Patrick (patrickwonders) wrote,

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The ceiling is not the floor upside down...

I spent quite a bit of time this evening sitting on the floor looking into a full-length mirror that was on the floor, too. I was looking around the reflection of the ceiling.

I love doing this. I used to take a make-up mirror and hold it under my chin and walk around the house looking into the reflection. It was such a neat feeling of a little bit vertigo and a little bit lower-gravity.

Tonight, I spent a bunch of time trying to figure out why the reflection of the ceiling does not at all look like a floor to me. With the mirror flat on the ground, there would be no reason to think that it's not just another room down below this one. But, there's no way to be fooled.

This sorta relates to my other mirror post, but there, it was sunlight that gave it away. This mirror thing was after dark.

First off, there's the texture. The ceiling is just a plain, flat white. I've never seen a floor that has the same texture or color as a ceiling. At work, we have a drop-ceiling. The raised floor in the computer room looks very different than the drop ceiling. Floors are either carpeted or shiny. Ceilings are matte.

Second, the ceiling's uncluttered. There's not a pile of books just over there or the PlayStation or the area rug or the remote control.

Next, things that hang from the ceiling don't need to balance themselves. The free-standing lamps on the floor have large heavy bases from which a thin column emerges. The ceiling fan is attached to the ceiling within a 10" diameter circle. From there, it dangles down a couple of feet and then splays out into probaby a 42" diameter or more. If everything were inverted, it'd have to be rigid and bolted in to keep it from falling over all of the time. (And, you'd bang your knees on it).

There's also the illumination. We have overhead lighting in the kitchen that shines down over the whole room. We also have a hanging lamp that sits about three feet from the ceiling and six-and-a-half feet from the floor. We also have a standing halogen lamp that sits up just over six feet from the floor and about four feet from the ceiling and points up. In the world of the mirror, all of these are incongruous. It's outside of experience to have a lamp hanging six feet down from the ceiling so that it's illuminating downward the remaing four feet from the ground. It's outside of experience to have a lamp sitting two-and-a-half to three feet off the ground illuminating up. It's outside of experience to have lights recessed into the floor pointing upward.

My favorite point as a kid was this last one though.... the way the walls meet the ceiling is very different than the way the walls meet the floor. There are lots of places in most houses or apartments where there are walls that go straight up for a bit and then slant up to meet the ceiling. You never ever see a house or apartment where the walls slant away from the floor before turning to go straight up. My bedroom at the moment has a ceiling in the shape of a truncated cone. If the room were inverted, I wouldn't be able to fit even half of my bed in the room. Similarly, doorways and stairways are very different upside down.

Plop a mirror under your chin and walk around a bit from room to room.... but be careful for your shins....

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