With the new Superman movie coming out in mid June, I thought it would be a good time to watch/re-watch some of the better fan films out there featuring the 'man of steel'. To start things off, I present Superman vs Thor; episode 7 of Super Power Beat Down.
According to this report in Current Biology (Vol 23 No 11), use of noninvasive brain stimulation resulted in subjects ability to learn new arithmetic operations two to five times faster than a control group. The experimental group also had considerably better retention when tested against the control group six months later.
Of course these aren't the first researchers to experiment with lite electrical brain stimulation. Here is an interesting clip from the video series 'Through the Wormhole' where Dr Allan Snyder uses brain stimulation to boost creativity in order to improve problem solving.
You don't have to be a futurist to envision the possibility of children in a future classroom putting on a 'thinking cap' before beginning their daily studies. Perhaps it would look something like products which are currently on the market being sold to researchers such as the Starstim by Neuroelectrics.
So what would be the implications of a future with brain enhancing technology at our disposal? Well you'll be happy to know that smart people are already debating the issue and if you're interested you can read this nice University of Oxford article to get up to speed.
I recently discovered this incredible performance of Sanddornbalance by Miyoko Shida of the Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque. After doing a little more digging I discovered Sanddornbalance has been around for sometime. It was created by performance artist Mädir Eugster back in 1996 as part of a play called Balance … forever turning. For many years Mädir was the only person to perform the act until he decided to pass on his knowledge to a small number of performers of which Miyoko is one of.
Here is a jaw dropping video of Sanddornbalance by Mädir Eugster which eliminates distractions and focuses on the performance.
Tu Quoque (pronounced too-kwo-kwee) is Latin for 'you too' and is a type of ad hominem fallacy which attempts to dismiss an opponent's argument by pointing out that the person making the argument has said something or has acted inconsistent with it. The form of the argument is:
Person A advocates position p.
Person B asserts that A's past actions or statements have been inconsistent with position p
Therefore position p is false or (when used as a red herring) p is abandoned.
Dad: "John, you shouldn't smoke. It is very bad for your health!"
John: "You smoke, so it must not be that bad for you."
The obvious error here is that just because someone is acting hypocritically doesn't necessarily mean that their argument is wrong. In this particular example, the hypocrisy could actually serve to strengthen the fathers argument since he has personal experience dealing with addiction and the damaging effects of smoking.
Teacher: One should always recycle paper, plastic and glass products. I'ts good for the earth and it's good for future generations.
Student: Ha! I saw you throw your soda bottle in the trash after lunch! Why should we listen to someone who doesn't practice what she preaches?2
Again, it is important to realize that the merits or truthfulness of an argument are not typically tied to whether the source of the argument consistently follows his or her own position. It could very well be the case that both recycling is good for the environment and that the teacher does not regularly follow her own advice.
This is not to say that pointing out hypocrisy is always wrong. There are times when a persons credibility, character or perhaps even their right to make an accusation are the issue.
Mary: I'm just appalled at my sister-in law. She had an affair and then when my brother found out, she expected him to forgive her. That sort of thing is unforgivable, I think he should leave her. It would be good riddance to bad rubbish
Francine: Cool it Mary. I know about the little extra-marital fling you had a couple of years ago and when your husband found out, you were grateful when he forgave you.1
In this example Mary's right to be appalled is the issue and as such it is appropriate that Francine point out her hypocrisy.