The Eye is Iconic
It is the primary means of perception across the whole spectrum of the animal kingdom. The eye is also a magnificent optical instrument and, in itself, an object of unequalled beauty.
This exploration of all things optical also includes a look at the London Eye; the number one tourist attraction in London.
The word Eye is also a keystone of language. In English, the word Eye has many rich and varied meanings in a wide range of phrases and sayings, such as 'Twinkle in the Eye' or 'Giving someone the Eye' or 'I Only Have Eyes for You'. The Eye is also at the centre. For example, the Eye of the Storm or the Eye of the Hurricane.
Eyes have many colours:
- Catch the early morning flight, the Red Eye
- Blue eyes looking at me
- And don't it make my brown eyes blue?
- I'll give you a black eye!
- And did you catch the Bond Movie, Golden Eye?
Eyes are active in business, commerce and everyday life:
- Do you have an eye for a bargain?
- She has an eye for antiques.
- Are you my eyes and ears?
- Have you got your eye in yet?
- I went into this business with my eyes open wide.
- She was wide eyed with excitement.
- Keep an eye out for this man.
- I have my eye on you boy!
- Private Eye
- Eye Spy!
The Eye also has a special meaning in spiritual and mystical thought. The Third Eye. The Inner Eye. The All-Seeing Eye. In The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkin, the Dark Lord is perceived as a disembodied eye seeking the Ring and the Ring Bearer.
The Bible begins: "And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. "
Light is a symbolic of Life itself. Light from the sun provides the energy we need to survive. It is light that enables us to 'see' and therefore map out the creation around us.
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The eye is our primary means of perceiving the world and it is a superb optical system. A miraculous design with an eye for optical physics. With the technology to transpose a full colour image into electrical impulses to the brain.
The eye contains a soft lens. The muscles of the eye change its shape and therefore its focal length, enabling the eye to focus just like the lens of a camera.
The iris opens and closes (again like a camera) allowing in more or less light as the conditions dictate.
Hence the iris is small in bright conditions and the eye appears bigger (and sexier) at twilight when the iris is open wide.
The image is projected onto the retina and cells there transmit the light intensity and colour information via the optic nerve to the brain for processing into the image we 'see'.
The amazing thing is that engineers have just come up with an advanced camera design which uses a curved light-sensing surface. At present all cameras use a flat surface to detect the image which makes the lens more complex. The next generation of cameras will be similar in design to the human eye.
So what is the London Eye?
It’s a futuristic ferris wheel 135m high making it the fourth tallest structure in London. The London Eye gives a Birds-Eye View of this famous city.
The London Eye has won over 75 awards for international tourism and architecture since March 2000 when it opened.
It is also the tallest observation wheel in the world located on the bank of the River Thames close to Westminster and the British Parlament.
You can see for about 40km (25 miles) at the top. That's as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day. The London Eye has around 3.5 million customers every year and can carry 800 passengers.
Each rotation takes 30 minutes, with a capsule travelling at 26cm per second, or 0.9km (0.6 miles) per hour - sufficiently slow for passengers to step on and off without the wheel having to stop.
"London Calling" is an old Clash Anthem. So is London calling you? Why not come and SEE one of the world’s greatest cities and home of the 2012 Olympics?
I hope you've enjoyed this brief look at the EYE. Why not check out some more of my HubWay Hubs?