24 Frames Per Second

24 Frames Per Second

24 Frames Per Second                                              October 2018

When I was in the US Navy, I was a movie-projector repairman among my other duties. We went to school to learn how to deal with all the things that could go wrong. There we learned that the human eye can detect changes at a 1/20th per second rate. So the individual pictures in a movie, when shown on celluloid film, are delivered at a rate of 24 frames per second. This is just enough to trick the eye into believing it is motion and not a collection of individual still shots. It is more complicated but that is the simple explanation.

In the brain is section “MT” where the brain recognizes movement as a change in a particular direction. The MT doesn’t care about the color, shape, or size of an item, only that it has moved. There are other parts of the brain that are distinguishing hues, relative sizes, and outlines/borders. Once all of these fire off, the brain then re-assembles these detections. You get the image and or the sense of motion.

Discernments about the things of this world that surround us are colored by our 1,000,000 plus observations each day.   As we age, it becomes necessary to put all of that data into a usable format. Sometimes it is called pigeon holing, memory, or prejudice. When we have a fear of something real, like watching our marshmallow drip off the coat hanger into the campfire, the fear is justifiable because of an actual event from the past. Other times the fear is unreal like being afraid of a person because he has a mustache. Oh, there may have been a mustachioed person who did you wrong in the past, but that doesn’t mean that every person with a mustache is going to harm you. That is called paranoia.

Now let’s look again at the movies, specifically a scary movie. One of the first I ever saw was “The Mole People.” I was nine years old and it scared the liver out of me.   Special effects were horribly done; I had never seen a mole person before, but I had an experience at the age of seven which tied into it. In the swamp near my home in New River, North Carolina, I sank into quicksand.   My best friend saved me. At nine, to see these mole people pulling innocent bypassers down into the sand pits tied into my real fear.

This year, we have 24-hour “news” channels. With only about an hour of “real news” (much like the evening of news of the 1950s), the broadcasters have a tough problem. What do they do with the other 23 hours? They must create something, and more importantly, something that makes us tune in repeatedly to see how things are working out. The more sensational the better and thus the birth of “fake news.” It is usually gossip taken to its lowest station.

The fear this type of news creates in listeners bothers me. Overly concerned about things in danger, which have no impact on our lives, distracts us from the need for vital discomfort about things which will. I should be more interested in what my daughter did at school today than in what some celebrity had to say about their divorce.   They claim my house will be under water in AD 2100, when I will be 153 years old. This shouldn’t bother me nearly as much as my friend’s one-year-old baby girl that has cancer. I am unplugging the news so that I can concentrate on reality where my actions and prayers belong.

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