Slow Motion

Two days ago, I mentioned how the event of slipping while carrying the bucket of sauce took place in “slow motion”.  I assume most have experienced this phenomenon, but for anyone who has not…

Sometimes in a moment of “crisis” events seem to take place very slowly in relation to one’s thought process.  The result is that in what is a fraction of a second, one can analyze what is happening, go through a handful of possible responses, choose one, and still react quickly (not move quickly, just react quickly).

I have a theory on how this happens and it has to do with yesterday’s topic, consciousness.

Normally, the conscious mind has somewhat limited access to the subconscious.  Yes, information readily moves from the unconscious to the conscious, but the conscious mind plays the passive role of accepting the info with out having any role in its production or any insight into how it is produced.

But sometimes, in a “crisis” situation, that relationship changes and the conscious mind is allowed access to the subconscious workings.  I suspect that the subconscious processes information at a much faster rate than the conscious mind can.  When this faster processing is available to the conscious mind’s purview it seems like time moves more slowly than otherwise.

It is nothing more than “seeing” the sensory information processed at a much higher rate of speed than the conscious mind normally “sees”.

Tomorrow:  déjà vu


Some cool videos of what happens when a sphere falls into sand…

…from NPR’s Science Friday.

…from Discover Magazine.

…from the University of Chicago.

Below is my favorite:

This reminds me of when I worked for Domino’s Pizza in Bloomington, Indiana.  I was a Manager Trainee (indentured servent).  One day we were setting up for opening and I was carrying buckets of sauce from the walk-in cooler to the make line.  A bucket of sauce was maybe two gallons of sauce.

I walked out of the cooler and slipped and fell.  Everything happened in slow motion.  As I started to fall my primary concern was to not spill the sauce.  So I held on to the rim of the bucket tight with both hands and tried to “catch” my fall with the upright bucket.  I was surprisingly successful at this and for a millisecond I thought all was going to be well.

But then the sauce moved.  It hollowed at the middle and then gathered together and rose in a column to the ceiling. There was very little left in the still upright and unmoved bucket when all was said and done.  The sauce was on the ceiling, the top of the cooler, the table, the floor, and me.

It was worth it.

The above video’s also bring to mind one of my favorite science fiction reads from the sixties:  A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke in which a moon vehicle sinks into the fine dust of the moon’s surface.