Glasses: This Object and its Origin

Objects exist in multiplicity.

The physicality of this specific pair of glasses is just one perspective in defining these glasses.

these are my glasses

From where did these glasses come? Of what materials are these glasses crafted? What parts of these glasses are unique to myself? What important milestones have these glasses passed? Where and when do these glasses get used (or not used)? How do these glasses effect my life (physically, emotionally, etc)?

From where did these glasses come?

These glasses were ordered on Zenni Optical‘s website.

Zenni Optical began in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay Area. They boast more than 6,000 styles of frames online, including men’s/women’s/kid’s frames and lenses, as well as sunglasses and sportswear glasses. Zenni owns at 248,000 sq. foot facility that “houses state-of-the-art Rx and Edging Labs.” While the pictures show the San Francisco offices, the manufacturing plant is located in China (according to the Terms of Use), and most US orders are made in China, shipped to San Francisco, then to your desired location.

Of what materials are these glasses crafted?

These frames are specified as Browline Sunglasses #732021

the specifications for my frames

Browline Sunglasses #732021 are made from a mixture of acetate (Cellulose acetate) and silver alloy full rim and silicone nose pieces. The lenses are made of 1.61 High Index plastic,  though no specific plastics are specified over 1.58 refractive indexes. There is an anti-reflective coating on them to reduce glare that is of unknown/non-specific composition.

What parts of these glasses are unique to myself?

The prescription: I have myopia, or nearsightedness, in that I can’t see at distances well, but reading-length vision is appropriate–indicated by the negative sphere (SPH) lens power. (I also have a slight myopic astigmatism in my right eye).


PD stands for pupillary distance, or the distance between the pupils. According to an infographic on Zenni Optical’s website, adult PDs usually fall between 54mm-74mm.

The lenses are often dirty, as I only clean them with cotton part of a shirt I am currently wearing. The frames are not level with the table, as I do not adjust them to uniquely fit my ear and nose-bridge shape.

What important milestones have these glasses passed?

I broke my previous pair of glasses on July 10th, 2015 at approximately 1:15am. I took them off while sitting on a front porch in the Short North of Columbus, Ohio, and a friend stepped on them.

I ordered these glasses on Dec 12, 2015. They arrived Dec 21, 2015. 12 of 15 selfies I’ve taken since Dec 21, 2015 have been while wearing these glasses. I’ve now owned them for 56 days.

Where and when do these glasses get used (or not used)? 

I wear these glasses most days. I also have contact lenses which I wear on occasion. I normally only wear contact during sports with physical interaction (like volleyball) or when I plan on running long distances (sweating a lot).

When I put on my glasses in the morning, I grab them from the top (or second to top) shelf on my bedside table. I usually set them next to my iPhone while it is charging, a glass of water, and my keys and wallet. I wear them while commuting and while in class. I often wear them while at the gym but find myself taking them off when doing some ab exercises on the ground. I take them off to shower at home, and I place them next to the hand soap dispenser on the left side of the sink.

How do these glasses effect my life (physically, emotionally, etc)?

Physically these glasses are a hassle when wearing them in the rain. I commute using public transit and I’ve only worn them once in the rain. They also leave a slight impression on the bridge of my nose from wearing them on a daily basis.

impression of the silicone nose pad after daily wear

I originally bought the glasses because of the 1960s academic style, epitomized by Henry Crane (portrayed by Rich Sommer) in AMC’s MadMen. I think of glasses as an essential part of my personal style. This particular style emphasizes a brow line that I personally think is weak compared to other’s brow lines.

Rich Sommer as Henry Crane in AMC’s MadMen, styled by Janie Bryant



Plot and ggplot2 with R-Studio

Data from Vision Problems in the U.S. provides estimates of the prevalence of eye-disorders in the US by state in adults 40 and older.

Here is the initial outputs of my work with R-Studio statistical software:

  1. When plot() is envoked on R-Studio, a matrix of plots are established by header columns. This particular function ran very slow, so I limited the data plotted to only entries from state: “OHIO”. Most noticeably, my values for vp (vision problem), age, race and sex are all categorical.
  2. I decided to further install the ggplot2 library for some more customizable plots. The color graph plots age against rate, with color determined by vp (vision problem). Each of my categorical variables has a “total/all” section that is not separated out from the individual state, race, gender or age data.
  3. I then attempted to use the box plot feature, which did not yield any additional insights.

Further steps to clearly visualize this data will address these problems:

  • What strategies are best to see averages for “all” categorical data alongside individual categorical data (e.g. female, or white, or 55-64 yrs)?
  • How can multiple categorical variables be presented at the same time (40-50yr Hispanic male vs. 51-60yr Black female vs. etc.)? Shapes, colors, other?
  • Should the data be presented as exploratory or tailored to meet a specific idea or perspective?
  • Which of these diseases/disorders result in a prescription for eyeglasses or vision correction?

GLASSES \ data

Behavioral Risk Factors – Vision & Eye Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“In 2013 and subsequently, one question in the core of BRFSS asks about vision: Are you blind or do you have serious difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses? From 2005-2011 the BRFSS employed a ten question vision module regarding vision impairment, access and utilization of eye care, and self-reported eye diseases. The Vision and Eye Health Surveillance System is intended to provide population estimates of vision loss function, eye diseases, health disparities, as well as barriers and facilitators to access to vision and eye care.”

Prevalence and Distribution of Corrective Lenses among School-Age Children

“In the 1998 MEPS, 23.9% of the 5,141 children aged 6 to 18 years had corrective lenses. When weighted to the U.S. population, an estimated 25.4% (95% confidence interval, 23.8 to 27.0%) of the 52.6 million children aged 6 to 18 years had corrective lenses.”

Original data source (SAS or ASCII)


Prevalence of Adult Vision Impairment and Age-Related Eye Disease in America

“The Vision Problems in the U.S. report and database provides useful estimates of the prevalence of sight-threatening eye diseases in Americans age 40 and older. This report includes information on the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment, significant refractive error, and the four leading eye diseases affecting older Americans: age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The estimates in this report use published prevalence rates and 2010 U.S. census data. These estimates reflect the growth and changing racial, ethnic and age composition of the United States population.”