No one could see the color blue until modern times

The title is a bit inflated, but the subject is fascinating. Kevin Loria writes for Business Insider: [Researcher Jules Davidoff] says that without a word for a color, without a way of identifying it as different, it’s much harder for us to notice what’s unique about it — even though our eyes are physically seeing…

Continue reading

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

First human head transplant could happen in two years

Helen Thomson, for New Scientist: As with many unprecedented procedures, there may also be concerns about a slippery slope. In this case, it would be whether this would eventually lead to people swapping bodies for cosmetic reasons. However, Scripko – who doesn’t believe the surgery will ever happen – doesn’t think this applies here. “If…

Continue reading

Please Stop Making That Noise

Dr. Barron H. Lerner, for the NYTimes: The range of responses to these noises is broad, from irritation to disgust to anger. Some sufferers even respond with verbal or physical aggression to those making the noises. One woman reported wanting to strangle her boyfriend in response to his chewing. As someone with (self-diagnosed) misphonia, I…

Continue reading

What’s life like for a man who tastes words?

Veronique Greenwood, for BBC Future: The experience can be overwhelming, akin to having a bright light shown in one’s face while one tries to go about one’s business. “Normally I would refrain from using the word ‘most’,” he relates. “I would never write it. I’d find an alternative. It distracts me, and all I can…

Continue reading

How to Live Forever: The Philosophy of Brain Uploads

When I was a kid it occurred to me that all this talk of uploading the mind was problematic. The map is not the territory! I don’t want a copy of me, I want true migration. Transference. So, kid-me reasoned that the only way to achieve this would be by gradually coaxing the working mind…

Continue reading

The Reality of Quantum Weirdness

UC Berkeley mathematics professor Edward Frenkel, for the NYTimes: What this research implies is that we are not just hearing different “stories” about the electron, one of which may be true. Rather, there is one true story, but it has many facets, seemingly in contradiction, just like in “Rashomon.” There is really no escape from…

Continue reading

Steven Spielberg Hopes To Direct Chris Pratt In Indiana Jones Reboot

According to the Deadline exclusive: … Assuming a script comes in to his satisfaction, Spielberg hopes to direct that film. If I were to condone an Indiana Jones reboot (actually, more like a prequel), Chris Pratt would be the front runner to play Indy. Spielberg agrees. Lucas is pushing for a CGI puppet.

The Billionaire’s Typewriter

Matthew But­t­er­ick, posting on his web-based project, Practical Typography: As a writer and tool­smith, I’ve found the rush to em­brace these sys­tems per­plex­ing. Not be­cause I’m cur­mud­geonly. Not be­cause I fail to un­der­stand that peo­ple, in­clud­ing writ­ers, en­joy things that are free and convenient. Rather, be­cause gen­tle scrutiny re­veals that these sys­tems are pow­ered by…

Continue reading

Is The Many Worlds Hypothesis Just A Fantasy?

In the Borgesian library of Many Worlds, it seems there can be no fact of the matter about what is or isn’t you, and what you did or didn’t do. I believe the multiverse exists and doesn’t exist at the same time.