Neuron Culture

Archives for March, 2009

Who knew? You take a bunch of sheep, put LEDs on them, choreograph via sheepdogs: you can paint! I’m not fully convinced they’re playing straight all the way through, but this is good entertainment regardless. HT: My sister the sheepherder.

It didn’t take long for my Scientific American story on PTSD to draw the sort of fire I expected. A doctor blogging as “egalwan” at Follow Me Here writes [Dobbs] is critical of a culture which “seemed reflexively to view bad memories, nightmares and any other sign of distress as an indicator of PTSD.” To…

The stratosphere, as photographed by a group of four Spanish schoolboys, or their balloon, anyway. Well, okay, maybe it’s citizen space photography instead of citizen science. But still. Gotta love this. From the Telegraph: Proving that you don’t need Google’s billions or the BBC weather centre’s resources, the four Spanish students managed to send a…

Below are materials supplementing my story “The Post-Traumatic Stress Trap,” Scientific American, April 2009. (You can find the story here and my blog post introducing it here.) I’m starting with annotated sources, source materials, and a bit of multimedia. I hope to add a couple sidebars that didn’t fit in the main piece — though…

My story in the April 2009 Scientific American story, “The Post-Traumatic Stress Trap“, just went online. Here’s the opening: In 2006, soon after returning from military service in Ramadi, Iraq, during the bloodiest period of the war, Captain Matt Stevens of the Vermont National Guard began to have a problem with PTSD, or post-traumatic stress…

From Andrew Sullivan: I watched the Daily Show with growing shock last night. Did you expect that? I expected a jolly and ultimately congenial discussion, after some banter. What Cramer walked into was an ambush of anger. He crumbled from the beginning. From then on, with the almost cruel broadcasting of his earlier glorifying of…

Obama gave a major education speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday. The money quote: For decades, Washington has been trapped in the same stale debates that have paralyzed progress and perpetuated our educational decline. … It’s more money versus more reform, vouchers versus the status quo. There has been partisanship and petty…

I’ve been harping on this for years: To live easy on the earth, live densely — which is to say, in densely built neighborhoods. This Times Economix column describes a study showing just that. Other studies have shown living more densely creates richer social lives and stronger communities. Yet we continue to spread out willy-nilly.…

“How We Decide” author Jonah Lehrer, fresh from a book tour of the UK, offers what he calls a “spluttering answer” (it’s really quite lucid) to a question he says he’s getting a lot these days: What decision-making errors were involved in our current financial meltdown?? The short version of his answer — well worth…

Back in October a study found that high testosterone levels were associated with higher levels of financial risk-taking. Now comes the blowback, as Andrew Sullivan notes: Tina Beatie attacks testosterone: …it is interesting to note that Pope Benedict has recently suggested that there is a close connection between original sin and the greed that has…