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Ask Slashdot: How to Exploit Post-Cataract Ultraviolet Vision?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the oh-not-ultraviolent dept.

Medicine 350

xmas2003 writes "I recently had cataract surgery with a Crystalens implant. With my cloudy yellowing (UV-filtering) natural lens removed, I see the world in a new light (more on that in a moment) as everything is brighter and colors are more vivid ... plus in focus. As a typical Slashdot reader, I've been myopic since childhood, so it's wonderful not to have to wear glasses/contacts for distance. One interesting oddity is that I can now see ultraviolet light — it seems that there are a few people who have photoreceptors sensitive below 400nm into the UV spectrum. I've done some testing with a Black Light and UV filter to confirm this but would love to do more conclusive testing such as using a Monochromator — anyone in the Boulder, Colorado area have access to one? And any suggestions from Slashdot readers on how I can further explore this phenomenon? While I can't see dead people, I guess I have a 'superpower' ... although I'm not sure a middle-aged suburbanite dad should don purple tights and cape to become a crime-fighter!"

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First step (or post) (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 3 years ago | (#37584594)

Think up a really cool super hero name. Then we can you welcome you as an overlord. Assuming that you can get Natalie Portman to deliver the Hot Grits!

Re:First step (or post) (3, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#37584640)

Ultraman

Re:First step (or post) (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | about 3 years ago | (#37584674)

I shouldn't have typed the period.

Re:First step (or post) (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 3 years ago | (#37584956)

...and his "quirky" sidekick Violetboy.

Re:First step (or post) (-1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37584982)

Ultragirl. I didn't even click the links yet, because I already know that only females are gifted with vision in or near the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

Re:First step (or post) (5, Informative)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | about 3 years ago | (#37585014)

Ultragirl. I didn't even click the links yet, because I already know that only females are gifted with vision in or near the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

although I'm not sure a middle-aged suburbanite dad should don purple tights and cape to become a crime-fighter!"

You need to take some remedial biology lessons, I think.

Re:First step (or post) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585024)

You don't need to click the links - the summary specifically mentions a "suburbanite dad" so i guess you don't know as much as you think.

Re:First step (or post) (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 3 years ago | (#37585154)

That would be tetrachromats [wikipedia.org] , who can see richer colors (the fourth cone is somewhere between red and green) but not ultraviolet. It is however extremely rare. Totally different phenomenon AFAIK, and girls can have it due to having two X chromosomes. I've never heard of humans seeing into ultraviolet, but I suppose it is possible.

Re:First step (or post) (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37585134)

Ultragritsman

Re:First step (or post) (1)

mark_elf (2009518) | about 3 years ago | (#37584654)

Ultraman.

Re:First step (or post) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584676)

Ultraman!

Re:First step (or post) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584936)

Ultraman!!!

Re:First step (or post) (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585074)

It's only a model.

Re:First step (or post) (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 years ago | (#37584728)

Obviously, with his newfound UV-vision powers, he is ready to decode(or manipulate) the hidden coloration used by plants to attract bees...

As HiveLord, numberless swarms of eusocial attack insects will bend to his will! The crops of man shall be bounteous, or wither unpollinated, by his hand! His amazonian suicide warriors will throw themselves at all foes, laying down their lives that the Swarm's venom may find its target!

Re:First step (or post) (1)

morari (1080535) | about 3 years ago | (#37584928)

Obviously, with his new found UV-vision powers, he is ready to decode the hidden alien propaganda spread throughout our daily lives. Him and Roddy Piper should get together and finally put a stop to the ruling class of alien invaders!

Re:First step (or post) (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37584950)

After having a ten minute fight scene, of course.

Re:First step (or post) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584818)

Ultraviolator.

Though I guess that could be open to misinterpretation.

Dangerous (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584608)

Don't go out of your way to expose your eyes to UV!

Re:Dangerous (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | about 3 years ago | (#37585032)

Then again, remember that sunlight contains lots of UV light, so those levels are fine (except if you're a basement dweller)

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584612)

Best "Ask Slashdot" in ages.

Have fun enjoying your superpower

Start hunting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584616)

I guess you'd be a good "natural" tracker now...

Re:Start hunting? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37584702)

I guess you'd be a good "natural" tracker now...

Wouldn't that be infra-red, not UV?

UV vision would let you see semen stains more easily but I'm not sure if that's a superpower or not.

Re:Start hunting? (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#37584814)

UV vision would let you see semen stains more easily but I'm not sure if that's a superpower or not.

A career in CSI, or pornography set-cleaner.

Purple (1)

SEWilco (27983) | about 3 years ago | (#37584618)

Actually, you should don purple lights.

Re:Purple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584708)

Actually, he should don an ultraviolet costume over more normal clothes. That way only other superhumans could tell he's one of them, while he avoids the sex offender charges he'd get if he wore only ultraviolet tights.

Boulder is one of the optics capitals of the world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584634)

Given the presence of NIST, NOAA, JILA, and a whole bunch of optics and laser companies, I'm sure someone can hook you up! ^_^

You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584636)

Your eyes do not. UV light damages your eyes. That's why all but the most rubbish shades include a UV filter. Don't look at strong UV sources with remaining eye.

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584738)

Sigh. No. Only excessive UV light can damage the eye. If you are both lacking the UV filter in your lens and are able to perceive a reasonable spread of UV light, you'll instinctlively blink when it gets bright enough to do damage, just like regular light.

There's a real danger for people who have the surgery but don't see anything in the UV spectrum that's now hitting their retinal cells. But at the age most people get cataract surgery, who cares? They generally don't.

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584916)

That may be true for non-ionizing radiation, such as visible and IR. However, because UV light is ionizing, the damage it does is CUMULATIVE. I.e., there is no threshold.

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (2)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 3 years ago | (#37585104)

Any UV likely to reach your eye is non-ionizing. At the energies where it becomes potentially ionizing, it can't travel in air very far... so unless you have an short wavelength UV emitter up against your face there's hardly any danger there.

=Smidge=

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (2)

gilleain (1310105) | about 3 years ago | (#37585122)

That may be true for non-ionizing radiation, such as visible and IR. However, because UV light is ionizing, the damage it does is CUMULATIVE. I.e., there is no threshold.

Sayeth wikipedia:

Most ultraviolet is classified as non-ionizing radiation. The higher energies of the ultraviolet spectrum from about 150 nm ('vacuum' ultraviolet) are ionizing, but this type of ultraviolet is not very penetrating and is blocked by air.

So, probably okay unless Ultraman wants to look at a strong source in a vaccum.

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584992)

In nature, strong UV light only occurs together with bright visible light. He's looking for UV-only light sources to look at. It is highly improbable that dangerous levels of UV light will trigger the blink reflex, because the sensitivity is going to be low. Then there's the matter of what a "dangerous level" of UV light is: Even though exposure to sunlight is generally healthy, it does age the skin even in moderate amounts. UV light damages cells. Less UV light just damages fewer cells, not none.

Re:You know how UV light makes your skin turn dark (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 3 years ago | (#37584790)

I thought all sunglasses had UV protection because the cheapest plastics aren't transparent to UV light. I was under the impression that UV filtration was easy because very few materials are UV transparent.

Black lights actually look black? (3, Interesting)

justin12345 (846440) | about 3 years ago | (#37584652)

Do black lights actually look black when on to most people? I thought they only looked black when they're off. To me they've always looked white with purple edges when on. I thought that was normal.

Re:Black lights actually look black? (2)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 years ago | (#37584696)

The purple you see is just purple light. Most of the light emitted by black lights is ultraviolet, and thus invisible. But some of it is just regular old violet.

They don't look black. (3, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | about 3 years ago | (#37584716)

Sorry; you do not have special UV-sensitive super-powers. So-called "black" lights are not, by any stretch of the imagination, UV-only. They have a filter on them that blocks most, but not all, visible light. They are called "black" lights because the UV causes appropriately fluorescent and phosphorescent materials to glow out of proportion to the visible light emitted by the bulb.

Re:They don't look black. (2)

justin12345 (846440) | about 3 years ago | (#37584788)

I didn't think so. The summary links to an illustration that is very misleading.

Re:Black lights actually look black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584986)

They look kind of a strange purple-blue-red color [wikipedia.org] , but that's just the edge of the visible range that leaks through the filter. Most of the illumination is invisible. I use UV lights quite a bit for identifying fluorescent minerals [wikipedia.org] .

List of ideas. (3, Interesting)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | about 3 years ago | (#37584662)

1. Check to see if this ability enhances your sight during low level light. 2. Check the boundaries of your abilities and record such data. Is there a certain amount of UV light you can and can not detect? 3. Use this ability for a stealth motion detector. If a robber can't see in the dark, but you can, this would be a advantage. 4. Use this ability to sneak in late at night to prevent people yelling at you! :p 5. During a Solar eclipse, TOTALLY watch it, with proper protection of course. You will be recieving a special view that few humans will ever experience. :3

Re:List of ideas. (1, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37584686)

3. Use this ability for a stealth motion detector. If a robber can't see in the dark, but you can, this would be a advantage.

That would be infra-red, not UV...

Re:List of ideas. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584710)

Unless, he, you know, has UV lights turned on.

Re:List of ideas. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584778)

Yep, Go find a really nicely filtered LED UV torch that only emits 400nm light. You're now your own nightvision.

Re:List of ideas. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#37584834)

That would be awesome! In the long run your quarries would end up getting cancer though after you track them for long enough, so YMMV.

Re:List of ideas. (1)

32771 (906153) | about 3 years ago | (#37584898)

Fluorescence will ruin your cover. Some biological things including your teeth will emit some greenish whitish light, paper will look the typical blue, and then there are some minerals that could be lying around that show fluorescence.

400nm is still not dramatic though.

Re:List of ideas. (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#37585144)

Yep, Go find a really nicely filtered LED UV torch that only emits 400nm light.

That would still make loads of stuff fluoresce unless you treated your entire house with special paint and hope the burglar isn't wearing any cotton and everybody keeps their mouth closed and hasn't washed their hair with certain brands of shampoo.

Re:List of ideas. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584866)

I have UV sensitivity (I wouldn't call it vision, but there's a certain level of detection). The best use for it: If I see a woman at a beach, wearing a bikini (depending on the material), I can tell if her cunt is it shaved, bald, landing strip, squirrel tail, etc. Be careful, as this applies on dudes in speedos.

I have made a few bucks betting with friends that a smoking hot chick as actually a tranny. :)

Re:List of ideas. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584960)

6. Stop reading so damn many comic books already. There's a reason they're fiction.
7. And yes, the smartass in the back, this also means to stop playing so much Deus Ex. Technological advancement does not work that way!

Re:List of ideas. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585152)

All you need to enhance your night vision is way too many years smoking pot and staring at computer monitors in the dark.

In all seriousness I've had 20/20++ vision since birth, I can read a small word off a monitor 10 feet away, I have amazing night vision (probably due to the super sensitivity to light) but I can feel it slowely fading as I pass into my later 30's :(

Hopefully the surgery gets much better before I need it, i personally do not care to see everything in a UV purple haze.

Is there anything.. (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#37584680)

Which naturally gives off UV which could make this power very useful? Aside from being able to see UV bulbs...

I can't remember much from physics ... IR vision would have been much more cool and useful.

Re:Is there anything.. (5, Informative)

nickersonm (1646933) | about 3 years ago | (#37584746)

Flowers are often more varied in the UV [naturfotograf.com] than in the standard visible light range.

Re:Is there anything.. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 3 years ago | (#37585052)

Flowers are often more varied in the UV than in the standard visible light range.

Go forth and pollinate.

Re:Is there anything.. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 3 years ago | (#37585056)

And crows.

Re:Is there anything.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584946)

Various bodily fluids are responsive to UV light to different degrees. Some birds actually track their prey by the uv-reflecting urine trail they leave as they move.

The submitter's super power may come with a fear of hotel rooms.

Re:Is there anything.. (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#37585010)

I suppose that many flowers will look different, as well as the plumage of many birds, which have UV color patterns that humans usually do not see:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/healthscience/science/aaas/2002-01-03-budgies-glow.htm [usatoday.com]
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cockatiel_under_blacklight.jpg [wikimedia.org]
http://www.naturfotograf.com/UV_ARNI_ANG.html [naturfotograf.com]
http://www.naturfotograf.com/UV_LATH_PRA.html [naturfotograf.com]
http://i.livescience.com/images/i/7881/i02/fish-uv-pattern-100225-02.jpg?1296089823 [livescience.com]

There are a number of species of animal that can see ultraviolet light, and a number of plant and animal species have evolved to take advantage of this. Parrots are known for having UV patterns in their feathers, butterflies use UV patterns to communicate with each other, and most flowers have UV patterns to attract insects. Some fish-eating birds use UV light to help identify fish underwater.

So if you are truly able to see UV light, you should be seeing a very interesting world!

Re:Is there anything.. (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 years ago | (#37585038)

Raptors use UV vision. I read a couple of articles about birds floating in the sky, watching the ground for fresh rodent urine. The urine gives off a bright glow under UV, that is invisible in the "visible" light spectrum.

Re:Is there anything.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585126)

Candles emit UV.

Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584684)

Boulder is well populated with optics companies - in particular, those that make thin film interference filters with which it should be possible to judge your hyperspectral imaging ability. As a start, i would try:

Research Electro-Optics
Alpine Research Optics

Semrock and Edmund optics would also be able to help.

Expect to pay $100-$500.

Heinlein (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584694)

Didn't Lazarus Long see into the UV range?

Re:Heinlein (-1, Troll)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 years ago | (#37584816)

Every LL quote I've posted on /. in the last few years is moderated troll.

The single worst indicator of how fucked /. is.

For example watch the moderation:

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent. Because by the time it's your last resort it's usually too late. The competent go to violence much sooner. (L.L. Paraphrase).

Perhaps back in WWII (5, Interesting)

RLBrown (889443) | about 3 years ago | (#37584704)

Back in WWII, when the medical treatment was much more primitive, elderly persons in England, who had vision partially restored by cataract surgery, were asked to watch for long wave UV covert signals, from off the coast vessels, as part of the war effort. This may be an urban legend -- it is unanswered on Snopes http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=25056 [snopes.com] , but I do recall reading about it as a child, I believe in a commentary written by Arthur C. Clarke. But the memory is vague, and who knows where Clarke might have learned of it. So as something vaguely remembered from a book half a century old, that may or may not exist, where the original author may or may not have had first hand knowledge, ... well, by Internet standards, that's your proof right there!

Ultraviolet astronomy. (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 3 years ago | (#37584730)

I understand that the definitive text on ultraviolet astronomy was written about then by an astronomer who had also been through the operation.

For him astronomical objects with high UV emission were "naked eye objects". He could just look through the telescope eyepiece and zero in on interesting stuff, when others had to wait for the film to be developed.

Not as big a deal these days, with 'scopes aimed using semiconductor image sensors rather than naked eye. But may still be an advantage.

Re:Perhaps back in WWII (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584842)

IIRC Clarke worked on / with radar during WWII so it could very well be a firsthand account.

Re:Perhaps back in WWII (3, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | about 3 years ago | (#37584914)

I dunno. I remember my great grandmother talking about sitting with her grandmother watching for this on the coast along with a naval officer to report. It could very well still be sealed, which considering how useful it would still be today, wouldn't surprise me at all.

Actually... avoid exposure to UV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584712)

UV is on the more energetic side of the visual spectrum, the part that gives you sunburn by destroying cells. I don't think that it is very advantageous that more of it hits your retina now.

Something I've wondered about (1)

carleton (97218) | about 3 years ago | (#37584734)

My prescription glasses have the tint that goes from essentially clear to sunglasses depending on light. I've noticed if I look at black light with them on, they go kind of foggy, which I guess makes sense given that IIRC, it's actually ultraviolet light that makes the shift happens, which is also why they're less effective in cars. Anyone else have this effect?

Re:Something I've wondered about (1)

EagleFalconn (1058758) | about 3 years ago | (#37584850)

Its a chemical equilibrium. The tinting reaction is catalyzed by UV. One of the major downsides of those glasses is that the reaction is also hindered by heat, and so they're not as effective on hot days.

purple tights and cape to become a crime-fighter? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 3 years ago | (#37584740)

"purple tights and cape to become a crime-fighter?"

Of course not!!! They should be black as in Batman and possibly some green as in the Green Lantern!

Purple?! No way for a dad!

But if you are serious with fighting crime on a regular basis i guess the police blue would fit too, and if you get the badge then you're set.

No Capes! -- Edna Mode (3, Informative)

otmar (32000) | about 3 years ago | (#37584754)

No Capes! [youtube.com]

Re:No Capes! -- Edna Mode (1)

Oryn (136445) | about 3 years ago | (#37584904)

I love this, The Incredibles is a great Movie. Did anyone know that Edna is voiced by a guy?
Back to the topic, my glasses have UV filters in them, I have a UV laser pointer, with my glasses on it produces a Dim blue light, without them I can see the beam produced by the laser. UV lasers are fun things to shine around the garden at night, flowers glow brightly in unexpected colours.
The other fun thing to do with UV laser pointers is to graffiti up glow in the dark fire exit signs, I bought a sheet of glow paper and you can write on it with the laser pointer.

I guess a UV laser pointer may not be the best thing to play with if you have no natural UV filtering in your eyes

UV imaging application (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584756)

Many things appear different and downright gross under UV light. I've rented a UV CCD imager - here are some things that you may find interesting to look at:

Skin damage
Dental plaque
Oliy/organic stains and contaminants - fingerprints, floor wax patterns
Anything with fine structure - scratches and scattering are wavelength dependent
reapir jobs - cars that are repainted, furniture

You can rent such a device here: http://www.uvcorder.com/ . The product is excellent. Their customer service department seems to be staffed by extraterrestrials, though - dealing with them was a bizzare experience.

Differential Vision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584768)

Normally after cataract surgery any implant you are given will contain a UV filter. I'm not sure you didn't but you are certainly not the first to have had this happen.

The best exploit I heard about was to have one eye filtered and one eye unfiltered. Objects that reflect or emit UV then appear to shimmer as the brain attempts to reconcile the differences between the left and right image.

Clothing? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37584770)

Do I really have to suggest to a bunch of /.ers to try and see thru clothing using UV light? Some clothing is sorta IR transparent, sorta.

My gut level guess is very little clothing is UV transparent, but bleached underclothes might fluoresce brightly beneath regular clothes, maybe.

In a completely unrelated topic, does anyone know of any (long term) UV phosphors? Perhaps the original poster could see glow in the dark "whatever" that most of us couldn't see. I'm not talking about short term florescence, but long term phosphorescence. florescence is that rock that momentarily glows yellow when hit with UV. phosphorescence is that weird kids plastic toys that glow and give off green light for a couple minutes after being charged with light. This is what I'm interested in, is there anything that glows UV for a couple minutes after being flashed momentarily with light?

Re:Clothing? (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 years ago | (#37584802)

Do I really have to suggest to a bunch of /.ers to try and see thru clothing using UV light?

If I could see through clothing, I don't think I could ever shop at Walmart again.

Can you turn it on and off like Superman? (1)

WebManWalking (1225366) | about 3 years ago | (#37584812)

Superman can see even beyond the ultraviolet, into the x-ray spectrum, but only when he wants to. Me, I've been trying like heck to shut off my ability to see blue, primarily during Redskins/Cowboys football games, but I haven't yet gotten it to work. So I was thinking, maybe the shorter wavelengths are what allow voluntary control. Please let us know what you discover.

In related news for nerds, here's a B movie about a guy who wanted to see more outside the normal-human spectrum, but without the ability to turn it off: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057693/ [imdb.com]

I can too but... (1)

bazmail (764941) | about 3 years ago | (#37584820)

I can too but I never knew it was a rare/unusual thing, it just never came up in conversation or ophthalmologist visits. This is strange news indeed.

Telescope parties? (1)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#37584826)

One interesting oddity is that I can now see ultraviolet light — it seems that there are a few people who have photoreceptors sensitive below 400nm into the UV spectrum. I've done some testing with a Black Light and UV filter

1) Purchase a UV source and filter the heck out of it to output purely UV (no purple leakage). Ask a geologist or perhaps a scorpion exterminator, they'll know what to buy...

2) Visit astronomical telescope parties and offer your safety assistance... help walking down the mountain, help reading directions, help stepping off the road curb without tripping, just .. sighted help in general.

What to them is pitch black, to you, could be lit up like a searchlight, at least until your batteries die.

We should be breeding this trait RIGHT NOW. (NT) (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 3 years ago | (#37584836)

We should be breeding this trait RIGHT NOW.

Re:We should be breeding this trait RIGHT NOW. (NT (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 years ago | (#37585004)

We should be breeding this trait RIGHT NOW.

Well, he did refer to himself as a "suburban dad" - so he's been doing his part...

Go look at flowers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584848)

I can't help you with the Monochromator, but you should spend some time looking at the flowers around where you live. You may be surprised to see different patterns on the petals, etc. I'm slightly jealous, despite being educated enough to have a healthy respect for the natural UV filtering mechanisms that the human body comes equipped with.

Of spies and stratagems (2)

westlake (615356) | about 3 years ago | (#37584854)

One interesting oddity is that I can now see ultraviolet light â" it seems that there are a few people who have photoreceptors sensitive below 400nm into the UV spectrum.

In World War II the OSS recruited elderly cataract patients as coastwatchers --- able to read Morse sent over UV light.

Stanley Lovell's "Of Spies & Stratagems" can be found quite cheaply in paperback and as a legit free download on the web. It's well worth a read.

Lovell was the head of R&D for the OSS, their "Professor Moriarity," and it is here you will learn why.

visible light (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584856)

It is called visible light for a reason. UV wavelengths reflect poorly which makes "seeing" anything lit up in UV light unlikely. Items exposed to UV light fluoresce rather than reflect. Also, what makes you think UV light has anything to do with violet or purple? The wavelength is beyond violet. If you could see UV light, you would be seeing the next color in the spectrum, which would be very cool. What you are experiencing is sensitivity to UV light due to your natural UV filter being removed.

One of us! One of us! (1)

EnigmaticIndustries (606450) | about 3 years ago | (#37584860)

Every Xmas one of the folks in the neighborhood puts up decorations that emit a purplish light. It never fails to give me a sinus headache. Older Xenon lights did the same thing.

Blacklights are black? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584864)

Comparing what I see when looking at a blacklight to the two pictures at the second link, I can see something a lot closer to the 2nd picture than the first. Is the effect just greatly exaggerated for the purposes of the picture, or can I see UV? I did always wonder why blacklights weren't called purple lights...

Everyone has UV photoreceptors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584870)

Just to correct something said in the post, almost everyone has UV sensitive cones, it's entirely the removal of lens. In fact, most of the photoreceptors in the eye are at least partially sensitive to UV light (From the paper "Ultraviolet sensitivity of three cone types in the aphakic observer determined by chromatic adaptation" where a scientist who had his cornea removed studied himself).

Naked people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584880)

Forget about dead people, focus on seeing naked people! Especially young female ones.
I remember from a few years ago, the newest bathing suites that didn't make tan lines were all the rage.
I expect the technology to have gone better over time, so today I'm sure the hottest ladies on the most exclusive beaches will sport perfectly uv-transparent bikinis.

Now, I don't need to tell you that they sell uv-passing filters, those that block all other light. Put them on a pair of welding glasses, so that no ray of light can reach your eyes except through the uv-passing filters. Wear them on said exclusive beach, wait a few minutes for your eyes to adapt to night vision TA DA, a superpower to envy!

I see UV too... (3, Interesting)

Keebler71 (520908) | about 3 years ago | (#37584892)

I see UV too,... at least technically and I don't believe it is that uncommon. In a college quantum physics lab we were looking at the emission spectrum of Hydrogen and the instructor was guiding us through various emission lines. He asked if we could see the purple line and then asked who could see the *other* purple line. I was the only one who could. He said he always asks that because every class there are one or two students (out of about 20) who could see just enough into the UV spectrum to see it. I don't recall which line it was but assume it was the Balmer n=6 line at 397nm.

I can't say this has been particularly more useful to me although I do think I see rainbows as 'wider' than most people with a much thicker "purple" band than others seem to see. Totally subjective and something I can't substantiate but I think I am more sensitive to sunlight as well.

Re:I see UV too... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584954)

It can also be different in each eye.

My right sees farther into the UV, and my left a bit into IR. It can be confusing when trying to match colors, especially to what someone else wants.

There is a known condition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584906)

A percentage of women have an extra type of cone in their eyes which would seem to indicate sensitivity to more light spectrum but at last word no one had proof of any advantage to the mutation.

Re:There is a known condition (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37585002)

A percentage of women have an extra type of cone in their eyes which would seem to indicate sensitivity to more light spectrum

And gay guys? This would explain their ability to perceive more than the six colors straight guys can see.

Poker (2)

houghi (78078) | about 3 years ago | (#37584934)

And then mark the cards with UV paint.

DON'T LOOK AT UV LIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37584964)

Don't look at UV light.

UV light bulbs are used to kill germs (really all living things) in hospitals and to erase EPROMs.

UV light is extraordinarily dangerous for your skin and ESPECIALLY your eyes. I had moderate eye damage from looking at one as a kid for several minutes. It never goes away or gets better. It's a cool purpley-white color for those of you who want to know what it looks like.

Frankly I'm concerned about the health implications of having no natural UV filter. What protects the rest of your eye(s) from UV light?

Do the equivalent of the IR guys are doing (1)

kanweg (771128) | about 3 years ago | (#37584976)

People have been doing the same thing for IR.
http://amasci.com/amateur/irgoggl.html [amasci.com]

You could make UV goggles to let the UV pass only and go out on a sunny day. You wouldn't expose your eyes to much more UV than regular (well, your pupils will be open wider so it may be about 10x more). Enjoy the new experience.

Bert

I don't think so. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 3 years ago | (#37584980)

I had cataract surgery earlier this year. My ophthalmologist told me that all modern replacement lenses filter out the UV to protect the eyes. However, the lenses do reflect light better than natural ones giving you a bit of a "cat's eye" effect. I like to tell people that I now have bionic eyes to go along with my augmented hearing. Does this make me a cyborg?

the tights are just a bonus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585044)

i'd love to be a super human crime-fighter.

Magic tricks, card counting aparatus, etc. (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#37585066)

Anything where your ability to see a custom display that others cannot gives you an advantage. An alphanumeric LCD with a UV back light and filter for example.

WTF? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 3 years ago | (#37585084)

". As a typical Slashdot reader, I've been myopic since childhood,"

Seriously, WTF?With that kind of biased reasoning, it's no wonder you have convinced yourself you can see into the UV.

You sure it is ultraviolet? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 3 years ago | (#37585088)

It could be Octarine [lspace.org] . Not sure if being able to do or at least see magic is considered superpower, but it could have interesting applications. In any case, is better than seeing infra-black.

"typical Slashdot reader" (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 3 years ago | (#37585106)

As a typical Slashdot reader, I've been myopic since childhood,

Hey now, that's uncalled for. Sure, there are some around here who are still expecting the next Year of the Linux Desktop, but you can't let them speak for all of us!

But more seriously, I've had great vision more or less for my whole life. I don't think it's entirely genetic either (though my father has never needed glasses either), and I have always done a lot of reading/computer in my time as well. I just make sure to look away every few minutes and focus on something far away so my eyes don't adjust too rigidly. So I wonder if it wouldn't be too difficult to prevent bad eyesight if other people did this too.

Aging does it (3, Informative)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | about 3 years ago | (#37585132)

Babies can see further into the UV than adults, probably due to the gradual yellowing of the cornea, which usually becomes apparent in old age. Water reflects UV to varying degrees, too.

Protect your retinas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37585138)

In short:
Sucks to be you!

UV will fry your retina ... thats why replacement lenses have UV protection.
Get an UV protection lenses implanted or consult the ophthalmologist who did the operation.
Wish you all the best.

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