A kaleidoscope is an optical instrument with two or more reflecting surfaces (or mirrors) tilted to each other at an angle, so that one or more (parts of) objects on one end of these mirrors are shown as a regular symmetrical pattern when viewed from the other end, due to repeated reflection. These reflectors are usually enclosed in a tube, often containing on one end a cell with loose, colored pieces of glass or other transparent (and/or opaque) materials to be reflected into the viewed pattern. Rotation of the cell causes motion of the materials, resulting in an ever-changing view being presented.
- Of draughtmanship – the draughmanship of movement, the draughmanship of the colourists – there is no question; the limbs of all his little figures behave for all the world like bundles of rags, or like arms or legs scattered in a railway accident. I would rather have a kaleidoscope... It is true that M. Diaz is a colourist; but enlarge his frame by a foot, and his strength will fail him, because he does not recognize the necessity for general color. That is why his pictures leave no memory behind them.
- Picture yourself in boat on a river,
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
- you show me
The world as it could be
Through your kaleidoscope
- Kate Havnevik, Kaleidoscope.
- Human affairs are wonderfully like a kaleidoscope, with its combinations of colours constantly changing.
- Kay, J., Coventry's Case (1890), L. R. 1 C. D. , p. 207, reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904).
- I have made a simple flicker machine. You look at it with your eyes shut and the flicker plays over your eyelids. Visions start with a kaleidoscope of colours on a plane in front of the eyes and gradually become more complex and beautiful, breaking like surf on a shore until whole patterns of colour are pounding to get in. After a while the visions were permanently behind my eyes and I was in the middle of the whole scene with limitless patterns being generated around me. There was an almost unbearable feeling of spatial movement for a while but it was well worth getting through, for I found that when it stopped I was high above earth in an universal blaze of glory. Afterwards I found that my perception of the world around me had increased very notably. All conceptions of being dragged or tired had dropped away...
- We dissect nature along lines laid down by our native language. The categories and types that we isolate from the world of phenomena we do not find there because they stare every observer in the face; on the contrary, the world is presented in a kaleidoscope flux of impressions which has to be organized by our minds—and this means largely by the linguistic systems of our minds.
- Benjamin Lee Whorf, "Science and linguistics" in: MIT Technology Review (1940), Vol 42. p. 229-31.