“Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. It was hunger that drove us to exploration. And it took a depression to teach us the real value of a job.”—Victor Hugo (via falconwing11)
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place you go to take.”—Anthony Robbins (via people-should-smile-more)
An old technology is providing new insights into the human brain.
The technology is called electrocorticography, or ECoG, and it uses electrodes placed on the surface of the brain to detect electrical signals coming from the brain itself.
Doctors have been using ECoG since the 1950s to figure out which area of the brain is causing seizures in people with severe epilepsy. But in the past decade, scientists have shown that when connected to a computer running special software, ECoG also can be used to control robotic arms, study how the brain produces speech and even decode thoughts.
Schalk demonstrates some of ECoG’s capabilities in a video shot by the American Museum of Natural History in New York as part of an exhibit called Brain: The Inside Story.
In the video, Schalk is seen working with a young man sitting in a hospital bed at Albany Medical Center, staring at the image of a hand on a computer screen.
Schalk asks him to close the hand. The hand on the screen closes. Schalk asks him to open the hand. The virtual hand opens.
What’s striking about this scene is that the young man’s own hand isn’t moving — he is clenching and unclenching the virtual fist using only his thoughts.
Click the link above to listen to the story on NPR’s Morning Edition or click here for a transcript.
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.”—Hermann Hesse (via iateadork)
“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”—Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (via creatingaquietmind)