Good thread. Too bad it did not get as much traction as the ehem.. aforementioned victim bashing threads. Seems we just had another come out here the other day and it went straight into it.
I have seen the gorilla thread before and got that one. The color change one got me good though.
Strangely I was having this same discussion this morning.
I will tell the tale of a very odd experience I had in Iraq.
We were conducting some heavy dismounted clearing operations in a particularly bad neighborhood. I was in about as high a state of alert as I have ever been. I was looking for bad guys, boobie traps and keeping track of my IA and team mates. I started getting a little fatigued and took a knee to rest for a couple of minutes and suck down some water out of my camelback. Also wanted to talk to some of the IA about what to do next.
Anyway I am sitting there for a minute or two and notice that there are about half a dozen mortar rounds sitting in a little pile about six feet away. Up till then I had not been looking for mortar rounds. I back away a little towards the debris pile and then look around again. The debris pile is full of all kinds of ordinance, some live, some with the warheads removed. We had walked up to a recently vacated position right next to an IED factory. They had been taking the warheads out and putting them in IEDs of various bombs. Some of this ordinance was likely left over from the first gulf war and was likely not so stable given the storage conditions. Some was new stuff straight from Iran with all of their wonderful quality control. This is not such a good place to be when there are people shooting around you in various directions.
I thought I was fully alert, but had just walked into an area full of bombs without even really noticing them. My soldiers had all just walked through the area as well. No one had raised so much as a whisper about it.
I think the mind can only focus on so many things at once. Training, experience and threat evaluation help determine that. They can also serve to inhibit you from threats that you had not considered as your reasoning skills are impeded to a degree when you are so focused on being alert. This is one of the reasons that it is tough being a combat leader. As the leader you have to rely on your men to go take action and look for things while you work to retain your reasoning skills to make good decisions about what actions to take next. I think once I paused to regain control of my faculties and consider future actions I "reengaged" my reasoning skills I was able to see that there was another threat that we were not currently looking for.
All magic tricks work on misdirection. This one has been kicking round the internet for years. I found it hilarious the number of people who could not figure it out though. I had a secretary who sat there half the day trying to figure it out: