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04/28/2008

Eyes for the blind

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  Here's a big one:
Do you have the technical skill or know someone who has?
I live in Paris. In the halls of the metro station underground at Duroc station, I was walking behind a hand-in-hand couple who were blind. They talked endlessly and tapped tapped tapped along. The corridor turned off to the left. The couple followed along in the middle, like not even thinking about it - with the curve. How did they know that? Ahh! because they heard it turn. They had not tapped the wall, they just eased along in the curve.
Then I thought of a flying bat. He has no eyes, but he avoids problems and finds small flying insects at night. He emits a radar sound that the return of which he uses to judge, by the Doppler effect, to tell distance and form.
I imagined....Imagine a blind person with a pair of spectacles with antenna at each end that emits a series of waves, the return of which he uses to calculate automatically, as a bat, distances and forms. The doppler effect, if you don't know, and excuse me for assuming you don't: is that the shorter the return of a sound the higher the pitch: listen to a train coming and how the sound rises at the approach until it passes. If we can use doppler, and we do, to explode artillery shells and kill people with shrapnel, surely we can figure out how to do this. I'm isolated and seventy-nine or I would do it myself!
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george g moore
 
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