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The article includes a brief description of how the bionic eye works--there is no camera connected at this point, as this is just phase one of a long sequence of experimentation which needs to be done
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Somehow, I failed to hear about this Kickstarter project while it was running but, happily, the artist did meet her goal.
Kickstarter page for
Grow a New Eye by San Francisco artist Tanya Marie Vlach
which describes the technical details and also--be still my little media studies heart--describes her transmedia ambitions for the eye-cam.
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You can read it and catch the links back to Alexx's photoessay about how my Delirium eyes were made here
and it makes my inner media studies scholar happy to think that my prosthetic eyes are a transmedia object.
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Yesterday morning in the wee hours I half-woke, rolled over, blinked a couple of times, and then...ploop! my right prosthetic fell onto the bed. Wtf? It seems the Delirium eyes still need some tweaking. They can be built up to a certain degree, but there's a chance an entire new one may have to be built. For now, this scene keeps running through my head
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Recovering structural integrity feels good, damn good!
You can read about the final stages of the prosthetics project and see the new Delirium eyes
or you can come to the May Day party on Sat., the first of May, starting at 2, and chekc them out live. Also, I have now mostly recovered the ability to close both eyes.

For the next upgrade: how about
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The appointment I had for a couple of weeks ago had to be rescheduled due to the terrible rain and the taxi company which lied to us that it was sending a taxi, so we went forth into yesterday's rain for the two-hour long fitting process. I asked Alexx to document the process, so he wrote
a four-part
with lots of pictures
(not for the squeamish).

The two ocularists who made my prosthetic eyes are technicians who learned the business from their father (a number of centuries ago there was a town in Germany which was known for making glass eyes, so the prosthetic eye as learned craft has some precedence).

The average cost of a single prosthetic eye is $2100. They make about four hundred eyes a year, have 21,000 consumers, and the age of their clients range from babies a few months old to seniors in their eighties and nineties. They get customers from outside of the country and also from out of state, as it seems that the production of prosthetic eyes is not always quality-controlled.

Hint: if it hurts, it was made incorrectly, and if someone tries to tell you that prosthetic eyes do not require the process of taking an impression and being fitted specifically to the individual eye socket, they are lying (and yes, we got to hear a story about a kid who had to spend a lot of time crying in pain due to some stupid so-called ocularist who didn't know or kept from the kid's mother this last detail about the eye being fitted). It's also disheartening to find out that the issue I had when I was thirteen--namely that I spent six months with a 70+ eye pressure because my personal eye doctor (who was also an eye surgeon) was reluctant to remove the eye--still goes on, especially with young women, as male doctors tell the girls things like if they get an eye removed, they'll regret it. I'm posting this here just in case somebody who is living in excruciating pain is searching the Internet for information: no one I have ever talked to who has been in this situation has ever regretted it; far from it, most of us were ecstatic to get our lives back. If you are in this situation, the only answer is to try different doctors until you get one who gives the right answer.

Odd fact of the day: one of the ocularists noticed my brass rat and was surprised to find out that the MIT mascot is a beaver. I explained that beavers were nature's engineers, and that I recently read an article about school mascots, and the weirdest one was a slug. The ocularists insisted that this must be a joke, so Alexx googled and yes,
the mascot of UC Santa Cruz is indeed a banana slug
a popular choice by the students strenuously resisted by the school administration which preferred the sea lion. Finally, the students proactively funded the referendum: final decision a victory with a 15;1 ratio for the slug over the sea lion.
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Wanna see something really scary?
During Arisia I dropped off my prosthetic eye with Columbine of Sunspot Designs
and right before I had my eye surgery I got back this cool prosthetic eye key fob so, as Columbine says, I can keep an eye on my keys (honestly, that was her pun, not mine).

Last night while showing it off to LJ user issendai I finally got around to putting it on a key ring so, if anyone at Boskone wants to see it, just ask. I was hoping to put up a picture, but so far I haven't been able to figure out how to do that. So instead, here's an excerpt from one of my favorite stories .

From "Buffalo Gals" by Ursula K. Le Guin

block quote start
She sat up, slowly, still holding her right hand pressed to her right eye.

"Did you lose an eye?" the coyote asked, interested.

"I don't know," the child said. She caught her breath and shivered. "I'm cold."

"I'll help you look for it," the coyote said.... The coyote was trotting busily around, nosing under clumps of rabbit-brush and cheat-grass, pawing at a rock. "Aren't you going to
look?" it said, suddenly sitting down on its haunches and abandoning the search. "I knew a trick once where I could throw my eyes way up into a tree and see everything from up there, and then whistle, and they'd come back into my head. But that goddam bluejay stole them, and when I whistled nothing came. I had to stick lumps of pine pitch into my head so I could see anything. You could try that But you've got one eye
that's OK, what do you need two for? Are you coming, or are you dying there?"
block quote end
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Yesterday I was all psyched for my appointment with the ocularist who makes my prosthetic eyes
and as soon as I sat down in the chair I announced "I want to change my eye colour!" and he said, "Why am I not surprise? I was saying earlier 'She'll probably want green eyes or reptile eyes or something,' " to which I replied "Well, only one green eye, the right one, but the left eye should be blue."

Into the resoudning silence I began to explain about Delirium which, okay, I can't blame him, that part is kind of hard to absorb all at once, but then he started to argue that mismatched eyes reflected badly on the ocularist so I countered with an explanation of fandom and how mismatched eyes were far from the weirdest thing going on there and he should really familiarize himself with the "Pimp my gimp" movement (man, I hate it when the humans try to stomp on my cyborg dreams).

But it all turned out to be moot.

It seems the ongoing eye problem I have been having with the eye healing (more about the squicky details below the cut) mean that I couldn't really have an impression made of the eye socket, which was the entire purpose of the appointment.

Instead I get to go back to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington and have another eye procedure done, and for some reason this is really depressing me. It's not life-threatening or even horrifically painful but it is going to mean another month or so of healing and so on and of course, my head hurts after being poked in the eye a few more times.

squicky details about eye surgery )
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That's basically what my surgeon had to say, and she would not have been there by the time I made the two-hour trip anyway, so I'm much calmer now. I still wish it hadn't taken me three calls to her service and an hour and a half to get that opinion, though.

Certain sick individuals who shall remain nameless feel I should have waited on the bleeding from the eyes thing until Halloween proper, but you know I get so impatient...
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I hate that.

Some people aspire to gothness, others have gothness thrust upon them.

I wouldn't be so freaked except that every medical person who says she will call me back has disappeared into a dark void, never to be heard of again, and it's been an hour. [profile] alexx_kay is coming home from work and we'll probably be taking the trek to Burlington, because local E/Rs tend to be kind of clueless when it comes to specialized eye emergencies.

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Yesterday Alexx and I trekked out to the Lahey Clinic in Burlington for my post-op checkup. While we were sitting in the waiting room, Alexx described an object sitting on the receptionists's desk. It was a beaker filled with knitted eyeballs with variously colored irises and a small sign saying "Rude patients." This was so cool, I wandered up to the desk and mentioned that I have a crazy knitter friend, and I would love to show her one of the eyeballs, so could I please have one? This brought upt the question among the receptionists and nurses of who, exactly, had made the knitted eyeballs, and after determining that no one was going to admit to having put it there, the head receptionist said, sure, knock yourself out.
So now I have a knitted eyeball, basically scaled to lifesize and complete with a little dangly optic nerve in the back. It has a purple iris because I'm thinking of getting purple prosthettic eyes next time.

After the doctor's assistant showed us into an examining room, she said, "The doctor told me I was supposed to check your vision--how blind are you?"
So I proceeded to tell the story of how I was as blind as a person could get, 0/0 vision, removable eyeballs, prosthetic eyes, to which the assistant said, "Wow! You have prosthetic eyes! I've never seen one of those before!"
So then I proceeded to let her stare deeply into my prosthetic eye (the one which wasn't swollen shut, that is), and we had fun talking about prosthetic eyes and I told her about the YouTube video showing how prosthetic eyes are made
and all kinds of groovy things like that until the doctor showed up, poked me in the eye a few times and told me I was doing great and could go home now, but I should come see her again in six weeks after which I would probably be able to get my prosthetic eyes version 3.0, as LJ user Jesse the K refers to them. I know I had an eyepatch somewhere in the aerye, but of course now I can't find it.

I like to keep a few spooky books about for days like today, when it's all stormy and raining, and today's selection was _Supernatural Fiction Writers: Volume I_ edited by E. F. Bleiler (Apuleius - May Sinclair). The entire volume is a little over five hundred pages long and frankly, I will probably skip Volume II as most of the authors fall into the category which I refer to as N.D.E. (Not Dead Enough). It's a wonderful reference work, providing a basic biography of each author, along with a critical overview of the author's most notable works and a selected bibliography which includes criticism. Each entry is written by a notable critic in the genre of supernatural fiction, critics such as Jack Sullivan and John Clute, who writes the entry for Walter de la Mare (it's hard to think of a critic other than Clute who could do the rather esoteric and ineffable writings of de la Mare justice). At least for this period, it's 1985 publication date does not make it noticeably out-of-date, with the exception of the occasional comment such as when the editor mentions in the introduction that interest in Tolkien's _Lord of the Rings_ seems to be fading.


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