Neuron Culture

Archives for November, 2008

For those in or near NYC, a notable event: Fear researcher Joseph LeDoux, whom I profiled a while back in Scientific American Mind, will lecture about fear — and then, fearlessly, play with his R&R band, ‘The Amygdaloids.’ (The amygdala is the brain’s fear center.) I can’t make it, much to my chagrin, but having…

Wow. From Newsweek: At the Obama headquarters in midsummer, technology experts detected what they initially thought was a computer virus—a case of “phishing,” a form of hacking often employed to steal passwords or credit-card numbers. But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning:…

Lemmings as climate-change canaries

photo: E. Leslie, via New Scientist As Science News reports, drawing on a paper in the Nov 6 Nature (paid subscription required), climate change — in particular a lack of the fluffy snowpack that lemmings depend on as cover for ground-level foraging — appears to be putting the hurt on lemming populations in Norway. This…

From “Bye-bye blackboard … from Einstein and others,” an exhibit at the Museum of the HIstory of Science in Oxford. ‘I wrote the music on this blackboard while I was giving a lecture about Bach’s Goldberg Variations at the Holywell Music Room on 22nd March this year, before performing them. I was trying to make…

As an avid tennis player (though it’s been a while), I had to love this and do: The busy bloggers at Neurophilosophy bring their usual lucidity to a paper by David Whitney, of the University of California, Davis, on how inherent dynamics of visual perception make line-call errors by tennis referees virtually inevitable. Check it…

Michelle Rhee interview

Earlier today I posted about Paul Tough’s Clay Risen’s* Atlantic profile of Michelle Rhee, the controversial Washington DC school chancellor. I forgot to mention that there is also an interview of Rhee on the Atlantic website. *correcttion made 11/09/08

Michelle Rhee photo by David Deal, from Atlantic Monthly To my surprise, one of the most-read posts on this mostly-science blog is “Are Teachers Profesionals of Public-Service Workers?“, which looked at a NY Times Magazine piece on school reforms by Paul Tough. Tough now has Now there is a piece by Clay Risen* in the…

Obama album, by Callie Shell

I’m brave, I’ll call this one early: Go here for some wonderful photos of our next president. © Callie Shell/Aurora for Time

Ian McEwan’s libretto

I like several of Ian McEwan’s novels and especially admired his novel Saturday, which, being among other things a riff on Virginia Woolf’s "Mrs. Dalloway," updated that novel’s m.o. by giving the stream of its narrator’s narrative a decidely neuroscientific tint. In another novel, Amsterdam, his protagonist is a somewhat pompous composer who, toward the…

Palin with musical accompaniment

Music meets voice meets talking points. Via Alex Ross: