Neuron Culture

Archives for December, 2008

Beethoven’s 9th, on his 238th

Beethoven showed up 238 years ago today. No one else, no one else … My violin teacher used to tell me, “You paid for the whole bow; use all of it.” Those violinists aren’t wasting any bow money. NB: earlier title said “Beethoven’s 7th, on his 238th”. I do know the difference! … but had…

The Washington Post, in a story fairly typical of other coverage, says that Obama’s pick for Secretary of Education will “reach out to unions, school reform gorups” and “bridge the divides among education advocates, teachers unions and civil rights groups over how to fix America’s school.” Or as another syndicated WaPo story put it, “Duncan…

I don’t play no stinkin’ video games, but this is odd enough to be interesting Boing Boing reports, in two different posts, that a) Some employers are apparently discriminating against World of Warcraft players on the grounds that their heads are always within the WoW and not fully in this one (a stance that some…

Sullivan on death of newspapers

Forgive if I’m obsessed with this death-of-journalism thing — Andrew Sullivan has a nice piece in the Times of London about dying newspapers. Like Surowiecki, he fears the loss of the deep reporting that newspapers are already doing less of, and for which so far we have no real replacement venue. Stunning stat from the…

Tierney asks: Science or Garbage

A teacher in West Virginia rallied her students to fight to keep the right to recycle — presumably for the civic (and eco) learning experience. John Tierney argues she’s missing a better teaching opportunity: If we want our children to be scientifically literate and get good jobs in the future, why are we spending precious…

I won’t replicate the Word-of-the-Day email every day, but this was too good not to pass on. “The Dingle duo are seriously concerned that Jasmine’s about to go doolally.” doolally PRONUNCIATION: (DU-lah-lee) MEANING: adjective: Irrational, deranged, or insane. ETYMOLOGY: After Deolali, a small town in western India. It’s about 100 miles from Mumbai with an…

James Surowiecki gives us the bad news and the bad news about newspapers. After noting that ad revenue dropped 18 percent in the third quarter alone, he gets on to causes and ultimate effects: People don’t use the Times less than they did a decade ago. They use it more. The difference is that today…

Crows & vending machines

How did I miss this for 24 hours? From the Times Magazine’s 8th Annual Year in Ideas issue – Vending Machine for Crows: In June, Josh Klein revealed his master’s-thesis project to a flock of crows at the Binghamton Zoo in south-central New York State. The New York University graduate student offered the birds coins…

Twitter is f’ing retarded

That’s not me talking. I’m just saying reporting — or linking, anyway, to: twitter is fucking retarded. With due apologies to Clive Thompson, whose writing I like, and who

As time goes on, it seems the benefits offered by modern antidepressants seem to drop while the downsides seem to expand. A story in today’s Boston Globe — excerpted below — suggests that up to half of people who take SSRIs suffer significant sexual side-effects. Sexual “numbness.” Lack of libido. Arousal that stalls. Such sexual…