Acrophobia (from the Greek: ákron, meaning “peak, summit, edge” and phóbos, “fear”) is an extreme or irrational fear of heights.
Most people, including me, have a natural fear of heights. This fear is known as “the fear of falling“, and those who have a “head for heights” have no such fear.
Here is another video of the humorus swimming pool scene from the episode “The Curse of Mr Bean” wherein Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) elucidates the fear of falling from a high place.
The fear of falling
Researchers have found that not only humans even in many mammals, including domesticated animals and pets the fear of heights is an instinct. Experiments with visual cliffs have shown human infants and toddlers, as well as animals of various ages, are reluctant in stepping on a glass floor with a view of a few meters of clear fall-space below it.
Though an inborn cautiousness about heights is helpful for survival, an extreme fear of heights can inhibit the activities of everyday life, such as climbing a ladder, walking up a flight of stairs or even standing on a chair for a while.
Here is a video that illustrates the “fear of falling”.
Head for heights
Head for heights is particularly necessary for those who climb mountains and hike on mountainous terrain, steeplejack craftsmen who scale buildings, chimneys and church steeples to carry out repairs or maintenance, mechanics who scale mobile and TV transmitting towers, etc.
In the following video, tower climber Kevin Schmidt ascends to the very top of the now inactive KDLT TV analog broadcast 475 metres (1558.4 feet) tall antenna near Salem, South Dakota, United States. I would suggest watching the video at 1080 HD in full screen to feel the experience.
Answer: No, dogs are not completely colour blind. They have a dichromatic colour perception and so perceive a limited colour range when compared to the colour spectrum we humans see.
The dogs see more than just black, white, and grey. Most humans have three different colour sensitive cone cells in their retina (red, green and blue) while dogs have only two (yellow and blue). So, instead of perceiving the intensity of three colours like us, red, green and blue, the dogs perceive the intensity of only two colours: blue and yellow, similar to colour blindness in humans. So, basically, the canine colour field consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets.
This does not mean that dogs can’t see green or red objects. While blue and yellow are the easiest for them to see, they perceive the intensity of red as different levels of grey.
Many think that dogs may be slightly near-sighted and have a visual acuity (contrast) of much less detail than we humans do and so objects at a distance may appear blurry to them. Studies show that most dogs have an eyesight equivalent from 20/50 to 20/75. Due to of their ability to visually discriminate motion, they have been known to recognize their owners even at 800-900 meters distance. However, it is widely accepted that dogs do see better at night which is certainly an advantage and one that helps dogs a great deal.
The following video is a rough simulation of what a dog sees with its eyes.
Now, if you begin to feel sad for your pet dogs, just remember that the dogs have an incredible sense of smell that basically lets it “perceive and sense” the world in different scents.
In the following video, the dog though green-blind perceives the intensity of the green traffic signal as a level of grey and makes us wonder whether the dogs can see all colours.
The festival of Las Posadas celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the Southwestern United States has its origins in Spain. Observing Las Posadas has been a tradition in Mexico for 400 years.
The Spanish phrase “Las Posadas” means “accommodations”, “The Inns”, or “lodgings”.
This traditional nine-day festival re-enacts the cold and difficult journey of María and José from Nazareth to Bethlehem and their search for a room at the lodgings in Bethlehem.
Even though the roots of this celebration are in Catholicism even Protestant Latinos follow the tradition.
The festivities of Las Posadas start in full swing on December 16th and ends on December 24th. These nine days are, in fact, a novenario – nine days of religious observance signifying the nine-month pregnancy of María carrying Jesús in her womb.
Devotees enact Las Posadas by carrying a doll or a statue representing the Christ Child and images of José and María riding a burro. The doll is left at the chosen home and picked up on the next night when the processional begins again. This continues for eight nights.
In certain areas, individuals play the part of María and José, with the expectant mother riding a real burro with attendant angels and shepherds; or the devotees would carry images of the holy family and the saints; followed by musicians, with the entire procession singing Posadas. Children may carry poinsettia flowers.
Holding candle lanterns the procession ambles through the streets of the community, stopping at previously selected residences, singing a Posada such as Para Posada (Asking for a place to stay). At each residence, the innkeeper responds to José’s query by singing a song.
Afuera: En nombre del cielo Os pido posada Pues no puedeandar Mi esposa amada
Joseph asks: In the name of heaven I request you grant us shelter Given that she cannot walk She is my beloved wife
Adentro: Aquí no es mesón Sigan adelante Yo no puedoabrir No sea algún tunante
“Probable” host answers: This is not an Inn Please continue ahead I cannot open You may be a robber
Afuera: No seas inhumano
Tennoscaridad Que el Rey de los cielos
Te lo premiará
Joseph replies: Do not be inhuman have mercy on us Since the King of heavens will reward you for that
Adentro: Ya se pueden ir Y no molestar porque si me enfado Os voy a apalear
Still “probable” host answers: You can already go away and do not bother because if I get upset I will beat you up
Afuera: Venimos rendidos Desde Nazaret Yo soy carpintero De nombre José
Joseph insists: We come exhausted From Nazareth I am a carpenter named Joseph
Adentro: No me importa el nombre Déjenme dormir Porque ya les digo Que no hemos de abrir
Still unconvinced host replies: I don’t care about your name Let me go to sleep Because, as I said We shall not open
Afuera: Posada te pide Amado casero Por sólo una noche La reina del cielo
Joseph expects reasoning: She asks you shelter Dear innkeeper for just one night She, the queen of heaven
Adentro: Pues si es una reina Quien lo solicita ¿Cómo es que de noche Anda tan solita?
The almost convinced host asks: So, if it’s a queen who’s asking for it, how is it that at night she travels so alone?
Afuera: Mi esposa es María Es reina del cielo Y madreva a ser Del divinoverbo
Joseph answers: My wife is Mary She’s the Heavenly Queen And she’ll be mother Of the divine word
Adentro: ¿Eres tú José? ¿Tu esposa es María? Entren peregrinos No los conocía
Convinced host finally offers shelter: Are you Joseph? Is your wife Mary? Come in, pilgrims I did not know you
Afuera: Dios pague, señores Vuestra caridad Y que os colme el cielo De felicidad
Joseph gratefully says: May God reward, sirs for your charity And may heaven heap you With happiness
Adentro: Dichosa la casa Que alberga este día A la virgenpura La hermosa María
Host replies: Joyful be the house That this day hosts The pure virgin The beautiful Mary
The innkeeper after recognizing María and José allows them and the group of guests to enter their home.
All sing together:
¡Entren santos peregrinos! ¡Reciban éste rincón! Que aunque es pobre la morada ¡Se las doy de corazón! ¡Cantemos con alegría! ¡Todos al considerar! ¡Que Jesús, José y María nos vinieron hoy a honrar!
Come in, holy pilgrims! Receive this corner! Because even though the place is poor I offer it to you from my heart! Let’s sing with joy! Everyone at the thought! That Jesus, Joseph and Mary Came today to honour us!
Once inside, all kneel around the Nativity crib to pray the Rosary. The hosts provide refreshments.
The final location of the sojourn, most likely, would be a church where the devotees would sing villancicos at the end of each night’s journey.