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Movies You'd Erase Your Memory to See Again for the First Time

Earlier this month we had a nice discussion of books you can't put down -- the comments led me to buy several new books, the first of which I've already failed to put down (thanks for the Shadow Divers tip, Capt Grayson!). But a comment left by septer leads us to a related discussion about movies. Here it is:

You should blog about such movies too, ones that you wish you could erase from your mind, just so you can relive the experience of watching it for the first time!

This is a particularly interesting point, because we're talking about something other than movies you love and like to watch over and over. There are lots of movies I love that I don't wish I could relive watching for the first time. For example, I feel like Rushmore is a touchstone -- I can watch it again every year or so and experience both nostalgia for the first viewing, as well as a new perspective on the movie provided by later viewings. But there are definitely some movies I'd zap my brain and watch again for the first time. Here are two favorites:

The Village - I'm not usually a big fan of twists, period pieces, or horror, but boy did I love watching this movie for the first time. In this M. Night Shyamalan picture, I actually figured out several of the twists long before they were revealed -- but I loved that feeling of figuring them out, putting together the pieces. Knowing that a twist was coming (based on seeing The Sixth Sense), I kept an eye out for clues, and became a very active viewer, questioning everything I saw and trying to fit bits of evidence into various theories...all while watching and enjoying the movie. When the twist (and subtwists) were finally revealed, it was deliciously gratifying, and I remember feeling physically tired and happy after the movie ended. Wow. Subsequent viewings have been okay, but I'll never get back that feeling of fresh engagement from the first time.

AdaptationAdaptation - Again, this movie had a lot going on structurally that wasn't clear to me at first. On the first viewing, I was utterly unaware of anything fishy going on until maybe a half hour in. At some point (perhaps during the scene -- no spoiler here -- when Kaufman describes movie-opener scenes going back to the dawn of time), aspects of the movie's plot and narrative perspective start to fray around the edges, and I started to wonder what was actually going on. Watching it come apart was a revelation for me, as I enjoyed the movie on at least two levels. On the surface it's a funny, touching, weird movie. Beneath that, there's a meta-narrative about writing and identity that floored me. Anyway, I do enjoy watching this one over again, but I feel like now it's more like studying a work of art -- trying to figure out how the writer put it together -- than the pure joy of experiencing the reveal for the first time.

So, what movies would you like to see again for the first time? (Please avoid posting plot- or twist-related spoilers in the comments!)

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Art
The Simple Optical Illusion That Makes an Image Look Like It's Drawing Itself
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Artist James Nolan Gandy invents robot arms that sketch intricate mathematical shapes with pen and paper. When viewed in real time, the effect is impressive. But it becomes even more so when the videos are sped up in a timelapse. If you look closely in the video below, the illustration appears to materialize faster than the robot can put the design to paper. Gizmodo recently explained how the illusion works to make it look like parts of the sketch are forming before the machine has time to draw them.

The optical illusion isn’t an example of tricky image editing: It’s the result of something called the wagon wheel effect. You can observe this in a car wheel accelerating down the highway or in propeller blades lifting up a helicopter. If an object makes enough rotations per second, it can appear to slow down, move backwards, or even stand still.

This is especially apparent on film. Every “moving image” we see on a screen is an illusion caused by the brain filling in the gaps between a sequence of still images. In the case of the timelapse video below, the camera captured the right amount of images, in the right order, to depict the pen as moving more slowly than it did in real life. But unlike the pen, the drawing formed throughout the video isn't subject to the wagon-wheel effect, so it still appears to move at full speed. This difference makes it look like the sketch is drawing itself, no pen required.

Gandy frequently shares behind-the-scenes videos of his mechanical art on his Instagram page. You can check out some of his non-timelapse clips like the one below to better understand how his machines work, then visit his website to browse and purchase the art made by his 'bots.

And if you think his stuff is impressive, make sure to explore some of the incredible art robots have made in the past.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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science
Narcissists Are More Likely to Be Compulsive Facebook Users
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Updating your Facebook status throughout the day is probably a sign you need a different hobby, but according to a new study, the habit can also indicate something else. As PsyPost reports, people with Facebook addiction are also likely to be narcissists.

For their recent study published in the journal PLOS One, scientists from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany followed the Facebook activity of 179 German students over the course of a year. They were looking for cases of so-called Facebook Addiction Disorder (FAD) based on the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, a system developed by University of Bergen researchers that measures factors like mood modification, withdrawal, and relapse in relation to Facebook use.

They wanted to find out whether FAD was linked to other mental health problems. In addition to gauging Facebook compulsion, they also surveyed subjects on their depression and anxiety levels, social support systems, physical health, narcissism, and general satisfaction with life. The results showed a strong correlation between FAD and narcissism. Rather than Facebook making its users more narcissistic, the researchers state that people with narcissistic personalities are at a greater risk of developing the social media addiction.

"Facebook use holds a particular meaning for narcissistic people," they write in the paper. "On Facebook, they can quickly initiate many superficial relationships with new Facebook-friends and get a large audience for their well-planned self-presentation. The more Facebook-friends they have, the higher is the possibility that they attain the popularity and admiration they are seeking; whereas in the offline world they might not be as popular since their interaction partners can quickly perceive their low agreeableness and exaggerated sense of self-importance."

The researchers also found a connection between Facebook addiction and higher levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.

Studies investigating Facebook Addiction Disorder have been conducted in the past, but there’s still not enough research to classify it as an official behavioral addiction. The researchers hope their work will lead to similar studies pinning down a link between FAD and mental health consequences.

[h/t PsyPost]

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