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The Rotating Snake Illusion is a fun image that makes your brain perceive motion where no motion actually exists. Psychologists understand the factors that make an illusion like this work (and work better) — for instance, breaking up and staggering the colored lines that radiate from the center of the circle creates a much stronger sensation of movement. But they don't know exactly why it works yet, according to Japanese psychologists Akiyoshi Kitaoka and Hiroshi Ashida.
And that brings us to this kitten video.
YouTube user Rasmus posted a video that he thinks might show his cat being tricked by the same sense of motion that catches the eyes of humans who look at The Rotating Snake Illusion. On the other hand, this just might be a cute video of a kitten attacking a piece of paper — which is known to happen.
This is not exactly the soundest experimental methodology ever, but it sure would be interesting to see what happens.
Bits & Pieces has a fun collection of "double take" photos. Each one caused a fun moment of "huh?" in my mind, until reality snapped into place.
A few years ago, artist Maki Naro drew a comic explaining why the Moon appears larger on the horizon than it does way up in the sky.
Recently, he got a helpful email from astronomy blogger Phil Plait. Turns out, the original comic was just a bit wrong and Phil Plait had a much more thorough explanation. So, like any good evidence-based comic artist, Naro drew a new version of the comic, featuring a only-sorta-creepy Phil Plait jumping out of the bushes to accost people with accurate astronomical information.
Check out this post on Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog, upon which the comic is based.