Germ Freak

I wonder if they wash water pipes with anti-bacterial soap. How sterile is our tap water? Water pipes lay outside on the side of the road exposed to all the elements and wildlife before they are buried. Then the flush them with, as far as I know, just regular city water. The way the pipes and water system are kept “clean” is just by keeping the system flowing. Stagnant water provides a place for organisms to grow. The system is designed to avoid dead ends. If there is a dead end they put a valve or a fire hydrant at the end and it is “supposed” to be flushed out periodically.

From the 2003 Greensboro City water quality report:

“1,875 water samples were collected at various points in the distribution system to test for bacteria such as Total Coliform and E. Coli. No harmful bacteria were present in any sample.” Notice it said, “no harmful bacteria.” That does not eliminate the possibility that there were harmless bacteria in the water. There may be bacteria in your water. You scrub with anti-bacterial soap and then you rinse it off with water that may contain bacteria!

I think the fight against bacteria is wrong-headed. Every inch of your body is covered with bacteria. If you took a sterile swab and wiped it on any part of your body and then rubbed it on a bacteria culture and let the culture grow for a couple of days, you would see a nice fuzzy blob of bacteria. There is bacteria in your mouth, eyes, large intestine, etc. Small amounts of bacteria are normal. What we need to avoid are large concentrations of bacteria and known sources of harmful bacteria. Usually your nose will alert you to these hazards: spoiled food, feces, rot.


Early computer animation

I’ve been trying to find early examples of computer animation. So far the earliest movie that I’ve seen with computer animation is Futureworld (1976). It contains a brief shot of a primitive 3D model of a human head.
According to George D. DeMet , 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) contains no computer generated effects, but there is a shot where a video monitor shows what appears to be a rotating 3-dimensional model of an antenna. I suppose this could have been done using traditional 2D animation techniques.

Tron (1982) is another early movie using computer effects.

The Abyss (1989) has computer generated effects of water changing shapes.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) has the liquid metal guy.

Toy Story is the first feature length film done with 3D computer animation, but it is unusual because it, unlike these other films, will be remembered for its excellent, heartwarming story.

Visual Intelligence

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Donald D. Hoffman writes:

On the left are 49 colored patches. On the right I have randomly shuffled these same 49 colored patches. This dramatically affects the colored surfaces and lights that you see. On the left you see colored lights shining on the patches, e.g., a bright yellow light shining from the lower left and a bright green shining from the upper left. On the right you see the patches as illuminated by a single achromatic light source. You also see on the right some tans and browns that you don’t see on the left. In fact the patches on the right might appear so different from those on the left that you might not be able to figure out the proper matches between them. I’ve indicated two of the matching pairs by the numbers 1 and 2.