Jonah Lehrer resigns from New Yorker after making up Dylan quotes for his book. Tablet report is cached. (Previously.)
How do we have insights, and where does inspiration come from? Jonah Lehrer goes inside Bob Dylan's brain to find out...the "neural correlate of insight": the anterior superior temporal gyrus (aSTG). This small fold of tissue, located on the surface of the right hemisphere just above the ear, became unusually active in the seconds before the epiphany. [more inside]
As the market plummets, it might be interesting to look at the neurological background in the breakdown of trust. The author, Jonah Lehrer, is a young brainiac writer for Seed and the excellent Frontal Cortex. l Scientists immediately discovered a strong neural signal that drove many of the investment decisions. The signal was fictive learning. l One way to think of the financial markets right now is that instead of being populated by rational agents, they're full of people with borderline personality disorder. [more inside]
Expanding on a previous post about Tom Lehrer, and in what is becoming a grand tradition of single link YouTube posts about him, 6funswede and YouTube present the entirety of An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.
Jonah Lehrer is becoming one of the most interesting science writers around. The 26-year-old Rhodes scholar and former Le Bernardin cook just published his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist [first chapter excerpt - NYT], an investigation of the ways poets, novelists, and artists accurately modeled the brain and memory before science did. This week he hilariously reenacted Escoffier's distillation of umami-rich veal stock [hit the audio link] with NPR's Robert Krulwich of Radio Lab. He also just published a very insightful profile of Oliver Sacks in SEED (addressing the pioneering neurologist's own recent struggles with an eye ailment) and writes a wide-ranging science blog. A new writer to watch.
That's Mathematics! Warning, contains bad camera work, worse editing, a rather complicated homework problem, a few mathematical in-jokes, illegible chalkboard writing, and a 13 minute performance by Tom Lehrer.
Fitness to Practice is a collection of songs written and performed by Amateur Transplants, two practicing doctors from the UK. The album consists of original songs as well as witty parodies of songs originally performed by among others Tom Lehrer and The Jam (mp3 links). The lyrics contain a lot of medical in-jokes, but the humour is broad enough to appeal to everyone.