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When Bad Things Happen in Slow Motion - Issue 61: Coordinates

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Nothing focuses the mind like a moment of peril. John Hockenberry, the heavily-decorated journalist and commentator, had one of those nearly four decades ago. Yet it has never left him, and it always plays out in his memory, as he puts it, “in super slo-mo.”

“About 38 years ago, I was on a road in Pennsylvania. I was sleeping in the back of a car. I woke up. The driver of the car was also asleep,” Hockenberry recounted from his wheelchair in early June at this year’s World Science Festival in New York as he opened up a panel discussion on time perception.“ The car was veering off the road. The passenger next to her reached over very slowly, it seemed, grabbed the wheel, and pulled that wheel as hard as she could … and the car veers to the right. And very slowly we hit the guardrail, the car flips into the air, and I can feel in my gut that all of life is going to change.”

Retired fire chief Richard Gasaway refers to this apparent slowing down of time in tense situations as tachypsychia, which roughly translates as “fast mind.” “This phenomenon afflicts many first responders,”…
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Michdevilish
42 days ago
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I Am A Data Factory | Nicholas Carr | Rough Type | 7th May 2018

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“Am I a data mine, or am I a data factory? Is data extracted from me, or is data produced by me? Both metaphors are ugly, but the distinction between them is crucial. If I am a data mine, then I am essentially a chunk of real estate, and control over my data becomes a matter of ownership. The factory metaphor makes clear what the mining metaphor obscures: We work for the Facebooks and Googles of the world, and the work we do is increasingly indistinguishable from the lives we lead”
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Michdevilish
72 days ago
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Don’t charge your brain implant during thunderstorms, docs warn after incident

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Barcroft Media)

Last year, futurist Elon Musk announced a new project: a medical research company called Neuralink set to develop a new generation of brain implant devices—which may, among other things, help us in the coming AI apocalypse. But evil robots aside, the devices first have to face a more nefarious foe: lightning.

Doctors in Slovenia report that a 66-year-old woman with an existing brain implant experienced a close call with the device after lightning struck her apartment building. The strike ruined the woman’s television and air conditioning unit and managed to switch off her brain implant. Luckily, the woman and her device were not otherwise harmed.

But in a report published this week in the Journal of Neurosurgery, the doctors say the situation could have easily been much worse, possibly zapping her brain or destroying her implant. They call for more precautions, such as surge protectors, as well as better awareness of the risks of lightning strikes with such implants—or deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices.

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Michdevilish
72 days ago
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Forest Faff

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forest watercolour sketch

And nary a mosquito in sight!

Meanwhile...

naughty, naughty





Pssst: Is that some green stuff, or just a rumour?


I think the bird feeder is toast.

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Michdevilish
94 days ago
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Fast Food Feminism

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The lion’s share

H/T: the lovely impala

Stretching

M-shaped/fast food of the veld

Rooibok antelope

Fads
Have you heard of it? Neither had I, before QI.

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Michdevilish
132 days ago
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Artistic Admonishments

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Artist in therapy
It gets better, really.

It’s Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords! Get half off (or all off, off a few) mine with promo code RAE50. Leave a review, please.
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Michdevilish
136 days ago
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