Good Afternoon Humboldt County!
Forgive me if you stopped by this morning and didn’t find anything new. I got a late start today. I think the holidays are catching up to me. I do have hot chocolate and cold beverages so feel free to share some with me while you check out today’s offerings:
Close your eyes. Picture your closest friend. Maybe you see her blue eyes, long nose, brown hair. Perhaps even her smile. If you saw her walking down the street it would match your imagined vision. But what if you saw nothing at all?
James Cooke, 66, of Islip, N.Y., can’t recognize other people. When he meets someone on the street, he offers a generic “hello” because he can’t be sure if he’s ever met that person before. “I see eyes, nose, cheekbones, but no face,” he said. “I’ve even passed by my son and daughter without recognizing them.”
He is not the only one. Those with prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, can see perfectly well, but their brains are unable to piece together the information needed to understand that a collection of features represents an individual’s face. The condition is a neurological mystery, but new research has shed light on this strange malady.
One of the keys to understanding face recognition, it seems, is understanding how the brain comes to recognize voices. Some scientists had believed that faces and voices, the two main ways people recognize one another, were processed separately by the brain. Indeed, a condition parallel to prosopagnosia, called phonagnosia, similarly leaves a person unable to distinguish a familiar voice from an unfamiliar one.
Don Aslett may be more than a half century into his fight against dirt and clutter, but he still can't take a stroll without bending to pick up litter from the sidewalk.
As a child, he can remember cringing at the site of spilled coffee grounds and in high school, finding it strange the other boys didn't like to clean their rooms. Even now at the age of 76, his battle against grit and grime has yet to relent.
Those who may not understand his devotion, he reasons, have likely never felt the satisfaction of making a toilet bowl shine. "I'll tell you, clean is a hard sell," said Aslett, who has written 37 books on the topic and founded a janitorial business with branches in most states and Canada.
While mothers may threaten their kids with having to clean their rooms as punishment, Aslett knew he was different from an early age. "I love to clean," he said with a shrug.And now, he has a six-story shrine dedicated to his craft — the Museum of Clean — that recently opened to the public in southeastern Idaho.
Among the exhibits: A horse-drawn vacuum dating back to 1902 ( see graphic above); a collection of several hundred pre-electric vacuum cleaners; a Civil War-era operating table; a 1,600-year-old bronze pick that was used to clean teeth, and an antique Amish foot bath.
Time to walk on down the road…