The current U.S. Congress is trying desperately to brush science they don’t agree with under the rug. It’s a dangerous game where they are willing to risk the safety of the country because of their misguided ideological views on climate change (backed by powerful and wealthy donors) and end up putting the future of the country […]
Riding a bike is just like…riding a bike, right? Once you learn how to propel yourself along on two wheels, you’ll never forget how to do so, and it’s always easy to jump back in the seat. But change just one skill that riding a bike involves — the way the handlebars turn — and everything falls apart.
Below, Destin from Smarter Everyday shows that the bike riding “algorithm” our brains develop is actually quite fragile. You can’t change any aspect of riding a bike without unlearning how to ride a bike in the first place:
I had the same thought Destin had: I would be able to figure it out pretty quick even with the steering reversed. But only after months and months of practice could he master the new locomotion. When he finally was able to move more than a few feet, he couldn’t ride a normal bike anymore.
Destin may be making a lot of claims based on a few people’s experiences, like that his son could master the bike more quickly because of brain plasticity, for example, but I think he has a point. The brain comes up with models of the world that work most of the time, and burns them into neural pathways that are harder to change the more they are used. The eureka moment was when Destin could suddenly ride the normal bike again, after eight months of trying to unlearn it. His brain apparently switched back to a model it was more familiar with.
The video is a great example of how we learn, and how knowledge and understanding are not the same thing. And it’s a great idea for an unwinnable bet…
I would like to listen to Leonard Nimoy read Ray Bradbury stories for the rest of my life. As a New Yorker, I spend a lot of time with headphones wedged into my ears and stories making their way through the electric wires into my brain. Not all narrators are the most melodic. Not all narrators are even worthy of the job they have been given. But in the weeks after Leonard Nimoy’s death, this lovely audio recording of his reading of “There Will Come Soft Rains” from The Martian Chronicles again became popular and will be everything you need for a wonderful commute this week.
Growing up, I watched a lot of Star Trek. In fact, it was the background music to more than one dinnertime in the Berkey household. Granted, in 1987, it was thanks to the wonderful technology of the rabbit antenna system instead of some hi-tech wifi/streaming set up. (If you don’t know what a rabbit system is…well, you’re very young.) We sat at the kitchen table, fighting over who would hide what in whose dinner (Two boys and a girl? Please. We tortured each other) and always in the background were the soothing sounds of the Starship Enterprise. I immediately associate all cadences like Nimoy’s with calm, peace, and home.
As a result, when this YouTube resurfaced this week, I was taken back to not only the wonderfulness of Nimoy’s storytelling and rhythm, but to a place where stories were simply and perfectly the backdrop of my day. Please give this lovely 15 minutes a listen if only to remember how a story should sound in your head when you read it.