Brain Scoop


I love Emily Graslie’s science videos. I’ve shared them before, but I figured it’s worth seeing some of her newer work.

Emily’s the Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum in Chicago.


The Amazing Laser


On rare books at the museum

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Glitter to the Rescue

When the police refused to do anything to track down Mark Roper’s porch thieves, this engineer took action, and a lot of time to combat crime. He put on his thinking cap and the results are grand.

Since he lives a few miles from me, I’m astounded that the police in his village couldn’t be bothered to do their jobs. It’s a low crime suburb. It’s not like there’s a crime. From Dec. 6 to Dec. 20, two criminal incidents, both theft were reported in this village. Why can’t these sort of things be investigated?

Check out Roper’s other videos. He wows with the fun of engineering.

Freezing? For Real?

A friend invited a new guy to Easter brunch. He’s an American doctor, who focuses on research, in particular on cryopreservation, i.e. getting frozen at the moment of death so that if medical science figures out the cure for the disease that killed you, they can bring you back.

I thought this was the stuff of sci-fi, but no, it’s being done now in the U.S. and in other countries like China. Check this BBC story out if you doubt me.

It’s not as expensive as I’d imagined — $200,000 in the US and $400,000 in China because the companies here figure the rich would pay that. To get just your brain frozen, it’s  $80,000. You can get tissue or animals frozen too.

While they haven’t yet developed the technology to thaw someone out, they have succeeded in unfreezing frogs and other simple animals.

There are already a few hundred people who’ve been frozen including these folks.  One company that does this, Alcor has over 1200 people signed up for future freezing. You can put cryopreservation into your insurance policy.

I just can’t get over this. I wouldn’t want to be frozen, though as a child watching sci-fi shows I thought it would be cool (no pun intended). But now . . . no thanks.

Who knows what sort of world you’d wake up in? Even if you could convince a good number of family and friends to sign up, there’s no guarantee you’d all wake up at the same time and even if you did, you could find yourself in a very odd or hostile world. Also, before they freeze you, you must be declared legally dead. How is someone declared legally undead?

Yet some people are signing up. Would you?

Word of the Week

Quantum Entanglement: noun

“the way elementary particles become intertwined when they interact”

I heard Neil Tyson DeGrasse explain this concept tonight while watching CNBC. At the quantum level we can’t see or perceive what’s going on but basically everything’s connected or could be. Spiritually, I’ve known that for a long time.

References

Woldchover, N.(2014.)  Wired. “New Quantum Theory Could Explain the Flow of Time.” Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/2014/04/quantum-theory-flow-time/ on October 23, 2015.