We remember the sung tunes we heard sung better than those played on an instrument. Humans are remarkably talented musicians. We can recognize a tune despite changes like being slowed down or sped up or even if all of the notes are shifted to a higher or lower pitch. Though these may seem like trivialREAD MORE
A new approach will help us better understand this thing we call intelligence. From Siri answering our questions and Watson advising nurses to smart apps that aggregate information to help us out (or spy on us), artificial intelligence is transforming our world. Despite incredible advances, somehow these amazingly “intelligent” systems sometimes seem profoundly stupid. HectorREAD MORE
How smoke and fire affect germination. In response to my recent post about the dynamic life of plants, reader tmso asked about whether plants can sense and respond to smoke. I still haven’t found anything about an immediate response to smoke, but I’ve learned quite a bit about how smoke and fire affect germination. ManyREAD MORE
Why is it so easy to hear things across open water? Summer in Finland can be tricky. Most people retire to their summer cottages, many of which are located by one of the country’s 190,000 lakes; the cottages provide a respite from the metropolitan hustle, a quiet interlude with space to pause and reflect. It’sREAD MORE
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