Brain & Behavior and Technology Weekly Channel Highlights

In this post: the large version of the Brain & Behavior and Technology channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.


Technology. Reflections from the nose cone of a propeller plane. From Flickr, by Katie@!


Brain & Behavior. From Flickr, by jamesfischer

Reader comments of the week:

On the Brain & Behavior channel, Steve of Of Two Minds shares a video in which one man recreates The taste of the Star Wars Imperial March - if you had synaesthesia. Using the tastes corresponding to different musical intervals reported by an actual musical synaesthete in Switzerland, Professor Funk plows through mown grass, earwax-dipped Q-tips, heavy cream and an assortment of other delicacies in time with a recording of the Imperial March.

Reader Nasikabatrachus has a newfound sympathy for the synaesthetic:

Star Wars must taste awful for that woman. I wonder if she eats with noise canceling headphones on, or if that's not necessary because only intervals trigger a taste.

Over on Aardvarchaeology, Martin Rundkvist describes an innovative approach to collecting data in Ocular Character Recognition. A program at Carnegie Mellon called CAPTCHA uses websites' existing spambot-protection methods—those misshapen words you are asked to identify before entering certain information—to help them refine computers' ability to recognize characters from a scanned text. Ambiguities are resolved over time as more and more users essentially 'vote' for what they think the word is.

Reader ArchAsa is impressed:

OCR-scanning is the greatest invention since sliced bread. Now if they can just create smarter translating programs my life would be bliss.

Increadibly smart this CAPTCHA project. I had heard something vague about it but didn't realize it simply utilised this common security measure. I had started wondering why real words had started to appear instead of just random letters and thought it was meant to make it easier for users. Well, one kan kill two birds with a stone I guess.

I just hope they don't get sued for salaries by greedy users.

Some other Brain & Behavior posts we thought were cool this week were:

Music and memory: How the songs we heard growing up shape the story of our lives

What's wrong with this magazine cover?

Magpies Recognize Themselves

Westerners focus on the eyes, East Asians on the nose

The Myth of the Undecided Voter

And from the Technology channel:

France and nuclear power

Clean Wastewater and the Naturalist Fallacy

On VP Choice, Obama Plans to Use Email and Text to Tell Supporters Before the Media

Geeks for Government

The future of desktop computing

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!


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