Gelignite, or blasting gelatin, is a mixture of nitroglycerin, gun cotton, and a combustible substance like wood pulp. It resembles dynamite (also invented by Alfred Nobel) but can be conveniently molded into shape with the bare hands. The October 6, 1904 issue of Russian Doctor contained a dispatch about a young woman who “found a cartridge containing this substance in her husband’s trunk and ate it, taking the cartridge for a piece of confectionery.” Despite her husband’s fears, she neither exploded nor expired from the effects of the poison, as summarized in the New York Medical Journal six weeks later. [Improbable]
Paul Ingrisano, a pirate living in Brooklyn New York, filed a trademark under “Pi Productions” for a logo which consists of this freely available version of the pi symbol ? from the Wikimedia website combined with a period (full stop). The conditions of the trademark specifically state that the trademark includes a period. The trademark was granted in January 2014 and Ingrisano has recently made trademark infringement claims against a massive range of pi-related designs on print-on-demand websites including Zazzle and Cafepress. Surprisingly, Zazzle accepted his claim and removed thousands of clothing products using this design. [ Jez Kemp]
Those parents at the park taking all those photos are actually paying less attention to the moment, she says, because they’re focused on the act of taking the photo. “Then they’ve got a thousand photos, and then they just dump the photos somewhere and don’t really look at them very much, ’cause it’s too difficult to tag them and organize them,” says Maryanne Garry, a psychology professor at the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. […] Henkel, who researches human memory at Fairfield University in Connecticut, found what she called a “photo-taking impairment effect.” “The objects that they had taken photos of — they actually remembered fewer of them, and remembered fewer details about those objects. Like, how was this statue’s hands positioned, or what was this statue wearing on its head. They remembered fewer of the details if they took photos of them, rather than if they had just looked at them,” she says. Henkel says her students’ memories were impaired because relying on an external memory aid means you subconsciously count on the camera to remember the details for you. [NPR]
Closing roads can improve everyone’s commute time. You might want to shoot to miss in war. Game Theory Is Really Counterintuitive
It is just possible to discern some points beneath the heated rhetoric in which Patricia Churchland indulges. But none of these points is right. If you hold that “mental processes are actually processes in the brain,” to quote Churchland, then you are committed to the thesis that it is sufficient to understand the mind that one understands the brain, and not merely necessary. This is just the well-known “identity theory” of mind and brain: mental processes are identical to brain processes; and the identity of a with b entails the sufficiency of a for b. To hold the weaker thesis that knowledge of the brain is merely necessary for knowledge of the mind is consistent even with being a heavy-duty Cartesian dualist, since even such a dualist accepts that mind depends causally on brain. [ Patricia Churchland vs. Colin McGinn/NY Review of Books]
Machines vs. Lawyers: As information technology advances, the legal profession faces a great disruption.
In a paper published in the journal Science, physicists reported that they were able to reliably teleport information between two quantum bits separated by three meters, or about 10 feet. Quantum teleportation is not the “Star Trek”-style movement of people or things; rather, it involves transferring so-called quantum information — in this case what is known as the spin state of an electron — from one place to another without moving the physical matter to which the information is attached. [ NY Times ]