Sun and Moon to Me
This machine manipulates small spherical rare earth magnets, slicing one at a time from the end of a long chain, moving it around a bit, then dropping it back to re-connect at the tail end of the chain.
It also demonstrates a little snippet of science called eddy currents. Watch how slowly the magnet falls through the aluminum tube compared to falling through air: the falling magnet generates an electrical current in the tube, and that current in turn generates a magnetic field that opposes the movement of the magnet, slowing it down dramatically
A rebel without a cause
science: (If only people were truly this empathetic, the world would be a better place) -S.G.
VS Ramachandran (somewhat breathlessly) describes mirror neurons. These are neurons that react the same to a person’s actions or sensations as they do to that person watching someone else’s actions or perceptions. A motor mirror neuron will react the same if you touch an apple and if you watch someone else touch an apple. A sensory mirror neuron will react the same if someone touches you on the arm, say, as when you watch someone else get touched on the arm. Mirror neurons are the sort of discovery that one senses could be very important, but that there really isn’t enough data to assess the real significance of. It seems logical that these neurons would be important for imitation and empathy, but the empirical jury is still out on exactly how this would work. Perhaps we can connect learning disabilities and autism to mirror neurons, but more data is needed.