Category Archives: Reviews

Top New Books: “The Idea Of The Brain” By Matthew Cobb – “A Supercomputer”

The Idea of the Brain - Matthew Cobb - April 2020Although it might seem to be a story of ever-increasing knowledge of biology, Cobb shows how our ideas about the brain have been shaped by each era’s most significant technologies. Today we might think the brain is like a supercomputer. In the past, it has been compared to a telegraph, a telephone exchange, or some kind of hydraulic system. What will we think the brain is like tomorrow, when new technology arises?

For thousands of years, thinkers and scientists have tried to understand what the brain does. Yet, despite the astonishing discoveries of science, we still have only the vaguest idea of how the brain works. In The Idea of the Brain, scientist and historian Matthew Cobb traces how our conception of the brain has evolved over the centuries.

READ EXCERPT OF FIRST 30 PAGES

The result is an essential read for anyone interested in the complex processes that drive science and the forces that have shaped our marvelous brains.

Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester. His previous books include Life’s Greatest Secret:The Race to Discover the Genetic Code, which was shortlisted for the the Royal Society Winton Book Prize, and the acclaimed histories The Resistance and Eleven Days in August. He is also the award-winning translator of books on the history of molecular biology, on Darwin’s ideas and on the nature of life.

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Future Of Living Spaces: “Lumipod” By French Firm Lumicene – “Curved Glass”

LUMIPOD is built around a LUMICENE® window. This new concept uses curved glass in aluminium frames sliding between two rails, allowing the interior space to be occasionally transformed into an outdoor space.

Lumipod Layout

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  • 1. Curved entry door
  • 2. Lumicene curved reversible window
  • 3. Curtains
  • 4. 14m²  bedroom with panoramic view!
  • 5. Bathroom and toilets
  • 6. Wardrobe
  • 7. Technical room
  • 8. Curved wood-frame walls

 

Closed, LUMIPOD is a comfortable cocoon but fully immersed in Nature.

In a single gesture, LUMIPOD eliminates the boundary between interior and exterior for an unforgetable experience.

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Auto History: Three “Solid Stainless Steel” Ford Cars Auctioned (1936 – 1967)

Of the six stainless steel cars that rolled off the Ford assembly line in Detroit in 1936, four exist today, including this example that was retained by Allegheny Ludlum – now known as Allegheny Technologies – itself. The company donated the 1936 Ford Deluxe Sedan with a brushed stainless steel body to the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, where it is on display as part of the permanent collection.

Solid Stainless Steel Fords

In 1935, executives at the Ford Motor Company and Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Ludlum Steel joined forces on the production of a solid stainless-steel car, a 1936 Deluxe Sedan. That car became the focal point of a campaign to showcase the extreme durability and aesthetic appeal of the new metal. Only six of the 1936 Fords were built in total and all were far from being simply promotional trailer-queens; each was to log over 200,000 miles in the hands of Allegheny Ludlum executives until their “retirement” in 1946, outlasting most of their non-stainless body parts and multiple engines is testament to the superiority of the dynamic metal.

Allegheny Ludlum and Ford would later collaborate on two more stainless models, the 1960 Thunderbird and 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible. Just two Thunderbirds rolled off the assembly line in 1960, with bodywork formed from T302 stainless. Both retain their original exhaust systems today, after 60 years and more than 100,000 miles each. The 1967 Lincoln Convertible was the last of the stainless steel cars produced. Except for the vehicle’s body, all other parts and equipment on the car are standard for the 1967 Lincoln Convertible. Only three were made, once again proving that stainless steel’s enduring beauty is matched by its toughness.

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Travel & Culture: Greek Island Of Hydra In 1960’s – “A Theatre For Dreamers” By Novelist Polly Samson

From The Guardian (May 23, 2020):

A Theatre For Dreamers - Polly Samson - April 2020I first went to Hydra six years ago, when it was simply a beautiful Greek island and not a place I went to commune with its ghosts. I don’t think I was even aware that it was the island Leonard Cohen had lived on, and knew nothing of Charmian Clift, George Johnston and the bohemian community they fostered.

Bloomsbury Publishers: 1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its points the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.

Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.

Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.

Polly Samson is an English novelist, lyricist and journalist. She is married to musician David Gilmour, and has written the lyrics to many of Gilmour’s works, both as a solo artist and with the group Pink Floyd.

 

Top Science Podcasts: Latest Update On Covid-19 Vaccines, WHO Ultimatum

Coronapod ReportThe first results from vaccine trials are in and they are encouraging, but scientists are still urging caution. We hear the lowdown on the types of vaccines being developed and what hope there is of rolling them out any time soon. 

01:38 Trump vs the WHO

President Trump has given the WHO an ultimatum in a tweet, threatening to pull out of the organisation within 30 days unless unclear demands are met. We discuss what this means for the pandemic, the USA and the future of international health cooperation

12:06 Where are we with vaccines?

The first results from vaccine trials are in and they are encouraging, but scientists are still urging caution. We hear the lowdown on the types of vaccines being developed and what hope there is of rolling them out any time soon.

News: Coronavirus vaccine trials have delivered their first results — but their promise is still unclear

News: The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide

News: If a coronavirus vaccine arrives, can the world make enough?

25:20 One good thing

Our hosts pick out things that have made them smile in the last week, including hopeful antibody research, at-home sketch comedy and printable board games.

News: Potent human antibodies could inspire a vaccine

Video: Whiskers R we – SNL

Video:The wild affordable world of 1 Player Print’n’Play Games

Video:MORE of the Very Best Solitaire Print’n’Play Games

Video: Marble run league

Video: BBC goals at home (Only available in the UK)

30:04 The latest coronavirus research papers

Noah Baker takes a look through some of the key coronavirus papers of the last few weeks.

News: Coronavirus research updates

medRxivSaliva is more sensitive for SARS-CoV-2 detection in COVID-19 patients than nasopharangel swabs

Nature: Effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain COVID-19 in China

Science: Changes in contact patterns shape the dynamics of the COVID-19 outbreak in China

New England Journal of Medicine: