Thursday, February 11, 2010

Theme Thursday : Reflections Of A Magnetic Personality.


I am a bit of a rationalist really. Show me a mystery and I will point you in the direction of a scientific explanation. I may not understand the science, but I can put you in touch with someone who can understand it and that is more than enough for me. Show me a crop circle and I will show you where an obese cow sat down. Tell me about a ghost and I will tell you about a drafty window and a dirty lampshade. Fly me into the Bermuda Triangle and I will fly out again sipping my complimentary beer and reading my in-flight magazine.

There are, I suppose, a couple of exceptions to this general principle : phenomena which can easily be explained by rational scientific principles but to me just seem like magic. The first is magnetism. I dare say that if I look it up in Wikipedia, there will be a perfectly rational explanation for the force of magnetism, indeed, I can half remember explanations from school science lessons. But I cannot hold a magnet in my hand and feel that force it creates on another magnet or piece of metal without somehow thinking that here we have something beyond my primary school science comprehension. Take a common fridge magnet and hold it very close to the fridge door. Feel the force. That is something which I have difficulty either rationally explaining or rationally understanding.

The second is a reflection in a mirror. Now if ever there was magic, surely that must be it. A flat surface has the ability to produce a perfect likeness : a mirror image. Arrange your mirrors carefully and it creates a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. I suppose the reflections go on to infinity, but the mathematicians tell us that infinity does not exist and therefore how can a mirror? Why is it that my dog Amy can be driven to distraction by my tuneless whistling, but does not react when a perfect mirror image of herself suddenly appears in front of her? I drew all those little diagrams when I was at school : the light rays bouncing back, an image being formed. I know the scientific principle. But, for me, I still see something delightfully irrational when I look in a mirror. Something magical. Something simply beyond my understanding.

This week the theme for Theme Thursday is Mirror. Check out how other bloggers have interpreted the theme by visiting the Theme Thursday Blog. And a quick advert for the new Sepia Saturday Blog. Sign up now and join in with the Sepia Saturday fun this week.


32 comments:

  1. Well, I happen to like this magical mirror tunnel you're making here! Yikes, don't fall in!

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  2. Beautifully done. But, I think the real magic was in finding an airline that served complimentary beer. :)

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  3. I love magic and mirrors, even if illusery...Happy TT early!

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  4. great take on tt

    when i was a wee lass i had a book with a cover illustration of a reflection, inside a reflection, inside a reflection, inside a reflection, etc etc..... i would get lost in the picture and contemplate the mysteries of the universe....that photo and childhood experience forged a lifelong fascination with such wonderful illusions of infinity...

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  5. What's so wonderful about this captivating post is that it doesn't read at all as a post that was trying to fit a theme. In fact, I didn't know it was until I was almost at the end. Like you, I consider myself a rationalist, but there are always those things that don't quite make sense...at least to us.

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  6. Nice post Alan. Odd to see you disappearing away into the distance like though. Seen any white rabbits lately?

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  7. It's why the first people who saw a mirror totally lost it - what was this magic, this witchcraft!? :)

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  8. Nice post. Nice to have you back! My dog barks at his reflection and tries to look behind the mirror - his vision doesn't seem to be very good.

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  9. cool post alan...and you seem to only have one eye in the pic...happy tt!

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  10. Alan, When science fails, there is always magic!!
    -J

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  11. Tracey : I agree, it surprised me. Many thanks to Thomas Cook and P&O.
    Martin H : In this snow, all rabbits are white rabbits.
    H-H : How true Jayne.

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  12. Yes,A Mirror holds plenty magic.Strange how we lose the wonder so soon.......&,i guess, we have all other sorts of Magic surrounding us that we take for granted and (then)ignore.Tis A Shame.
    Yes, Alan,Us Halifax Lads Are A Reflective Lot!

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  13. I agree, Alan. If we pause long enough, we start to realize there are so many things unfathomable in our world. Photography freaks me out if I think about it too long. Don't even get into transatlantic telephone calls or God forbid; do not speak of the internet!
    I think Willow might have something to say about your ghost-theory, though.

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  14. Alan, did Alice not hesitate upon the looking glass ere entering? And trying to explain about the non-existence of infinity is like trying to digest quantum mechanics~OY!

    Great snap, by-the-way :)

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  15. ...I believe there are hints of magic all around us:)...

    I love this take on TT...

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  16. Thank you for taking the time to once more visit my blog. A mirror is true magic. Happy TT

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  17. Alan, Great creative take on the theme here. Do you think maybe this is how they make the NYC Rockettes look soooo unison...just using one girl? You neva neva know! I have met some great new friends through you...they think the world of you and for good reason... you're the man! Have a great weekend! Stay warm and safe! :) The Bach

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  18. infinity does not exist

    Uh oh. I told someone that their blog was infinitely better than someone elses. So I've actually just told them that it doesn't exist?...

    Oops! ;-)

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  19. I love the photo! You image seems to go on indefinetly. I count six images of you in the mirrors. Very clever!

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  20. Well, do we HAVE to have understanding of EVERYTHING? There is some excitement in a little magic yes?

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  21. i guess that's why mirrors are always popping up in fantasy fiction and fairy tales. They are kind of magical. Your little doggie is cute.

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  22. A lot to ponder here--experience defies explanation....

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  23. Complimentary beer? Show me!

    (Well done, by the way.)

    Sometimes, the best mirror I’ve got is the look in my daughter’s eyes.

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  24. Oooh..love the picture that goes on and on! I used to do that when I was a kid...imagining the hundreds of repeats within each other. Delightful post, Alan...we're so glad you are back! :)

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  25. alan--well it seems we are on the same wavelength --particles flying through the air reflecting--very cool. BTW, I always wondered about the crop circles..thanks for clearing that up! Love your blogs!

    Happy TT-c

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  26. Kitty got a shock when she saw herself in the midcrowave door and did the archetypical arched back. I hasten to add she was on the outside of the microwave, not in it.

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  27. Infinity exists! Perhaps that what your dog realizes when she looks upon her own reflection.

    Eh? Maybe? Something to ponder...

    By the way, utilizing a suggestion you made a while back, my word verification for this comment is "roovinjo."

    Roovinjo: adjective: having the characteristic of enjoying the state of perpetual motion.

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  28. Ah the infinite mirror! They haunt me every time I get into the lift at work, full surround mirrors that go on for ever! Just a little spooky but definitely quite magical!

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  29. Alan, problem fixed...blooger glitch!

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  30. I seem to remember that the infinite series of mirror reflections was the "scientific" basis for time travel postulated by Flann O'Brien in the wonderfully surrealistic novel "The Third Policeman". There is a nice synopsis of the theory here

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  31. Frank : You get the same idea of time travel if you gaze into some of those mirrors in Dublin bars after a few pints of Guinness.

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  32. And Frank, thanks for pointing out what seems like a great book - and a great blog.

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