The Super Bowl is this Sunday, which means millions of fans and gamblers alike will spend the next 48 hours looking for signs from the universe about who’s going to win. If Seattle’s Richard Sherman gets his dreadlocks tangled into the shape of a “W” during pregame warm-ups, Seahawks fans will like their chances. If a Denver flight makes an emergency stopover in Omaha–the city that quarterback Peyton Manning famously barks out at the line of scrimmage–Broncos fans will like theirs (except perhaps any fans on that flight).
Our brains infer greater meaning from random events in an instinctual way.
Sports fans may showcase their superstitions more openly than most people, but we all harbor them. In fact, cognitive scientists have started to see superstitious, supernatural, paranormal, and even some religious beliefs as a default state of mind. One recent study found … Read More »
Google owes something of a debt to Lego. The storage assembly used to stash Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s search engine algorithms in 1996 were actually kept in a a home-made case made out of Lego bricks.
Almost 20 years later, Google is giving something back. Forget the plastic bins of bricks and minifigs. The search giant has partnered with Denmark’s famous toy brick maker to allow you to build elaborate Lego structures, right in your browser. And when you’re done making your skyscraper, robot, castle or death tank out of Lego, you can plant them right in the real world, thanks to Google Maps.
Called Build with Chrome, the new app uses WebGL technologies to allow you to construct whatever structure you can think of using virtual Lego. Don’t be worried about blowing your brick budget: although the actual types of … Read More »
It’s always a relief to find out that successful people once struggled creatively, to know that our heroes sometimes felt stuck, had crappy ideas, and had to fake it until they made it.
One such figure is Ira Glass, the very distinct voice of This American Life and the rare successful radio personality in an era that has been unforgiving to old media like radio.
He didn’t make it right away. In fact, as he says in a four-part interview series on storytelling from 2009, even when he had been reporting for NPR for eight years, he was a horrible reporter. “For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making is not that good,” Glass says. “But your taste”–the force that drives creative people to do what they do–”is still killer.”
And that’s the gap: the period of time before … Read More »