Collateral Murder

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Arrest over leaked video of US gunship attack - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The video really is shocking - especially since nothing I could see (except the camera) looked remotely like a weapon to me.  But the former soldier who has spoken out against attacking the rescue truck actually defends the original shooting. He appears to accept the identification of weapons in the group and also claims that his team did find some on the ground when they arrived (but doesn't say how many).

It would be useful to the US military if they could support these claims (and/or show that the victims were in a well announced no-entry combat zone). Since they haven't done that my guess is they can't - and so the charge of murder still stands.

Leaning Tower Illusion

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

My friend Gerry Pareja forwarded a link to this story from 'Improbable Research' about the first prize winner in the Neural Correlate Society's 2007 Illusion of the Year contest.

The image certainly is pretty cool. But to test the explanation I tried covering each image in turn and the effect was still there! I wondered if there was a perceptual delay effect in that our memory of one picture affects our interpretation of the other but then I also noticed that the effect changes depending on where the picture is in our field of view. If I position myself facing the right hand edge of the monitor, then the right hand tower seems more vertical and the left one almost seems to lean left or backwards. So the illusion may be more (or at least partly) due to the fact that in the absense of other visual cues in the picture we tend to interpret as if viewed from the direction at which we are looking at the picture - ie we interpret the picture edge as a window frame.


Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.