The dreaded Netscape blink tag....make it stop, mommy, make it stop! Possibly the worst idea ever created, this tag flashes the text between the opening and closing tags, which results in the readers becoming fixated on the flashing text and prevents them from moving their eyes elsewhere. Used commonly by so-called "1337" web development newbies to impress their friends. Whatever you do, Don't use this tag! It is evil!

Friends don't let friends use Blink.

Sometimes I close my eyes and I just want to blink out of existence. I feel like it wouldn't matter because what people would miss about me is the warm body filling space. They would miss someone doing the job in their life that I do.

People know me has a student. A hard worker. A sympathetic ear. People see me as open arms. A warm shoulder. An understanding smile. These are the things I am to them. But what they don't know and don't see is all I see. It's the part of me I take to bed with me at night. The part that's nothing but empty. The part that does nothing but hurt.

It listens every time I am belittled. I blink. It listens every time we don't talk. I blink. I says to me, "See, you're not worthy of that friendship anymore." I blink. But, I still exist. I still have to lie in bed every night and listen to everything it doesn't like about me. I still let it make me cry.

It's the reason I write. I want it out of me. Off of me. Nowhere near me. I don't want it to be the part of me that I know anymore. I want to blink, and have it be gone.

But, it's not that simple. I still have to go to bed at night, and try not to listen to it, to not let it get to me. I have to keep blinking.

Blink

subtitle: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
by Malcolm Gladwell
Little, Brown
2005

Following on his success of The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell released Blink in January of 2005. The book is about snap decisions and some of the psychology around them. Malcolm writes in his accessible, conversational style. It makes for quick reading. Stripped down, the book makes the following points. (Note that the order of these points does not match the order they are made in the book.)

  1. People subconsciously pick up on small details in people, things, and environments around them. People subconsciously aggregate these details when making snap decisions.
  2. People are especially good at reading details in other people and ascertaining their mental state, what he calls mind-reading. He notes that autism is a kind of mind-blindness, an inability to understand the intentions and mental states of others.
  3. Snap judgments are handled by the subconscious, and often justified by the conscious mind with fabricated—but wholly believed—stories in retrospect.
  4. Having to voice an explanation of our snap decisions forces the logical right brain to handle it rather than the emotional left brain, often to our long term dissatisfaction.
  5. Our snap judgments can be confounded by several things.
    1. Misleading appearances
    2. Our preconceptions and prejudices
    3. Irrelevant factors
  6. People can overcome the effect of appearances and prejudice by exposing themselves to positive examples before the moment of decision. (These examples are called primers, kind of like deliberate subliminal messages.)
  7. People can further mitigate the negative effects of the bad snap decision in one of two ways.
    1. Developing a principle and adhering to it regardless of feelings.
    2. Scientifically identifying salient information and hiding everything else from the decision maker.
  8. We can improve our snap decisions by slowing complex situations down and studying them bit by bit in a process he terms thin-slicing. Eventually, we can return to real-time observations and snap judge them accurately.

Gladwell is fun reading for the anecdotes, but fails to answer the crucial question that directly results from addressing the topic: When should we trust our snap decisions and when shouldn't we? He seems to imply that experts make better judgments, but never states it directly and never provides any analytical tools or framework for the reader. (He provided one in The Tipping Point, so its absence is quite conspicuous here.)

Perhaps the greatest value of the book is its references to other topics, such as John Gottman's treatise titled The Mathematics of Divorce, Harvard's Implicit Association Test, and the unsung artist Kenna, among others. But ultimately, as a book with some good stories, a few interesting references, and a muddy point, it is unsatisfying.

bletcherous = B = blinkenlights

blink vi.,n.

To use a navigator or off-line message reader to minimize time spent on-line to a commercial network service (a necessity in many places outside the U.S. where the telecoms monopolies charge per-minute for local calls). This term attained wide use in the UK, but is rare or unknown in the US.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, this entry manually entered by rootbeer277.

One of the scariest episodes of the "revived" Doctor Who series, which stars David Tennant as The Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones. The episode was the tenth of season three, and the only of the 2007 set to be written by Steven Moffat.

In the episode, a young girl named Sally Sparrow tries to connect the dots left behind as an Easter egg on seven totally unrelated DVDs, and dodge the Weeping Angels -- statues of angels that move when nobody is looking at them.

I won't write a total synopsis here, because I could never do it justice, but those who scare easily may be better off watching this one with the lights on. The BBC Fear Forecasters rated the episode a 5.5 ("off the scale"), and the only other Doctor Who episode to receive a rating higher than 5 was The Impossible Planet (6). The BBC left a notice for parents suggesting that they record the episode and watch it together with their children in the daylight.

A similar warning was attached to The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances -- notably, they were both written by Moffat as well.

It makes you wonder what we Who fans are in store for in 2010 -- after all, Moffat will be taking over Russell T. Davies's spot as head writer and executive producer ...

Blinking happens so much we forget about it. It's like the Hum of a nearby fridge. Occasionally, in between blinks, I might slip in a 'double wink' without anything seeming amiss. As a wink is half of a voluntary blink, a 'double wink' would be the left and right eye winking at the same time. Perhaps it'd be better understood as a deliberate blink. Whatever this should be called, I'd like to bring it some way into the general consciousness: it looks just like a blink, but actually it's whoever's behind the eyes regressing momentarily. Let me explain.

Picture the scene: you're mindlessly out and about when suddenly you come across, oh I don't know, a darling little squirrel on the pavement eating some nuts. Or maybe a gross little splattered squirrel in the road. You pause and you think, damn, if only I had my camera. You can't do much but walk on by.

This would be a waste, if it were not for the option to regress unashamedly and pretend that you're a camera. Imagine that your eyelids are lens shutters, that your mind is Adobe Photoshop, and you'll be able to mildly amuse yourself! A 'double wink is what I do to snapshot images that come my way, kinda so I can remember them later, but mainly so I can float around in my own little bubble for a while. Without anyone realising, of course.

Sad? Yeah. Repetitive? A little. Should I just buy a camera phone? Most probably.

Blink was the 9th episode of the third series of the revival of Doctor Who, written by Steven Moffat and starring David Tennant as the 10th Doctor and Freema Aygeman as his companion, Martha Jones. Besides they are the stars in name only: due to a tight production schedule, "Blink" was filmed with the one-off characters being the stars, and The Doctor and his companion being relegated to a cameo appearance in their own show.

The plot of the story follows Sally Sparrow, a young woman who is investigating a deserted house, and finds people around her disappearing. At the same time as this is happening, she is getting strange messages around her: writing on the wall of the house, addressed to her, beneath the wallpaper, a weird series of messages as an easter egg in DVDs. These messages all come from a man known as The Doctor, although what they are saying is hard to piece out. Although it seems to involve the Weeping Angels, statues that can only move when they aren't being observed. Stare at a Weeping Angel, and you have nothing to fear, but the moment you blink, it can move "faster than you can imagine". Using some clever thinking, and teamwork that works across decades, The Doctor and Sally Sparrow (together with her friend Lawrence Nightingale) manage to trick the Weeping Angels' with their one weakness, and everyone lives, at least until the crash of the Byzantium.

This episode is considered to be one of the iconic and best of the show since 2005, and while many people have pointed out various reasons why, I think I have the best answer: Doctor Who is a show about many things, and this show hits the entire spectrum. Strangely enough, a bottle episode written and filmed to save on the budget of the series is perhaps the best summary of what the show is about.

  • Time Travel: It has been remarked that while time travel provides neat plots and costumes for the show, Steven Moffat was one of the first writers who used time travel as integral to the plot. In "Blink", characters move through time, communicating with each other in an odd assortment of ways that lead to paradox. Which leads us to:
  • The Doctor and his eccentric, dopey genius. In trying to explain the nature of the temporal paradoxes, the Doctor eventually ends up at a loss for words, leading to the iconic explanation that time is a ball of "timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbley...stuff". He also gets to show off both his genius and goofiness in building a "Timey-Wimey detector" that "Goes 'Ding' when theirs stuff". The Doctor doesn't get much screen time, but what he has is golden.
  • Horror: Doctor Who is a Science-Fiction show with horror elements, and the monsters in this story, the Weeping Angels, are very frightening, and based on a simple concept: they only move when you aren't looking. Although the episode is totally bloodless, and the Angels are just stone people with sharp teeth, they still manage to be very frightening, only to be superseded with the introduction of The Silence.
  • Pathos: Sally Sparrow meets a man who is then sent back in time, and must live for decades until he meets her later, on his death bed. For her, the two incidents are a few hours apart. For him, decades. He meets her and comments that when they first met, it was raining, and she answers: "It's the same rain". What could be a simple time-travel gimmick is used for great emotional effect.
  • Romance: The aforementioned interaction, as well as Sally's interactions with Lawrence Nightingale, are sweetly romantic.

And all of this takes place within about 45 minutes: humor, terror, romance, and drama, as well as some old-fashioned science-fiction weirdness. And none of it seems out of place or rushed. All in an episode that, in part, was just designed to fill out a tight production schedule. This is also interesting because the writer, Steven Moffat was later made the head writer of Doctor Who. opinions of his over-the-top time-spanning adventures have been mixed, with some people feel it is rushed and lacking in characterization, while others think it is an ambitious attempt to use the full potential of the show's concept. I feel that both of these are true, and I somewhat wonder why the Steven Moffat who could fit all of Doctor Who into 45 minutes seemed to have problems with doing the same thing in 26 episodes.

Blink (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Blinked (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Blinking.] [OE. blenken; akin to dan. blinke, Sw. blinka, G. blinken to shine, glance, wink, twinkle, D. blinken to shine; and prob. to D. blikken to glance, twinkle, G. blicken to look, glance, AS. blican to shine, E. bleak. &root;98. See Bleak; cf. 1st Blench.]

1.

To wink; to twinkle with, or as with, the eye.

One eye was blinking, and one leg was lame. Pope

2.

To see with the eyes half shut, or indistinctly and with frequent winking, as a person with weak eyes.

Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne. Shak.

3.

To shine, esp. with intermittent light; to twinkle; to flicker; to glimmer, as a lamp.

The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink. Wordsworth.

The sun blinked fair on pool and stream . Sir W. Scott.

4.

To turn slightly sour, as beer, mild, etc.

 

© Webster 1913.


Blink, v. t.

1.

To shut out of sight; to avoid, or purposely evade; to shirk; as, to blink the question.

2.

To trick; to deceive.

[Scot.]

Jamieson.

 

© Webster 1913.


Blink, n. [OE. blink. See Blink, v. i. ]

1.

A glimpse or glance.

This is the first blink that ever I had of him. Bp. Hall.

2.

Gleam; glimmer; sparkle.

Sir W. Scott.

Not a blink of light was there. Wordsworth.

3. Naut.

The dazzling whiteness about the horizon caused by the reflection of light from fields of ice at sea; ice blink.

4. pl. [Cf. Blencher.] Sporting

Boughs cast where deer are to pass, to turn or check them.

[Prov. Eng.]

 

© Webster 1913.

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