The Optical Illusion That Makes Static Lines Look Like They're Pulsing

Gianni Sarcone
Gianni Sarcone

Ready for an optical illusion? This one by artist Gianni Sarcone, which we spotted on Digg, is a pulsating wonder that’s almost guaranteed to trick your mind at first glance.

If you look at the pulsating image below, you likely see the colored lines changing in length. But in reality, the lines never change—only the direction of the arrows do. Based on the Müller-Lyer optical illusion—in which lines appear shorter or longer based on what direction the arrows at their endpoints are facing—the animated illusion consists of 10 lines radiating out from a central point, with arrows set at the midpoint and endpoint of each line. Each line is half red and half blue.

Lines with arrows on them appear to pulse.
Gianni Sarcone

As part of the animation, the arrows change direction, sometimes facing away from the center of the illustration, and sometimes facing toward it. The arrows of each line move in the opposite direction from one another, so that the middle arrow points toward the center when the arrow at the endpoint points outward, and vice versa.

The Müller-Lyer illusion shows that people perceive a line being longer if the arrow points away from its center, so when the arrows change direction on the animation, it looks like half of the line is getting longer, and half is getting shorter. In reality, though, only the direction the arrows are pointing changes.

You can see other versions of the illusion Sarcone created in different shapes here, and the code he used to create them here.

[h/t Digg]

When Mark Hamill Pitched George Lucas on Boba Fett Being Luke Skywalker's Mom

We've all had some over-the-top ideas when thinking about what we would do if we could helm a Star Wars movie. There are basically endless possibilities on where a franchise like that could go. And it seems even Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, has pitched a few ideas to George Lucas over the years.

For Return of the Jedi, Hamill apparently had a major idea for Boba Fett: He wanted the bounty hunter to be Luke's mom.

Hamill, who loves to engage with his fans via social media, confirmed that it was indeed true—and shared a lengthy explanation on how it all went down:

Hamill clearly envisioned Boba Fett being more central to the franchise, but ultimately (and understandably) couldn't sway Lucas with his admittedly not-so-great idea The fan-favorite character was recently believed to be getting his own standalone film, however Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy ​reportedly declared the project "100 percent dead" last month.

Although Luke Skywalker met his demise in The Last Jedi, Hamill has confirmed that he will be returning for Episode IX. We just hope he continues to pitch more ideas.

How Are Balloons Chosen for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?

iStock/RoBeDeRo
iStock/RoBeDeRo

The balloons for this year's Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade range from the classics like Charlie Brown to more modern characters who have debuted in the past few years, including The Elf On The Shelf. New to the parade this year are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But how does the retail giant choose which characters will appear in the lineup?

Balloon characters are chosen in different ways. For example, in 2011, Macy’s requested B. Boy after parade organizers saw the Tim Burton retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. (The company had been adding a series of art balloons to the parade lineup since 2005, which it called the Blue Sky Gallery.) When it comes to commercial balloons, though, it appears to be all about the Benjamins.

First-time balloons cost at least $190,000—this covers admission into the parade and the cost of balloon construction. After the initial year, companies can expect to pay Macy’s about $90,000 to get a character into the parade lineup. If you consider that the balloons are out for only an hour or so, that’s about $1500 a minute.

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