Optical illusion

Optical illusion

An optical illusion or a visual illusion is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a perception that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source. Optical illusion

The Spinning Dancer appears to move both clockwise and counter-clockwise
The Spinning Dancer appears to move both clockwise and counter-clockwise

Gold Optical Illusion Ring – The Magic Ring That Shrinks and Grows

Gold Optical Illusion Ring


Beautifully crafted gold finger ring is cleverly designed to appear to expand and then shrink as you or your spectator turn it in the hand. Ingenious! Ring is a highly polished gold metal. Comes in one size only (approximately a size 8). Remember, you don’t have to wear the ring- just keep it in your pocket or closeup case, ready to hand out for the instant amazement of your audience.

Optical Illusion Savings Bank

Optical Illusion Savings Bank


These cool little cube banks have two illusions. First, an object seems to float behind the viewing window, then each coin you drop through the slot seems to mysteriously disappear! Banks measure 2.75 inches and come in three assorted styles (available in an assortment only).

Visual Illusion Cards

Visual Illusion Cards



Prepared by professors of psychology in the Gestalt tradition, Dr. J. Block and Dr. H. Yuker of Hofstra University. Contains 52 different visual illusions and instructions. Examples: illusions in color, color reversal, ambiguous figures, size and figure distortion. Card size 3-1/2″ L x 2-1/2″ W. Two different sets available.

The Ultimate Book of Optical Illusions

The Ultimate Book of Optical Illusions



Prepare to be amazed! Inside the covers of this incredible, colorful collection are hundreds of the world’s most powerful optical illusions. They’re beautiful to behold, and stunning in their trickery. Some of the mind-boggling images seem to spring into action, vibrating, pulsing, and spinning like a hula hoop. Other ambiguous illusions feature two subjects in one: the fun is in finding them both in the single picture—including a mouse playing hide and seek in a cat’s face and a strange desert mirage where palm trees imperceptibly morph into camels. And still more, like “The Impossible Terrace,” which couldn’t exist off the page: just try to figure out if you’re viewing the space from above or below. Every one is astonishing.




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Greatest Speech Ever – Kennedy Inaugural Address

John F. Kennedy

Inaugural Address

President Kennedy’s inaugural address is one of his most memorable and quoted speeches. In it, Kennedy calls on citizens to join together in the struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. He then rallies Americans with his classic “Ask not what your country can do for you…” entreaty.

Greatest Speech Ever – JFK Inaugural Address:

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice president Nixon, President Truman, Reverend Clergy, fellow citizens.

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end as well as a beginning – signifying renewal as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage – and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge – and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own’ freedom-and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge – to convert our good words into good deeds – in a new alliance for progress – to assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support – to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective – to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak – and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our present course – both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind’s final war.

So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms – and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of Isaiah – to “undo the heavy burdens . . . (and) let the oppressed go free.”

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again-not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need – not as a call to battle, though embattled we are – but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation” – a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it – and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.




Wonderland – Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria

The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.

Neuschwanstein Castle

The effect of the Neuschwanstein ensemble is highly theatrical, both externally and internally. The king’s influence is apparent throughout, and he took a keen personal interest in the design and decoration. An example can be seen in his comments, or commands, regarding a mural depicting Lohengrin in the Palas; “His Majesty wishes that … the ship be placed further from the shore, that Lohengrin’s neck be less tilted, that the chain from the ship to the swan be of gold and not of roses, and finally that the style of the castle shall be kept medieval.”

Neuschwanstein bedroom

Neuschwanstein study
Neuschwanstein study



Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany

medieval castle

Meteor Crater – Arizona

Meteor Crater is a meteorite impact crater approximately 43 miles east of Flagstaff, near Winslow in the northern Arizona desert of the United States. Because the US Department of the Interior Division of Names commonly recognizes names of natural features derived from the nearest post office, the feature acquired the name of “Meteor Crater” from the nearby post office named Meteor.

meteor crater arizona

The crater is privately owned by the Barringer family through their Barringer Crater Company, which proclaims it to be “the most well known, best preserved meteorite crater on Earth”.

Over Head Meteor Crater

The Holsinger meteorite is the largest discovered fragment of the meteorite that created Meteor Crater and it is exhibited in the crater visitor center.

The Holsinger meteorite is the largest discovered fragment of the meteorite that created Meteor Crater and it is exhibited in the crater visitor center.

During the 1960s, NASA astronauts trained in the crater to prepare for the Apollo missions to the Moon.

On August 8, 1964, a pair of commercial pilots in a Cessna 150 flew low over the crater. On crossing the rim, they could not maintain level flight. The pilot attempted to build up speed by circling in the crater to climb over the rim. During the attempted climb out, the aircraft stalled, crashed, and caught fire. It is commonly reported that the plane ran out of fuel, but this is incorrect. Both occupants were severely injured but survived their ordeal. A small portion of the wreckage not removed from the crash site remains visible to this day.

In 2006, a project called METCRAX (for METeor CRAter eXperiment) investigated “the diurnal buildup and breakdown of basin temperature inversions or cold air pools and the associated physical and dynamical processes accounting for their evolving structure and morphology.”

meteor crater arizona


Leonardo da Vinci Tribute

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and “his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote”. Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.



Leonardo da Vinci was a Polymath. A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today’s standards. The term was first used in the seventeenth century but the related term, polyhistor, is an ancient term with similar meaning.



Leonardo da Vinci’s helicopter

Wonderland – Majlis al Jinn Cave

Majlis al Jinn Cave

Majlis al Jinn Cave also Majlis al-Jinn (meeting/gathering place of the Jinn), local name: Khoshilat Maqandeli is the ninth largest cave chamber in the world. It ranks higher when measured by volume. The cave is located in a remote area of the Selma Plateau at 1,380 meters above sea level in the Sultanate of Oman, 100 km south-east from Muscat.

Majlis al Jinn

There are no visible lower exits or passages leading from the Cave these passages most likely have been blocked by debris on the cave floor. Water entering the cave collects along the lowest part of the floor, then slowly infiltrates into the fine-grained, mud-cracked sediment or evaporates. The entrances receive surface runoff from only a small drainage area, so water never reaches most parts of the cave. While surface temperatures can exceed 40 °C, air temperatures in the chamber are a constant 17–18 °C.

Majlis al Jinn Cave

Until fairly recently there had not been a way to reach the Majlis al Jinn by car, so cavers had to hike in carrying their equipment or rent donkeys from a village a few hours walk from the entrance. The original explorers, Don and Cheryl, often flew into the area by helicopter. Now the cave can be reached on a rough track, which requires four-wheel drive.

Cave

The entrances to the cave were discovered in June 1983 by Americans W. Don Davison, Jr. (nickname: D2) and his wife, Cheryl S. Jones. Don, a hydrogeologist, who was employed by the government of Oman’s Public Authority for Water Resources (PAWR), which later became the Ministry of Water Resources. The cave was located and mapped as part of the PAWR’s Karst Research Program.

Cave




Wonderland Places – The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre sculpture garden created by landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks at his home, Portrack House, near Dumfries in South West Scotland.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Charles Alexander Jencks (born 21 June 1939) is an American architectural theorist, landscape architect and designer. His books on the history and criticism of Modernism and Postmodernism are widely read in architectural circles. Jencks now lives in Scotland where he designs landscape sculpture and writes on cosmogenic art.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

The garden is inspired by science and mathematics, with sculptures and landscaping on these themes, such as Black Holes and Fractals. The garden is not abundant with plants, but sets mathematical formulae and scientific phenomenae in a setting which elegantly combines natural features and artificial symmetry and curves. It is probably unique among gardens, drawing comparisons with a similarly abstract garden in Scotland, Little Sparta.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

The garden is private but usually opens on one day each year through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and raises money for Maggie’s Centres, a cancer care charity named for Maggie Keswick Jencks, the late wife of Charles Jencks.

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Link to Charles Jencks Website.

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