Express mail and spectacles

2011-02-11

in Daily updates, Ottawa, Oxford

I really appreciate the efforts of everyone who helped me get my Action Canada fellowship application together – both my references and the people who have helped to assemble everything across oceans and continents, especially my friend Antonia.

Aside from dashing around getting reference letters and mailing a priority courier package today, I also got some new glasses from Albert Opticians on Sparks Street. They are much bolder than my old ones, and my prescription seems to have changed a fair bit since I got my first pair in 2001.

Indeed, the world has quite an uncanny quality at the moment. Everything is much sharper than I am used to it being; I don’t need to squint to read; and the three-dimensionality of everything is much more noticeable than normal. Walking around for the first few minutes, things were so different, I felt unsteady on my feet. Even now, it is super noticeable when a computer screen is being viewed from an angle other than straight-on. Also, three dimensional objects seem distorted when examined close up, as though being viewed through a wide-angle lens.

For comparison:

Bonus: My father in specs

[Update: 12 February 2011] Here’s a more human shot with the new glasses.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Padraic February 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

You didn’t your prescription checked in the intervening decade??

oleh February 12, 2011 at 9:27 am

The bonus picture really stood out.

alena February 12, 2011 at 11:07 am

You look very stylish in your new specs, but the old ones suited you too. A new prescription can take some time to get used to and for me , everything seems a little brighter and sharper. I kind of like my impressionist world when I walk around without glasses. Alas, I can no longer drive without them, but I need no glasses to read.

BuddyRich February 12, 2011 at 11:12 am

My 2nd last pair of glasses was from Albert in 2008…

They recommended a plain, no coating (scratch resistance, glare, etc.) lens from Zeiss and it was amazing. I had been a Lenscrafter and/or Hakeem customer before and the difference was immediately noticeable. As there was no change in my prescription I attributed it to the quality of the lens.

I just got a new pair from a different high-end store closer to home here in Westboro this past December. I wanted to go with a Zeiss lens again but the sales associated recommended a lens by another company, Essilor, and it is even better still (still the same prescrip)… though I still find the Zeiss more natural in colour, though the difference is slight. I think it may be because the new set has a couple of coatings. Clarity and sharpness are better, however.

Either way I will never go back to cheaper glasses again.

Tristan February 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Very intense expression!

Lauren VP February 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

I definitely approve of the new glasses

Alison February 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

“Walking around for the first few minutes, things were so different, I felt unsteady on my feet. Even now, it is super noticeable when a computer screen is being viewed from an angle other than straight-on.”

Sounds like you have astigmatism, like moi.
Either way, it’s like that for me every time I get an updated prescription.

Milan February 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Sounds like you have astigmatism, like moi.

Sphere Cylinder Axis Interpupil Corrected V.A.
O.D. pl -125 120 34 20/20
O.S. pl -125 60 32.5 20/20

I wonder if the way in which the axis of my astigmatism differs substantially in each eye has anything to do with why I ordinarily have little depth perception (also, whether lack of depth perception had anything to do with why I hated baseball).

Milan February 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Someone could write an interesting article about this history of this stuff:

CR-39
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CR-39, or allyl diglycol carbonate (ADC), is a plastic polymer commonly used in the manufacture of eyeglass lenses. The abbreviation stands for “Columbia Resin #39,” because it was the 39th formula of a thermosetting plastic developed by the Columbia Resins project in 1940.

The first commercial use of CR-39 monomer was to help create glass-reinforced plastic fuel tanks for the B-17 bomber aircraft in World War II, reducing weight and increasing range of the bomber. After the War, the Armorlite Lens Company in California is credited with manufacturing the first CR-39 eyeglass lenses in 1947. CR-39 plastic has an index of refraction of 1.498 and an Abbe number of 58. CR-39 is now a trade marked product of PPG Industries.

An alternative use includes a purified version that is used to measure neutron radiation, a type of ionizing radiation, in neutron dosimetry.

CR-39 should not be confused with polycarbonate, a tough homopolymer usually made from bis-phenol A.

Milan February 13, 2011 at 12:11 am

One other nice thing about these new glasses is that the temple arms (sides) were made of a thermosetting polymer. The salesperson bent them to fit snugly to my head and then locked them in that shape with heat.

They certainly stay on dramatically better than my old ones did. I don’t need to push them up all the time, and I can look down at my feet without losing them over the end of my nose.

Alison February 13, 2011 at 9:58 am

“I wonder if the way in which the axis of my astigmatism differs substantially in each eye has anything to do with why I ordinarily have little depth perception”

Probably. I also have a difference in my eyes, but in my case I don’t feel my depth perception was affected.

Anon February 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Those glasses seem to declare something like: “At this stage of life, it’s geeks who get to be cool.”

Sarah February 15, 2011 at 6:08 am

The new specs look good, but in both pictures your eyes are very close to the top of the lens, not in the middle – which is where I understood one’s eye should be if the glasses fit well. I’m not sure if it’s the angle at which you’re looking at the camera, or the fit of the glasses, but I could imagine there being problems (such as the distorted vision you’re reporting) if your pupils aren’t aligned with the optical centre of the lens.

Milan February 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I actually see very well with the new glasses. It’s not that they introduce distortion – rather, they improve my binocular vision to the extent that I have a much stronger sense of perspective.

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