Kei Gowda

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Memories are made of this

The human memory system is a fascinating one, and is often the subject of science fiction scenarios. But the workings of human memory are such that it can often be stranger than fiction<p>I was recently invited to a screening of the film Upstream Colour, and lead a discussion of the scientific …

I Spent My Summer Vacation in Outer Space

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Beyond lies the wub: a history of dubstep

The atmosphere of Belvedere’s, a dive bar on Butler Street in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood — with its stage and pool tables and little in the way of ambiance — was completely transformed by the bass. It reminded me of a water jet cutter. Taking water and streaming it at such a high rate …

How I hacked my brain with Adderall: a cautionary tale

Evolution is a nice, big idea. It connotes the glacial pace of an unmeditated act unfolding upon species, concepts, and ecosystems. It certainly doesn’t usually get branded as a feeling. But a couple months ago I felt this thing. Maybe a little like what a mommy feels when her fetus kicks the wall …

Body Message: GI Joe and the invention of the viral video

2003 was an important year for American culture: Baghdad fell, the Human Genome Project was completed, Britney and Madonna French-kissed at the MTV Music Video Awards. And no less significantly, at least as far as internet culture is concerned, it was also the year of the “GI Joe PSAs”: 25 weird, …

Ecstasy for my eardrums: tripping through the addictive psychedelia of million-dollar hi-fi

Yesterday I chronicled a skeptical vision quest through the realm of high-end audio appreciation. It brought me to one of the darkest corners of the High End hi-fi trade show in Munich. I found myself in a room surrounded by silver-haired purists in front of a bespoke rig by Pioneer subsidiary TAD …

Everything you need to know about PRISM

Since September 11th, 2001, the United States government has dramatically increased the ability of its intelligence agencies to collect and investigate information on both foreign subjects and US citizens. Some of these surveillance programs, including a secret program called PRISM, capture the …

Seduced by ‘perfect’ pitch: how Auto-Tune conquered pop music

In January of 2010, Kesha Sebert, known as ‘Ke$ha’ debuted at number one on Billboard with her album, <i>Animal</i>. Her style is electro pop-y dance music: she alternates between rapping and singing, the choruses of her songs are typically melodic party hooks that bore deep into your brain: “Your love, …

Commuter Gear Solutions

Wherever you’re headed, these accessories and apparel will get you there safely and in style. —<i>Taylor Rojek</i>

Tractor-Trailer

Urban Legends

Nine instant classics that look great--and work great--spinning along city streets<p>Nine instant classics that look great–and work great–spinning along city streets

Urban Legends

Beast of Burden

Forget VO2 max and lactate threshold. The greatest measure of cycling prowess is the amount you can carry by bike.<p>All cyclists measure achievement differently. For some, it’s getting the KOM on a ­Strava segment. For urban cyclists, it’s being able to hold a trackstand stock-still, like a pointing …

Mesopotamia

The Thing We Carry

The way you haul a burden can turn out to be loaded with meaning<p>Mainly, I was hoping my boss would be hosting a meeting when I got to work so for comic effect I could open his door and give him back the borrowed leaf blower in front of a bunch of important corporate people. I wasn’t thinking, at …

Cycling

America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities

Grand Rapids

Solve the Bike-to-Work Puzzle

The most common commuting excuses and issues, solved<p>One question has stumped bike advocates since the invention of the freewheel: Why don’t more people ride to work?<p>On paper, pedaling is a clear winner over the alternatives. It’s good for the environment, your bank account, your body, and even your …

San Francisco

Booby-Trap Your Bike

Don't have your lock? Try these tips to deter bike thieves!<p>Most times you head out on your bike, the plan is to do your thing and come straight home. But sometimes an unexpected detour—in your plan, not the road—requires a quick stop: You forgot that your faithful feline ran out of 9Lives that …

Feline