Winking, blinking, and peanut nods

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

...by Eugene Field

Memories, yes, misty watercolor memories of the way we were at the exact moment when we forgot to credit the library patron's payment of a $2.40 overdue fine. Who, what, where, when! How could this happen? Well, we were being chatty, personable, and trying to do too many things at once. And we queens of the circulation desk are using the "royal we" here!

Memory is so strange. I can see the woman's hand holding two dollar bills, then getting two quarters. I can't see the woman, or her clothes, or her wallet. I can't hear her voice, but we are chatting. It is morning, not afternoon. I give her a dime in change.

I can't remember the library patron yesterday, but I can remember a summer school immersion Spanish teacher in the basement of the Temple Building at the University of Nebraska when I was about eight years old. Anything we didn't understand, the teacher mimed or drew a cartoon on the chalkboard. All her people had peanut heads. Did I learn to speak Spanish? Not much. Did I learn that people's heads look like peanut shells? You bet.

Your brain is upstairs.


Plastic Easter eggheads


All your facial features are on the bottom part of the plastic egg. All your wits, such as they are, are housed in the upper part of the plastic egg.

Now let's think horizontally, since we still can't figure out what happened to the $2.40. If you draw a line from your forehead down to your chinny chin chin, then take half of your face and mirror it, you will have a space alien mouse. Faces that are super symmetrical awaken suspicion in our subconscious. Reality is not so mirror perfect.

A mostly symmetrical face is a sex appeal bonus for attracting a mate. It is a signal of physical and genetic health. A too perfect symmetry makes us suspicious. Danger, Will Robinson! Do not mate with the alien! I repeat, do not mate with the alien!

What makes us blink? Sometimes a stimulus makes us blink. That's called an attentional capture blink. Other times we blink more often in conversation, and less often when we read. Film editors have to be sure their cuts don't disrupt the believable rate of eye blinks for the character's activity. Our subconscious will notice an error. For animators this is even more critical to make a character believable.

Some other day we can consider nictating membranes in the eyes of crocodiles Be sure to stow your brain in the top half of the plastic egg and blink believably.

© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

I love your brain. Wherever it is.

Kim said...

Smiling. With an average degree of symmetry I hope!