Sunday, January 22, 2012


Laurel: “Shakespeare.”
Hardy: “Longfellow.”
Laurel: “What goes up the chimney?”
Hardy: “Smoke. What comes down?”
Laurel: “Santy Claus. ...Have you seen this one?...”

You’re confused already, aren’t ya? I could tell by that blank look on your face.

That bit o' dialogue comes from a 1936 Laurel & Hardy movie called ‘Our Relations’. The drinking gang I used to hang with – The League Of Soul Crusaders – we loved all the old Laurel & Hardy movies (although W.C. Fields was really the house hero!)

Laurel & Hardy, W.C. Fields, Deputy Dog Dawg cartoons, Mickey’s Big Mouth malt liquor, and the “Come On, Eileen” music video – those are the things that kept us alive throughout 1982.

Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (HQ Audio)

In ‘Our Relations’, Laurel & Hardy would go through that “Shakespeare/Longfellow” dialogue exchange every time they would find themselves saying the same thing at the same time. The “Have you seen this one?” bit at the end is actually the pay-off joke that comes later in the movie. But I’m not going to explain it to ya because none of that has anything at all to do with this blog bit!

A couple years ago, my friend The Flying Aardvark sent me this picture of a rotating woman. It came from website. [See below]

According to that site, this rotating woman is a . . .


Here’s what they say about it:

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain.

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

If counter-clockwise, then you use more of the left side of the brain.

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
forms strategies

Most of us would see the dancer turning counter-clockwise, though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

I can’t even remember anymore which direction I first saw the woman rotating in. But I do recall that in a minute or so, I saw that she had reversed herself and was suddenly spinning in the opposite direction.

Within a few minutes I found that I could mentally manipulate her and make her turn in either direction I chose. Then it became a game for me to see how quickly I could reverse her direction.

I got to the point where I could (and still can) make her reverse her direction before she’s able to make a full revolution. I like to make her swing her forward leg back and forth, back and forth. But the question is, of course, which leg is forward, the right one or the left one? It depends upon which direction the mind sees her turning, doesn’t it?

What’s really fun is to read all the comments people have left on the website about this. Some people swear the woman rotates in only one direction; others swear she reverses her direction every couple of minutes; and some are certain the whole thing is rigged in some way.

It’s not rigged; she’s not changing her direction from time to time. She really can be seen to revolve both clockwise and counter-clockwise. Or even, as I said, not revolving at all, but merely swinging her forward leg back and forth.

I’m not sure that I’m buying any of the Right Brain/Left Brain explanation for how a person views the image moving. All I can state for certain is that this woman has a pretty nice body . . .

With you in no dress
Oh, my thoughts, I confess
Verge on dirty
Ah, come on, Eileen!

So, how do you see her moving? Clockwise? Counter-clockwise? Both at different times? Jus’ swingin’ her front leg back and forth?

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


Arlee Bird said...

I've seen this before and stared at it. Yes she does have a nice body and that's what I see first. What does that say about my brain? She comes across as turning clockwise to me, but I do see her change directions sometimes--am I really doing anything or is the picture just changing?

Love the Eileen song, but never was overwhelmed by the video although I always watched it when it came on MTV back when they used to show music videos.

Wrote By Rote

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>...Yes she does have a nice body and that's what I see first. What does that say about my brain?

It says that you have a normal male mind. (Not that there's anything right with that.)

>>...but I do see her change directions sometimes--am I really doing anything or is the picture just changing?

I assure you the change takes place solely in your perception because the picture remains constant; she's repeating the same motion 100% of the time.

As for the "Come On, Eileen" music video... we watched it over and over and over again only because none of us was ever sober enough to get up from the couch (or floor) and change the channel.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...

I'm not very good at this, but OK I'll play.

"Come on an whisper
tell me I'm the one"

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Hey, that’s not the next line!
You’re not playing by the rules.

You were s’posed to write:
“And it's hard to win when you always lose.”

Or something really good like that.

Well, if you ain’t gonna play fair then I’m just gonna write a song all by myself. Let’s see here... uhm... There’s a – man? Uh, no. A dog? Nah. A lady? YEAH! A LADY! There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and... uh... hmmm... Nah, never mind – that ain’t no good; that’ll never make a song!

I guess I won’t write no song after all. Hell, I ain’t no songwriter. I’m a... dentist! Yeah, that’s what I want to be – a dentist! It’s so interesting, you have no idea. There’s molars and bicuspids and...

~ Dr. Stephen

Em-Musing said...

So, I've spent 15 minutes watching the lady spin different directions. Still not sure if I did it or not.

farawayeyes said...

You didn't say anything about rules, besides they were 'made to be broken'.

If I wrote that next line, I would be writing a song that's already been written. Where's the adventure in that? (Unless you think a lawsuit would be adventuresome.)By writing the last line, it leaves things open for a brand new verse.

So...are we collaborating or what?

Please don't bring up the dentist. I'm afraid of the dentist. You're not intentionally trying to scare me, are you?

Oh, one more thing. Not near as 'balanced' as you. Totally 'right brained' but you probably already knew that.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well, if you're able to see her spin in both directions then (according to someone claiming to be an authority) you are using both sides of your brain to an equal degree.

I'm not sure I put much stock in this theory though for this reason: I have been able to explain to a couple of folks, who originally saw her spinning in only one direction, HOW and WHEN to focus on a particular part of the woman's front leg, and thereby mentally MAKE her spin the other way.

So, does this really have anything to do with Right Brain Vs. Left Brain dominance? Or is it just a matter of discovering How, When, and Where to focus?

Either way, it is kind of fun to exercise the brain through the eyes by attempting to force her to change direction at will.

To those who haven't yet mastered that trick, it probably seems impossible. But not only is it possible, I have done it so many times now that often I find it MORE DIFFICULT to allow her to make a full revolution. When she reaches the halfway mark, I now usually see her reverse direction automatically!

Strange how the eyes/mind operate.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...


>>...rules ... were 'made to be broken'.

Well, that's true. A lot of them anyway.

>>...If I wrote that next line, I would be writing a song that's already been written. Where's the adventure in that?

It wasn't supposed to be an adventure; it was supposed to be EASY! (And preposterous.)

>>...So...are we collaborating or what?

Well... I guess not. I work (and drink) alone.

>>...Totally 'right brained'

You mean you've not yet ever seen her spinning counter-clockwise? Not even for a few moments?

Because there are some Left Brain attributes listed there that I would have thought applied to you quite a bit as well.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I just attempted without success to leave a comment on your blog. And I'm pretty sure I know why I was unable to...

...Please read the blog bit just below this one titled "NOTICE: TO ALL MY BLOG FRIENDS".

You have your Comment format set at "Full Page", don't you? You might want to consider changing that as you'll possibly receive more comments if you do. Thanks to a bug, some people will probably be unable to get through to you until your Comment format is the "Pop-Up Window" variety.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

farawayeyes said...

OK,I was able to finally make her go the other direction-due to the hint you gave to EM. Now, I feel so ordinary! **wink,wink**

Your loss on the collaboration. Don't you know; "you should never drink when you're all alone, or with somebody else"

OK, you can shoot me, because that's from a song and I can't remember the name or whom it is by, but consider this as me giving them credit anyway.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I only drink when I'm out-of-town or in the city where I live. (Original!)

'Muddy' is "flying in!" They said he should be arriving at a mail box near you on Friday.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'