Circles of Confusion

What is a circle of confusion?

According to computer vision experts, it's a phenomenon arising from the need for camera apertures with more than infinitesimal width. A rather dull answer, my friends and I feel, for a term that sounds so exciting.

In that spirit, Shobha Vasudevan and I came up with several less technical definitions...

circle of confusion:

  1. When two people have been together for a long time and then split up, their friends form a "circle of confusion." "Should I be friends with him? Or with her?" (In some cases, him or him, or her or her...)

  2. When a person is doing the hula hoop at a party, and their pants fall down, a circle of confusion forms.

  3. The Circle of Confusion is the area through which the Axis of Evil passes.

  4. What you get when one person in a crowded elevator suddenly becomes violently sick. "No, no, you go ahead and help! I insist!"

  5. The Olympic symbol, as drawn by a 2-year-old.

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