BIOMIMICRY Underwater GPS Inspired by Shrimp Eyes: A few years ago, U.S. and Australian researchers developed a special camera inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimp that can see the polarization patterns of light waves, which resemble those in a rope being waved up and down. That means the bio-inspired camera can detect how light
ANIMAL INTELLIGENCE Is the magpie the world’s smartest bird? Many sources that study animal intelligence scientifically (in contrast to just writing cheap, non-researched blog posts about it), will tell you that not only is the magpie the most intelligent bird known to them in all of the world, but also one of the 10
Some of the best writing on “sensemaking” online comes via Jordan Greenhall, who runs an assortment of blogs at Medium. Greenhall’s “Situational Assessment” posts are a must-read for anyone attempting to understand the information chaos of our day-to-day lives. The gist of Greenhall’s position seems to be that World War III has been underway for
#CAVETWITTER —What is #CaveTwitter? Plato begins to weep as he shackles himself to the wall, praying to the shadows. You walk on by, each step algorithmically ticcing in time with the nothingness suffocating you; the Cave loves you, kinda. A group of pagans greet you. They’ve stopped already, pure deceleration to the point of minus-death.
ADDICTION —Ben Beaumont-Thomas on how the prescription drug epidemic is manifesting itself in hip-hop music: Rap has always told its drug stories in more than just its lyrics. Snoop conjured the sensuality of his own buzz through his very vocal cadence and languorous G-funk backing, as well as his words. In Houston’s “chopped and screwed” scene,
IDEOLOGICAL FRACTURES in AMERICA —Justin Murphy on whether America has become more conservative or more liberal: If there is one substantial ideological shift in American public opinion in the post-war period, it is the dramatic and near-universal increase in social liberalism since the 1950s. There has not been a general shift to the left or
Jordan Greenhall on understanding crisis: “A crisis is a threshold between an old system and a new system. From the point of view of the old system, the crisis is death. This is why the old system always struggles like hell to stave off the crisis. I don’t want to be uncharitable here. Systems are