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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Today Google celebrates birthday of Ferdinand Monoyer with a doodle !!

As you make the first search of the day, Google's Doodle features a pair of brown and blue eyes taking on the famous  chart.  It is google’s way of celebrating the 181st birthday of the man whose name hidden among the letters !!  ..  .. heard of dioptre or of Monoyer ?  Anyone who's ever paid a visit to the optometrist will be familiar with the test showing a series of letters which gradually decrease in size.

In the Tamil movie, Jambavan featuring Prashanth, Meera Chopra and Meghna Naidu, Vivek plays a Doctor trying to do service in village.  In a comedy scene, the village don comes to him – Vivek tries testing his vision, would write a normal lettered  ‘அ’ and gradually increases its size (  அ அ அ அ அ அ ) – and every time the man says ‘cannot see; cannot read’  - at some point, Vivek gets so angered that he takes the blackboard closer and asks the Q and gets the same answer.  To an enraged Vivek, the man would coolly say that he has never had education and hence could not recognize  even the first letter of mother- tongue.

Visual acuity (VA) commonly refers to the clarity of vision. Visual acuity is dependent on optical and neural factors, i.e.,  the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye,  the health and functioning of the retina, and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.   A dioptre  is a unit of measurement of the optical power of a lens or curved mirror, which is equal to the reciprocal of the focal length measured in metres (that is, 1/metres). It is thus a unit of reciprocal length.  The usage was proposed by French ophthalmologist Ferdinand Monoyer in 1872, based on earlier use of the term dioptrice by Johannes Kepler. 

Today,  Google is celebrating the birthday of the man who invented the eye test with an animated Doodle. The man, Ferdinand Monoyer was born in Lyon, France, on May 9th  in 1836. He is famous for having introduced a unit of measuring optical power known as the dioptre. The opthalmologist also gave the name to the Monoyer chart.

The method for testing how well we are able to see without the help of glasses hasn't changed a great deal in over a century. It follows a basic principle: read from rows of gradually shrinking letters until you're unable to distinguish the shapes any more. From this, opthamologists can determine people's clarity of vision. The most well known test is the Snellen chart. It was introduced around the same time as a rival test called the Monoyer chart. Named after its creator Ferdinand Monoyer, the Monoyer chart was designed more than 100 years ago and was the first eye test to use a decimal system.

Today, on what would be Monoyer's 181st  birthday, he has been honoured with a Google Doodle.  Monoyer  grew up in Lyon before moving to the University of Strasbourg in 1871. He eventually returned to Lyon, were he died aged 76 in 1912.

Telegraph UK adds the following interesting facts : A human eye weighs approximately 28g, is 2.5cm wide and has six muscles; they  hardly grow from the time when you're born; Eyes can only see the colours red, blue and green. They make all others from these three; they can spot around 50,000 shades of grey; the average blink takes one tenth of a second and people  blink around 12 to 17 times per minute.  It takes an eye 48 hours to heal a scratch; the  muscle that controls the eye is the most active in the body

Interesting ! ~ when was the last time, you had your eyes checked ??

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th May 2017.



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