Saturday, July 22, 2006

Breath deep, open wide, and say 'ah'

I would have thought that people who were asked to read stories about Jurgen mit Füchse und Hühner and Günter Müller der Hürdenlaüfer, rather than feeling sad, would have busted up laughing. I think I also would have a hard time keeping a straight face with my eyebrows taped together.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Donkey Rider

Donkey Rider
Originally uploaded by serapio.
The donkey rider is a frequent element in Song dynasty monumental landscape painting, such as the works of Guo Xi, "Li Cheng, and Fan Kuan. According to Peter Sturman, the professor of my undergrad art history class, the donkey rider is an icon of a failed literati, modeled after Meng Haoran and Du Fu. Li Cheng is believed to have seen himself as the donkey rider. The donkey rider is a talented poet, artist and philosopher who is nevertheless unsuccessful in the civil service examinations or falls out of favor with the imperial court, and takes up a reclusive itinerant life in the countryside.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So that's the problem

New research suggests there might be a special neural pathway for rewarding recognition and comprehension. Related research, searching for a neural pathway that rewards writing long essays that no one will want to read, has so far found nothing.

For some more cognitive science reading, relevant to the national holiday, check out this discussion of psych research on patriotism, and dope up those mu-opioid receptors.