Thursday, 20 January 2011

Magical illusion

We had an impromptu lesson this morning.
DD8 was asking yesterday about magic and why people thought magic was real, we discussed how advanced technology often looks magical - like if she took her music or TV back to the Stone age or Elizabethan times they would think it was magical because they hadn't seen anything like it -  and how illusion looks like magic, here we discussed how illusion is when your eye and brain are tricked into thinking something is real or that they have seen something that they haven't. DD8 said she understood but she still looked confused.

Well this morning was the perfect opportunity to let her see it for herself (she's a real visual learner)
To set the background we were at a party last night and they came home with glowsticks, this morning they were still glowing and it was dark at 6:30am so they looked really good.
I asked her if she wanted to create a magical illusion (what child would so no??) and she quickly agreed.
First they held the glowstick still so they could see it was just a glowing line.


Next we span one really fast (like a helicopter blade) and they saw a glowing circle - they loved it!
(it was much brighter in real life)

we discussed why we thought we saw a circle as opposed to a straight line moving fast. Then they decided to see what other tricks they could make the glowsticks do.

As you can imagine the next 40 mins was spend playing glowstick in the dark and pretending to be magicians.

There is a really good Horizion programme I recorded last year called 'Is seeing believeing' from the BBC , it discussed why the brain can be fooled by illusion -  we watched it in the afternoon to cement the concept further and there were a couple of experiments on there that they want to try tomorrow:
The first was tasting coloured water - red water flavoured with mint, yellow water flavoured with raspberry and green water flavoured with orange - and how your taste buds are deceived by your sight.
Second was a sound illusion - the sound 'Ba' pronounced with a mouth shaped for a 'Fa' sound will convince the listener they are hearing the sound 'Fa' not 'Ba' - sight overcoming hearing.

I'll let you know how they go.

1 comment:

PrettyGirlInAPlaceLikeThis said...

My husband used to like to buy the kool-aid that was colored the wrong colors for the flavors and watch people's reactions when he told them what flavor they were actually drinking

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