10 March 2008

Things You Do at 12:30 AM . . .

what the cockroach might see, and what the iphone saw

The above photo is a composite of a photo Prof. Althouse posted on her blog a little bit ago, and my transformation of the same photo pasted side by side.

She described her photo as a 'cockroach eye's view', but that got me thinking that their optics are very different from ours, and even the same view would look very different to one of them.

So after some quick googling, and seeing what I could find without taking too much time, things I've learned about cockroach optics, first, they are dark adapted, so they probably are very sensitive to picking contrast, but if there's too much light around their vision gets washed out. Second, they have compound eyes, so what they see is going to be a mosaic. Third, they probably don't see in color, their eyes are very simple light sensors, and their brains aren't too complicated either, so color is too 'processor intensive' and wouldn't serve a survival function for them anyway.

Applying all those notions (won't call them facts, cause it's just stuff I've pulled off the internet), I used GIMP to do a couple of quick transformations, I think the results are interesting, probably not accurate, but it's something to do at 12:30 AM on a restless night.

Also, when it comes to the possessive 's', does it belong on the "cockroach", or the "eye"? I see that Althouse put it on the roach, but I've been putting it on the eye. Does the view belong to the cockroach as a whole, or to the eye alone?

The phrase "bird's eye view" almost always puts the possessive with the "bird", but when you are talking about what an eye would see rather than what someone or something actually saw, I think the possessive would be better on the "eye" part. This way, you emphasize the image, rather than the seer, but I'm in the minority (possibly of one) on this issue.

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