The adult brain is far more malleable that we thought, and so learning can be child’s play if you know how.


Some 36-year-olds choose to collect vintage wine, vinyl records or sports memorabilia. For Richard Simcott, it is languages. His itch to learn has led him to study more than 30…


Meet Forest Scientist Stephen Sillett. He has dedicated his life to studying the Redwood Forest canopy, 350 feet high into a separate world in the tops of the tallest and oldest trees on the planet.

Stephen and his team ended up finding much more than they were expecting: an environment where fruit grows and where small animals never touch the ground, all with a humbling view. And now they’re on a quest to measure and learn more about these ancient giants. 

Watch more about Stephen’s work in KQED’s Science on the Spot:

At every stage of life, we desire to be noticed and affirmed by others. Infants are born craving affection as much as milk. Children playing do not require the active involvement of nearby adults, but if you try to leave they demand that you watch them play. Adolescents, in their perpetual anxiety to be popular, do not so much look at others through their own eyes as look constantly at themselves through others’ eyes. Those who are dying worry about being remembered after death, though when dead, how can they care if they’re forgotten? As adults, our successes give us little pleasure unless sweetened by others’ admiration. If we dress up, there must be others to see us or our work seems wasted — no one wears a tuxedo at home. A marvelous gardener once told me (speaking for human nature) that he takes more delight in a single garden visitor’s compliment than in all the shrubs and flowers he has ever planted. What is this craving for another’s eye to rest upon us?

Upon reflection, a desire for recognition seems irrational. Since we live in our own minds, why should we care what thoughts are in the minds of others? Is this not like a Canadian fretting about the weather in Mexico? How to explain this need for notice is debatable. Are we so doubtful of our worth that others must attest to it? Conversely, are we so certain of our worth that others must bow down to it?

On Being Nothing – beautiful read by NYT’s Brian Jay Stanley on our constant subconscious need to be validated by others (via explore-blog)
The ultimate tyranny in a society is not control by martial law. It is control by the psychological manipulation of consciousness, through which reality is defined so that those who exist within it do not even realize that they are in prison. They do not even realize that there is something outside of where they exist.
‘Bringers of the Dawn’ (via mysticsoul)


Every major thing I’ve ever done that’s affected my career has been the result of my hobby taking over whatever other thing I’m currently doing. When I was 14, I taught myself HTML by clicking “view->source” in my web browser. I started making little websites for things like the bunion surgery I…


Jonathan Harris on social media as “routing devices for human attention… providing our species with a common nervous system.”

Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them. Things you ought to do are things like doing one’s school work or being nice to people. Things one has to do are things like dressing and undressing, or household shopping. Things one likes doing — but of course I don’t know what you like. Perhaps you’ll write and tell me one day.
C. S. Lewis, in a letter to Sarah, his godchild, on 3 April 1949 via Stan Carey (via bobulate)