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Because it's Friday: Color inception

Take a look at this spinning disk. Do you see colors? I see two colored regions: ochre bands about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way out, each surrounded by narrow olive bands. But this image is actually monochrome black and white: it's just a rotating version of this image: This optical illusion is called Benham's top or Benham's disk, and no-one really knows why most people see colors. It's nothing to do with latency in RGB-displays: the effect works just as well as a physical device. The effect is dependent on the speed and rotation of the pattern: this Daily Mail article includes an interactive version that lets you control the speed and direction. That's all for this week — we'll be back on Monday. Enjoy your weekend!

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More Stories By David Smith

David Smith is Vice President of Marketing and Community at Revolution Analytics. He has a long history with the R and statistics communities. After graduating with a degree in Statistics from the University of Adelaide, South Australia, he spent four years researching statistical methodology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, where he also developed a number of packages for the S-PLUS statistical modeling environment. He continued his association with S-PLUS at Insightful (now TIBCO Spotfire) overseeing the product management of S-PLUS and other statistical and data mining products.<

David smith is the co-author (with Bill Venables) of the popular tutorial manual, An Introduction to R, and one of the originating developers of the ESS: Emacs Speaks Statistics project. Today, he leads marketing for REvolution R, supports R communities worldwide, and is responsible for the Revolutions blog. Prior to joining Revolution Analytics, he served as vice president of product management at Zynchros, Inc. Follow him on twitter at @RevoDavid