To the naked eye

“The naked eye” refers to what you can see without any type of technological assistance.

Today's story: QR codes
Explore more: Lesson #425
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The naked eye

Today’s expression is “to the naked eye.” And this simply means, what you can see without any type of technological assistance.

If you look at a QR code , you, as a human, cannot do anything with it. Your eyes just see a blur of black and white. To the naked eye, the QR codes are just a blur of black and white. Without any type of technological assistance, you would not be able to open a web site URL just by looking at a QR code. That’s because, to the naked eye, they’re indecipherable.

However, if you have a smartphone camera, then a QR code becomes a lot more useful. With a smartphone camera, you can scan a QR code and open a URL, which in turn can do many things for you. So, QR codes are useful only if you have this technological assistance.

Experts can often tell whether a famous painting is the original or if it’s a forgery. But the best forgeries look exactly like the original to the naked eye. A person—even a highly trained person—cannot tell a forgery from the original with the naked eye. That means, with just their eyesight, even professionals cannot tell originals from forgeries, sometimes. However, experts can use special equipment to analyze a painting to determine if it’s original or a forgery.

Some things cannot be seen at all without assistance. A particle of the coronavirus is 50 to 150 nanometers wide. It’s called the coronavirus because when you look at the virus particle, it’s shaped like a crown—or a corona, in Latin. You and I, however, cannot look at the virus, even if we catch it. That’s because a virus particle is not visible to the naked eye. It’s not visible at all without a microscope. The only reason we know the shape is that we have technological assistance, in the form of microscopes.

Microscopes help us see things that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. But telescopes help us see things that are too far away to be seen with the naked eye. Pluto is far away; you cannot see it with the naked eye. That means, you cannot see Pluto without some type of technological assistance. However, Pluto is visible with a telescope. So we would say Pluto is not visible to the naked eye; or, we cannot see Pluto with the naked eye—both of those mean that Pluto cannot be seen without some kind of assistance.

JR’s song of the week

JR has selected a song for us this week, and that song is “Boxing” by The Gardener & The Tree. It’s on the album called “Intervention” which just came out last month. The band is from Switzerland and they’ve been around since 2013. They’ve been recognized by Swiss radio stations and music award shows.

See you next time!

That’s all for today’s lesson—congratulations on making it to the end. I hope you found this one entertaining. I have a feeling we’re going to see more and more QR code applications. If anyone here works at Apple, I have a product innovation I’d like to see. I want to be able to point my phone at a QR code and have the option to launch the page without having to open my camera app. I don’t want it to be automatic, in case I scan a code by accident. But I’d love to point my phone at code and not need to open the camera app first. Just in case any listeners are at Apple and working on new innovations…this is on my tech wish list.

Remember, we’re back here on Monday with a brand-new lesson. See you then!

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Story: QR codes