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Optical illusion anarchy.

By Thom Wong 20 Jun 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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I hate 3-D magic pictures. I've never, in my 30 some odd years on the planet, been able to see what those squiggly lines are supposed to be. I know somewhere in that eyesore is a dolphin flying through space, or a unicorn creating world peace, or a mermaid catapulting stars into a giant pile of Jell-O. In any event, I believe my inability to gain the level of joy other people seem to get from those spirograph acid trips directly explains my hatred for optical illusions.

But one illusion I've always enjoyed is the "Is it a face...or a vase?" that always made its way into those "100 Optical Illusions to Impress and Baffle Your Friends" books. I like it because it's so simple and largely unnecessary -- you're never really going to need to distinguish between those two things in any situation you're likely to come across.

It's a little amazing, then, that a company would find a way to create something both beautiful and a little magical out of this parlour trick. Turn Your Head will take your profile and lathe a pirolette out of wood; the result is surprisingly effective -- especially for children. If money is no object, you could conceivably create one for each of the first 12 years of your child's life, simultaneously making you the coolest and scariest parents on the block.

But I think I'm going to send in a profile of Tom Cruise's head. And then launch it through a unicorn into space.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Tuesday and Thursday on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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