Sunday, March 8, 2009

Zooming and Looming

Good news from the MoneyWalker. Weight recorded this morning was 175.6 lbs., just above the low margin of my 175/180 “setpoint.” The MoneyWalker hasn’t been in the 175s for several weeks. One reason is the “zooming” walking pace. The 1.0/1.25 hour walk is a fast paced blur of walking action which elevates the heart rate from a resting 65 bpm to a personalized target HR of 125. This pace (load) maintained for this time (duration) will definitely result in weight loss.

Yet, a zooming MoneyWalker, intent on finding lost money will experience events that compete for one’s attention. Safety is an ongoing aspect of money walking. Many coins are lost between the street’s curb and the areas designed for off-street parking. That is where I walk. In addition to moving automobiles, there are tree limbs, parked cars, construction dumpsters, bicycles, and countless other obstactles that must be avoided. Thus, MoneyWalkers should be aware of the visual reflex of looming. Research by Lin, Franconeri, and Enns from the Vision Lab, Department of Psychology, U. of British Columbia have demonstrated that looming serves the important role of capturing attention for the avoidance of “collisions.” Looming is a visual reflexive tendency that causes objects to expand “as if they were looming towards us, presumable because this signal indicates an impending collision.” The looming reflex triggers our attention capacity with a level of urgency to select a collision avoidance strategy.

So, as the MoneyWalker zooms in the coin-rich zone of off-street parking, eyes rivited on the asphalt for the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters left behind, he fully heeds his zooming reflex as a cue to shift attention from coin searching to a protective mode of avoiding a tree branch, a biker, another pedestrian or worse, an approaching car that might be veering into the car-park zone. Although looming is reflexive and below the level of conscious control, I have found that when we can articulate and define our reflexes, we can better use them.

Today was not a great looming and zooming day. The MoneyWalker’s take was 54¢, but yesterday the take broke the dollar barrier, $1.15 plus a residual walk netted an additional 31¢.

So, keep those lbs under control and within your optimum “setpoint” with your own zooming and looming behavior.



  1. I just found your blog through Found Money. We are certainly kindred spirits. Also, it's probably a good thing that we live so far apart as the competition could be fierce!

    The concept of "looming" is interesting. I do a combination of jogging/walking. In the past five years I've experienced two injuries caused by hidden objects.

    So far, no direct car hits, although I do kick some that get a little too close. Those right-turners just aren't looking for pedestrians.

    I'll be watching this blog with interest.

  2. The Numismatist,
    Thanks for following my blog. The MoneyWalker has been wanting to do a competition column and your comment will spur me to action. I hope that you will make frequent comments and tell other "kindred spirits." Today, I found a 67 penny scatter.
    MoneyWalker alias bleason