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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Moving trains: a puzzle

   
Author Topic: Moving trains: a puzzle
Lisa
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My brother called me about 10 minutes from the train. He was sitting with two other guys, and they noticed that the train next to them was making them feel like they were moving in ways that they weren't really moving. Like it'd speed up a little, and they'd feel like they were going backwards.

So they decided that there must be a word for that sensation. And my brother called me to ask if I knew what it was. I didn't.

He called me back a couple of minutes ago to tell me that they'd figured it out. I was wondering if anyone here knows what it is.

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Sean Monahan
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Is it a "virtual sensation"?

I used to get that feeling when I was a kid on road trips with my family. We'd be lying on the backseat to snooze and out the window I could see the top of the car next to us on the highway, but I couldn't see the ground or any other scenery. We, moving at a constant speed, would approch the other car from behind, and as we pulled up beside it, it would speed up and pull back ahead of us. From my point of view, half asleep, my mind assumed the other car was stationary, which would mean we approached the other car, slowed, stopped, then started moving backwards. But my bodily sensation didn't agree with what I was seeing.

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HollowEarth
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awesome?
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Tante Shvester
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The term is "apparent motion".
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rivka
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Darn! From the thread title, I was expecting a word problem.
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Lisa
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Actually, it seems the word is vection. I'd never heard it before.
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aiua
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Train A, traveling 70 miles per hour (mph), leaves Westford heading toward Eastford, 260 miles away. At the same time Train B, traveling 60 mph, leaves Eastford heading toward Westford. When should the passengers jump off? How long will it take rescue workers traveling 100mph to reach them if their headquarters are 20 miles due north of Eastford?
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rivka
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quote:
When should the passengers jump off?
When they arrive at their destination, silly.



Lisa, every dictionary I just checked either has never heard of "vection" or says it's obsolete. I agree with Esther.

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Lisa
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I thought he made it up. But then I googled it, and it seemed to fit.
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rivka
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The term is accurate. It just doesn't get used much.
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aiua
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Oops, I forgot the whole on the same bit of track part. -hangs up cool rescue gear-
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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
When should the passengers jump off?
When they arrive at their destination, silly.
Actually, they should never jump off, but detrain in an orderly fashion, mindful of the gap.

[Smile]

-Bok

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
When should the passengers jump off?
When they arrive at their destination, silly.



Lisa, every dictionary I just checked either has never heard of "vection" or says it's obsolete. I agree with Esther.

I checked the oed. It says the term is obsolete and rare and defines it as "the action of carrying" which does not fit.

If I google "vection" I get a definition from answers dot com that seems to fit but I consider this a far less authoritative source than the oed.

I'm going to assume that this is a term used in some highly specialized area, like virtual reality, which has not yet been accepted as standard english.

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The Rabbit
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There is another interesting motion phenomenon. If you stare at a waterfall look to cliff (or what ever is next to the waterfall) , it will appear as though the rock wall is flowing.

Does anyone know what this phenomenon is called?

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The Rabbit
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Nevermind. I found it. It's referred to as "motion after-effect" (MAE) or sometimes the waterfall illusion.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
the waterfall illusion.

Yeah, that's what I've always heard it called.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I checked the oed. It says the term is obsolete and rare and defines it as "the action of carrying" which does not fit.

If I google "vection" I get a definition from answers dot com that seems to fit but I consider this a far less authoritative source than the oed.

I'm going to assume that this is a term used in some highly specialized area, like virtual reality, which has not yet been accepted as standard english.

You're probably right. I think the OED just hasn't caught up yet. Though some of these aren't about gaming/VR, and definitely aren't obsolete.

Linear vection shows a retinal frame of reference

Body Sway Induced by Depth Linear Vection in Reference to Central and Peripheral Visual Field

Orthographic and perspective projection influences linear vection in large screen virtual environments

Vection: the contributions of absolute and relative visual motion

I think linear vection matches that sense of moving because of visual cues better than anything else.

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Kwea
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I love hatrack. At least in part because of threads like this. I thought I was the only one who reacted to things IRL this way. :::hugs everyone:::
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BlackBlade
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I will say it's nice to have a word for something I experienced countless times growing up.

Is there a word for the phenomenon where you stare at a carpet with some sort of dot or line pattern and it looks like the pattern is moving just alittle all over? Sorta like there are worms crawling about under the carpet.

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Xavier
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I knew I'd seen "vection" before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vection

Came across this page when down a wiki-tree on day a while back. I think I started with the Kennedy family, which led to JFK Jr, which led to this page.

Edit: "Vection" is the term used on the FAA brochure to pilots on the references part of that wikipedia page. I'd say its pretty definitively the correct word. It's not a common word, probably because there aren't a whole lot of contexts in which its needed.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Is there a word for the phenomenon where you stare at a carpet with some sort of dot or line pattern and it looks like the pattern is moving just alittle all over? Sorta like there are worms crawling about under the carpet.
You mean other than hallucination?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
Is there a word for the phenomenon where you stare at a carpet with some sort of dot or line pattern and it looks like the pattern is moving just alittle all over? Sorta like there are worms crawling about under the carpet.
You mean other than hallucination?
I don't think so, have you ever tried it? I've done the experiment numerous times and just about every carpet does it. The movements are subtle, and it takes like 4 seconds for me to start seeing it.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by Sean Monahan:
...We, moving at a constant speed, would approach the other car from behind, and as we pulled up beside it, it would speed up and pull back ahead of us...

Why do people do things like this? It happens all the time. Even worse is when I'm just driving in the right lane, cruise control set at the speed limit, and someone going about 5 mph faster than me starts to pass me on the left but once they pull up next to me they slow down and keep pace with me, maybe half a car length ahead or behind me. So now if I want to put some space between me and this other car, I either have to drop below the speed limit or speed up and risk a ticket.

What is the purpose of doing this? Is there a purpose? I've just gotten to the point that when someone does that to me, I slowly start to drift into their lane. They usually get the hell away from me then.

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aspectre
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quote:
quote:
quote:
Is there a word for the phenomenon where you stare at a carpet with some sort of dot or line pattern and it looks like the pattern is moving just alittle all over? Sorta like there are worms crawling about under the carpet.
You mean other than hallucination?
I don't think so, have you ever tried it? I've done the experiment numerous times and just about every carpet does it. The movements are subtle, and it takes like 4 seconds for me to start seeing it.
Minor variation on the Enigma illusion.
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Lisa
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How cool is that! I can make it spin in either direction at will. But I can't make one circle spin clockwise and the other counterclockwise. Interesting...

That is a wicked cool painting. I wonder how much a print would cost.

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