Monday, August 3, 2009

Fershluggener Washing Machine

While dog-sitting at my daughter's house, we took the opportunity to wash some clothes. While the machine was running, I tried to do some plastering around the new shower. I had to stop after awhile because the washer was driving me crazy. It kept repeating "Running bear. Running bear. ........" I'm sure you've all had that kind of experience. It recalled to me camping in a tent along the Loire river and being awakened in the morning to the cooing of doves that repeated over and over, "You're so damned stupid. You're so damned stupid." If you search the web you'll find among other sites the following one:

A most interesting one is "Phantom Words", a repeated sound that eventually become a word in your own mind. When I played it this morning, all three dogs snapped to attention and a normally silent dog began to bark.

Although most auditory illusions refer to music, some are based on "defects" in our mental interpretation of sound into words. It would be interesting to be able to separate L-minds from C-Minds in this way, or at least as an IQ test that would distinguish intellect from indigestion.

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang "Willow, titwillow, titwillow"
And I said to him, "Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing 'Willow, titwillow, titwillow'"
"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?" I cried
"Or a rather tough worm in your little inside"
-Gilbert and Sullivan