It’s all so clear!

This week’s briefs are no optical illusion

Published April 8, 2024

This week, we look at what’s going on in the world through the lens of… well, lenses. Let’s zoom in and focus on the latest in lens-related news! 

No, seriously, show me the money

Having access to a pair of reading glasses can lead to a boost in income. At least, that’s what an international team of researchers recently learned when they provided glasses to hundreds of low-income Bangladeshi villagers affected by presbyopia–gradual vision loss related to aging–who could not otherwise afford them.

The study followed 800 presbyopic people in 56 Bangladeshi villages. Half of the study group were given glasses at the beginning of the project, and when the researchers checked back a few months later, their income had risen by close to 38% compared to the control group and many of the people who had not been able to work had rejoined the workforce. 

Just like that, for the cost of $3-$4 US dollars for each pair of glasses, the researchers determined that providing reading glasses was an effective and inexpensive way of increasing income and improving the quality of life for many families. 

While you’re at it, show me the monkey

Dev Patel is in charge on both sides of the camera in his directorial debut, the just-released action thriller Monkey Man. The film centers around Patel’s character Kid, a monkey-masked fight-club fighter, who also fights back against corruption, violence, and caste-system discrimination at the hands of uber-rich and corrupt members of Indian society. 

Patel had to fight many battles–not only on screen, but in making the film as well. “Everything that could have possibly gone wrong in the making of this film did go wrong,” he told reporters at SXSW. The team faced Covid shutdowns, budget issues, injuries (Patel broke a hand and a foot), Netflix canceling the project (until Jordan Peele saved it), and film equipment problems. 

“We couldn’t fly in new stuff [due to the pandemic], so we literally shot stuff on my mobile phone, go pros (sic),” he told Redditors in an AMA. “When a crane broke, we ended [up] creating this camera rig from rope which I termed the ‘pendulum cam,’ which swings over a large crowd of people then detaches and the operators run through the crowd whilst it was rolling.” 

All the challenges might just have added to the aesthtic–Patel did after all say that he wanted “to give [the film] soul. Real trauma. Real pain.” Mission accomplished!

With my luck, I’d leave the lens cap on

According to an article on, the all-time largest digital camera will soon begin a 10-year survey to solve mysteries about the dark matter and energy in our universe. Weighing 3 metric tons, the 3,200-megapixel LSST (Legacy Survey of Space and Time) camera is the size of a compact car. Its home is at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, at the peak of Cerro Pachón in the Chilean Andes.

“The LSST survey will allow us to see billions of galaxies, an estimated 17 billion stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way and millions of solar system objects,” camera-program lead Aaron Roodman told, touting the LSST camera’s capabilities. “Its images are so detailed that it could resolve a golf ball from around 15 miles away, while covering a swath of the sky seven times wider than the full moon.” Now, that’s a lens to brag about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *