(Ann Arbor) development that could replace the semi-conductor diode of 1950s, the circuit technology standard since its invention, scientists at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor have invented a “laser” that uses electric charge instead of light. It could lead to smaller, lighter, more durable, and vastly more energy efficient, wireless circuit components.

Not technically a laser, which is an electricity intensive means to create coherent light used for a variety of applications such as in fiber optics, in ophthalmology, and in vintage gizmos like the Compact Disc player, the new technology uses 250x less electricity than conventional lasers by releasing coherent light through an entirely new means. Conventional lasers excite a lowest energy state material to a higher energy state so that when the excited material loses energy, the system releases coherent light, just like a laser. In contrast, this new wireless electricity transfer means uses the scattering between photons and electron-holes (the absence of electrons, or “excitons” that behave as if positively charged) to emit a coherent of light beam when the pair (called “Polaritons”) decay under the right conditions: “Too much light or electrical current will cause the excitons to break down too early.” (University Of Michigan press release)

For the past 50 years, we have relied on lasers to make coherent light and now we have something else based on a totally new principle,” says researcher Pallab Bhattacharya.

The electricity beam that stimulates the transmission of coherent light eliminates the necessity of wires on computer components. In other words, the breakthrough amounts to wireless power transmission on an extremely small scale, notably at room temperature instead of below freezing. It could revolutionize semi-conductor diode technology by making computer components completely wireless.

For more detail the UMich release


In April just passed Fool’s, Harvard University denied its Houghton Library contains books bound in human skin. When two of the three books named were quickly identified as sheepskin bound the Internet moved on. Harvard scientists led by director Bill Lane at Harvard Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Resource Laboratory and Daniel Kirby of Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies announced today the results of their months-long toil, having performed Peptide Mass Fingerprinting on the third book we all forgot: a 19th century copy of poet Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame is indeed bound in human skin. Tests rule out lower primates but not great apes and gibbons because Harvard did not have sample subjects to test the book’s binding against.

Ghoulish to the contemporary imagination, the practice of anthropodermic bibliopegy (the technical term for “human skin bookbinding”) was not only fairly common in the 19th century, it had a social register we can today barely comprehend: these human books were in most cases memento moris that literally include a body part from one’s dearly departed, like Victorian hair jewelry. Alternatively, the confessions of criminals were sometimes emblazoned on their tanned skins, though not then bound into books.

However, Harvard’s copy of The Destiny Of The Soul is neither an ironic pairing between the work’s subject and material construction, nor a remembrance of the deceased: it is bound in the skin of a mental patient whose body was abandoned after she died of ‘apoplexy’ (today, stroke). A note in the book from a certain Doctor Bouland, its donor, reads:

This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance. By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin. A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering: I had kept this piece of human skin taken from the back of a woman. It is interesting to see the different aspects that change this skin according to the method of preparation to which it is subjected. Compare for example with the small volume I have in my library, Sever. Pinaeus de Virginitatis notis which is also bound in human skin but tanned with sumac.” (translation from the French by Harvard)

The book has been in the collection since the 1930s, which means when Harvard acquired the volume it was not yet especially aged.


(Beijing) Scientists at Tsinghua University have successful reactivated cut nerves in bullfrogs’ peripheral nervous system. Instead of suturing together severed nerves, the team lead by Jing Lui applied an alloy composed of 67% gallium, 20.5% indium, and 12.5% tin by volume, into the nerves’ severance points with a capillary channel. Liquid metal therapy is believed to be benign. The procedure involves cutting the frog’s calve nerve, then inserting each cut end into a capillary filled with the electrically conductive liquid GaInSn alloy, which conducts electricity at several orders of magnitude lower than do conventional suturing techniques. Nerves grow particularly slowly (in the standard suture process); as nerves repair muscles atrophy in the meantime. Because liquid metal is, of course, clearly visible in an X-Ray, it can be removed later, once the frog’s nerves regrow. The alloy’s high electrical conductivity enabled impulses to successfully travel through the prosthetically reconnected nerves, which immediately restored the frogs’ motor functions. One presumes the the frog need not wait to hop.

Read the paper at arXiv


(Cambridge, Paris, Surrey) The classic Romantic question, “Why am I me and not you?” exceeds distinctions about objects in the world because it builds both reflexivity and otherness into itself; just as I refer to myself all the time and presume other humans be in the world in more-or-less the same way, the question folds the reflexivity that characterizes consciousness into a statement others may think on. That anyone may relate to the question by employing the same mental faculties implies self-definition is interpersonal, at least among humans. However, neuroscientists believe birds and the octopi who preen before shiny mirrored bits and decorate their borrows have consciousness, as well. Thus not only do we currently surmise other humans are conscious because I am conscious (“If I am I then others must similarly be other I’s”) we use certain criteria (or evidence) to label certain animals conscious, according to mental qualities (or representations) they share with us, and perhaps each other.

But why does consciousness, that ability to refer to myself as if *other, arise? At MIT, theoretical physicist Max Tegman argues consciousness arises out of a, “particular set of mathematical conditions, that there [denote] varying degrees of consciousness,” not unlike how states of matter vary qualitatively as liquid, solid, gas, as their intermediate meltyness, one may correspondingly quantify transition phases, as well. It is unclear if Tegman uses phase state as an analogy to describe the quantum mechanical probabilities regulating the electrical states we encounter measured empirically in the presence of consciousness, or if the maths of consciousness function as direct analogues we observe in various phase states, as homologues. He observes, though, that the observable electrics are indeed dividable into their ever-smaller constituent units, consequently are calculable, additive, and thus, indicate emergence.

As if these quantifiable electrics recall Descartes’ musings on the pineal glad, that curious brain structure he believed mediated the outside world with inner experience, Tegman calls his new “state of matter” perceptronium: “The most general substance that feels subjectively self-aware. This substance should not only be able to store and process information but in a way that forms a unified, indivisible whole. That also requires a certain amount of independence in which the information dynamics is determined from within rather than externally. The problem is why we perceive the universe as the semi-classical, three dimensional world that is so familiar. When we look at a glass of iced water, we perceive the liquid and the solid ice cubes as independent things even though they are intimately linked as part of the same system. How does this happen? Out of all possible outcomes, why do we perceive this solution?” ( Physics arXiv Blog )

How does neurobiology’s seeming employment of a particularly curious dialectic, the ‘expectation’ of Thought become pure Substance operate? “Action divides Spirit into substance, and consciousness of the substance; and divides the substance as well as consciousness… Spirit, is in its simple truth, consciousness… An act divides spirit into spiritual substance on the one side, and consciousness of the substance on the other; and divides the substance as well as consciousness. The substance appears in the shape of a universal inner nature and purpose standing in contrast to itself qua individualized reality. The middle or mediating term, infinite in character, is self-consciousness, which, being implicitly the unity of itself and that substance, becomes so, now, explicitly, unites the universal inner nature and its particular realization” (Hegel, The Phenomenology Of Spirit).

In a peripheral legislative move, France has declared dogs sentient non-human persons after approximately 700,000 humans petitioned against the 1804 ‘absurd’ Napoleonic law constructing pets as “movable goods” (i.e. tables and chairs). Minister Luc Ferry asserts: “No one has ever tortured a clock. Animals suffer. They have emotions and feelings. It is not a question of making animals subjects of the law… but simply of protecting them against certain forms of cruelty.” Meanwhile in Surrey, local cat Oscar suffered indignity and improbable maiming, his feet clipped off by a wheat thresher, apparently while he dozed in some idyllic field. His humans, Kate and Mike Nolan reasoned, “We had to do a lot of soul-searching and our main concern has always been whether this operation would be in Oscar’s best interests and would give him a better quality of life,” so ultimately chose the innovative surgery that attached prosthetic kitty feet to his cleanly clipped stubs. The three hour operation required drilling into the bone amputation site, affixing pegs, clipping on the prostheses, and growing an umbrella of epithelial cells around stump/peg suture. The cat lovers state, “Oscar can now run and jump about as cats do,” or, as is a cat’s nature.

Notably, these dilated episto/ontological and ethical categories: consciousness as state of matter, dogs as non-human persons, and cat prostheses could confound local Object Oriented Ontologists and Kafka enthusiasts alike.


(Winston-Salem) An advance sure to rustle psychoanalysts and dialecticians, North Carolina scientists at The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine have successfully grown and implanted vaginas in four cis-gendered teen girls afflicted by Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, which results in, “an underdeveloped vagina and uterus.” Lead researcher Anthony Atala explains, “The new organs functioned normally, including during sex, and their tissue was indistinguishable from the native tissue”; he clarifies “normally functioning organs” thus:

“We noted no long-term postoperative surgical complications. Yearly serial biopsies showed a tri-layered structure, consisting of an epithelial cell-lined lumen surrounded by matrix and muscle, with expected components of vaginal tissue present. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the presence of phenotypically normal smooth muscle and epithelia. The MRIs, which showed the extent of the vaginal aplasia before surgery, showed the engineered organs and the absence of abnormalities after surgery, which was confirmed with yearly vaginoscopy. A validated self-administered Female Sexual Function Index questionnaire showed variables in the normal range in all areas tested, such as desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and painless intercourse.”

The two hour procedure that is not yet FDA-approved would surely become the go-to procedure for transgender individuals who seek sex organ plastic surgery/gender reassignment.

From a psychoanalytic view adapted from philosophers Deleuze and Guattari’s work on Lacan, this ‘partial-object’ in a dialectic with the (Lacanian) phallus, the ‘lack’/objet petit a apparently appears as if positive thru the “labor of the negative”/negation of negation (Hegel) that more-or-less follows from the formulation, “bricks that have been shattered to bits, and leftovers… We no longer believe in a primordial totality that once existed, or in a final totality that awaits us at some future date,” (Anti-Oedipus, 83) where the representation of vagina As-Such is taken as-if in a dialectical ought circuit that figures it as, at once, the floating signifier and phallic signifier, a “doubled phallus” that approaches in minimal difference that nevertheless exceeds ‘objet petit a’ by (re)articulating the vagina as presence achieved as partial-object through dialectic: “Self-consciousness is faced by another self-consciousness; it has come out of itself. This has a twofold significance: first, it has lost itself, for it finds itself as an other being; secondly, in doing so it has superseded the other, for it does not see the other as an essential being, but in the other sees its own self” (The Phenomenology Of Spirit, 111), or to use Deleuzian language “becoming-vaginal.”

Elaboration on the hysterical subject of Late Capitalism as both minimal unit of critique (and reflexivity) and, generally, relative exchangeability could continue the preceding observation.


(Bristol) Cedric is in agony. Cedric is tortoise with a prolapse penis. A tortoise’s penis resembles a monstrous floral suction cup, similar in appearance to infamous Doctor Who antagonists The Daleks’ plunger proboscises. Tortoises are in essence a shell filled with organs, four legs, tail, head, and in males a giant purple suctioncup-like penis: all usually retractable.

Sensitive and inconvenienced wildlife lover Miles Jelfs adopted Cedric from a friend, only to learn a week later, that the creature’s cloaca had distended. Cedric’s options are straightforward enough: either tuck his member back inside the shell or amputate. Empathetic yet impecunious, Jelfs is crowd-funding the $250 operation. “I thought I was doing a favor by taking Cedric in from a friend who wasn’t really able to look after him. But when I checked him over I saw that something wasn’t right in …that area.”

Oddly, at 27 years Cedric the tortoise is Jelf’s first pet. “It will be causing him a lot of pain and you can tell when he walks that it is not very comfortable for him, poor little guy. He could be looking at another 90 plus years of life,” but not with a monstrously distended penis.

Cloacal Organ Prolapse occurs regularly among tortoises whose libido exceeds their material construction. Due to tortoises’ surprising randiness, its organ’s excessive engorgement prevents retraction into the shell, which causes pain and potential fatality, due to consequential impaired ambulation.

Help fund Cedric’s penis retraction surgery at GoFundMe


(Las Vegas) What ought to have been a simple $300 dollar rubdown (likely without “happy ending”), local woman Christina Lefave has been charged with stealing old, rich guy Kenneth Herold’s very expensive Rolex “Presidential” watch, in what is remarkably not a Florida crime. Early reports indicate the pair met at the Wynn Hotel’s bar where, as one would expect, they cordially negotiated the terms of an erotic rendezvous. The amorous 66 year old succumbed to the inviting 25 year old female’s offer to service him; more specific details were withheld. According to Herald, approximately 30 minutes into their time together the accused requested Herold remove said watch so she may massage his wrist. Clearly a grift, the excited senior, immune to sound judgment obeyed; “5 to 7 minutes later” the watch disappeared. Lefave initially denied stealing the timepiece but for reasons unknown eventually admitted to stashing it in her person. “Prior to medical staff assisting Lafave with removal of the watch she admitted to them that she had stolen a watch and concealed the item in her vagina,” the police report reads. Arrested and charged with grand larceny, Lafave was released on $40,000 bond. “We believe he gave her the watch and later tried to take it back when he wasn’t satisfied with her services,” the defendant’s attorney Chris Rasmussen states. Noted magician Criss Angel has not yet commented on this story.


(LONDON) Studying 12 of the 25 skeletons disturbed by construction workers digging up an ancient monastery graveyard in Charterhouse Square, scientists reason (somewhat inductively) that the bubonic plague must have been airborne because it spread and killed so quickly. If true, the familiar “bubonic” may be renamed “pneumonic plague.” Siting one 1906 case in Suffolk in which plague killed a local family and helpful neighbor, Dr. Tim Brooks explains, “As an explanation [rat fleas] for the Black Death in its own right simply isn’t good enough. It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics.” Pneumonic plague spreads through coughs and one’s infected breath.

The Black Death traveled from Asia to Britain in fall 1348 and by the next spring had killed 60% of residents, approximately 75 million people. The prevailing hypothesis had been that the plague spread by fleas borne on the bodies of rats. Researchers compared bacterium Yersinia pestis DNA extracted from the skeletons’ molars to contemporary plague examples from a 2013 outbreak in Madagascar. Evidently surprising analysis showed the 14th century strain was no more virulent than today’s.

Osteologist Don Walker details one man’s health and lifestyle by measuring his bone’s oxygen and strontium levels: he was breast-fed, was not a London native, had decayed teeth since childhood, worked as a laborer, and the bubonic plague killed him. “It’s fantastic we can look in such detail at an individual who died 600 years ago. It’s really incredible,” Dr. Walker exuded. Remains show another man was even a vegetarian, which suggests he was a monk.

Skeletons were found interred in layers: the burial ground was used for three different outbreaks. Reusing plots, fascinatingly, shows that even as more than half of Britain’s population died of plague, they maintained social order for a while: the neat graves sealed with a layer of clay and laid down in rows contained bodies wrapped in shrouds. However, skeletons nearer to the ground’s surface, which were, buried later showed signs of upper body injuries, which indicates a time of battle and civil unrest.

Notably, reports on the discovery of the Charterhouse Square plague cemetery do not actually argue the Black Death spread via humans; the assertion seems to be conjectural so far. However, early studies show ancient plague is nearly genetically identical to ours today.

Antibiotics currently kill plague bacteria.


(Zambia) Allegedly taking a local witchdoctor’s combination spiritual and financial advice, a Malawi man fed his genitals and toes to a local hyena because, “I met some business persons who told me the best way to become rich was to sacrifice parts of my body. Even if I have lost some important parts of my body, I still want to get rich,” Chamangeni Zulu explains. Reports indicate he accomplished the task by simply wandering into the wilderness and teasing a hyena until it ate him. Following several recent hyena attacks (this notably being the only consensual and motivated by profit) locals requested an intervention by the Zambia Wildlife Authority. Somewhat ironically (or not), both male and female hyenas have a penis; one speculates if this incidental biological quirk informed the half successful plan.


(Tokyo) A study confirms what we’ve always suspected: cats recognize their human’s voice but for mysterious reasons currently unknown, actually do not care. Comparative cognitive science researcher Atsuko Saito at the University of Tokyo tested cats’ responses to sound stimuli, thus: 50% to 70% of test cats turned their heads upon hearing a random sound; 30% moved their ears (which, notably, are able to move 180°) upon hearing their human’s voice; but only 10% meowed or flitted the tail. Adult cats meow only to communicate with humans; one may deduct a meow that closely follows its human’s call amounts to a reply. Moreover, researches indicate cats respond (if they actually do at all) with “more intensity” to their human’s voice than to a stranger’s, though did not specify how. Due to dogs’ comparatively promiscuous friendliness, conducting a similar experiment proved impossible; consequently Saito plans to duplicate the study with horses, who though not ill-disposed are more sociable than the average cat.

childproof is (1) made for adults that only kids understand: lighter, rx cap, fence & playpen. (2) a band of weirds in brooklyn