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The Blind Man Who Taught Himself To See
Men's Journal ^ | Michael Finkel

Posted on 05/14/2011 3:48:05 PM PDT by ventanax5

Daniel Kish has been sightless since he was a year old. Yet he can mountain bike. And navigate the wilderness alone. And recognize a building as far away as 1,000 feet. How? The same way bats can see in the dark...

The first thing Daniel Kish does, when I pull up to his tidy gray bungalow in Long Beach, California, is make fun of my driving. “You’re going to leave it that far from the curb?” he asks. He’s standing on his stoop, a good 10 paces from my car. I glance behind me as I walk up to him. I am, indeed, parked about a foot and a half from the curb.

The second thing Kish does, in his living room a few minutes later, is remove his prosthetic eyeballs. He does this casually, like a person taking off a smudged pair of glasses. The prosthetics are thin convex shells, made of acrylic plastic, with light brown irises. A couple of times a day they need to be cleaned. “They get gummy,” he explains. Behind them is mostly scar tissue. He wipes them gently with a white cloth and places them back in.

Kish was born with an aggressive form of cancer called retinoblastoma, which attacks the retinas. To save his life, both of his eyes were removed by the time he was 13 months old. Since his infancy — Kish is now 44 — he has been adapting to his blindness in such remarkable ways that some people have wondered if he’s playing a grand practical joke. But Kish, I can confirm, is completely blind.

(Excerpt) Read more at mensjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bats; blindness; echolocation; science

1 posted on 05/14/2011 3:48:06 PM PDT by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

Our minds can visualize things, even scenes we’ve never seen. I’ve often wondered what a blind persons mind can visualize. I’m talking about a person totally blind from birth.


2 posted on 05/14/2011 3:54:54 PM PDT by umgud
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To: ventanax5

That’s an amazing story - thanks for posting it.


3 posted on 05/14/2011 4:00:00 PM PDT by Menehune56 ("Let them hate so long as they fear" (Oderint Dum Metuant), Lucius Accius, (170 BC - 86 BC))
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To: ventanax5; Admin Moderator

Your link tries to activate my printer!!!


4 posted on 05/14/2011 4:05:24 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Proud to be a (small) monthly donor.)
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To: Repeal The 17th

Try this one

http://www.mensjournal.com/the-blind-man-who-taught-himself-to-see


5 posted on 05/14/2011 4:08:11 PM PDT by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

6 posted on 05/14/2011 4:15:02 PM PDT by Repeal The 17th (Proud to be a (small) monthly donor.)
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To: ventanax5

Can’t find the article, there was a young black teenager with the same cancer, and loss of sight, but had learned the same ability to see and navigate by sound. Remarkable!


7 posted on 05/14/2011 4:28:52 PM PDT by WestwardHo (Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: ventanax5

There was a show on television called ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans’. On one of the episodes they profiled a guy just like this. He clicks his tough while moving his head back and forth and is able to navigate around obstacles using bat-like echolocation. The show set up a bunch of obstacles and cars and had him ride a tandem bike with the host and completely navigated the course without a collision, albeit somewhat slowly.


8 posted on 05/14/2011 4:38:12 PM PDT by LoneStarGI (Vegetarian: Old Indian word for "BAD HUNTER.")
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To: WestwardHo

The blind teenager’s name was Ben Underwood. He passed away a couple of years ago to, in his mother’s words, “be with his savior Jesus Christ.” This man had a remarkably positive attitude as you’ll see on his web site. Explore the Video Gallery.

http://www.benunderwood.com/


9 posted on 05/14/2011 5:24:37 PM PDT by Cherrybark (Flint, Texas)
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DearDevil...the man with no fear.


10 posted on 05/14/2011 5:26:17 PM PDT by ak267
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DareDevil...the man with no fear.


11 posted on 05/14/2011 5:26:30 PM PDT by ak267
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To: ventanax5

Really fascinating, thanks. When you think about how teensy little bats can do it, it makes sense that humans have enough processing power, if they can learn to apply it as Kish has.


12 posted on 05/14/2011 5:26:55 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: ventanax5

My great uncle who was blind could play 8 musical instruments.


13 posted on 05/14/2011 6:04:31 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: ventanax5

Longer ago than I care to think about, I watched a B&W WWII movie about an American soldier who lost his eyesight and was trained to see by sound.


14 posted on 05/14/2011 6:08:17 PM PDT by fso301
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To: freekitty

The winner of the recent Van Cliburn International Piano competition, Nobuyuki Tsujii, was born blind. He is phenomenal.

http://www.cliburn.org/index.php?page=winner_detail&compID=149


15 posted on 05/14/2011 6:30:27 PM PDT by Deo volente (God willing, America will survive this Obamination.)
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To: Cherrybark

Thank you! I couldn’t “find” him...I’m so glad you did!


16 posted on 05/14/2011 7:07:04 PM PDT by WestwardHo (Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: ventanax5

There would be a few things he still couldn’t “see” such as the image on a computer screen or TV, or ordinary writing. But what he can “see” lets him get around amazingly well, at least amazing to persons with functional vision. I wonder if skeet shooting is possible with echolocation.


17 posted on 05/14/2011 9:27:27 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
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To: ventanax5

That is remarkable.
Thanks for the link to the story.


18 posted on 05/14/2011 9:41:22 PM PDT by Verbosus (/* No Comment */)
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To: ventanax5

Fascinating story. Thanks for posting.


19 posted on 05/14/2011 9:52:18 PM PDT by Huntress ("Politicians exploit economic illiteracy." --Walter Williams)
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To: freekitty

The local Model A club (old fords) has a blind guy that does their brakes. He does it all by feel.


20 posted on 05/15/2011 2:59:01 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: Repeal The 17th

I’m impressed!


21 posted on 05/15/2011 5:46:35 AM PDT by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: FReepers

Please Donate


22 posted on 05/15/2011 5:47:41 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: glorgau

Amazing how people will go forward despite all the odds.


23 posted on 05/15/2011 7:42:16 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: Deo volente

I haven’t thought about the Van Cliburn competition in years. What a wonderful thing.


24 posted on 05/15/2011 7:49:00 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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