Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Didja Know About Pirate Vision?

I loved the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World. It was my favorite ride. It had a catchy "Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me" song and a jaw-dropping tumble down a waterfall at the end of the ride. My fascination with pirates, however, ends at Disney World. And so, Jolly Rogers, I readily admit that my pirate IQ is pretty scanty. If you have acute pirate smarts (or you are a cute pirate), then you can ignore this blog entry--a time dividend for you, Captain Crunch!

I was reading a book yesterday that used pirate vision as an analogy for a sort of double-vision skill that is helpful in synthesizing multiple perspectives. As was explained in the book, most pirate-naive folks (me, me!) think that eyepatches were worn to cover the empty eye sockets from booty raids gone sour. Nope, that ain't the case!

Pirates needed to be able to fight both above deck (where it's nice and sunny) and below deck (where it's dark and not so nice). After all, below deck is where the Au is stored! (For those of you who shredded the periodic table of elements after your final chemistry exam, Au = gold!) It takes the human eye muchos minutos (think along the lines of 20-45 minutes) to fully adjust to darkness. By patching one eye, pirates could keep that eye ready for the dark conditions below deck. Smart little boogers, eh?

I wonder, of course, how wearing an eyepatch affected the peripheral vision of the pirates. Wearing an eyepatch is fine-and-dandy to prepare for below deck fighting, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be attacked above deck by a bastard wielding a blood-hungry sword who is just beyond my field of vision.

This all reminds me of a RadioLab episode I once heard about animal sleep. In order to keep an eye out (haha-get it?) for danger, many animals will sleep with one eye open, giving half the brain an opportunity to sleep. The animal will then switch eyes, allowing the other side of the brain to rest. It's no wonder that animals sleep for so many hours!

Although I'd like to think that I'm somewhat proficient in both halves of my brain, the left side of my brain is far more dominant; my creativity is often stifled. I think I'm gonna get me an eyepatch and wear it on my left eye--you know, allow the right brain to rest and regain some creative inspiration!

(I can hear you all saying "dork.")

My timbers are shivering. It's time I sign off. Arrrrr-ver and out, matey~


No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love to hear your comments on this post!