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Pareidolia (A possible explaining of the mysterious bird deaths)
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xtal
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January 7, 2011 - 11:08 am
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Many men around the world are aroused by a variety of things: women in lingerie; the prospect of a Sunday afternoon spent alone with the television; a beer commercial that reaffirms their own masculinity.

Me, I'm aroused by something else: the adrenaline rush that comes packed with cold, hard logic: facts, skepticism, levelheadedness, rationality and a healthy dose of repose. Mmm, yeah, that's the good stuff.

 

*Ahem* Excuse me, sorry for that… got in a bit of a trance there. Er, the point of this rambling was to share with you all dictionary.com's "hot word of the day" article, and it belongs to the word "pareidolia," which is defined thusly: the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist.

 

Whatever the real reason for the mass deaths may be, I rather enjoyed this short little article. Check it out.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Spike
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January 7, 2011 - 1:52 pm
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Since I live not terribly far to the east of Beebe AK I paid more attention to the bird "droppings" than I usually would.  My first thoughts:  either some  hidden-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere meth lab blew sky-high, or some idiot in Wal-Mar'ts advertising department came up with a better-in-theory-than-in-fact New Year's promotion.  I know what kind of things those Arkansans get up to, and it ain't pretty.  But I was really hoping that it was a NSA plot to disrupt cellphone communications with sonic waves...or sumpin'.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Finkbug
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January 7, 2011 - 2:10 pm
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Great article (eschatology is a favorite word) and a post I'm about to shamelessly hijack with a ramble.

 

I'm currently having a seizure. The eye doc says if there's no pain or confusion it's safely ignored. Twinkling moire pattern short lines around the edge of the left eye's field of vision–but I can see them with both eyes closed. The chunk of my brain processing optical input got bored and threw a hissy fit because it wanted more women in lingerie. Luckily the internet exists to solve that problem.

The weird thing is I can see those lines in my art from twenty years before the seizures started. While collecting it all in one place I also realized how much face-on-Mars my brain has, always always imposing faces on what was not intended as figurative or descriptive work. We're wired to find and create patterns with strong biases toward certain ones.

I don't want to trivialize the religious experience but if the brain is whacked hard enough by drugs or a cricket bat we all see God, or the floaty oceanic spiritual version.

Over the holiday season I spent time with nephews aged three, five, and eight. Figured it was time for intro to the danger of common sense as a way of viewing the world. Will this penny come up heads or tails? They shouted their answers, and one changed his answer when he heard the others. Three heads in a row (it was a trick penny) and they all started guessing tails. We had a nifty little talk about why and did a little visual math to explain why it was silly…ended by holding down the oldest so the other two could tickle him until he yelled "I'm going to pee!" and the five year spent the rest of the day singsong chanting pee pee peepeepee.

I like kids. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Next year, venn diagrams of Disney characters.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Pokey
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January 7, 2011 - 2:46 pm
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Finkbug, is that what they call an optical migraine? I've had a couple. The first one scared me. A semicircle of bright colors around the edge of my left eye. It lasted a bout 30 minutes. I had one later that was shorter. I guess they are harmless, so they say, but they are scary.

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Finkbug
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January 7, 2011 - 4:46 pm
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Yup. I should've used migraine but seizure was more dramatic. [Image Can Not Be Found] Also, seizures can have the same effect and I do have a family history of seizure disorders. The first one scared the crap because two relatives had retinas detach around my age. Hm. Not blind. Oh! I'm having a stroke! but it passed in fifteen minutes and I was no more stupid than I'd started. No aphasia, right arm and left arms still finger wiggly.

Now I almost enjoy them as a reminder how unconnected what we see is from what is literally seen by our eyes. It's passed since I posted but the lingering sense of blurriness in that eye is annoying. It isn't blurry--I did some ad hoc tests--but feels blurry.

It's amazing us shoddy animals can successfully shamble about the world to play video games.

Mind trying to better describe what you saw? My ring was black and white with grays from interference patterns and I'm fascinated you saw colors. Any specific ones? Were they colors with an emotional hook?

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Finkbug
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January 7, 2011 - 4:46 pm
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sorry 'bout the double. site through an error and I hit post again

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Pokey
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January 7, 2011 - 5:18 pm
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What I saw was a rainbow of bright colors, red, blue and maybe yellow,  slowly going around my eye till it was a semicircle. I was watching TV at the time and maybe that had an effect, since I was watching bright colors. I was panicked, since I had never heard of it before and decided to take an aspirin and lie down and stay still. It passed in 20-30 minutes. The second one, weeks later, was shorter. Too bad you didn't see it in color, but I never want to experience it again. Is this something that started recently and how often do they happen? Mine was many years ago.

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Armand
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January 7, 2011 - 5:39 pm
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That article was a fun read, and I do wish I could remember the dictionary word for more than a minute, as I really like it!

I recommend a Radiolab show about randomness, or stochasticity in response.

http://www.radiolab.org/2009/jun/15/

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Finkbug
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January 7, 2011 - 6:34 pm
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My first was early last year. A few more in the following months then nothing until today. My reaction was the same as yours--after I was pretty sure it wasn't a stroke--but closing my eyes and still seeing it was far scarier than ignoring it eyes open.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Pokey
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January 7, 2011 - 7:46 pm
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I just recalled that there was a pattern of sharp jagged lines around the eye. That made it even scarier. I wonder what precipitates these episodes. Is it that we have a different type of migraine?

Armand, I'm getting an error 404-not found when I click on your link.

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Finkbug
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January 7, 2011 - 9:58 pm
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While it was happening I went to the store for trash bags. The clerk asked me about the book I was holding and I was a gibbering mess. Unable to get a coherent sentence out. That little bit of distraction, not obstructing my field of view, not in any way objectively disabling, sent me off the rails. When I got home I rammed a mix of pink noise, Leonard Cohen songs, and a collection of old TV jingles pingponging the stereo field into one audio file with the intent of going back to buy toilet paper while listening at low volume on headphones. 

Barely made it out the door. It was so disorienting and frightening I turned around and deleted the file with a boundless new respect for schizophrenics surviving auditory hallucinations.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Pokey
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January 8, 2011 - 3:46 pm
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This is smilar to what I saw, but in a narrow arc around the eye and no white, just red, blue and yellow.

http://www.google.com/imgres?i.....29,r:0,s:0

If you do a Google image search for optical migraine, there are some with black, grey and white patterns as well.

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Finkbug
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January 8, 2011 - 5:55 pm
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Wow. Much scarier than mine. Best approximation I can find is a combination of the movement and interference of http://www.youtube.com/user/kaffir3.

 

Anyone else getting these brain farts?

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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Armand
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January 9, 2011 - 12:05 am
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....04591.html

More dead birds. Now with dead fish too!

Edit: My explanation is that this sort of thing likely happens more often than we realize, only with the recent scare, people are paying attention to them more and sort of stringing them together. That or the end times are upon us.

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Scout
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January 9, 2011 - 1:00 am
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A trite observation for sure, but I've had a few relationships based on an imagined perception of meaning that did not exist.

As for the migraines Pokey and Finkbug are talking about, I've had a few second long flashes of zig-zag lines out of the corner of my eye but nothing that ever sustained itself like you guys are talking about. From what I can gather, my mother used to have something like this though.

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Steerpike
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January 9, 2011 - 1:39 pm
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The optical migraines sound frightening. I'd be like, "am I on drugs? Did someone drug me?" If they come on without warning I can imagine what it must be to go through one. It's like when my throat broke, I was just standing there, then snap.

 

Dead birds, dead bees, dead fish. End times. I'd better get into shape with my Kinect before the full-on apocalypse or the zombies will surely pull me down. Setting up Your Self fitness, I was winded before it even finished evaluating me. That can't be a good sign.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
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January 9, 2011 - 2:07 pm
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Have ya all been living under a rock?  I read about this recently.  Da birds.  Da fishies.  Can't ya see the signs?

TIMING OF IMPORTANT EVENTS IN HISTORY

11,013 BC—Creation.  God created the world and man

(Adam and Eve).

4990 BC—The flood of Noah’s day.  All perished in a worldwide flood.  Only Noah, his wife, and his 3

sons and their wives survived in the ark (6023 years from creation).

7 BC—The year Jesus Christ was born (11,006 years

from creation). 

33 AD—The year Jesus Christ was crucified and the

church age began (11,045 years from creation; 5023 calendar years from the flood).

1988 AD—This year ended the church age and began the great tribulation period of 23 years (13,000 years from creation).

1994 AD—On September 7th, the first 2300-day period of the great

tribulation came to an end and the latter rain began, commencing God’s plan to

save a great multitude of people outside of the churches (13,006 years from creation).

2011 AD—On May 21st, Judgment Day will begin and the rapture (the taking up into heaven of God’s elect people) will occur at

the end of the 23-year great tribulation.  On October 21st, the world

will be destroyed by fire (7000 years from the flood; 13,023 years from creation).

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
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January 9, 2011 - 5:34 pm
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We're fucked.

 

So wait, it was Noah, Mrs. Noah, and the boys? That seems like a conspicuous shortage of girl-flesh there on that ark trip. I guess I always assumed they brought some neighbors and friends onto the boat with them, but then, back in the day they might not have known about gene pools and inbreeding. And what about the animals who could swim? I gather they were not sinful.

 

Personally I also enjoy RaptureReady.com - I have read the survival guide and am fully prepared to live in the wilderness for seven years on canned beets and badger meat until I'm taken into His Kingdom and all that. Hopefully the wilderness will have broadband so I can continue to update Tap and communicate with my other friends in the wilderness (we'll all probably be in different wildernesses or I'd suggest we band together). Until then my skills at Left 4 Dead will have to keep me alive, in solitude, in the wilderness.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Jarrod
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January 9, 2011 - 5:39 pm
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I heard someone say that whole flocks of birds can die from sudden up-drafts, pulling them too swiftly into cooler pockets of air.

 

And migraines...  I hate migraines - I get the full symptomology (if I haven't already whined about them in here).  The eyes go... I get black-and-yellow sparkly cogs around the periphery of my vision, and I lose the left half of whatever I'm looking at (tv, words, people's faces), which makes things hard to identify.  Then my tongue swells up and goes numb, and I have trouble thinking of words, which makes speech impossible, although that only lasts for about half an hour.  Same with my left hand and left foot going numb.  After that, the headache really kicks in, along with nausea and vomiting, and muscular shakes (which I think may be fever related, I haven't figured them out yet).

 

Best just to get someone to drop me into the local public hospital and let the doctors sort me out.  They usually give me a nice concoction that settles my stomach, and after that something for the headache pain and something else to help me sleep.  Sweet, sweet oblivion until the next day.

 

Been getting them since I was about 12, but I've only had a couple these past few years.  Both my dad and my mum suffer from them.

 

They're usually brought on by poor sleep and stress, although I think high amounts of caffiene don't help.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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Finkbug
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January 9, 2011 - 6:55 pm
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Stress may've triggered mine. I had my first panic attack in a year the day before. Hadn't thought of that connection. Jarrod, your shakes could be panic adrenaline at the onset of the migraine or more likely a direct part of the brain farting. Or do you get a fever?

 

Proof that evil technology violating the Vault of Heaven shall doom us all: http://numbertwoguide.com/?p=1793

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

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