"You get comfortable, and you give up a little bit."

Mad Men 05x03

Picasso learning ballet

Picasso learning ballet

(Source: jewist, via alscientist)


The Science of Watching Memories Form By Erin Mae Dul

Image Credits: First image via ScienceAlert by Zeiss Microscopy. Second image, gif made by The Science of Reality

By using advanced imaging techniques researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have captured a video of mRNA in motion, shedding light on how the brain creates memories in real time, focusing on neurons. The molecules of mRNA pertinent to making memories were marked with fluorescent “tags” within a mouse model the scientists had developed so they could watch the process unfold live within living brain cells. 

"It’s noteworthy that we were able to develop this mouse without having to use an artificial gene or other interventions that might have disrupted neurons and called our findings into question," said Robert Singer, Ph.D., the senior author of both papers and professor and co-chair of Einstein’s department of anatomy & structural biology and co-director of the Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center at Einstein. He also holds the Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Anatomy & Structural Biology at Einstein. [x]

Basically, some neurons located in the mouse’s hippocampus, where memories are stored and created, were stimulated by the Einstein researchers. After stimulating the neurons, they were then able to observe the tagged beta-actin mRNA molecules form within the nuclei of neurons and make their way traveling within the branched projections of the neuron, also known as dendrites. 

Read more from the full article via the Albert Einstein College of Medicine here.

(Source: c-a-f-f-e-i-n-3, via hardcore)

"Science does not know its debt to imagination."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (via currentsinbiology)

(via thescienceofreality)

"To know a man’s library is, in some measure, to know a man’s mind."

Geraldine Brooks, March (via bookmania)


London in 1927.

Early colour film, and I watch this as if I’ve been given a window back into time. The women wear hats. Everyone wears hats. The police. The buses. The skyline…

(Source: vimeo.com)


Empathy, Art & Entertainment

At his Google talk (“The Neuroscience of Empathy”), UCSF’s Dr. Thomas Lewis answers the question: 

Are depictions of destruction and pain in art designed to blunt our sense of empathy?:

“If art works, it makes you feel something and often, say in a novel in which you identify with the characters, if something bad happens to them it is somewhat painful for you.  So I think good art evokes [empathy]. I think entertainment blunts it.  So, say if you see a mass market entertainment film…I just saw the Bruce Willis film —not to say it’s bad, which it’s not, but— Bruce Willis is tossed about like a rag doll throughout the course of the film.  Nothing bad happens to him.  He doesn’t break any bones. He doesn’t suffer visibly at any point.  That, I think, does blunt our empathy: entertainment.  But art shouldn’t do that.  And actually it is one of the fundamental distinctions between art and entertainment that’s worth describing.” 

[image via sandandglass]

(via thescienceofreality)

"We were living through the emotional truths on the screen together, often in coded form … sometimes they’re expressed in small things, gestures, glances, reactions between the characters. Light, shadow. I mean, we experience these things that we normally couldn’t discuss, or wouldn’t discuss, or even acknowledge in our own lives. And that’s actually part of the wonder. So whenever I hear people dismiss movies as fantasy, or make a hard distinction between film and life, I think to myself that it’s just a way of avoiding the power of cinema. Of course it’s not life—it’s the invocation of life. It’s an ongoing dialogue with life."

Martin Scorsese at the 2013 NEH Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

(79 plays)


Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear and die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

- W. H. Auden