Tuesday, August 12, 2008

stray bullets

We've got our wires crossed: The bizarre stories of people whose brains have rewired themselves (don't miss it) Meet the Englishman who emerged from a stroke speaking with a French Accent, (Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare but recognized medical condition) and the man who can taste words.

Cooking and Cognition: How Humans Got So Smart For a long time, we were pretty dumb. Humans did little but make "the same very boring stone tools for almost 2 million years," he said. Then, only about 150,000 years ago, a different type of spurt happened — our big brains suddenly got smart. We started innovating. We tried different materials, such as bone, and invented many new tools, including needles for beadwork. Responding to, presumably, our first abstract thoughts, we started creating art and maybe even religion.

Is Our Solar System a Rarity in Milky Way? Three Northwestern University researchers have learned that our solar system in which the Earth orbits our sun is the exception in the Milky Way rather than the rule.

A Bridge between Virtual Worlds The first steps to developing virtual-world interoperability are now being tested between Second Life and other independent virtual worlds... I remember hearing a radio interview with one of the founders of Second Life where he claimed that some characters from World of Warcraft found their way into Second Life and started hacking people up. I still can't figure out if he was just bullshitting or not. Maybe not. (via)

Mystery Surrounds Leavenworth's Underground City Some Leavenworth residents have been unknowingly walking around above an underground city, and no one seems to know who created it or why. I'm surprised we haven't heard more about this. (via)

The World’s Six Most Wanted War Criminals
How to Think Like a Genius Thomas Pynchon maintains that genius lives in work rather than talent. (couldn't find the quote, read it years ago) (via)
Jessica Duchen's top 10 literary Gypsies
Excellent post on John Cage (don't miss it if you're a music fan) John Cage died 16 years ago today.
Iain Banks links
Daily Writing Tips (via)
The Prisoner Production Hazard Checklist
Overheard Comments from United Airlines Employees (figures)
The Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites Not quite as "undiscovered" as I had hoped, but there are some interesting items in there. (via)

A Day In The Life Of An MC Escher Drawing (silly) (via)
Creepy Mogwai video
The Yodeling Belgian Cowboy (awesome)

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