A weekly digest

I’m hopeful that my stepped up freelance duties at Tonic won’t completely quash my independent musings here, although, one week into the expanded twice-a-day mode, in place of my previous twice-a-month role, I discern the possibility.

Anyhow, I am pleased with the new role, hope that I am doing and will do justice to it all, and look forward to moving (with luck quickly) through the adjustment phase into comfort zone. With that, here are synopsis links to my first batch of articles.

Leave it to rocket scientists to crank the concept of crash test dummy up a few notches.

While it may have required the advent of humankind to bring The Three Stooges into being, laughter may have been the best medicine long before it was fashionable to be bipedal.

For the serious winemaker, a description of finished product reading “notes of black currant and apricot, a grassy nose, and a hint of ladybug taint would ideally be avoided.

It turns out that processed junk foods aren’t just bad for human health. Quoth the raven: You done eating that?

At the bottom of the world lies a time capsule of pre-human conditions on planet Earth. We’re inching ever closer to being able to access this trove, but a cautious approach is required.

A hybrid version of the American chestnut tree may reclaim the prominence it had long held in eastern forests that ran from the southeast states northward into New England and bring key environmental benefits.

A novel design approach frees the offshore wind turbine from the seabed and allows for capturing the resource where the turbines are out of the way and where the winds are stronger too. Could this innovation blow things wide open in offshore wind farming?

Singing for sex is not just for rock stars. The females of a water strider species is found to retract a protective shield and permit mating only after the male cranks the tunes for her.

the sonic as tonic

My introduction to, and strongest association with Fortean Times magazine goes back a dozen years: an advertisement in the back pages for a bumper sticker that read, in uber tripped-out, wavy letters: “hey glue sniffer, look at my tentacles” remains a hallmark moment in Things I Find Funny.

Reacquainted only recently with them through their online edition, a news headline caught my eye and / but linked me over to MSNBC, a decidedly non fortean site in my estimation.

No matter. This is an exceptionally cool article that explores the physiological, and more particularly the therapeutic responses to listening to music.

Doctors are increasingly studying — and employing — the physiological dance music does with the body’s neurons and blood-carrying cells.“We’re in the infancy,” said Dr. Ali Rezai, director of the Center for Neurological Restoration at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic. During a surgery called deep brain stimulation — performed while patients with Parkinson’s disease are awake — Rezai and his team play classical compositions and measure the brain’s response to those notes. “We know music can calm, influence creativity, can energize. That’s great. But music’s role in recovering from disease is being ever more appreciated.”

I love this story on multiple levels.

Not the least of these is that, to my mind anyway, we’re witness here to serious work, in traditional science, that pulls undeniably in a direction toward the spirit.

another sonic hairball

just one more nugget of sound file cut and paste silliness. then it’s onto real work.