Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:04 am
The brain edits memories of the past, updating them with new information. Scientists say this may help us function better in the present. But don't throw those photos away.
Think about your fifth-birthday party. Maybe your mom carried the cake. What did her face look like? If you have a hard time imagining the way she looked then rather than how she looks now, you're not alone.
The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.
A famous trial in the 1920s tested the question of creationism. That question is still open for many people, and an argument over creationism versus evolution can sell a lot of seats. Last night at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, its president, Ken Ham, was pitted in debate against TV personality and science educator Bill Nye. The event sold out in a matter of minutes. As Devin Katayama, from member station WFPL in Louisville, reports, a debate is not likely to change many minds.
Are humans, and our fellow travelers on Earth, latecomers to the game of life?
Credit Illustration / iStockphoto
It's easy to know what creativity means in the arts. Tom Waits produces an album that sounds like someone banging on a steel pipe and manages to make it both sweet and haunting. Merce Cunningham takes ideas about pattern and chance and invents an entirely new language for dance. In the movie Nebraska, Bruce Dern so fully inhabits the character of an old codger that you forget he's acting the part.
The Inmans had a parrot. Grump (that was his name) was horrible, angry, scheming and nasty. But he was their parrot so they couldn't shoot him. Instead he lived in their house, soiled their mail, stole their fried chicken and, every so often, bit. Then, finally, he died.
Quite possibly, you've noticed some new food labels out there, like "Not made with genetically modified ingredients" or "GMO-free." You might have seen them on boxes of Cheerios, or on chicken meat. If you've shopped at Whole Foods, that retailer says it now sells more than 3,000 products that have been certified as "non-GMO."
Go back 150 years and ask yourself, what was there a lot of?
We all know the answer ...
There were lots of buffalo, lots of passenger pigeons, lots of oysters. And then, poof! Hardly any. Or none ...
OK, let's flip the question: What were there precious few of 150 years ago, in a couple of cases almost to the point of extinction? The answer — believe it or not — is white-tailed deer, Canada geese and, arguably, ordinary pigeons.