NEW SCIENTIST:
WHEN we fall under the spell of a charismatic figure, areas of the brain responsible for scepticism and vigilance become less active.

That’s the finding of a study which looked at people’s response to prayers spoken by someone purportedly possessing divine healing powers.

To identify the brain processes underlying the influence of charismatic individuals, Uffe Schjødt of Aarhus University in Denmark and colleagues turned to Pentecostal Christians, who believe that some people have divinely inspired powers of healing, wisdom and prophecy.

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New Scientist Life, Apr. 26, 2010

The brain’s power will turn out to derive from data processing within the neuron rather than activity between neuron, suggests University of Cambridge research biologist Brian J. Ford.

“Each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers… the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine,” he adds.

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Legendary skeptic James Randi has devoted his life to debunking frauds and investigating paranormal and pseudoscientific claims.

In this TED talk James Randi takes a fatal dose of homeopathic sleeping pills onstage, kicking off a searing 18-minute indictment of irrational beliefs. He throws out a challenge to the world’s psychics: Prove what you do is real, and I’ll give you a million dollars! (No takers yet.) http://www.randi.org/site/

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In the emerging Internet of Things, everyday objects are becoming networked. Clothing is no exception. It’s still early days for Web-enabled clothes – the best example so far is the Nike+ running shoe, which contains sensors that connect to the user’s iPod. But expect to see everything from your shirt to your underwear networked in the not too distant future.

In the following list of ten ‘smart clothing’ items, we showcase Internet pants, a proximity sensing shirt, a heart sensing bra, biosensor underwear, a “thought helmet”, and more!

Motion-detecting pants, a proximity sensing shirt, a heart-sensing bra, biosensor underwear, and a “thought helmet” are among everyday objects that are becoming networked. Also, a jacket that displays your moods through signs and colors.

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