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How will we crack the brain?

Adam J Calhoun in Medium: If you would like see things straight out of a a science fiction movie, you should visit a neuroscience laboratory.

Aggressive prayers, curses, and maledictions

Elizabeth McAlister in The Immanent Frame: This speech form is known as imprecatory prayer, from the Latin, imprecate, “invoking evil or divine vengeance; cursing.” The use of scripture as a form of imprecatory prayer has long been covertly practiced by both Christians and non-Christians.

A.I. Has Grown Up and Left Home

David Auerbach in Nautilus (René Descartes’ illustration of dualism.Wikimedia Commons): Our approach to thinking, from the early days of the computer era, focused on the question of how to represent the knowledge about which thoughts are thought, and the rules that operate on that knowledge.

The Art of Critique: Victor Serge’s “Midnight in the Century”

Guy Patrick Cunningham in The LA Review of Books: I TREASURE GREAT POLITICAL FICTION, in part because it’s so rare.

Why Greece Needs Syriza to Win

Philippe Legrain in Foreign Policy: Greece’s reckless borrowing was financed by equally reckless lenders.

BONEY M. "Rasputin"

Art City: Manhattan in the early 1990s

Faten Hamama (1931 - 2015)

The rise of the medical humanities

Belinda Jack in Times Higher Education: The cynical account for the rise of the medical humanities – a newish interdisciplinary area that explores the social, historical and cultural dimensions of medicine – would be an economic one.

A Modern Clinical Trial: 7 Years, 1,000 Patients, and Plenty of Questions About Cost

Paul Basken in The Chronicle of Higher Education: It was my ritual for seven years. Every day, take two sets of pills—one labeled, the other a mystery.

I Served in Iraq, and American Sniper Gets It Right. But It’s Still Not the War Film We Need.

Brian Turner in Vulture: This isn’t the defining film of the Iraq War. After nearly a quarter century of war and occupation in Iraq, we still haven’t seen that film.

'Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary,’ by Anita Anand

Suzanne Berne at the New York Times: Part of a biographer’s job is to rescue forgotten figures, and in “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary” Anita Anand has salvaged an extraordinary one.

An impressive account of TS Eliot’s formative years

John Sutherland at the Financial Times: Within the bosom of every old man, said the philosopher William James, there is a dead young poet.

nick hornby's 'funny girl'

David L. Ulin at The LA Times: Hornby has written about other female protagonists: Annie in "Juliet, Naked," Katie Carr in "How to Be Good." There's something more expansive, though, in "Funny Girl," which is as sedate a work as he has produced.

The World in 2030: We asked 15 of the smartest people we know for their most out-there predictions

Susan B. Glasser in Politico: Genes as commerce By Alec Ross, senior fellow at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs Fifteen years from now, everybody reading this will live, on average, two years longer than their current life expectancy because of the commercialization of genomics.

The virtue of scientific thinking

Steven Shapin in Boston Review: Can science make you good? Of course it can’t, some will be quick to say—no more than repairing cars or editing literary journals can.

Love Letters to Richard Dawkins

Life beyond memory

Tomas Hachard in National Post: When discussing a disease that is expected to double in prevalence over the next two decades, it is hard to countenance a silver lining; currently Alzheimer’s afflicts 5 percent of Canadians over 65, and the only existing treatment is a series of drugs that, at best, alleviate symptoms for a year.

science as a force for good

Seth Shulman in The Washington Post: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” the Rev.

Saturday Poem

Crimson —“Darkening Red” a painting by Mark Rothko To explain crimson, the grotesque danger, the acute beauty and commotion of it,  how it commands recollection, even after every trace is vanished, I describe our small faces smeared crimson sweet and sour cherry pits stacked in front of us like small cannonballs the first stain gleaming inside my teenage thighs, seen down below through new breasts, my cousin’s cheek after the rake hit the bony part near her eye forming a fork-shaped wound, or at the butcher’s shop, watching as his thick fingers kept streaking his long white apron.