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What'll they think of next?

"A 'pacemaker' for the human brain might be on the horizon." - This is another crazy brain surgery story. By definition brain surgery stories are crazy because they start with "while the patient was awake we stuck the electrode in his brain and turned it on and he..." In this case, he remembered long forgotten things in flawless detail and was able to learn better too. What's a little disturbing is that the guy was there for help with obesity and they ended up playing with his brain to learn memory tricks. But now they're talking about putting something in the brain that keeps the brain-boosting current flowing to help people who suffer from things like Alzheimer's. I don't see why it would be limited to them. Grad students might also go to have their brain boosted and top it off with a prescription for those on/off autism pills while they're at it. Lastly, what else makes this crazy is that the batteries would be stored in the chest somewhere. Soon we'll be walking around with those battery removal ribbons hanging out of navels.

Possibly one of the strangest "cancer cured" stories we've seen: "Tattoos could be a useful way of delivering therapeutic vaccines in humans, including for some cancers." A therapeutic vaccine is not the same as a preventative vaccine. I once saw a reporter do a piece on tattoos and he got one done without ink in the gun so it was basically just a scab. Still pretty cool to have a skull scab for a week or so.

OK, one more crazy science item: "British scientists have created an embryo with three parents."

This woman is going to kill herself in 90 days.  ...well, 84. UPDATE: That link is down - actually it looks like she took it down. I found this link instead, which resolves to something similar but different and mirrors the content of the original including the most recent post in which she explains that it was all "art" and a commentary on celebrity culture and a TV reporter from the 70s who killed herself on air (no footage). At this point, more interesting than the blog itself is the Google results for "90 Day Jane" the pulls up the Web-wide discussion of the issues this brief project raised.

I love the idea of a science debate. I'd love some science questions in the debates and interviews that are already taking place. I know it's trite to complain about a weak emphasis on actual issues in the campaign coverage but I wouldn't mind a full on shift in the issues that are covered.

There are ape hangers and then there are ape hangers... (Of the states I know with laws about this sort of thing, your hands can't be higher than your shoulders. I don't think all states have laws about it though, and as is often the case, the law only matters if the police catch you breaking it.)

Did you see this set of charts in Sunday's NYTimes? Most interesting is the lower, rate of consumption chart. It looks like people are quicker to get on board with the latest inventions. I'd love to see the iPod on there or digital cameras or DVD players so we can compare that line to the rate of adoption of VCRs. Color TV caught on really quickly. I wonder how that compares with the first black and white TVs or the new HD TVs.

New Hellboy trailer - Do you remember Nightbreed? This feels a little like a Nightbreed sequel in that it looks like a revenge of the underground freaks.

Pixish almost seems like an open freelance photography assignment site, but they've added the role of "the community" in sorting the good from the bad photos. And instead of getting paid, "winners get prizes and rewards." So really it's like a photo contest site. I have a feeling that real professional photographers have a pretty dark view of systems like this. UPDATE: Derek from Pixish offers a bit of clarification in the comments below.

So while photo contests are hardly new, trendspotters may want to note that the Brooklyn Museum has announced an open call for submissions to a "crowd-curated exhibition." Again, the community picks the good ones and the hope is that the result is a museum-worthy show. I have to think the danger is that they'll end up with a lot of kitten and baby photos. (Or maybe I'm just bitter because the photos I vote for in the Week in Pictures are usually not even in the top five of the popular vote.)

Remember that game we played where you see your own previous turns at the game so you help yourself get through the levels? Jason Kottke does a cool round-up of examples and ideas about that kind of "time merge."

Color pencils reviewed as tech gadget.

February 10th was the date for the protests against the Church of Scientology, lead by their online foe "Anonymous." Crowds turned out in Clearwater, New York City, London,
Manchester, England, Milwaukee, San Diego...(and that's just what I clicked). "Anonymous" is pretty pleased with the effort.

Police: Crack Found in Man's Buttocks - No word on whether a search of his belly found a button.

Play Spin the black circle. (Play Spin the black circle.)