164 years ago today, Gustav Theodor Fechner awoke from a dream which would change his life, and the course of science itself. In his dream, Fechner had discovered the key to studying sensation and perception, the method to measure the mind itself. Of course we cannot simply turn up some switch and increase your awareness, or your sensitivity, or anything about your experience of the world; prior to Fechner’s dream, the only way to study your thoughts was… to think about them. Introspection, essentially. It could not be systematically controlled-indeed, the very thought of controlling the mind, that non-physical part of Descartes dualistic view of Man, was ludicrous. [Read more...]
There could maybe be some trouble
If you’re running, in a bubble,
From Miami to Bermuda (that’s a thousand miles, plus!)
It’s a fairly silly notion
In a hamster-wheel contraption as your private magic bus
High above, the sun is sunning
And you’re running, running, running,
In a tiny little solar powered sauna on the sea
Getting hotter, hotter, hotter
While you’re running out of water
And the middle of the ocean is a nasty place to be
Not quite running, not quite boating
What you mostly are, is floating
On the North Atlantic Current, and you’re going with the flow
First it’s fun, but then, not funny
When your hamster-ball’s too sunny,
Overheating in the tropics is a nasty way to go!
Yeah, so… who among us has not wanted to take a giant inflatable hamster wheel and cross, say, a thousand miles of Atlantic Ocean with it? But Reza Beluchi actually tried it.
The Coast Guard rescued a man Saturday from the Atlantic Ocean after they advised him earlier in the week he did not have enough supplies in his hydro pod bubble vessel to make a trip to Bermuda.
Officers with the Coast Guard 7th District command center received reports Wednesday that the man, Reza Baluchi, was disoriented and asking for directions.
When officers arrived Wednesday, they told him the trip was dangerous and he did not have enough supplies on the floating bubble to sustain him. He only had protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone, according to a Coast Guard news release.
He at first refused assistance from a Coast Guard rescue vessel, but was forced to activate his emergency beacon 3 days later, and was safely rescued earlier today (Saturday). I really hope his insurance is up to date, or that he just happens to be independently wealthy, cos I expect him to owe a substantial pile of money for the trouble he put the Coast Guard to.
There’s a world of smells around you
If you catch a little whiff
Why, your nose can show you wonders
If you’ll only stop and sniff [Read more...]
The “new atheist” said with a smile
“Yes, I’m godless–you’ll get no denial–
But freethought sure looks
If you judge from the books
Like the “new” has been old for some while!” [Read more...]
The IgNobels! Streaming Live! Click here!
I saw them a couple of years ago, and met some of my favorite virtual people there. Wish I were there today.
As if it were magic, it happened last night,
And we woke to a very improbable sight—
It certainly got our attention, all right—
A mile-high statue of Christ. [Read more...]
… I just give it to an octopus. [Read more...]
Yes, Kentucky is planning on spending too much money on a creationist theme park. But I had forgotten–it is much more than just a replica ark! They are also planning on other themed rides and exhibits, and what says “family fun” more than the ten plagues of Exodus? [Read more...]