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A Sound You Can't Unhear (And What It Says About Your Brain)


Alexis C. Madrigal
Jun 19 2014

Just listen to this radio clip. It's only takes 50 seconds for the Franklin Institute's chief bioscientist, Jayatri Das, to demonstrate something fundamental about your brain.

She starts with a clip that's been digitally altered to sound like jibberish. On first listen, to my ears, it was entirely meaningless. Next, Das plays the original, unaltered clip: a woman's voice saying... (OP note: spoiler removed) Then we hear the jibberish clip again, and woven inside what had sounded like nonsense, we hear... (OP note: spoiler removed)

The point is: When our brains know what to expect to hear, they do, even if, in reality, it is impossible. Not one person could decipher that clip without knowing what they were hearing, but with the prompt, it's impossible not to hear the message in the jibberish.


Hearing, itself, is thinking. Which makes it subject to the machinations of the rest of the brain, which are constantly priming the ears about what they should be expecting.

(more at link)

"If Black People Said The Stuff White People Say"

"Wait a minute - you don't listen to Taylor Swift? Girl, I am like whiter than you."

"Was it hard to grow up in the suburbs? It must have been really boring, with no police activity or anything."

"Your skin is so pale. Can I touch it?"


"You're missing the vagician" - The Best Way To Teach Your Daughter Not To Lie

Every kid wishes they were older, and that's fine. But don't lie to your mom about getting your first period.


"No Thanks" ... best Homeland Security checkpoint refusals ever

This is probably a repost, since the video is dated Oct 27, 2013.

But I hadn't seen it until today, and I had no idea these checkpoints were voluntary. (I wonder, though, if these types of refusals still work if the driver is not recording the DHS officer.)

NFL Pot Bowl 2014

Edited to shorten thread title

Is it too early to hope...? NFL Pot Bowl 2014


Apparently, DU's Shankapotomus isn't the only one who wants to know who "Charlie" is (bridge emails)

Yesterday, Shankapotomus asked: Who is "Charlie" in the bridge scandal emails?

Thu Jan 9, 2014, 08:34 AM

Who is "Charlie" in the bridge scandal emails?

Anyone know?

Could that be code for Christie or is there some other player in this I haven't heard about?

The email transcripts can be viewed here:


The "Charlie" reference is near the bottom of page 20.

If "Charlie" is Christie this is evidence he knew and approved.

The Mother Jones link Shankapotomus provided contains 22 pages of emails. I looked at page 20 yesterday, and saw the Charlie reference. Page 20 was black print on white background, as with all the other pages.

Today I went back again, because I was developing a possible Charlie* connection. This time, the section with the Charlie reference has been highlighted in yellow. It appears someone at Mother Jones is interested in Charlie, too.


*My possible "Charlie connection" was Charles "Ken" Zisa, who years ago lost a bitter recount battle by one vote to Loretta Weinberg. Yesterday, Rachel Maddow suggested a possible Weinberg connection to the bridge closures, asking whether she might have been the target instead of Ft. Lee's Mayor. But it's a long shot, and someone who knows a lot more about New Jersey politics is going to figure this out much faster than I ever could.

EDITED TO ADD: I didn't know so many were already focusing on the Charlie connection when I first posted this. For example: Please proceed, governor.

This Brilliant Anti-Speeding Ad Will Give You The Chills

This Brilliant Anti-Speeding Ad Will Give You The Chills (VIDEO)
January 8, 2014
Posted by: Samuel Warde

The New Zealand Transport Agency has released this brilliant anti-speeding public service announcement for television that takes a spine-tingling approach to the subject.

After citing fatality statistics for speed-related crashes, the agency notes that "Most road users recognize the risks of driving at speed and support police enforcement of the speed limit. But these statistics show that drivers don't always practice this when driving: speed is still a contributing factor in 20% of all fatal and serious injury crashes on New Zealand roads."

The agency goes on to write about their approach stating, in part:

"This campaign aims to re-frame the way that people look at their speed when they're driving. A person may be a good driver but they can't deny that people do make mistakes after all, to err is only human. And in life, mistakes are made often. We usually get to learn from our mistakes; but not when driving the road is an exception. Even the smallest of mistakes on the road can cost us our life, or someone else's."
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