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Meet the world's most advanced brain scanner
On the outside, it looks like every other brain scanner — a hollow metal cylinder with a hard, retractable cot. On the inside, however, the Connectome scanner boasts the most advanced brain imaging technology in the world. Installed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in September 2011, this magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is poised to be the Hubble Space Telescope of neuroscience.
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Mensa Foundation website wins award
Mensa Education & Research Foundation's redesigned website earned a Bronze Award at the Association Media & Publishing's 2013 EXCEL Awards competition.
This award honors the web team's work to better highlight and communicate the Foundation's mission to recognize, encourage, and communicate excellence in intelligence globally through education, research, and recognition programs. Among the specific improvements were revamped menus to highlight the Foundation itself, the individuals it impacts, and, most importantly, how you can help the Foundation achieve its goals. The EXCEL Award recognition is a good reminder to revisit the Foundation site and catch up on the Foundation's activities, which are funded only through donations from involved individuals like you. Support your Mensa Foundation today.
Is it possible to think without language?
Language is so deeply embedded in almost every aspect of the way we interact with the world that it's hard to imagine what it would be like not to have it. What if we didn't have names for things? What if we didn't have experience making statements, asking questions, or talking about things that hadn't actually happened? Would we be able to think? What would our thoughts be like?
The library's future is not an open book
Wall Street Journal
Talk about imposing: the ceremonial stone stair leading to bronze gates and carved doors; the frieze of inspiring names; and the vaulted hall that seems the very definition of hallowed. And the books, bound portals opening to anywhere imaginable, available to all comers. In cities across the United States, the central public library came into being when the country was young and striving to impress. Architecturally grand, the central library was both beacon and monumental tribute to learning and civic pride; a people's palace with knowledge freely available to all. But, really, when was the last time you spent any time there?
Where the artists are the superheroes
The New York Times
When Tchae Measroch leaves work, his hands usually bear a fresh cut or bruise. He works, often on his knees, in a small room crowded with an odd mix of items: a dried-grass hula skirt, a car door, baseball bats, swords and knives of varying length, a camouflage net typically used to disguise military equipment from enemy eyes.
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The wheels come off Kepler
NASA's Kepler spacecraft is not only the most prolific exoplanet detector ever; it is — or was — a marvel of engineering. Its 1.4-meter mirror funnels starlight to a 95-megapixel camera, capable of discerning dips in brightness as small as 10 parts per million — clues to the mini-eclipses caused by an exoplanet crossing the star's face.
A time-traveling photographer
Have you ever looked at old family photos and wished you could be there? Share a gin and tonic with your great aunt on that awful floral couch — or find out what your dad and his buddies were laughing at?
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Cold fusion reactor independently verified, has 10,000 times the energy density of gas
Against all probability, a device that purports to use cold fusion to generate vast amounts of power has been verified by a panel of independent scientists. The research paper, which hasn't yet undergone peer review, seems to confirm both the existence of cold fusion, and its potency: The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline.
Making quantum encryption practical
MIT News Office
One of the many promising applications of quantum mechanics in the information sciences is quantum key distribution (QKD), in which the counterintuitive behavior of quantum particles guarantees that no one can eavesdrop on a private exchange of data without detection.
Where visual search happens in the brain
When we look for something, we rely on environmental cues and scene context. New research shows where in the brain this process occurs. Our brains developed this pattern of search over the millennia of human evolution. It's an ability that has not only helped us find food and avoid danger in humankind's earliest days, but also continues to aid us today, in tasks like driving to work, going shopping, and reading X-rays.
'Nanogardens' sprout up on the surface of a penny
April showers bring May flowers. But in this case, the blossoms are too small for even a bumblebee to see.
Engineers at Harvard University have figured out a way to make microscopic sculptures of roses, tulips and violets, each smaller than a strand of hair.
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