SY O

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How To Think, According To This Winner Of The Brain Prize

<i>”Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Annotate, model, think, and synthesize while you read, even when you’re reading what you conceive to be introductory stuff. That way, you will always aim towards understanding things at a resolution fine enough for you to be creative.”</i><p>Ed …

Diapers
Journalism

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?

Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robots<p>One spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being …

Consciousness

India's Fascinating Tree Root Bridges Grow Stronger Every Year

In the wettest place on Earth, the village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya, India are some of the most fascinating bridges you'll ever see. These “living bridges” are formed by locals who have trained the roots of rubber trees to grow into natural bridges. They are sturdy enough to far outlast man-made …

Engineering

The World’s Most Beautiful Box Of Chocolates

Japanese design house Nendo can make <i>anything</i> better. The designers have revamped rubber bands. They tackled the 4,000-year-old design problem of chopsticks. They even figured out how to make wood transparent for crying out loud.<p>Still, I’m always happiest when Nendo turns its design genius to …

Design

The perfect financial storm: Why we’re headed for future global economic crises

Economist Alan Taylor explains why advanced economies are more dependent on the private sector than ever before<p><i>Alan Taylor, a professor and director of the Center for the Evolution of the Global Economy at the University of California, Davis, has conducted, along with Moritz Schularick,</i> …

Economics

Meet the man who predicted Fox News, the Internet, Stephen Colbert and reality TV

The most important media observer of our time died a decade ago — but saw our superficial, silly side taking over<p>These days, even the kind of educated person who might have once disdained TV and scorned electronic gadgets debates plot turns from “Game of Thrones” and carries an app-laden iPhone. …

Reality TV

God is on the ropes: The brilliant new science that has creationists and the Christian right terrified

A young MIT professor is finishing Darwin’s task — and threatening to undo everything the wacky right holds dear<p>The Christian right’s obsessive hatred of Darwin is a wonder to behold, but it could someday be rivaled by the hatred of someone you’ve probably never even heard of. Darwin earned their …

Physics

Debunking Vaccine Myths Can Have An Unintended Effect

Remember back in October when I debunked 32 myths about the flu vaccine here?<p>Research published since then suggests my efforts might have been in vain, at least in part.<p>The post might have changed some minds, but it seems unlikely to have led legions of people to race to get vaccinated.<p>In fact, …

Clay Aiken Doesn't Sing Anymore

At the crossroads of Old South and New South, of supernova celebrity and down-home regularity, of traditional values and "Why not just cut to the chase and say he's a big ol' homo?" sits an American Idol, and he's running for Congress. The good people of North Carolina voted for him once, and he …

Short Hair

Playful Furniture Design Looks Like a Giant Comfortable Birdsnest

Israel-based Merav (Salush) Eitan and Gaston Zahr of OGE Creative Group were inspired by the structure of a bird's nest to develop this large, playful reclining space. Called <i>Giant Birdsnest for Creating New Ideas</i>, the circular wooden structure is filled with soft, egg-shaped pillows and is intended …

Furniture