The Blind Spot

The Blind Spot is a science fiction novel by American writers Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint. The novel was originally serialized in six parts in the magazine Argosy beginning in May 1921. It was first published in book form in 1951 by Prime Press in an edition of 1,500 copies, though fewer than 800 were bound and the remainder are assumed lost. The sequel, The Spot of Life, was written by Hall alone.

The Blind Spot
Blind spot
Dust-jacket from the first edition
AuthorAustin Hall and Homer Eon Flint
IllustratorHannes Bok
Cover artistHannes Bok
CountryUnited States
GenreScience fiction
PublisherPrime Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Followed byThe Spot of Life 

Plot introduction

The novel concerns an interdimensional doorway between worlds.


In In Search of Wonder, Damon Knight is critical of the novel's coherence, scientific accuracy and style:[1]

The Blind Spot, by Austin Hall and Homer Eon Flint, is an acknowledged classic of fantasy, first published in 1921; much praised since then, several times reprinted, venerated by connoisseurs - all despite the fact that the book has no recognizable vestige of merit.

Groff Conklin, however, more generously termed The Blind Spot an "honored classic" despite being "overwritten [and] leaning a little heavily on the pseudo-metaphysical."[2] Forrest J Ackerman described it in Astounding as a "luxuriantly glorious Merrittesque [fantasy] of dimensional interstices" and "a highly philosophical work."[3]

Everett F. Bleiler wrote that The Blind Spot "used to be regarded as one of the classics of early science-fiction, but now it is much less esteemed." He concluded that while its opening section "evoke[s] a considerable sense of wonder," the novel "soon degenerates into a routine adventure story with loose ends."[4]


  1. ^ Knight, Damon (1967). In Search of Wonder. Chicago: Advent.
  2. ^ "Galaxy's 5 Star Shelf", Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1952, p.119.
  3. ^ "Book Reviews", Astounding Science Fiction, September 1951, p.124
  4. ^ Everett F. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years, Kent State University Press, 1990, p.328


External links

Averted vision

Averted vision is a technique for viewing faint objects which uses peripheral vision. It involves not looking directly at the object, but looking a little off to the side, while continuing to concentrate on the object. This subject is discussed in the popular astronomy literature but only a few rigorous studies have quantified the effect. However, the technique is based on well-known properties regarding the structure of the eye.

It is claimed this technique is most useful to astronomers for viewing large but faint nebulae and star clusters. By developing the technique, some observers report a gain of up to three or four magnitudes (15:1 to 40:1). Others report no appreciable improvement.

There is some evidence that the technique has been known since ancient times, as it seems to have been reported by Aristotle while observing the star cluster now known as M41. This technique of being able to see very dim lights over a long distance has also been passed down over hundreds of generations of sailors whose duties included standing lookout watches, making one better able to spot dim lights from other ships or shore locations at night.

It also matters whether you avert right or left. The most effective direction is that which places the object on the nasal side of the vision. This avoids the possibility the object will be imaged on the blind spot at approximately 15 degrees on the temporal side of the line of sight. So, for right-eyed observers it is best to shift to the right, and for left-eye observers it is best to shift to the left. Some people also claim that it is better to avert up instead of down. The best thing to do is practice and find the best location for one's own eyes.

A similar technique is called scope rocking, which is done by simply moving the telescope back and forth slightly to move the object around in the field of view. This technique is based on the fact that the visual system is more sensitive to motion than to static objects.


Baffle or baffles may refer to:

Baffle (liquid mixing), auxiliary devices employed in tank which suppress the effects of slosh dynamics

Baffle (heat transfer), a flow-directing or obstructing vane or panel used in some industrial process vessels (tanks)

Baffle (medicine), a tunnel or wall surgically constructed within the heart or primary blood vessels to redirect blood flow

Baffles (submarine), the blind spot in a submarine's sonar created by the body of the submarine

Baffle or All-Star Baffle, a 1973–74 revival of PDQ (game show), where contestants had to guess phrases from a short combination of letters

Baffle gate, another name for turnstile

Sound baffle, any object designed to reduce airborne sound

Components in a loudspeaker enclosure used to negate the out-of-phase sound waves from the rear of the loudspeaker

Components in a suppressor used to redirect the gas from a gunshot to minimise sound and light

Squirrel baffle, a device fixed to birdfeeders to prevent access by squirrels and other small mammals

Baffles (submarine)

The baffles is the area in the water directly behind a submarine or ship through which a hull-mounted sonar cannot hear. This blind spot is caused by the need to insulate the sonar array, commonly mounted near the bow, from the noise of the vessel's machinery.

During the Cold War, one submarine would frequently attempt to follow another by hiding in its baffles. This led to the practice of "clearing the baffles", that is, turning to observe the blind spot and detect any followers. Related maneuvers included the "Crazy Ivan", a hard turn to clear the baffles and position the submarine to attack any followers, and "Angles and Dangles", a five-hour process of rapid direction and speed changes to ensure that all items aboard were properly secured for hard maneuvering and would not fall or shift suddenly, producing noise that the enemy could detect. The baffles-clearing maneuvers undertaken by Soviet Yankee-class submarines were dubbed "Yankee Doodles."Hiding in a sub's baffles is dangerous because of the risk of collision. Such tactics have fallen out of use since the advent of the towed-array sonar, which negates the baffles' blind spot.


Blacklistt is a rock band formed by four of the original members of the New Zealand-based group Blindspott, Damian Alexander (vocals), Marcus Powell (guitar, backing vocals), Gareth Fleming (bass) and Karl Vilisini (turntables, keyboards, Production).

Blind spot (vision)

A blind spot, scotoma, is an obscuration of the visual field. A particular blind spot known as the physiological blind spot, "blind point", or punctum caecum in medical literature, is the place in the visual field that corresponds to the lack of light-detecting photoreceptor cells on the optic disc of the retina where the optic nerve passes through the optic disc. Because there are no cells to detect light on the optic disc, the corresponding part of the field of vision is invisible. Some process in our brains interpolates the blind spot based on surrounding detail and information from the other eye, so we do not normally perceive the blind spot.

Although all vertebrates have this blind spot, cephalopod eyes, which are only superficially similar, do not. In them, the optic nerve approaches the receptors from behind, so it does not create a break in the retina.

The first documented observation of the phenomenon was in the 1660s by Edme Mariotte in France. At the time it was generally thought that the point at which the optic nerve entered the eye should actually be the most sensitive portion of the retina; however, Mariotte's discovery disproved this theory.

The blind spot is located about 12–15° temporally and 1.5° below the horizontal and is roughly 7.5° high and 5.5° wide.

Blind spot monitor

The blind spot monitor is a vehicle-based sensor device that detects other vehicles located to the driver’s side and rear. Warnings can be visual, audible, vibrating, or tactile.However, blind spot monitors are an option that may do more than monitor the sides and rear of the vehicle. They may also include "Cross Traffic Alert", "which alerts drivers backing out of a parking space when traffic is approaching from the sides."

Den döda vinkeln

"Den döda vinkeln" (translation: The blind spot, literally: The dead angle) is a 2005 single by the band Kent, from the album Du & jag döden. It was released without a B-side, which made it less popular among Kent fans. The one track single was initially intended to be a promotion single only, but the record company decided to make it an official release party.

The single was number one in Sweden and reached number five in Finland.


In vision, filling-in phenomena are those responsible for the completion of missing information across the physiological blind spot, and across natural and artificial scotomata. There is also evidence for similar mechanisms of completion in normal visual analysis. Classical demonstrations of perceptual filling-in involve filling in at the blind spot in monocular vision, and images stabilized on the retina either by means of special lenses, or under certain conditions of steady fixation. For example, naturally in monocular vision at the physiological blind spot, the percept is not a hole in the visual field, but the content is “filled-in” based on information from the surrounding visual field. When a textured stimulus is presented centered on but extending beyond the region of the blind spot, a continuous texture is perceived. This partially inferred percept is paradoxically considered more reliable than a percept based on external input. (Ehinger et al. 2017).

A second type of example relates to entirely stabilized stimuli. Their colour and lightness fade until they are no longer seen and the area fills in with the colour and lightness of the surrounding region. A famous example of fading under steady fixation is Troxler's fading. When steadily fixating on the central dot for many seconds, the peripheral annulus will fade and will be replaced by the colour or texture of the background. Since the adapted region is actively filled-in with background colour or texture, the phenomenon cannot be fully explained by local processes such as adaptation.

There is general agreement that edges play a central role in determining the apparent colour and lightness of surfaces through similar filling-in mechanisms. However, the way in which their influence is performed is still unclear. Two different theories have been put forward to explain the filling-in completion phenomenon.

One theory, addressed as the "isomorphic filling-in theory" according to the definition of Von der Heydt, Friedman et al. (2003), postulates that perception is based on an image representation held in a two dimensional array of neurons, typically arranged retinotopically, in which colour signals spread in all directions except across borders formed by contour activity. The process is thought to be analogous to physical diffusion, with contours acting as diffusion barriers for the colour and brightness signals. An alternative hypothesis is that image information is transformed at the cortical level into an oriented feature representation. Form and colour would be derived at a subsequent stage, not as the result of an isomorphic filling-in process, but as an attribute of an object or proto-object. This theory is called the symbolic filling-in theory.

According to the isomorphic filling-in theory, colour is represented by the activity of cells whose receptive fields point at the surface, but it is assumed that these cells receive additional activation through horizontal connections that keeps their activity level high despite mechanisms of lateral inhibition tending to suppress surface activity and despite the transient nature of the afferent signals. The lateral activation comes from receptive fields at contrast borders. These signals are strong because receptive fields are exposed to contrast, and reliable because the border produces continuous light modulation even during fixation, due to small residual eye movements. In the alternative symbolic hypothesis, there is no spreading of activity, but all the information would be carried by the relevant features, that would be tagged with information on contrast polarity, colour and lightness of the surfaces they enclose. Despite the many attempts to verify the two different models by psychophysical and physiological experiments, the mechanisms of colour and lightness filling-in are still debated.

Homer Eon Flint

Homer Eon Flint (born as Homer Eon Flindt; 1888 –1924) was an American writer of pulp science fiction novels and short stories.

He began working as a scenarist for silent films in 1912 (reportedly at his wife's insistence). In 1918, he published "The Planeteer" in All-Story Weekly. His "Dr. Kinney" stories were reprinted by Ace Books in 1965, and with Austin Hall he co-wrote the novel The Blind Spot.

He reportedly died as a result of an involvement in a bank robbery attempt. According to his granddaughter the only witness was a gangster.His son was Max Hugh Flindt (1915–2004), the co-founder of The Ancient Astronaut Society. With Otto Binder, he co-authored Mankind – Child of the Stars in 1974.

Horizontal eccentricity

Horizontal eccentricity refers to the horizontal axis, measured in degrees, along the visual field. The blind spot extends from an eccentricity d1 to eccentricity d2 in temporal direction from the fovea. The size of the blind spot can be calculated as

Hyundai Nexo

The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell powered crossover SUV that was revealed at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show on January 8, 2018. Set to replace the Hyundai Tucson FCEV, the Nexo will be the flagship for Hyundai's eco car portfolio. Hyundai plans to introduce up to 18 eco cars in the global markets by 2025, and sources are told that India also happens to be a key area of focus.

Unlike the Tucson FCEV that used a heavily modified version of the Tucson's underpinnings, the Nexo uses a purpose-built platform from an FCEV standpoint. The benefits come in the form of a lighter construction, a more powerful drivetrain, and a higher driving range. The Nexo has a 163 PS, 400 Nm electric motor, versus 135 PS and 300 Nm for the Tucson FCEV.

It features three fuel tanks with a total capacity of 156 liters and 6.3 kg, versus 140 liters and 5.6 kg for the previous model. The Nexo has a driving range of 800 km, versus 470 km for the Tucson FCEV.

Hyundai made the Nexo available for sale in certain markets early in 2018.

Jannik Petersen Bjerrum

Jannik Petersen Bjerrum (26 December 1851 – 2 July 1920) was a Danish ophthalmologist who was a native of Skærbæk, a town in the southernmost part of Jutland. In 1864 Skærbæk became part of Germany due to consequences of the Second Schleswig War.

In 1876 he received his medical doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, and in 1879 became an assistant to Edmund Hansen Grut (1831-1907) at the Havnegade eye clinic. After Grut's retirement in 1896, he became director of the clinic, as well as being the second professor of ophthalmology at the University of Copenhagen, a position he would maintain until his retirement in 1910.

Bjerrum made contributions regarding pathogenetic research of glaucoma, and performed extensive investigations involving campimetry. He was interested in the correlation between visual perception of form and the resolving power in localized regions of the retina. He was particularly focused on the subtleties of the central 30° of the visual field rather than the standard perimetry tests that many of his contemporaries favored.

As a result of his campimetric tests he discovered a small glaucomatous scotoma that was to become known as a "Bjerrum scotoma", which is a visual field defect that goes by several other names, such as "sickle scotoma", "arcuate scotoma" or "scimitar scotoma". Other eponyms named after Bjerrum include:

Bjerrum tangent screen: Screen used to assess the central 30° of the visual field.

Bjerrum's area: An arcuate region that extends above and below the blind spot to between 10° and 20° of fixation point.After Bjerrum's retirement in 1910, his work in campimetry was continued by his assistant, Henning Rønne (1878-1947).

Jannik Petersen Bjerrum was the father of the chemist Niels Bjerrum and the brother of physicist Kirstine Meyer.

Jim Abbiss

Jim Abbiss is a British music producer, best known for his work on records including the Arctic Monkeys' Mercury Music Prize winning debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, Kasabian's Kasabian and Empire, Ladytron's Witching Hour, Sneaker Pimps' debut Becoming X, and two of Adele's albums, 19 and 21.He started his music career playing keyboards with Peterborough band The Pleasure Heads, on Red Rhino Records, before getting his first studio job at Spaceward Studios near Cambridge, in 1986. It was here that he trained under maverick engineer & producer Owen Morris (Oasis, Ash). He moved to become an assistant engineer at Power Plant studios, London in 1988, and witnessed first-hand the acid house movement through countless remix sessions.He went freelance in 1990, and Steve Hillage (System 7,The Orb) became a regular collaborator on remixes & album sessions. He then met producer Nellee Hooper, and worked as his engineer on albums for Björk (Debut), Massive Attack (Protection), as well as the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack & many more remixes. This association established Abbiss and led to a meeting and future collaborations with James Lavelle & DJ Shadow. More remixing (The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony) and the critically acclaimed Psyence Fiction album by Unkle led to him being offered more production work. He co-produced the Sneaker Pimps debut, Becoming X, and the debut LP by Mono. At the same time, song-writing with singer Laura Mohapi led to a publishing contract with Chrysalis music, and a short-lived return to the world of the artist with the band Darling.He has also worked with Stateless on their self-titled debut album Stateless. Other work includes both EPs and debut single by Bombay Bicycle Club, as well as on their debut album I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose. He has also mixed DJ Shadow's albums The Less You Know, the Better. and The Private Press.

Mixing tracks for Kasabian in 2003 led to co-producing 2 albums with them (the self-titled Kasabian and Empire) and gave him the first of 3 nominations for "producer of the year" at the Music Week/MPG awards. He then worked on Editors (The Back Room), The Noisettes (Wild Young Hearts) and The Temper Trap (Conditions). While producing the track "My Yvonne" for Jack Peñate, he met singer Adele, whom Jack had asked to do some backing vocals. He was immediately blown away by her voice and asked if she had her own demos. She had just signed to XL, and shortly afterwards Abbiss began work on her debut 19, producing eight tracks. Producing two tracks for her phenomenally successful follow-up 21 led to a Grammy nomination.In 2011 Jim Abbiss worked on The Kooks third album, Junk of the Heart.In 2012, Jim Abbiss produced The Unified Field for former Sneaker Pimps vocalist and founding member Chris Corner's project IAMX.

Abbiss has continued studio productions with Emeli Sandé, Peace, The Family Rain, Birdy & KT Tunstall and maintains ongoing projects with a variety of artists.

In 2016, he co-produced the Blind Spot (EP) for the band Lush.

Mikhail Mikhailowitsch Woinow

Mikhail Mikhailowitsch Woinow, surname sometimes spelled as Voinov (1844 - 1875) was a German-based Russian ophthalmologist.

He served as an assistant to Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) and Otto Becker (1828-1890) at the University of Heidelberg and to Carl Ferdinand von Arlt (1812-1887) in Vienna. Later he established an ophthalmologic practice in Moscow, where he also gave lectures at the university.In Vienna he conducted pioneer ophthalmometric research with August Leopold von Reuss (1841-1924) that included studies of corneal astigmatism following cataract extraction. The two men are credited as the first to describe exact ophthalmometric observations on "wound astigmatism". In addition to work in ophthalmometry, Woinow published a number of papers on subjects such as ametropia, the blind spot, binocular vision, color vision, accommodation, etc.


A scotoma is an area of partial alteration in the field of vision consisting of a partially diminished or entirely degenerated visual acuity that is surrounded by a field of normal – or relatively well-preserved – vision.

Every normal mammal eye has a scotoma in its field of vision, usually termed its blind spot. This is a location with no photoreceptor cells, where the retinal ganglion cell axons that compose the optic nerve exit the retina. This location is called the optic disc. There is no direct conscious awareness of visual scotomas. They are simply regions of reduced information within the visual field. Rather than recognizing an incomplete image, patients with scotomas report that things "disappear" on them.The presence of the blind spot scotoma can be demonstrated subjectively by covering one eye, carefully holding fixation with the open eye, and placing an object (such as one's thumb) in the lateral and horizontal visual field, about 15 degrees from fixation (see the blind spot article). The size of the monocular scotoma is 5×7 degrees of visual angle.

A scotoma can be a symptom of damage to any part of the visual system, such as retinal damage from exposure to high-powered lasers, macular degeneration and brain damage.

The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in several fields. The common theme of all the figurative senses is of a gap not in visual function but in the mind's perception, cognition, or world view. The term is from Greek σκότος/skótos, darkness.

Seidel sign

Seidel's sign (also called Seidel's scotoma) is a sickle-shaped scotoma that is a superior or inferior extension of the blind spot. It occurs in some patients with glaucoma.

Towed array sonar

A towed array sonar is a system of hydrophones towed behind a submarine or a surface ship on a cable. Trailing the hydrophones behind the vessel, on a cable that can be kilometers long, keeps the array's sensors away from the ship's own noise sources, greatly improving its signal-to-noise ratio, and hence the effectiveness of detecting and tracking faint contacts, such as quiet, low noise-emitting submarine threats, or seismic signals.A towed array offers superior resolution and range compared with hull mounted sonar. It also covers the baffles, the blind spot of hull mounted sonar. However, effective use of the system limits a vessel's speed and care must be taken to protect the cable from damage.

Vehicle blind spot

A blind spot in a vehicle is an area around the vehicle that cannot be directly observed by the driver while at the controls, under existing circumstances. Blind spots exist in a wide range of vehicles: aircraft, cars, motorboats, sailboats, and trucks. Other types of transport have no blind spots at all, such as bicycles, horses, and motorcycles. Proper adjustment of mirrors and use of other technical solutions can eliminate or alleviate vehicle blind spots.

A no zone is one of several areas around a large truck, where the truck driver cannot see. Collisions frequently occur in no zones.

In transport, driver visibility is the maximum distance at which the driver of a vehicle can see and identify prominent objects around the vehicle. Visibility is primarily determined by weather conditions (see visibility) and by a vehicle's design. The parts of a vehicle that influence visibility include the windshield, the dashboard and the pillars. Good driver visibility is essential to safe road traffic.

Blind spots may occur in the front of the driver when the A-pillar (also called the windshield pillar), side-view mirror, or interior rear-view mirror block a driver's view of the road. Behind the driver, cargo, headrests, and additional pillars may reduce visibility.

Wing mirror

A wing mirror, also known as the fender mirror, door mirror, outside rear-view mirror or side view mirror, is a mirror found on the exterior of motor vehicles for the purposes of helping the driver see areas behind and to the sides of the vehicle, outside the driver's peripheral vision (in the 'blind spot').

For mirrors on bicycles and motorcycles see "Rear-view mirror".

Although almost all modern cars mount their side mirrors on the doors—normally at the A-pillar—rather than the wings (the portion of the body above the wheel well), the term "wing mirror" is still frequently used.

The side mirror is equipped for manual or remote vertical and horizontal adjustment so as to provide adequate coverage to drivers of differing height and seated position. Remote adjustment may be mechanical by means of bowden cables, or may be electric by means of geared motors. The mirror glass may also be electrically heated and may include electrochromic dimming to reduce glare to the driver from the headlamps of following vehicles. Increasingly, the side mirror incorporates the vehicle's turn signal repeaters. There is evidence to suggest mirror-mounted repeaters may be more effective than repeaters mounted in the previously predominant fender side location.

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