Vol. 2.45 | 12.06.19

Read time: 4 minutes
We Don’t Understand Our Brains

We certainly know more than we used to, and neuroscience continues to push back the darkness of ignorance day by day. And yet, when it all comes down to it, even what we know is little more than educated guessing about how a black box does its thing. For example, this recent discovery about a brain implant that uses electrical impulses to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. In multiple documented cases, use of the device completely inhibits a person’s ability to swim. In one case, the patient was a competitive swimmer who suddenly lost the ability to coordinate their arms and legs in a swimming motion. Another patient could no longer even float in water. Others reported being unable to ski or play golf anymore because their body couldn’t coordinate the movements any longer.

Solar Sound

You’ve seen the light of the sun, felt its warmth, and even heard of things like solar wind and solar flares. But, have you ever heard the sound of the sun’s radiation (bringing both light and heat) colliding with the earth’s protective magnetic field? Now you can.

Where Solar Wind Comes From

Speaking of the sun, we now know something about it we didn’t know before. The Parker Solar Probe, launched over one year ago, made the closest flyby of the sun ever made: 26.55 million miles, give or take a mile or two. As a result, scientists have data to piece together the source of solar wind. Charged particles escape through “cool” holes in the sun’s corona (“cool” meaning only 2 million degrees F). When the lines of the sun’s magnetic field flip, the sudden change in direction releases a wave of energy that propels the escaped particles out into space. 

Weaponized Memes: a History

An interesting look at how even the idea of memes have been co-opted into assets for use in the information warfare known as politics. If you thought memes were a big deal in the 2016 election season, just wait. The speed with which new cultural moments are memed/gifed/remixed/mashedup is already breathtaking. For instance, we’re just a day or two into the whole Peloton commercial moment, and former VP Joe Biden had his “look, fat” showdown today (as I write this, yesterday as you read this), and already the two have been seamlessly mixed like a high-dollar cocktail.

The Issue Facing Teachers Nobody Is Talking About

Education is always a hot topic: funding, testing, contracts, shootings. But there’s a growing crisis facing teachers and principles around the country that you’ve probably not heard about. Being married to an educator, I’ve heard stories like this too many times, but I’ve not yet scene anything in the media anywhere. This post on LinkedIn by an administrator in Texas is the first public look at this issue that I’ve seen.