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tool
  • 310169.2012

    2-D tablets are a distraction for the next phase of the game, personalized language development. That will be the domain of the 3-D tablet, when keyboard is augmented and finally replaced by Kinect-type field manipulation. Each user will start gesturing a stable language then transform it, personalize it.

    That's where Apple has to go, towards Kinect, they're playing catch-up privately, while Microsoft bungles its tablet prospects. This is long strategy, many are only looking at the next 16 quarters of the tablet. Think a decade.

  • 310169.1952

    is the Cooper Skull, a hunted bison from 10,500 B.P. whose skull was then painted with a red zig-zag and placed at the capturing point of the hunt. This predates bow and arrow. Atlatl points used here in the hunting of both Clovis and Folsom periods originate in quarries 100 miles in every direction from the site. Read Leland Bement on his unusual find, click on the interactive skull.

  • 310157.0942

  • 310152.0920

  • 310141.0918

    Life isolated on islands adapts differently than those on continents. From Carlquist's Island Life.

  • 310137.0820

    Two illustrations of a test designed to show Anne's ability to recognize Sally's false belief. Anne perceives Sally will believe the ball is in the basket. An element of human consciousness and a key facet of our media.

  • 310134.2255

    Certainly the first known interplanetary tale was The True History by Lucian of Samosata written about 175 A.D. Lucian's hero went to the moon, where he found intelligent, nonhuman beings.

    What might be called science fiction began in 1634 with Somnium by Johannes Kepler. Kepler was a great pioneer astronomer, who first established the mathematical principles to explain the orbits of the planets. But he was also an astrologer and mystic. As the title indicates, the story takes place in a dream, where a spirit carries Kepler to the moon and the planets.

    Lester Del Rey The World of Science Fiction 1978

     

    Past the intro: a spirited mash-up of Lensman and Star Wars. Some great physics.

  • 310134.1714

    "We've never seen anything like it," added archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin, who is deciphering the hieroglyphs. Stuart acknowledged that "we don't know exactly what this is noting," but the Maya were looking at "patterns in the sky and intermeshing them mathematically."  Tulane University’s Marc Zender, another Mayan expert not involved in the work, said that “it’s about as exciting as discovering lost manuscripts of a famous mathematician like Archimedes. It’s an amazing privileged glimpse over their shoulders.”

  • 310125.1621

    From Frank Zappa's 1977 concert film

  • 310122.1718

     

    Cognitive neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran's Tell-Tale Brain is an exceptional walk through the modular elements of brain structures that appear to regulate or promote syntax, metaphor, grammar, parts of what we label as language. By deciphering anomalistic behaviors in distinct properties of language correlated to minute parts of the brain, he comes close to proving what linguists have theorized about for decades: The human brain comes wired with language's capabilities. This neuroscientist adds forensic linguist to his titles; he combines both Pinker's and Chomsky's separate, complimentary theories as well a few others into a larger holistic one built on the available structural data. That's merely the first part of the book. What Ramachandran does once he has these pieces is to launch a two pronged adventure. Magellan cubed. First he searches for the missing link in early consciousness: when did the brain 'switch' on this language ability? Secondly he extends these brain structures into visuals. Humans are visual thinkers that enabled verbal language to communicate with. Ramachandran explores how this language 'ability' with its origins in separate parts of the brain, first operated using images the eye sees and the brain memorizes. His eureka is that humans assemble visual information, like spoken language, with properties of syntax, semantic, grammar and metaphor. His careful observations add to the book's self-awareness (he notices in the east an integration between image and context and a disintegration in the west).  He closes his book with a treatise on how visual art operates, and as a lure I've included a taste below, his 9 laws of aesthetics.. A groundbreaking highly readable book.

     Ramachandran's 9 Laws of Aesthetics (from The Tell Tale Brain)

    1. Grouping

    2. Peak Shift

    3. Contrast

    4. Isolation

    5. Peekaboo, or perceptual problem solving

    6. Abhorrence of coincidences

    7. Orderliness

    8. Symmetry

    9. Metaphor

    Below, Ramachandran's mirror-box. A device to help amputees alleviate 'phantom' pain in phantom limbs.