good to read

When the brain is given conflicting goals or information, it uses that conflict to generate novel solutions, sometimes producing ideas that have never been thought of before. Humor succeeds because we take joy in this process, which is why a bored mind is a humorless mind. We take pleasure in working through the confusion, and we laugh when we’ve come up with a solution.

Scott Weems
A New Model of Humor

18 Apr 14 | Weems, Ha!
Packed with the latest research, illuminating anecdotes, and even a few jokes, neuroscientist Scott Weems lifts the curtain on the most human of qualities. From the origins of humor in our brains to its life on the standup comedy circuit, this book offers a delightful tour of why humor is so important to our daily lives.




An Insider’s Account

11 Apr 14 | Shoemaker, Ayahuasca Medicine
For more than twenty years American-born Alan Shoemaker has apprenticed and worked with shamans in Ecuador and Peru, learning the traditional methods of ayahuasca preparation, the ceremonial rituals for its use, and how to commune with the healing spirit of this and other sacred and visionary plants.




Advent of a New Paradigm

7 Apr 14 | Laszlo, The Self-Actualizing Cosmos
Science evolves through alternating phases of “normal science” and radical shifts that create scientific revolutions. The advent of the Akasha paradigm marks a new stage in science’s understanding of the fundamental nature of the world and offers unique guidance for contemporary efforts to create a peaceful and sustainable world.




Global Visionary Developments

1 Apr 14 | Birnbaum, Fox, Sustainable (R)Evolution
Edited by an anthropologist an and activist filmmaker, the book can be read as an informal ethnography of an international culture that is modeling solutions on the cutting edge of social and environmental change – a collection of profiles, interviews, and essays of innovative community-based projects across the planet.




Maximizing the Good

26 Mar 14 | Pentland, Social Physics
Social Physics will change the way we think about how we learn and how our social groups work – and can be made to work better, at every level of society. Alex Pentland leads readers to the edge of the most important revolution in the study of social behavior in a generation, an entirely new way to look at life itself.




Stimulants Around the World

19 Mar 14 | Miller, Drugged
The author takes readers on an eye-opening tour of psychotropic drugs, describing the various kinds, how they were discovered and developed, and how they have played multiple roles in virtually every culture. The vast scope of chemicals that cross the blood-brain barrier boggle the very brain they reach.




Finding Our True Nature

13 Mar 14 | Pearce, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg
Joseph Chilton Pearce explains the process of acculturation and the mechanisms that create our self-limiting “cosmic egg” of consensus reality and examines ways to restore wholeness to our minds, release us from our fear of death, and reestablish our ability to create our own realities through imagination and biological transcendence.




good to know

Ayahuasca and I

25 Feb 14 | James W. Jesso, Psychedelic Press UK
Not your typical trip report – Part one of four.

Sustainable Societies

19 Feb 14 | Christine Turnbull and Paul R. Ehrlich, MAHB
Aboriginal societies have continuously survived for some five millennia, without destroying their resource base and while maintaining their cultural traditions. That culture has thrived for so long is surely a testament to its sustainability.

Death and the Present Moment

19 Feb 14 | Sam Harris, YouTube
The American neuroscientist, author, and philosopher, shares his concept of the present moment and why it matters to live in the now rather than wait for the “now” of the future. Video.

The End of Nation States

13 Feb 14 | Harry J. Bentham, H+ Magazine
Perhaps parallel to the physical enhancement of human ability and longevity through technology, enhancements to civilization could be the neglect and final dissolution of borders and “nations”.

The Myth of Cognitive Decline

11 Feb 14 | Thomas Hills, The Conversation
For a long time old age is associated with memory problems, and difficulties in learning and concentration. This way of thinking may be fundamentally wrong.

Why Do Limbs Come In Pairs?

7 Feb 14 | Trace Dominguez, Discovery, University of Vienna
From humans to monkeys to lizards to frogs, every known species, both living and extinct, with a jaw and a backbone has paired limbs! Because they have a belly. Video.

The Calibrated Cosmos

7 Feb 14 | Tim Maudlin, Aeon
Is our universe fine-tuned for the existence of life – or does it just look that way from where we’re sitting?

The Learning Machines

1 Feb 14 | Nicola Jones, Nature
Using massive amounts of data to recognize photos and speech, deep-learning computers are taking a big step towards true artificial intelligence. Deep learning itself is a revival of an even older idea for computing: neural networks.

Relax and Do Nothing

1 Feb 14 | Steve Taylor, Psychology Today
Great ideas and discoveries don’t come from thinking or doing, but from being. That’s the secret of success.

Green spaces are good for you

29 Jan 14 | Mark Kinver, BBC
Living in an urban area with green spaces has a long-lasting positive impact on people’s mental well-being, unlike pay rises or promotions, which only provided a short-term boost.

Another Green World

29 Jan 14 | Daniel Pinchbeck, Reality Sandwich
We need to evolve new pathways of thinking and feeling – to revamp our mental and emotional ecology. Psychedelics may play a part in the process of our species evolution. From the co-author of Manifesting Minds.

A Living Time Capsule

23 Jan 14 | Carl Zimmer, The New York Times
Scientists have revived shrimp-like animals that have been buried at the bottom of the lake for an estimated 700 years. If this estimate holds up to further testing, they are the oldest animals ever resurrected.

Organic Mega Flow Battery

23 Jan 14 | Robert F. Service, sciencemag
A molecule nearly identical to one in rhubarb may hold the key to the future of renewable energy.

180 Species of Glowing Fish

17 Jan 14 | Betsy Mason, Wired
A few lucky animals, such as jellyfish and corals, have the strange ability to absorb light and emit it as a different, glowing color. This phenomenon is known as biofluorescence, and much more widespread than we knew.

The science of psi phenomena

17 Jan 14 | Etzel Cardeña, Lund University, Sweden
A call for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness, including parapsychological phenomena such as purported telepathy or precognition a.o.

The Secret Language of Plants

9 Jan 14 | Kat McGowan, Quanta magazine
Growing evidence suggests that certain plants like maple trees warn each other of environmental dangers. The debate is no longer whether plants can sense one another’s biochemical messages – they can – but about why and how they do it.

Master of many trades

9 Jan 14 | Robert Twigger, Aeon
Our age reveres the specialist but humans are natural polymaths, at our best when we turn our minds to many things.

Ocean Power Plants

1 Jan 14 | Katherina Petrou, MAHB-UTS Blogs
Phytoplankton, the microscopic, solar-powered engines of the planet, lives in the surface waters of our oceans. Tiny in size, large in number and colossal when it comes to global importance. Our future depends on them.

The Mystery of the Brain

1 Jan 14 | Tom Bunzel, Collective Evolution
Who am I? It’s a powerful mantra and the centerpiece of many peoples’ search for meaning. From a scientific perspective we are often pointed to our biology – and specifically to the apparent source of the persistent “voice in the head” – the brain.

Boost Your Brain

27 Dec 13 | Sam Gandy, Reality Sandwich
Neurogenesis is the birth of new neurons in the brain. There are a number of behavioral, environmental, pharmacological and biochemical factors that affect this process, many of which we have considerable power to influence.

Humans not smarter than animals, just different

27 Dec 13 | University of Adelaide
Humans have been deceiving themselves for thousands of years that they are smarter than the rest of the animal kingdom, despite growing evidence to the contrary.

Everyone Should Read More

23 Dec 13 | Devin Largent, Thought Catalog
Reading wouldn’t be labeled with such importance if there weren’t obvious, universal benefits. But often these benefits seem vague and perhaps we just gloss them over. 15 reasons why reading is incredibly beneficial to absolutely anyone.

Meditation induces gene expression changes

23 Dec 13 | Susan Jensen, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France report the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

Protecting the deep sea from mining

17 Dec 13 | University of Hawaii, Manoa
Deep sediments are home to a surprising diversity of animal life. A new network of marine protected areas has been established to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem function in international waters of the Pacific Ocean

Sex, drugs and the honour roll

17 Dec 13 | Kenneth W. Tupper, University of BC, Vancouver
The perennial challenges of addressing moral purity issues in schools. Paper.

good to see

Hidden Miracles

Our natural world is of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes.

Bella Gaia

An awe-inspiring live multimedia performance, of stunning visualizations of Earth from Space, with live music and dance from around the world.

The mysterious connection between wolves and women

The mysterious connection between wolves and women.

Mind Your Mind

In this documentary, Jason Brett Serle investigates the nature of attention and the ways in which it is used against you to change your beliefs and even determine your behaviour. Now available online.


Mixed media artist Travis Bedel creates stunning collages that merge anatomical imagery with illustrations from science guides and textbooks.

good to hear

Slow Life
The timelapse film by Daniel Stoupin using 150 000 photos of marine animals unveils their secret life of coral reefs under high magnification.

Fragments of Self
The track by Max Cooper and Tom Hodge with the video by Nick Cobby are about emergence from the combination of polar opposites, from very different places, but part of the same whole.

Structures Based On The Plasticity Of Sphere Surface Tension
Illuha’s music is a micro-world of detail, populated by air bubbles of sound, and these pockets of sound are as clear as glass.

good to go

Bicycle Day Parade

After the 19th April 1993 bike tour in Basel, along the route of Albert Hofmann’s historic bicycle ride in 1943, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his discovery and launching Gaia Media Foundation, now a first bike parade will be held in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Park.


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