Friday, August 29, 2008

Quantum Cello

Radiolab is my favorite show. They do 5 episodes per year, but in the off-time, they do shorter interest pieces, including this one, about a musician who plays the cello by looping and layering through a computer. It's really beautiful and creative stuff, and interesting to hear her talk about her stage fright as part of the reason she does this.

And the music is gorgeous. You can download the episode by clicking here, or find more information at Radiolab's website.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Top Ten Psychology Videos

I haven't watched these yet, but they look really great. I especially recommend no. 1. I read Jamison's book, and while I have read many books on psychology, I have never read one more beautifully and powerfully written.

Top Ten Psychology Videos

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Cosmological Kick in the Head

Here is a link to an interview that Robert Krulwich did with Brian Greene, a professor of physics and author of The Elegant Universe, among other books on physics. If you listen to this and don't feel your head has been expanded 3-4 times by the rapidity of the neuron firing in order to keep up, I'll be honestly surprised. Greene talks about the different explanations of the cosmological data that has been collected, and the implications, which range everywhere from the idea of the "Multiverse" - a collection of universes all of which are infinite (!) to the place of determination and free will in modern-day physics. Honestly, since I'm gearing up to teach courses in the bible and world mythology, this seems like a conversation I've heard many times before, just with vastly different data. In some ways, it's the oldest conversation there is - where did we come from, are we alone, are we in control of what we do? - with just a different vocabulary, substituting words like scientific words for literary or religious ones.

It's fascinating, but will require your attention. Download it and play it in your car or while you run. I love the way these two talk about science. Pretty awe-inspiring stuff.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Plastic Bags

A powerful slideshow that offers some important information about plastic bags. It's sort of annoying how they have formatted the slideshow, but please do read it. And if you're interested in a solution, my wife and I have some awesome reusable bags that are so tiny when folded up that I can fit them in a pocket, and she can fit several in her purse. Here's a video of them.

Solar Revolution

This is awesome. A professor at MIT has discovered a way to mimic the way that plants store food, which could make it possible to power your house all day and all night, plus charge your electric car, just with the light that hits your roof. Check out the video here. Very cool!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fallen Idol Worship

I still haven't seen The Dark Knight (I'm dying to), so I can't comment on the film, but I really did think Heath Ledger was enormously talented (particularly in Brokeback Mountain), but this article brings up some really important and interesting issues about how we make excuses for those who are talented, and thus enable celebrities in their addictions. Worth a read.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bohemian Astrophysics

Gotta love this. Queen's guitarist, Brian May, has just finished his doctoral thesis in Astrophysics after taking 30 years off to "play some guitar.