Reviews & Previews
The River of ConsciousnessOliver SacksKnopf, $27
The experience of reading the essays that make up The River of Consciousness is very much like peering into an ever-changing stream. Pebbles shift as the water courses by, revealing unexpected facets below.
The essays, by neurologist Oliver Sacks and arranged into an anthology two weeks before his death in 2015, meander through...
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A new robot has the mobility of R2-D2 and the manners of C-3PO.
This knee-high, self-driving bot abides by social protocols as it weaves through foot traffic: keep right, pass left, respect others’ personal space. The machine, presented at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver on September 25, paves the way for robots...
The earthy moon
Space scientists have been intrigued for years with the possibility of finding usable oxygen on the moon — not in the lunar atmosphere, since there essentially is none, but in the rocks. As long ago as 1962 … [NASA researchers] predicted vast lunar processing plants turning out 4,000 pounds of liquid oxygen per month, both for breathing and as an oxidizer for rocket...
Earlier this year, General Electric asked a brilliant question: What if scientist Mildred Dresselhaus was treated like a celebrity? The idea, aired as a TV commercial, had many of us smiling at the possibility. In the ad, fans stop the nanoscience pioneer in the street to take selfies, a young girl receives a Dresselhaus doll as a birthday gift and a student sends a Millie emoji after acing a...
José Dinneny, 39Plant stress biologistCarnegie Institution for Science10/04/2017 - 13:52 Plants, Genetics, Agriculture
José Dinneny wants us to see plants as stranger things.
“They’re able to integrate information and make coherent decisions without a nervous system, without a brain,” he points out. Plus, plants find water without sight or touch. For too many of us, however, lawns, salads and pots on a sunny windowsill make...