Via Boing Boing: ‘In the book The Man Who Wasn’t There, Anil Ananthaswamy explores mysteries of self, including the weirdness of autoscopic phenomena, a kind of hallucination in which you are convinced that you are having an out-of-body experience or face to face with your non-existent twin. From a BBC feature based on one of the book chapters…’
Of the lectures I have given, one of those that most fascinated my audience, and which I have therefore rolled out over and over to entertain, has been a roundup of odd and offbeat psychiatric disorders. These include autoscopic phenomena, as noted above, as well as Fregoli, Cotard’s, apotemnophilia, Alice in Wonderland syndrome, Munchausen’s (of course) and my personal favorite, Capgras, about some of which I have written here in the past and all of which challenge fundamental aspects of our perception of reality. Do a Google search on “odd unusual psychiatric|psychological syndromes” to explore these topics further.
Via IFLScience: ‘Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto created the animation to display the number of nuclear explosions that went off between 1945 and 1998: a staggering 2,053.
Beginning with the Manhattan Project’s first nuclear device detonated near Los Alamos, New Mexico, the number of explosions starts slowly at first and then quickly speeds up right through to Pakistan’s own nuclear tests in 1998.
Each explosion corresponds to a beep and a flash of color, with the totals for each country rapidly stacking up. It is especially poignant given that today is the 70th anniversary of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, “Little Boy”, at the end of World War Two.
Hashimoto created the animation in 2003, which is why more recent nuclear tests such as those by North Korea in 2006, 2009 and 2013 are excluded.’
For the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The New Yorker has published online the full text of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” to which the magazine devoted the entire editorial space of its August 31, 1946 issue. “It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the all but incredible destructive power of this weapon,” wrote the magazine’s editors, “and that everyone might well take time to consider the terrible implications of its use.”
Via Gizmodo: A former robotics researcher who helped develop military robots says they cannot do anything for which they were not programmed. And besides, the bad guys don’t play by the rules. Make any sense??
I recall seeing De Düva at the late lamented Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge in the early ’70’s. After twenty minutes or so, a member of the audience suddenly stood up in the front row, threw his arms heavenward, and shouted out to the audience, “My God! I’m so stoned I can understand Swedish!”
A De Düva lexicon, via The New York Times:
Skå she vinska, you godda set her freesk: If she wins, you must set her free.
Me yoost haf dis schmatte waschen: I just had this clothing washed.
Phalliken zymbol: Cigar…’