Monday, December 4, 2017

Prey Eyes

There's a neat little trick in the environmental-education world to teach kids about one of the adaptive differences between predator and prey species.  Predators, broadly speaking, will have eyes that face forward, giving them a large area of overlap in the field of vision of each eye (aka "binocular vision") and, therefore, better depth perception.  Prey species, on the other hand, tend to have eyes located more laterally, which sacrifices binocular vision for greater peripheral vision--which is probably a good trade if your life depends on your ability to see an attacker in time to flee. 

To demonstrate this to kids, form "OK signs" with both of your hands, then put the circles formed by thumb and forefinger up to your eyes.  Your palms will force you to look straight ahead.  This is "Predator Vision."  Now take your hands down and cross them, and place the right OK sign over the left eye and vice-versa.  Now your vision is directed outward to either side--"Prey Vision."  Of course, this doesn't actually increase your peripheral vision, but it does focus your attention in the appropriate direction.

I think about this little mnemonic while I'm jogging. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017


I was sad yesterday, disappointed and insecure-feeling and restless.  I have a ritual for this, though I'm not claiming it's a good one: I loop-listen to sad songs on my earbuds to keep anything from distracting me from my mood.  And because misery loves masochism, yesterday I took my show to Trader Joe's.  ON. A. SATURDAY. I know you feel me.

I was wandering through the dairy section (none of which I can actually consume anymore), when an older woman stopped me abruptly with her hand on my arm.  I wondered if I had done something wrong, and fumbled with an earbud quickly so I could hear what looked to be a lecture brewing.