Category Archives: science

Trendwatch(!): Synaesthesia is the New Apophenia

Great review in The New York Review of Books of V.S. Ramachandran’s Tell Tale Mind. Ramachandran’s books are depressingly, cripplingly, neurally reductive of everything we love about ourselves (appreciation of art, response to music, loyalty). But he writes so elegantly and cheerfully and with such engagement that I completely forget that elegance, cheerfulness and engagement […]

Post-Deep Blue Pick-Me-Up

Kevin Kelly has an invigorating post about our the inevitable increase in our ignorance. When I saw the title “The Expansion of Ignorance”, I had a curmudgeonly joy at reading about how stupid we’re allowing ourselves to become. Yesterday, I listened to a series of Open Source interviews with Harold Bloom (while playing my Rogue […]

Everything is SABERMetrics, even politics

As part of my poll-obsessing, I finally checked out fivethirtyeight, recommended to me by Alex. Short version is that Nate Silver, the author of the site, is also a leader of Baseball Prospectus. He is credited with creating the very powerful PECOTA system, which rethinks baseball statistics — mostly through pure intelligence, but there is […]

Assuaging collider fears with comics, er, comix

I woke up with no sense of disorientation, nagging feelings of deja vu or reverse deja vu, and I feel like nothing has changed due to the launch of the collider. (I still haven’t looked out the window yet, and the only creature I’ve had contact with is my dog, so I may yet be […]

Bucky-Noguchi Relativity Telegram

On display at the Whitney, and my favorite moment there, is a telegram sent by Fuller to Noguchi explaining relativity. I got to the exhibit close to closing time, so I couldn’t stay and memorize it, but this has to be the best telegram ever:

Sea-powered data center patent by Google

Listed in lots of other places, but preserved here for my easy access: Google filed a patent for wave-powered data centers, specifically, pelamis wave-powered centers. Cool patent diagram, and cool video showing how much power the ocean contains.

Reclaiming and reconfiguring expertise

Sociology visits the science “lab” and discovers: 1) science is often social; 2) expertise is a tricky balance. An interview in American Scientist about the nature of expertise by way of a sociologist (Harry Collins) who spends serious time with physicists. Some of it is very old ground, like what we read in the 19086Laboratory […]

Visual Thinking & Evolution

Demonstrating the continued importance of visual communication in all fields, we have UC Berkeley helping educators explain “the most misunderstood concept in science”, evolution.  The tool is the evogram, a series of tightly focused evolutionary paths demonstrating the emergence of species and/or features: While the visual execution might be lacking, the structure and mode of […]

Small Memorials are worth a look . . .

There’s a small park just east of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I’ve played chess at the tables near the entrance literally dozens of times over the thirteen years I’ve lived in Brooklyn. But it was only today, while I was riding my bike along Eastern Parkway, that I looked at the memorial. The park is […]

Mars Phoenix is my anthropomorphic robot friend

But will it be my FB friend?