Medicine Pareidolia Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

A pareidoliec blast from the past

After attending the ASCO Meeting in Chicago over two weeks ago, I can’t believe I forgot to post about this. More than two years ago, back in my favorite city (Chicago), a vision of the Virgin Mary appeared. It appeared, oddly enough, as such visions are wont to do, in a rather mundane spot. Specifically, it appeared under a freeway overpass where W. Fullerton Avenue passes under the Kennedy Expressway.

As I was heading to the airport on my way out of the city, traffic happened to be better than I had expected, leaving me with some time. I decided, therefore, to head back to the area and see if the vision was still there. So what did I see as I drove under the overpass?

Well, it was cloudy out and I couldn’t tell if the stain still resembled the Virgin Mary driving by. However, what I did see was that, more than two years later, there was still a little makeshift shrine there, flowers and crosses placed next to where (I guessed) the stain must be. Unfortunately, I had packed my camera, and I didn’t have time to look for a place to park so that I could examine the phenomenon on foot and perhaps snap a few pictures.

Oh, well, c’est la vie.

I can, however, assure you that two years later this “vision,” or at least its after effect, still lingers under a nondescript concrete overpass in Chicago.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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