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Quadriplegic Moves Hand by Thinking About It

It is, as the Washington Post writes, "science fiction come true": A 23-year-old quadriplegic managed to move his right hand last Wednesday, a hand that he'd had no power over since he broke his neck after diving into a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean in 2010. Since then, Ian Burkhart...

From Figuig to Igli: Berber in the Algerian-Morocco borderland

The number of good Berber descriptive dictionaries has been slowly but steadily increasing in recent years, but Hassane Benamara's new Dictionnaire amazigh-français : Parler de Figuig et ses régions (Rabat: IRCAM, 2013), which I was lucky enough to be lent a copy of lately, is surely one of the best. Show More Summary

The Sexual Politics of Full Frontal on HBO

In the wake of Elliot Rodger’s misogynistic killing spree, the media’s role in male entitlement and violence against women has brought commentators to virtual blows.  One right hook came from Ann Hornaday, who argues in the Washington Post that male entitlement fantasies are part of a climate in which women are displayed as objects for the sexual […]

Film to explore gay-bashing in friendly, liberal community

Lawrence "Mikey" Partida's injuries It was a tragic end to his 32nd birthday celebration. As Lawrence “Mikey” Partida left his cousin’s house, a young neighbor confronted him, hurling antigay epithets before beating Partida unconscious. Show More Summary

9/11 Conspiracy Debate – Part II

This is the second of a four part written debate between myself and Michael Fullerton, who believes that the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was not due to the official story of damage from the impact of commercial jets, but rather the result of a controlled demolition. His initial post is here. This [...]

6 biggest lessons from learning to speak my first non-native language [Final video] Time for the final update on Lauren’ss 6-week-challenge! She successfully completed her mission, and was able to socialize, make new friends, and have fun in Esperanto. You can see it all happen in the above video. I’ll hand the blog over to her, to share her thoughts: The 6 biggest lessons from learning to […]

Link feast

Our pick of the best psychology and neuroscience links from the past weekWhy Behavioral Economics Is Cool, and I'm NotOrganisational psychologist Adam Grant reflects on the unfortunate media habit of mislabelling psychology researchShow More Summary

Spike activity 20-06-2014

Quick links from the past week in mind and brain news: OK Go’s new music video is like standing naked under a waterfall of optical illusions while wearing hipster spectacles. The mighty Neurocritic looks at advances in physical brain tweaking and the possible rebirth of paradise engineering. The Dana Foundation has an excellent piece on […]

Food for the souls of the most hungry

I’ve just come back from the Cheltenham Science Festival. It was a truly inspiring week of educating and entertaining science, maths and technology. Insights direct from Richard Dawkins (he didn’t claim he wanted to kill Santa), to  mesmerising...Show More Summary

Real fry

You'll search Google News in vain for stories about most technical terms in phonetics — no recent coverage of lenition, for example — but "vocal fry" has been prominent in the popular press for several years. Despite all the coverage, many people seem to be unclear about what it is and where it comes from […]

Mission Accomplished, He Said

David Boaz Everything that American troops have done in Iraq, all the fighting and all the dying, the bleeding and the building, and the training and the partnering — all of it has led to this moment of success. Now, Iraq is not a perfect place. Show More Summary

Ukraine: Patterns of Death

Ukraine suffers. There's no other way to put it. The bombardment of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk continues. There are some pretty depressing videos coming out of there about the civvies. There is VERY heavy fighting at Shchastya (Schaste). Show More Summary

A Blast (of Steam) from the Past.

One of the books I’m reading very slowly, a bit at a time (usually at bedtime), is Yuri Fedosyuk’s ??? ????????? ? ?????????, ??? ???????????? ???????? ???? XIX ???? [What we don't understand in the classics, or An encyclopedia of Russian daily life in the nineteenth century] (see LH posts from 2004 and 2013), and […]

Why We’re More Forgiving to Bad Singers than to Other Musicians

If you’ve ever watched a vocal talent show such as American Idol, you might have noticed: when a judge claims a contestant is “pitchy” or “out of tune,” the audience tends to disagree. Nothing will set off the boos faster than Randy Jackson claiming a performance was “a little pitchy.” So what’s going on there? […]

New vocal fry culprit

Jen Olenizcak, "Are Spanx Causing Vocal Fry?", Huffington Post 6/17/2014: New Yorkers are incredibly tense. Articles have been written about our anxiety issues — most adults are incredibly tense. And the butt tension! I hear so many pinched, throaty Kardashian voices, and when lamenting about the correlation I saw between this body image pulling-it-all-in problem […]

Would you walk past a money tree?

We're oblivious to a lot of what passes in front of our eyes. The classic example is people's failure to notice a woman walk through a scene in a gorilla suit. In that study, observers were busy counting basketball passes between players...Show More Summary

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