a problem. This is the plan. Eliminating the facade of private insurance is how ObamaCare “morphs” into HillaryCare and ultimately into a single-payer plan like Medicaid or Medicare. (snip) For the ObamaCare of today to be transformed into the HillaryCare of 1993 and finally into a nationalized health-care system, a president is needed who has the willpower to impose the coercive details, nail down hard deadlines and unleash agencies to tighten controls and squeeze the life out of private insurers. This is Hillary Clinton’s plot against America. If you dislike ObamaCare, you will hate HillaryCare. What dAmericans have to look forward to: rationing, loss of freedom, long lines and mediocre care (2/3 of doctors say ObamaCare hurts quality and cost of healthcare), nationalized health care. True, a President Trump would prevent this plot from reaching its fruition. What should be the backup plan? Republicans were successful in putting into place provisions severely weakening ObamaCare to the extent that it is rapidly collapsing on its own pile of lies. They can prevent HillaryCare just as they did back in 1993 in is first rollout. But they need control of Congress, or, at the very least, the House. They might not be able to repeal and replace ObamaCare but they have put in place measures that are crippling its implementation, something they get far too little credit for doing. When Democrats elected Barack Obama and controlled Congress they burdened America with Obamacare. Does anyone think Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and President Hillary Clinton will stop there if that triad assumed power? As Kimberly Strassel recently wrote in “Make Democrats Own Obamacare”: ObamaCare is roaring back as a political liability to Democrats in a way not seen since that 2010 wave election. Right in time for this fall’s presidential contest, insurers are bailing out of the government system, leaving millions of voters with dwindling options and skyrocketing premiums. ObamaCare was always destined to crack up, but there is something notable that it comes precisely as so much control of Washington is up for grabs. Especially since the health law is playing an outsize role in the states that will matter most for which party controls the Senate. At least three crucial elections feature Democrats who provided the final Senate votes to make ObamaCare the law of the land. Several other high-profile races are playing out in states where the health law has wreaked particular damage. Republicans should pin the tail of ObamaCare on the Democratic Donkey. Not to do so is political malpractice-a chronic disease among Republicans. Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/10/hillarys_plot_against_america.html#ixzz4NjGUMDqn Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

    How GOP Can Win Global Warming Debate And Expose Democrats' Hypocrisy - @community
    10/21/16 10:01:44AM
    Weather Channel founder John Coleman has warned us. He believes that Al Gore soon might come out into the light and announce he's won the climate debate after the presidential election. But no matter who wins the White House, there's a way for the Republicans to truly win the debate and at the same time reveal the Democrats' dishonest and rawly political marriage to their global warming position. Coleman, a meteorologist for more than six decades and an unfaltering skeptic of the man-made global warming story, told Climate Depot in August that "this election may be a 'tipping point' in the climate debate." Coleman noted that President Obama has imposed the United Nations' Paris climate agreement on the country without Senate ratification, and then his "Environmental Protection Agency implemented climate rules without a single vote of Congress." "If the next president does not overturn these regulations, U.S. citizens will suffer the consequences as energy prices soar over the next eight years," Coleman said. "Al Gore may emerge from the shadows to declare victory in the 'global warming' debate if Hillary Clinton moves into the White House. Yes, if that happens and the new climate regulations become the law of the land, they will be next to impossible to overturn for four to eight years." There might be a way to avoid such unpleasantness, though, and push the global warming scare into the pages of the history books where such moments of madness are cataloged. Economist Scott Sumner suggests that if the GOP "were smart," it would propose a carbon tax as the policy solution to climate change. Writing in the Library of Economics and Liberty blog, Sumner says the tax "should be completely revenue neutral, and should not be viewed as a backdoor way to advance other agendas, such as bigger government and more spending." Furthermore, the carbon tax would have to be "offset by reductions in our most distortionary taxes." (How about an offset of steeply cut, and flattened, income tax rates?) So why give Democrats what they ostensibly want in a carbon tax? Well, that's the brilliant part. They won't be getting what they want. They'll actually be forced into a corner where they will unmask themselves. Sumner, who admits he is "one of the relatively few right-of-center intellectuals that worry about global warming" and therefore supports a carbon tax (clearly not IBD's view), believes his proposal will smoke out the "global warming phonies." He argues "the Democrats might well reject this proposal, as they actually care more about taxes than global warming." Their rejection, of course, would expose them as hypocrites using the climate scare to consolidate power and control the economy. And it would let Republicans, Sumner adds, constantly remind "voters that they favored the policy that was advocated by global warming experts and the Democrats shot it down because they cared more about imposing ever-higher taxes on the public than they did about actually solving global warming." Hopefully, in revealing the Democrats and their radical climate allies as con men, the GOP bluff would also have the added benefit of shutting down the alarmists' ever-present ravings, the cultural elitists' tiresome virtue signaling and the scolds' relentless sermonizing. Too bad we have to rely on the Republicans' smarts to get this done. http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/how-gop-can-win-global-warming-debate-and-expose-democrats-hypocrisy/

    Trump Booed While Roasting Clinton At Charity Dinner - @community
    10/21/16 09:50:17AM
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-booed-while-roasting-clinton-at-catholic-charity-event-w446046     Every four years, in the final stretch of the presidential campaign, the two candidates take a break from their punishing schedules to attend the Alfred E. Smith dinner, a white-tie event where they roast themselves and each other while raising money for Catholic charities.           In past years, the dinner has acted as a short reprieve from the sometimes vicious mudslinging that goes on this close to Election Day, but as it has been in so many ways, this year was an exception. Republican nominee Donald Trump was booed for the biting remarks he delivered to the room of Catholic leaders, socialites and reporters. Instead of the traditional kind of jokes that are made at the event, some of his remarks were virtually indistinguishable from those delivered in his stump speeches. "Hillary believes it's vital to deceive the people by having one public policy, and a totally different policy in private. That's OK," he said as the crowd began booing. "I don't know who they're angry at, Hillary, you or I?" Trump forged on, undeterred. “For example, here she is tonight in public, pretending not to hate Catholics,” he said, to more gales of boos, referring to remarks Clinton communications manager Jennifer Palmieri made about Catholics in some of the hacked emails recently made public by Wikileaks. Trump did have one joke that landed. "The media is even more biased this year than ever before. Ever. You want the proof?" he asked. "Michelle Obama gives a speech, and everyone loves it, it's fantastic; they think she's absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech and people get on her case. And I don't get it! I don't know why." Clinton, for her part, alternated between the expressions of mild amusement and thinly veiled disdain she perfected over the course of the last three debates. When it was her turn to speak, the Democrat poked fun at herself and Trump in equal measure. "Usually I charge a lot for speeches like this," she told the crowd, before marveling at her opponent. "It's amazing I'm up here after Donald. I didn't think he'd be OK with a peaceful transition of power."

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