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As legal scholars, we often find ourselves on a side of an issue where it is difficult to comprehend the other side. Many times, understanding the opposing side is a teleological triumph unto itself. In my Family Law classes, I encourage students to imagine the legal atmosphere of different eras and different places that seem foreign to our own. It is hard for them to imagine a world where interracial marriage was illegal (Loving v Virginia), or where convictions awaited those who distributed and/or used birth control (Griswold and Eisenstadt). Attempting to see and understand the other side--to truly appreciate its subjective logic--takes a bit of practice. On the first day of class, I showed this YouTube video to teach them about what Faulkner would call "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird." In this video of a twirling ballerina, the woman spins either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the dominant brain hemisphere of the user. Right brainers (imaginative, impetuous) will see her spinning clockwise; Left brainers (logical, practical) will see her turn counter-clockwise. Those who use both sides equally will see her switch in mid-air. It is interesting to see the reactions that students had, especially when someone sitting next to them saw the completely opposite thing. It's an excellent (and very entertaining) demonstration of understanding.
Posted by Kevin Maillard at 08:00 AM in Games | Permalink
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September 15, 2009 at 09:05 AM
I watched the video several times, each time focusing on a different part of the body (e.g., feet, legs, torso, head). Each time I concluded that the dancer was twirling in a clockwise position.
After several viewings I started to see four dancers, not two. But I blame that on my astigmatism.
To see the ballerina twirl in a counter-clockwise rotation? That would surprise me indeed. But I'll take your word for it, Kevin.
Tim Zinnecker |
September 15, 2009 at 09:17 AM
Helpful hint: If you stop it when she is facing forward or backward, and try to imagine that the foot that is "up" is the leading foot, that may help. Also, she will be facing the opposite direction of what you were looking at before.
Kevin Maillard |
September 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM
Love this!! Thanks Kevin. Saw her flip in mid-air, which means I use right and left brain power at the same time, right?
Funny. I always thought that should make someone a genius, but most of the time I'm just paralyzed by indecision.
Kathy Bergin |
September 15, 2009 at 01:34 PM
I also can only see her going clockwise. Interesting (and I'm making assumptions here) that on a legal blog at least a couple of us seem to see the ballerina going clockwise--suggesting that we are impulsive/creative, rather than logical. I expected the opposite. I desperately wish I could see it both ways....instead I feel like there's something wrong with my brain. frustrating!
September 15, 2009 at 03:10 PM
For those of us (like me) who saw her flip in the air, is there any consistency to which way she was twirling first? I saw her spinning counter-clockwise for most of the time, and right before the end I saw her flip and spin clockwise. Have others had the opposite experience? This is great - thanks for posting it.
Jacqui L. |
September 15, 2009 at 08:22 PM
Opposite for me. She twirled clockwise first - and flipped about three fourths through the video.
Tried it again with the same outcome.
Kathy Bergin |
September 15, 2009 at 10:41 PM
I've watched it a couple of times and saw her clockwise at first both times. But, averting my eyes downward just a bit so that she was more in the upper periphery of my vision made her switch to counter-clockwise. And, once I focused completely on her again, I couldn't get her to go back to clockwise. It was very odd.
Especially since most people think of me as in the logical camp, but I saw her a clockwise, thus imaginative and impetuous.
David S. Cohen |
September 16, 2009 at 04:58 PM
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