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Wolfgang Alexander Moens
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"[...] In his decades of medical practice, Marsh has been a witness or a party to almost every kind of mistake. There are errors of commission (the hubristic removal of too much tumor) and of omission (the missed diagnosis). There are errors that go unreported (after a successful surgery, Marsh might decide not to tell a patient about a close call) and errors for which Marsh is held accountable. (He writes that, after one operation, “I told them to sue me. I told them I had made a terrible mistake.”) There are errors of delegation— as when Marsh allows a resident to perform a simple spinal surgery, and the patient is left with a paralyzed foot—and historical errors: at a mental hospital, Marsh encounters victims of lobotomy. One morning, Marsh operates after having a petty argument with another surgeon, and the operation paralyzes half the patient’s face. He writes, “Perhaps this was going to happen anyway—it is called a ‘recognized complication’ of that particular operation—but I know that I was not in the right state of mind to carry out such dangerous and delicate surgery, and when I saw the patient on the ward round in the days afterwards, and saw his paralyzed face, paralyzed and disfigured, I felt a deep sense of shame.”

In a 1976 essay, the philosopher Bernard Williams explored a concept that he called “moral luck.” Often, he observed, we are morally responsible for actions that contain an element of chance. Imagine two people who drink too much at the same party, and who both drive home drunk; suppose that one of them hits a pedestrian. The driver in the accident is morally responsible for this outcome, and yet only chance distinguishes him from the other driver. Much of moral life, Williams thought, contains a similar element of luck. We happen to find ourselves in situations that bring judgment upon us. Yet this doesn’t absolve us of responsibility for what we do. It underscores an unsettling fact about moral life—that the distribution of moral fault in the world depends, in many ways, on good and bad luck.

A soldier’s life is deeply shaped by such moral luck. So, it turns out, is a neurosurgeon’s. [...]"
Bicycling to the hospital, Henry Marsh writes, he is oppressed by “a feeling of doom.” Credit Photograph by Tom Pilston / Panos
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I stick with my axiom on running. There are only two good reasons to run; something really good in front of you or something really bad behind you. Water falling from the sky does not meet either criteria.
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"The latest RadioLab on National Public Radio features a taped interview with Oliver Sacks, “Dr. Sacks looks back,” which is probably the last time we’ll hear from him. As you probably know, Sacks has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer (see here and here), and decided not to give further interviews. But Robert Krulwich, armed with a tape recorder, visited Sacks in his Manhattan apartment and persuaded him to speak one more time. It’s the final part of this broadcast, starting at 31:10 and lasting about 23 minutes, ending with some lovely and ethereal music.

Krulwich handles it with affection and humor, not worshipfully or elegiacally, which makes it all the more poignant: it’s as if he’s expecting Sacks to continue contributing to the show in the future. Sacks describes how he felt when he got his terminal diagnosis (very upset and regretful for things he won’t see), but spends most of his time discussing his life as a gay man, and the loneliness of not being able to find love. (“I haven’t had any sex for thirty-five years.”) [...]"

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The latest RadioLab on National Public Radio features a taped interview with Oliver Sacks, "Dr. Sacks looks back," which is probably the last time we'll hear from him. As you probably know, Sacks h...
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Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain a great book.
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G-D is amazing !
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100 years of The Metamorphosis of Franz Kafka, read by Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC Radio).

Gregor Samsa wakes one day to find himself hideously transformed into a monstrous insect. His family react with horror at his bizarre transformation but this slowly turns to revulsion [...]

First published in 1912, Benedict Cumberbatch reads Franz Kafka's classic novel in four parts.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) ranks among the 20th century's most acclaimed writers. He is often cited as the author whose works best evoke the concerns and preoccupations of modern life. The world in his stories is portrayed as one in which the fantastic is entirely normal, the irrational is rational, and the unreasonable seems reasonable. As Ernst Pawel wrote in his biography of the writer, "Kafka articulates the anguish of being human."

Kafka, although Czech and living in Prague, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, spoke fluent German and Czech and actually wrote in German and thought it his mother tongue. The tensions between those who spoke German and those who spoke Czech were a direct reflection of the rise of nationalism and the quest for national identity.

Metamorphosis was translated by Richard Stokes. Abridged and produced by Gemma Jenkins.
Gregor Samsa wakes one day to find himself hideously transformed into a monstrous insect.
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They have a Kafka season which includes The Castle and The Process as well: http://goo.gl/Cc2nNc +Wolfgang Alexander Moens 
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Mystery by Hugh Laurie.
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Have him in circles
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Love, Lunacy, and a Life Fully Lived: Oliver Sacks, the Science of Seeing, and the Art of Being Seen: A touching celebration of the “intense sense of love, death, and transience, inseparably mixed.”

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A touching celebration of the "intense sense of love, death, and transience, inseparably mixed." "I have been able to see my life as from
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Links:

a. Love, Lunacy, and a Life Fully Lived: Oliver Sacks, the Science of Seeing, and the Art of Being Seen: A touching celebration of the “intense sense of love, death, and transience, inseparably mixed.” http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/05/18/oliver-sacks-on-the-move/ by +Maria Popova of brainpickings.org

b. Oliver Sackshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Sacks
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"Once upon a time a certain Francis Galton, of Birmingham, residing in London, sat down to draw a map. It was not his first and would not be his last. It was going to be a travel map. He had published weather maps before, to be precise, the first weather maps. Galton had also published maps of the journeys of explorers that had travelled through Africa and Australia. He himself was a notable explorer and had authored books with detailed illustrations advising how other gentlemen ought to set about their explorations. The 1850s Exploration for Dummies.

He had compiled a list of cities and destinations around the world with the time it takes to travel there and thought this ought to be on a map. With London as the starting point he calculated how far one would be able to travel within 10 days. Within 20 days, 30, 40 and above that? After colouring and refining his work he named it Isochronic Passage Chart. Isochrone is Greek for ἴσο iso = same + χρόνος chronos = time.

The map divides the world in 10 day categories showing the days it takes to travel somewhere on the globe. [...]" h/t: +Yonatan Zunger.

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Once upon a time a certain Francis Galton, of Birmingham, residing in London, sat down to draw a map. It was not his first and would not be his last. It was going to be a travel map. He had publish...
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Thanks, I have always enjoyed maps and the science/ art of cartography. 
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Click on the link for a nice demo of traffic waves. The (circular) model is based on a number of basic (and quite reasonable) assumptions:

A. If the car in front of you drives more slowly than you do, you'll want to hot the breaks (in order to avoid a collision). If the car in front of you goes faster than you, you'll want to increase your speed. The bigger the difference, the bigger the acceleration. This already leads us to a very simple version of the model:

"your acceleration is proportional to how fast the car in front of you is driving away from you"

or, in equations:

a(t) = L . (v_1(t) - v_2(t)),

where a(t) is the acceleration of your car at time t, L is a proportionality constant that is suggested by real traffic data, v_1(t) is the speed of the car in front of you at time t, and v_2(t) is the speed of your car at time t.

Note that acceleration and speed can be negative!

B. It is important to note that human drivers cannot react instantly to the actions of the car in front of them. That is why a better model introduces a reaction time, or a delay. You will not be reacting to the current speeds v_1(t) and v_2(t), but to those of T seconds ago, that is: v_1(t - T) and v_2(t - T). The model then becomes:

a(t) = L . (v_1(t - T) - v_2(t - T))

This is not the whole story, though, since these assumptions only make sense in a certain context. More complicated models would also take the following observations into account:

"Over time, congestion researchers have developed more complex models of traffic behavior that include more realistic conditions or incorporate additional data collected from traffic detectors. For example, our simple equation assumes that the car in front of you will impact your behavior even if it’s a mile away. Some of the first improvements to the equation added terms for the size of that gap and the fact that cars can slow down much faster than they can speed up. [...]" h/t: +Andreas Møgelmose.

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Who doesn't love sitting in traffic? Especially when there's no apparent reason for it: no crashes, no tolls, no flaming mattresses. Just a sudden and infuriati
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Pulses, for the 70s-schooled traffic observer...
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Holy moley, Milwaukee ...

Roman Mars is obsessed with #flags  — and after you watch this talk, you might be, too. These ubiquitous symbols of civic pride are often designed, well, pretty terribly. But they don't have to be. In this surprising and hilarious talk about vexillology — the study of flags — Mars reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.
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Why are most manhole covers round?

Sure it makes them easy to roll, and slide into place in any alignment. But there’s another, more compelling reason, involving a peculiar geometric property of circles and other shapes. Marc Chamberland explains curves of constant width and Barbier’s theorem.

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Fascinating!
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Rock star dinosaur pirate princess and BlueSeatStudios explain ... 
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Links:

a. Consent: Not actually that complicated – Animated!: http://rockstardinosaurpirateprincess.com/2015/05/01/consent-not-actually-that-complicated-animated/ by rockstar dinosaur pirate princess

b. Understand Consent With the Help of Stick Figures and a Cup of Tea: http://magazine.good.is/articles/tea-never-looked-so-good

c. Tea Consent (Clean): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoWLWS4-kU
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