Here’s a really good page that also talks about life with prosopagnosia / face blindness:
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Here’s a really good page that also talks about life with prosopagnosia / face blindness:
Today’s word of the day is Prosopagnosia.
Prosopagnosia is also called face-blindness. A person who has prosopagnosia is unable to recognize people by their facial features, and instead must rely on other visual or non-visual clues in order to determine who someone is. Prosopagnosia is not an eye problem, Prosopagnosics can see like anyone else.
Basically there is a portion in the human brain that is designed specifically to process facial recognition. In normal people, they recognize friends and acquaintences in a fraction of a second. Prosopagnosics may take up to 10 seconds to figure out who someone is – and by then, the someone may have already left.
It is a not-well-understood condition, but it seems it can be both inheirited, or acquired. Typically it is more easily diagnosed in those who have acquired it later in life, due to brain injury or trauma, because a) they are already seeing doctors for the injury / trauma, and b) suddenly they can’t recognize anyone so they know something is wrong. Those who were born with it often don’t realize they have it, or that it is even a condition, because they have no frame of reference to compare it to. They may only know they’re not very good at recognizing people, and chalk it up to bad memory or poor social skills.
An article in 2005 in New Scientist states that a team of scientists in Germany have been able to prove that inheirited prosopagnosia does run in families. Inheirited prosopagnosia can sometimes (but not always) be found in conjunction with other conditions, such as Topographical Agnosia (not remembering places), Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and Aspergers Syndrome. Like many neurological disorders, prosopagnosia is not all-or-nothing — Prosopagnosics experience the disorder to varying degrees.
A very good e-book describing the condition, written by a Prosopagnosic, can be found here:
Face Blind, by Bill Choisser
Sometimes I think it is high time for the CSI franchise to spin out of the US and into far away foreign territory. Go off to some strange foreign land with oddball customs, but not too odd and not too foreign, so that it doesn’t come across as being too wierd to folks accustomed to the three versions already running in syndication 6 times per day.
Following the tradition of having each spinoff spawn the next, there’d be some bizzare mysterious murder in New York, maybe in the theatre district, and the top clue would be the fact that a note found on the body would have words like theatre, colour, and centre spelled correctly.
So Mac Taylor and Stella or whomever Mac is currently having UST with would have to follow the clues North (technically a lot more west than north but lets not get too confusing) to Canada’s largest metropolis, Toronto! And because the CSI franchise strives to be more or less accurate about a lot of things, Mac and ???? will actually know better than to bring their parkas and snowshoes for their April or May visit to the “Great White North”.
Once in T.O., they will hook up with the head of Toronto’s forensics unit (a Canadian sort of Grissom) and compare notes and a bunch more local characters will be introduced and blah blah blah the case will be solved, Mac and ???? will head back to New York but will have formed a lasting friendship with their foreign collegues that will never be mentioned again in CSI:New York.
Then, the following September, the world will be blessed with a fourth CSI franchise and those of us in Canada can watch and smile and feel special as we see Canadian CSI types bringing justice and smug smirks to Canadian criminals. And those of us who live in or near Toronto can smirk smugly every time we spot a familiar location being used as the scene of an elaborate and mysterious murder scene. And our American neighbors can watch and smug smirkly every time the head of the forensics unit on CSI:Toronto says Eh?
And best of all, the world can rejoice in the knowledge that, by the time CSI:Toronto is in season 2, there’ll be at least 10 hours of CSI repeats per day available on a multitude of channels.
Yeah, sometimes I think I’d like to see CSI:Toronto.
Then other times, I think I could just use more sleep.
Not long ago I was enjoying a nice stay at a nice hotel. First time in a hotel in several years. Nice, relaxing getaway.
It started while I was relaxing in the tub. Just laying back, soaking with some bath salts, listening to some tunes on my iPod Shuffle. All was good. Then I heard a bang like someone giving the bathroom counter a hard knock. Kind of startling but that’s all. No big deal, it’s a hotel, people come and go and do things. I reasoned it had to be something outside the hotel room, and not right close, since I was alone in the room and the door locked and deadbolted. The rest of the bath was mostly quiet, a few more bangs or knocks, but as before I could mostly convince myself the noises were outside my room.
A few hours later and I was in bed. Strange bed and all, but I was tired and ready to sleep. Closed my eyes and just ready to drift off, when– three sharp distinct knocks, coming from the coffee table about 6 feet from the bed. No way to explain it away, nothing I can reason or ignore, this was unmistakable and couldn’t be ignored. I knew it was the coffee table because of the direction the sound came from, and because I could hear the two wineglasses atop the coffee table rattling slightly with each Whap.
So suddenly I’m wide-awake again. Thinking of shows like Most Haunted, thinking of people who flee their hotel rooms in the middle of the night and refuse to return. I don’t wanna be one of those people. So I stay in bed. Turn on the TV, to get my mind off things and relax again.
Tired still, I start getting sleepy. And as I lay there in bed, in the dark, the TV on but quiet, I sort of end up in a sort of half-asleep conversation about what’s on the TV. I thought it was my mother talking to me (I’d spent the day with her, talking about a lot of stuff). Laying there half-asleep in bed listening to this woman talking, suddenly it clicks in where I am – alone in a hotel room. And I’m wide-awake again, of course my mother’s not standing there next to the bed. But some woman had been there with me, briefly, talking to me.
This left me with a sensation of creepiness. Not fear really. I don’t know how to describe it. Just creepiness, something ‘other’. For all the times I’ve heard strange noises, all the times I’ve had objects in my home move, or other inexplicable occurances…this is really the first time I have felt like I was experiencing communication. When I was half asleep, thinking I was talking with my mother, then suddenly realized that “you’re not my mom…you’re just…not.” Creepiness. Not actually creepy, but close.
I did eventually get to sleep, and that was the last unexplained event of the night. So yeah, you’re thinking whatever, you were half asleep, it was just some dumb dreams, you’re dumb. Well when I was checking out, I asked if the hotel was a new building or an old one. The woman said old, then asked why I wanted to know. Maybe something in my tone got her curious, or maybe she’s had the question before. I told her I had some strange occurances in the night, told her about the knocking, and the strong female presense I had felt.
She then just nodded, “Uh-huh. You were in room ## weren’t you?” Appearantly it’s not unusual. She said in fact they have two known spirits in the hotel, and the room I was in, was known to have occurances.
It was kind of funny though, after all the oddities and stuff that goes on around my old home, that I should go away for a vacation and end up having the same wierd stuff going on in the hotel too. Or maybe it was just to help me feel at home. Either way, it was interesting, and gave me another interesting story.
Fourth and final winery visited by my mother and I last Thursday, Cave Spring Cellars was a nice treat. Right in the village of Jordan, Cave Spring Cellars is right across the street from the Inn On The Twenty where we were spending the night, and next door to the On The Twenty restaurant where we had a very fancy gourmet meal. As with all the Niagara vineyards we visited, staff here were friendly, helpful, knowledgable, and ready to talk wine.
Riesling Reserve, 2004, VQA Niagara. This single-vineyard wine was made from grapes coming from the Beamesville Bench estate. The nose held light citrus tones, atop a mineral / slate base. The body was as I prefer, light, crisp, and with a faint zing to it. The finish was short and refreshing, with a return of both mineral and citrus sensations. A very nice wine, I gave this one a 90 on the Stephanie Scale. I also bought myself a bottle, at $17.95
Riesling Icewine, 2004, VQA Niagara. Evey now and then I like to try an Icewine, although I don’t drink a lot of desert wines. This example had a multilayered nose, with apples, peaches, and citrus in abundance, with faint tones of chemical underneath. It reminded me very much of Turkish Delight candies, of which I am fond. The body was full, creamy and luxurious, but well balanced with enough acidity to keep the sweetness from overpowering. The finish was long, and left me thinking more of candied fruit. This delight earned 92 points, and although it costs $59.95 per half bottle, I decided to treat myself to one.
Cabernet Select Late Harvest, 2005, VQA Niagara. This one was the unexpected treat of the trip. A blend of Cabs Sauv and Franc, this wine was made in the style of an Icewine(*) after the grapes were allowed to raisin on the vines. The nose is a wonderful aroma of strawberries, and in the mouth it is a light-bodied wine, presenting as nicely balanced and refreshing. The finish was long and pleasant, with a lingering sensation of strawberry. This wine earns an easy 90. I have to say, I have had an $80.00/half-bottle Cab Franc Icewine, which Cave Spring Cellars’ Cabernet Select Late Harvest compares very favorably to – but at only $21.95 per half bottle, Cave Spring Cellars is practically giving this wine away!
I grabbed 3 bottles of this favorite, and my mother picked up a trio for herself as well. This winner is only available at the winery, but even so, they’re running out fast.
(*)Note: For a wine to be officialy designated as an ‘icewine’ the grapes have to spend at least 3 consecutive days at sub-zero temperatures before they are harvested. If they don’t meet this criteria, they can still be harvested and vinted as an ‘icewine’ but cannot carry the ‘icewine’ designation. Hence terms such as ‘Late Harvest’ and ‘TBA’ (Totally Botrytis Affected).
Or a cheesecake. Seriously. No, go do it now! I’ll wait.
Indulge yourself, I say!
How’s this sound? Chocolate cookie crumb base. Grand Marnier infused cheesecake. Mandarin orange slices. Chocolate drizzle. Decadent enough? Mouth watering? It’s what I’m having for dessert right now. You could have it too, just click the link below.
No? Not into chocolate / orange? Ok how about chocolate cookie crumb base, chocolate / Baileys Irish Cream infused cheesecake, cherry topping, and chocolate/Baileys icing? Yeah, that’s right. It’s every bit as good as it sounds.
Photo from GetFrosted.com