|ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:|
|If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.|
|(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")|
|SCARLETT JOHANSSON:||I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.|
|UNIDENTIFIED MAN:||That's amazing.|
|WESTERVELT:||You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?|
|(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")|
|MORGAN FREEMAN:||What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?|
|DAVID EAGLEMAN:||We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.|
|WESTERVELT:||That is David Eagleman.|
|EAGLEMAN:||I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.|
|WESTERVELT:||And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.|
|EAGLEMAN:||Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.|
|WESTERVELT:||In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.|
|(SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)|
|ELLEN DEGENERES:||It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?|
|(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")|
|DAVID SPADE:||Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.|
|WESTERVELT:||It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."|
|(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")|
|SPADE:||How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.|
|WESTERVELT:||Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...|
|ARIANA ANDERSON:||Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.|
|WESTERVELT:||Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?|
|ANDERSON:||Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.|
|EAGLEMAN:||For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?|
|WESTERVELT:||Again, David Eagleman.|
|EAGLEMAN:||And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.|
|WESTERVELT:||In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.|
After getting back from China about two weeks ago, we decided to head up north to Muskoka for some fresh air and much needed… solitude. Sometimes you just need to get away, ya know?
Anyway, I took the opportunity to walk around and capture some of the mushrooms and critters found around the forest (one of these don’t belong, guess which). Unfortunately there were mucho mosquitoes this year, so I didn’t have more than a few seconds to snap photos for each discovery made. Oh well, there’s always next year :)
So I just spent 20 minutes prickling young (not ripened) walnuts in preparation for pickling them! I have never heard of this delicacy before… and I’m really looking forward to seeing these little guys all done up :)
Suzanne aka ‘Crazy Eyes’ from OITNB.
Wanted to repost this and say she is one of my favourite characters from OITNB, but then I realized that I love every single one of them. This show is brilliantly done and I can’t wait to watch the new season once I get back to Toronto and our awesomely reliable internet connection.
Do you follow Wink Books? They only review 5 star books that need to be printed on paper. Today’s book is about “aggressively cute” Japanese pop culture.
Kawaii! – A catalog of the aggressively cute in Japanese pop culture
Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture of Cute
by Manami Okazaki and Geoff Johnson
2013, 224 pages, 7.9 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
$20 Buy a copy on Amazon
The exquisite subtlety of traditional Japanese art and design is legendary. But on top of that subtlety, the Japanese have an odd affection for the aggressively cute. Cute as in Hello Kitty, anime manga, pulsating TV game show graphics, wide-eye-popping color packing and over-the-top cosplay costumes; the kind of extreme poptomistic cuteness that outsiders either find head-scratching ridiculous, or completely captivating. I’m in the latter camp and find myself delighted and made happy by the explosive sensibility of Japanese cuteness. Here is a mighty fine catalog of the full range of “kawaii” – or cuteness – in Japanese food, maps, fashion, toys, and love, and a bit of how it came to reign in Japan. – Kevin Kelly
July 14, 2014
Having recently visited Japan and loving their kawaii culture, this is definitely a book I would want to read/flip through. The blog itself is also a gem for anyone who likes to read!
Spent the day yesterday with one of my fave cousins eating our way through Shanghai. We had hot pot for lunch in one of the fanciest hot pot joints I have ever seen. Usually, I just have hot pot at home where you have one broth and one sauce, so I have never been the biggest fan. However, the array of sauces and the big copper pot at this joint won me over and I wouldn’t mind going out for hot pot in Toronto every now and then.
We also walked down an old street where most of the buildings are from ‘old Shanghai’, and there weren’t many people (see 2nd pic)! In most other countries this wouldn’t be shocking but I’ve only encountered this situation a handful of times in the 5 weeks we’ve been in China in broad daylight. After a bit of internet searching, I’m pretty convinced that this is Duolun road in the HongKou area.
The last two photos are from an overhyped tourist district, whose name I can’t really recall… It’s full of over priced knick nack shops and cafes, but there are a few spots of interest - one being a restaurant entirely based on washrooms (3rd pic). It’s totally a tourist trap I realize, but its menu and decor is worth a glance if only for the authenticity of the washroom experience.
Finally, we all had a one hour massage which was very relaxing. I have never had a full body message before and was a little concerned at first since my shoulders really hurt when they were being massaged… however, everything worked out for the best and it was only 96 yuan per person! That would be impossible to find in North America so I’m glad we took advantage of it while we could.
I really love John Allison’s Tackleford tales and I wrote a bit about why, specifically “reviewing” The Case of the Team Spirit, the first volume of Bad Machinery, published by Oni Press
I have posted about this before, but it’s worth repeating… Bad Machinery is da bomb! It’s rare for me to come across a comic where I not only like the art but also find the plot interesting… and this series delivers on both fronts! It also helps that John posts new panels diligently, so you never have to reread the previous panel to understand what’s going on (although I sometimes reread just for the heck of it).
I’m just waiting for the day Bad Machinery and John’s other comics make their way across the pond to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival ;)