Tag Archives: science

If time flies, did you have more fun?

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.” –attributed to Albert Einstein Our subjective experience of … Continue reading

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Personal Genomics

Stephen Pinker has a pretty decent article up in the New York Times called My Genome, My Self about the topic of personal genomics, i.e. getting your DNA analyzed to discover your own ‘genetic code’. For example, having a certain … Continue reading

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Intelligence in the Neglected Branches of the Tree of Life

When you think of intelligent non-human animals, you probably think of apes: they use tools, appear to have culture, can be taught language-like communication systems, and the list of uniquely human traits seems to be ever-shrinking thanks to them. Maybe … Continue reading

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Experimental Philosophy

Science and philosophy are traditionally considered very distinct disciplines. Certainly many scientists are philosophical, and there are many philosophers of science. But we think of the two domains as following very different methodologies. Scientists perform experiments: they manipulate variables and … Continue reading

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Monkey-controlled Robot

Researchers in the U.S. and Japan successfully synched up a monkey’s brain with a robot across the world, and after about an hour of practice the monkey could control the robot’s legs while it walked on a treadmill. First the … Continue reading

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Caesar’s Last Breath

Over enough time, molecules released into the air disperse pretty evenly (this is why polluting smoke-stacks are so tall, avoiding local pollution by dispersing the output more widely). It’s reasonable to assume, then, that whenever you breathe out, eventually those … Continue reading

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Chimpanzee Memory

At the Primate Research Institute in Japan, Ai is a chimpanzee in her thirties who has been involved in cognition research for decades. She’s well-known for learning to use our familiar numerals (1, 2, 3…) to appropriately label sets of … Continue reading

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Dolphin Language?

The Telegraph (Dec 2007) has a story on Liz Hawkins’ research into dolphin communication which claims they might be using language. Basically, they used different whistles and clicks depending on environmental and behavioral context. Not exactly a surprise: many species … Continue reading

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