When a healthy person watches a smoothly moving object (say, an airplane crossing the sky), she tracks the plane with a smooth, continuous eye movement to match its displacement. This action is called smooth pursuit. But smooth pursuit isn’t smooth for most patients with schizophrenia. Their eyes often fall behind and they make a series of quick, tiny jerks to catch up or even dart ahead of their target. For the better part of a century, this movement pattern would remain a mystery. But in recent decades, scientific discoveries have lead to a better understanding of smooth pursuit eye movements. [Garden of the Mind]
Neuroscientists have identified the location in the brain's visual cortex responsible for generating a common perceptual illusion: Seeing shapes and surfaces that don't really exist when viewing a fragmented background.
Madness and hallucination in The Shining.
Treasury reimburses dog owner whose pet ate $500.
US Government Shutdown: Good News For Patent Trolls
Peru exports more illegal gold than cocaine, and it’s the world’s biggest exporter of cocaine.
Eye contact may make people more resistant to persuasion.
New study finds that superstitions actually do "reverse" perceived bad fortune.
Altered wine chemical helps kill cancer.
Genetically Modified Bacteria Produce 50 Percent More Fuel.
FDA approves portable artificial pancreas. The device syncs the results of a continuous reading of the wearer’s glucose levels with a pump that provides appropriate amounts of insulin.
A robot that hunts the coastline for swarms of jellyfish and destroys them has been developed by scientists in South Korea.
Scientists have engineered "unjetlaggable" mice.
The Science of Why Girls Love flowers.
Chicago Eatery Serves Burger with Communion Wafer Garnish. [Thanks Tim]
China is known for its pirated DVDs and fake designer gear, but these criminals were producing something more intellectual: fake scholarly articles which they sold to academics, and counterfeit versions of existing medical journals in which they sold publication slots [The Economist]
Guy gets ticketed for not riding in bike lane, makes video of himself smashing into things in bike lanes.
How one transportation business survived hurricane sandy.
The effect of diminished belief in free will.
The Problem of Trust in the Sharing Economy:
All you have to do is place your phone next to your keyboard to provide a direct channel for anyone to read what you are typing - and it's all down to the vibration of the keys.
Remember that crazy story about the dude in Mississippi who mailed ricin to Obama and then tried to frame some other dude in Mississippi for the crime? Well, the story is a thousand times crazier than you thought.
Ivanhoe Reservoir Covered With 400,000 Black Plastic Balls. [thanks quarqonia]
A pool filled with lagoon water from which every 3 minutes a replica of the Giardini in Venice emerges for a few seconds and then sinks back down.
Signage for the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.
There is no lake in this photo, tilt your head to the right.