Laughter Part 2: Is It Safe To Laugh Yet?

James Belarde // “It seems to me that you can know a man by his laughter, and if from the first encounter you like the laughter of some completely unknown person, you may boldly say that he is a good man.” -Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Notes from A Dead House “A woolly mammoth and a saber-tooth…

Memory is a Winged Horse: On Sea Monsters, Labyrinths, and the Brain

Fernanda Pérez Gay Juárez, translated from Spanish by Álvaro García // “Hippocampus” is the scientific name for the seahorse, an S-shaped fish with ringed, bony plates and a dorsal crest. Its tail is long, prehensile and coiled in spiral, and its head resembles that of a horse. Before reproducing, two seahorses intertwine in an eight-hour…

Rethinking the “Living Brain”

Diana Rose Newby // Thirty-two disembodied brains are injected with a blood substitute. Hours after its host body’s death, each brain begins showing signs of life. If this sounds like the stuff of science fiction, it’s not without good reason. Last month’s news that a Yale University research team had revived cellular function in the…

Upcoming Conference: Neurodiversities

A CHCI Medical Humanities Network / Duke Health Humanities Lab@FHI Symposium: NEURODIVERSITIES // Oct. 26-27, 2018, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University // The term “neurodiversity,” first popularized by the autism community, challenges the pathologization of neurological deviation from a conventional social spectrum of “neurotypicality.” Another branch of “neurodiversity” discourse challenges the abstraction of the ideas…

The World We See – Part 6: Art that Moves, in More Ways than One

Lara Boyle // At first glance, Naum Gabo’s Kinetic Construction is nothing special. A thin, motionless steel rod extends from a pit located in the base of a black square. With the push of a button, however, the rod springs to life. The rod wiggles back and forth as a motor beneath the base whirs with…

The World We See – Part 4: “The Dress” Will Still Fool You

By: Lara Boyle February 26th marks a strange and special date in the history of the Internet. On a musician’s fan page, a photo of a dress surfaced along with a plea: “Guys, please help me. Is this dress white or gold, or blue and black?” Over the next week, the picture surged across social…

The World We See, Part 3: A Study of the Women with Superhuman Sight

By: Lara Boyle December Article Summary: Last month, we followed the path of light as it raced from the sun towards the earth. The light hit objects and reflected into the eye, passing through the eye’s lens and cornea.  The lens and cornea determined how much light could enter the eye, we learned, based on…

The World We See, Part 2: “What an Eye!”

Paul Cézanne’s eyes contained a subtle flaw. The late 19th century painter was famous for bridging Impressionism and the art movements that followed, but his eyes over the years had gradually changed shape, bending until they better resembled footballs than spheres. The change had no effect on objects nearby, but objects in the distance appeared…

The World We See, Part 1: A Brief History

Lara Boyle I intended to leave for the Museum of Modern Art by 3pm, but time slipped past until I had to rush to the museum before it closed. Navigating New York’s crowded streets while running late is an activity sure to make my blood boil, but today was a rare exception; the sun filtered…