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(Forbes)   I never realized I was misunderstanding how mirrors work my entire life   (forbes.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Left-handedness, Handedness, Mirror, Right-handedness, Clockwise, Reflection, spinning ball, left hand  
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2811 clicks; posted to STEM » on 02 Jul 2021 at 3:48 AM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



52 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


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2021-07-02 2:45:11 AM  
I'm not high enough
 
2021-07-02 2:50:39 AM  
Somebody who has never taken physics would be baffled.
 
2021-07-02 3:13:39 AM  
Chris Porter - Stupid People
Youtube blBGMUjlLiQ
 
2021-07-02 3:21:09 AM  
No one said anything about a ball being involved!
 
2021-07-02 3:42:15 AM  
And now I've gone cross eyed.
 
2021-07-02 3:56:50 AM  
A very small ball
bounces off of a perfect
wall. That's a mirror.
 
2021-07-02 4:10:43 AM  

BadReligion: And now I've gone cross eyed.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-02 5:31:52 AM  
They don't reverse left and right or up and down. They reverse front and back.

The only reason for confusion is that we compare objects that are reflected with objects that are rotated.
 
2021-07-02 5:34:02 AM  
It's the exact same reason that when you stand facing someone, their left and right are reversed to you but they don't appear to be standing upside down.
 
2021-07-02 5:55:24 AM  
"That's what Matt Foley wants to know"

cdn.costumewall.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-02 5:56:18 AM  
I couldn't reach the end of that article because every ad I hit slowed my scrolling on my phone until about three quarters of the way it just stopped bothering. I'm guessing it's not loading ads til you reach them, and not killing the ads you've passed.

It actually stopped a bit sooner but that was when a video ad kicked in and I was able to stop it and scroll a bit further.

Modern websites are cancer.
 
2021-07-02 7:28:16 AM  
When you raise your left hand, your reflection raises their right hand.

Uh, no.
 
2021-07-02 7:41:14 AM  
Here's how to understand why you are perceiving mirrors the way you do:

- Get a piece of thin paper... tracing paper, onion skin paper, etc.
- Write something on the paper. Flip the paper and make sure you can see the writing through the paper
- Stand in front of a mirror
- Hold the paper in front of you so you can read the writing on the paper normally
- Keep holding the paper that way and now look at its reflection in the mirror

The writing on the paper will not appear reversed. The mirror isn't flipping anything.

Now imagine someone standing behind you and to one side. Their image in the mirror will appear "flipped" right-to-left. Why? Because you are flipped right-to-left. To observe the person directly, you have to turn around. That's the only "flipping" that's happening.
 
2021-07-02 7:42:49 AM  
Pro Tip: It is dry season and risk of wild fires is very high. Do not go out and leave the stupid burning.
 
2021-07-02 7:43:17 AM  
Farking mirrors, how do they work?
 
2021-07-02 7:55:39 AM  
No more pot for me, dude.
 
2021-07-02 8:03:45 AM  
QI covered this in the first 5 minutes of this episode, and did it visually:

QI XL S18E08 - Series R - HD - Reflections (Extended version)
Youtube rVGsCJF-mHQ
 
2021-07-02 8:05:07 AM  

cman: No one said anything about a ball being involved!


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size


Not just one...
 
2021-07-02 8:09:56 AM  

JediKangaroo: They don't reverse left and right or up and down. They reverse front and back.

The only reason for confusion is that we compare objects that are reflected with objects that are rotated.


Left and right are defined relative to the direction you are facing. If you look into a mirror, your mirror image faces the opposite direction of you, so from its vantage point, left and right are opposite of what they are for you.

Mirrors do not reverse east and west, or up and down, or any other direction defined not in terms of your own facing direction.
 
2021-07-02 8:19:54 AM  
Just a friendly reminder that someone got paid to write that.
 
2021-07-02 8:28:23 AM  

Metastatic Capricorn: Here's how to understand why you are perceiving mirrors the way you do:


Shorter version. Put your hand up near the mirror. Notice that every point on your hand matches its twin in the mirror.

The image is not flipped at all.
 
2021-07-02 8:35:05 AM  
it wouldn't be so confusing if not for human bilateral symmetry
 
2021-07-02 8:36:18 AM  
I've been misunderestimating them.
 
2021-07-02 8:42:30 AM  
The only thing that'll flip ya is Fenster.

He'll flip ya HD
Youtube Rntm3yDAQuM
 
2021-07-02 8:44:29 AM  
If you look in a mirror and the image is flipped, you might be a reverse vampire.
 
2021-07-02 8:59:44 AM  
This article is balls.
 
2021-07-02 9:18:08 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-02 10:29:49 AM  
That is absolutely the worst explanation of mirrors that I've ever read. And I've read them all.

There was a terrific thread here on Fark maybe fifteen years ago where this issue was debated to length. Many misconceptions about mirrors were vanquished that week, and many Farkers, including me, had Ah-ha moments.

Wish I could find that thread, it was fun.
 
2021-07-02 10:36:12 AM  

Skyfrog: When you raise your left hand, your reflection raises their right hand.

Uh, no.


it's not just politics people are redacted about.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2021-07-02 10:51:05 AM  

Gordon Bennett: It's the exact same reason that when you stand facing someone, their left and right are reversed to you but they don't appear to be standing upside down.


thumbs.gfycat.comView Full Size

Are you sure?
 
2021-07-02 11:02:45 AM  
If this is confusing to some people, explaining why a back-up camera's image is reversed would be pointless or it might actually help.
 
2021-07-02 11:17:06 AM  

plecos: If you look in a mirror and the image is flipped, you might be a reverse vampire.


Reverse vampire, where instead of sucking, you blow.
 
2021-07-02 11:40:37 AM  
That this is published by a magazine like Forbes is proof positive that our education system has failed whatever group Forbes sees as its core audience.  That it's written so poorly is proof positive that our education system has failed the group that includes the writing and editorial staff.
 
2021-07-02 11:53:24 AM  

b0rscht: Farking mirrors, how do they work?


Same as magnets .. And gravity .. Maybe ..
 
2021-07-02 12:11:29 PM  

Driedsponge: Just a friendly reminder that someone got paid to write that.


And then the same trash who wrote it submitted it here and (probably) self greened it

My question is that when fark is starting to blacklist aggressive paywall sites, why does it still let forbes through?
 
2021-07-02 12:16:57 PM  

Skyfrog: When you raise your left hand, your reflection raises their right hand.
Uh, no.


I DRTFA, but I saw this show where a man who had lost his hand was taught to deal with the phantom pains by using mirror therapy. They put a mirror up next to his working hand, and he looked at it, and it was like his other hand. So then he could use and stretch the missing hand until the pains went away. Which was his real hand. It was trippy.

They did this mirror therapy on him a few hours a week, and he was a changed man. It was making him crazy. Also he was a vet, so that didn't help.
 
2021-07-02 12:26:28 PM  
I understood mirrors just fine, until I read some of the overly-complicated (or just plain wrong) explanations in this thread.
 
2021-07-02 12:51:29 PM  
An excellent example on why properly formulating your research question is important.
 
2021-07-02 1:51:56 PM  

lobotomy survivor: Mirrors do not reverse east and west, or up and down, or any other direction defined not in terms of your own facing direction.



"Front to back" is defined in terms of which direction you're facing...
 
2021-07-02 3:57:02 PM  

Embden.Meyerhof: lobotomy survivor: Mirrors do not reverse east and west, or up and down, or any other direction defined not in terms of your own facing direction.


"Front to back" is defined in terms of which direction you're facing...


It is, and consequently, it is reversed for your mirror image. If you are looking into a mirror due north of you, then front to back is towards the south for you, and towards the north for your mirror image.
 
2021-07-02 3:58:45 PM  

JediKangaroo: They don't reverse left and right or up and down. They reverse front and back.

The only reason for confusion is that we compare objects that are reflected with objects that are rotated.


You want to blow your mind, write the following in all caps on a piece of paper:

CARBON DIOXIDE

and hold the paper flat (i.e., horizontal) in front of a mirror so that you can read the words left to right, then look at the piece of paper in the mirror.

I guarantee it will not be reversed left to right.
 
2021-07-02 4:00:09 PM  

Embden.Meyerhof: lobotomy survivor: Mirrors do not reverse east and west, or up and down, or any other direction defined not in terms of your own facing direction.


"Front to back" is defined in terms of which direction you're facing...


Mirrors reverse along an axis perpendicular to the plane of the mirror.
 
2021-07-02 4:20:43 PM  

Deathbymeteor: QI covered this in the first 5 minutes of this episode, and did it visually:

[YouTube video: QI XL S18E08 - Series R - HD - Reflections (Extended version)]


Nice episode. What I learned is that if you stand close to a mirror and look at one of your eyes, then switch your gaze to the other eye, you will not see your eyes move, even though they are clearly moving. Freaky.

Also an interesting mirror fact, most people don't like photos of themselves because they don't look like their mirror image. This explains the popularity of the bathroom mirror selfie.
 
2021-07-02 5:07:04 PM  
RED RUM
 
2021-07-02 10:23:10 PM  
It only flips the way you turn around to look at it. You turn on your "yaw" axis to see yourself in a mirror, therefore the image appears flipped left to right with top and bottom correct. If you were to turn around on your "pitch" axis to see yourself in a mirror, i.e. stand on your head, your top and bottom would appear flipped with left and right the same.
 
2021-07-02 10:36:02 PM  
Huh? Flat mirrors don't flip or reverse anything.

They just pass on what they're given at the same angle they're given it

If you stand in front of someone and hand them a ball with your left hand, they take it with their right. If they hand it back, the same thing happens.

Replace ball with photons of light and person with flat mirror.
 
2021-07-02 10:47:19 PM  

dyhchong: Huh? Flat mirrors don't flip or reverse anything.

They just pass on what they're given at the same angle they're given it

If you stand in front of someone and hand them a ball with your left hand, they take it with their right. If they hand it back, the same thing happens.

Replace ball with photons of light and person with flat mirror.


Only if you turn around to face them by turning around on your vertical axis. Your left is their right, your top is their top. If you turn around to face them by flipping upside down and turning around on your horizontal axis, your right is their right, but your top is now their bottom.
 
2021-07-02 10:53:49 PM  

Alien Robot: dyhchong: Huh? Flat mirrors don't flip or reverse anything.

They just pass on what they're given at the same angle they're given it

If you stand in front of someone and hand them a ball with your left hand, they take it with their right. If they hand it back, the same thing happens.

Replace ball with photons of light and person with flat mirror.

Only if you turn around to face them by turning around on your vertical axis. Your left is their right, your top is their top. If you turn around to face them by flipping upside down and turning around on your horizontal axis, your right is their right, but your top is now their bottom.


i.kym-cdn.comView Full Size
 
2021-07-03 1:32:24 AM  
And here I thought they worked by reflecting scattered light into our eyes.

Thanks internet!
 
2021-07-03 1:39:49 AM  
That is a lot of words to explain that you are looking at the back of an image of yourself in a mirror.
 
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