Posts Tagged: wired

Reviewing the Absurd

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Wired is launching a book review section—of absurd self-published titles. Jason Kehe will in fact be judging books by their cover, selecting the books he reviews for the regular column by browsing the blog Kindle Cover Disasters. The first title in the series is Moira, The Zorzen War, The Divided Worlds Book 3:

If you’re confused, Moira probably is too.

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The Passage of Ideas

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Every day, we collectively produce millions of books’ worth of writing. Globally we send 154.6 billion emails, more than 400 million tweets, and over 1 million blog posts and around 2 million blog comments on WordPress. On Facebook, we post about 16 billion words.

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Our Brains On Art

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“While Rembrandt was an astonishingly talented artist, our response to his art is conditioned by all sorts of variables that have nothing to do with oil paint. Many of these variables are capable of distorting our perceptions, so that we imagine differences that don’t actually exist; the verdict of art history warps what we see.”

Jonah Lehrer explores how the brain perceives art.

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New School

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Wired’s got an article on technologically-informed education—Khan Academy, an educational website in which, “Students, or anyone interested enough to surf by, can watch some 2,400 videos in which the site’s founder, Salman Khan, chattily discusses principles of math, science, and economics.”

This website ostensibly aids in solving the “middle of the class teaching,” that neglects the specific needs of students.

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Depressed Creativity? Sort Of.

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When Martin Heidegger wrote his gargantuan Magnus opus, Being and Time, he posited that it was Angst, the fundamental human condition, that brought us into the most authentic relationship with our selves and our surroundings.

Angst, for Heidegger, is caused by coming face-to-face with the inevitability of our own death and is life in the state of agitation, unease—it’s the condition in which we realize just how strange the world is.

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The Ultimate in Recycling

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It’s just a coincidence that I’ll be teaching the Wendell Berry poem “Enriching the Earth” tomorrow, a poem which ends with the lines “And so what was heaviest / and most mute is at last raised up into song,” but I couldn’t help but think of Berry’s sentiment about the body being of use after death when I read this story from Autopia about cadaver testing in the auto industry.

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Science Saturday

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We begin with death today, specifically the smell of it. Apparently, insects all emit the same blend of fatty acids when they die, and that smell sends them scurrying.

High cholesterol may reduce sexual arousal in women.

Geckos can self-amputate their tails, which is a neat trick, but apparently the tails can twitch and flip for up to half an hour after amputation, serving as a distraction to predators.

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Science Saturday

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It’s time to release my inner geek. Okay, not so inner.

Behold the cannibal galaxy! Triangulum, your day is coming!

The nonprofit Solar CITIES is installing solar power systems in the poorest parts of Cairo.

Global warming science is complex, and deniers are either co-opted by a dirty energy lobby or just stupid, and this news is going to make refuting them a little tougher.

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Coming Out of the Bog

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Earlier this year, a couple of archaeologists pulled a barrel of butter out of a peat bog in Ireland, about 25 miles west of Dublin. It wasn’t the first time this has happened–in fact, it’s not even unusual anymore–but it happens infrequently enough that when it does occur, there’s an air of the “wow, that’s weird” about it.

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