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Studio 360

The Neuroscience of Jazz

Friday, April 26, 2013

Charles Limb is a professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who has a sideline in brain research; he’s also on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He wants to know what happens in our brains when we play piano. Simple: stick a musician in an fMRI machine ...

Video: "Your Brain on Improv"

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Studio 360

Gary Marcus: Defining Creativity

Friday, April 26, 2013

Kurt Andersen talks with Gary Marcus about what science knows, and doesn’t know, about creativity. Marcus is the director of New York University’s Center for Language and Music, and the author of Guitar Zero, a book about how the brain learns. Marcus is skeptical of tests that measure ...

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Studio 360

Want to Sell Your Mp3s? Tell It to the Judge

Friday, April 05, 2013

This week, two different federal courts delivered important and seemingly contradictory decisions about the way we consume digital entertainment. One case involves ReDigi, a platform that lets you resell digital songs you bought from iTunes but decide you don’t want any more.

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Studio 360

Remixing Spring

Friday, April 05, 2013

Several weeks ago we gave you a challenge: using a dozen bird songs recorded by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, we asked you to create an original musical composition on the theme of Spring. We received more than 100 compositions, ranging from classical to electronica ...

Listen to the winning remix

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Studio 360

Vegetation Goes Vertical

Monday, March 11, 2013

In densely packed cities, green space is often hard to come by. Apartment dwellers who yearn for a whiff of nature resort to potted plants on fire escapes or roof gardens. But what if you could create forest with trees that stack on top of each other? A forest that grew up instead of out? ...

Slideshow: Vertical Forests

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Studio 360

The Flame Alphabet

Friday, March 08, 2013

William S. Burroughs famously said that “language is a virus.” Novelist Ben Marcus took Burrough's line as inspiration for The Flame Alphabet. In the book, the language of children has become literally poisonous to adults, and a married couple with a teenage daughter is faced ...

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Studio 360

Playing Against The Virus

Friday, March 08, 2013

In recent years, epidemics have become a hot topic in gaming. In the online video game Pandemic 2, you play the virus, aiming to wipe out humanity. In The Great Flu, you control a world health organization and make decisions about face masks and airport closures. Games like ... 

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Studio 360

What Going Viral Means

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses emerged in the 1980s. But in the internet era, we decided not to beat viruses, but to join them. “Going viral” became the goal of any piece of content, from a movie to a Facebook post. Bill Wasik is the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture ...

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Studio 360

Viruses At The Movies

Friday, March 08, 2013

What radiation was to the 1950s — a real but poorly understood menace that served as an all-purpose plot device — viruses have become for our era. Viruses explain vampires in Blade, and zombies in I Am Legend and 28 Days Later. But viruses aren’t quarantined to genre flicks ...

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Studio 360

Going Viral

Friday, March 08, 2013

An epidemiologist explains how life is like World of Warcraft when a deadly plague breaks out online. Rabies experts connect the dots between The Illiad, Twilight, and Louis Pasteur; plus, an apocalyptic world where children should be seen and not heard — the sound they make can be deadly.

Studio 360

Our Computers, Our Viruses, Our Selves

Friday, March 08, 2013

Computer viruses have evolved from an annoyance to a national security threat. Recently the Department of Homeland Security told Americans to disable Java on our home computers (a thing that few of us knew how to do) because of flaws that left it vulnerable to viruses ...

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Studio 360

Does Your Zombie Have Rabies?

Friday, March 08, 2013

Long before science explained rabies, the virus showed up in folklore and literature. "The vampire myth, the werewolf myth, and the zombie myth," Bill Wasik tells Kurt Andersen, "are all saliva-born infections that manifest as a contagious animal essence. Rabies is the only thing ...

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Studio 360

Reconstructing Viruses

Friday, March 08, 2013

Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between ...

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Studio 360

The (Viral) Glass Menagerie

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Working with virologists and glassblowers, Luke Jerram creates striking and delicate representations of some of the most deadly pathogens known to man: HIV, swine flu, SARS.
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Studio 360

Listener Challenge: Remixing Spring

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its entire collection of 150,000 animal sounds — including its especially vast collection of bird songs. We want you to use some of those bird songs to create your own composition on the theme of Spring. We’ll choose a winner and ...

Enter: Spring Remix Challenge

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Studio 360

Why Is Pop Music So Sad?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pop music's not what it used to be. A study published in the Journal of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts tracked the mood of pop songs over five decades of Billboard charts, and it confirms that pop has changed in substantial ways. Far more of today’s hits are now in minor ...

Graphic: How pop has become sadder since the 1960s

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Studio 360

Winners: Are We Alone In The Universe?

Friday, February 15, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to answer in the form of an illustration, and we received more than 200 entries, includingcartoons, scientific illustrations, and abstract paintings. Julia Rothman, one of the editors ...

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Studio 360

Caught in Tomas Saraceno's Web

Friday, February 15, 2013

Last year, MIT established a Center for Art, Science & Technology to integrate arts into its engineering-centered curriculum. As the first artist in residence at the center, MIT picked Tomas Saraceno, whose works resemble strange, epically large science fair projects. Saraceno was born ...

Slideshow: The Work of Tomas Saraceno

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Studio 360

Synergy: Artists Take on Ocean Science

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Each summer, the village of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, swells with scientists. They come from all over the world to study the ocean and its marine life. One of those scientists, Whitney Bernstein, a PhD candidate in chemical oceanography at MIT, wanted to find new ways to help her colleagues reach ...

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Studio 360

Staff Picks: Are We Alone in the Universe?

Monday, February 11, 2013

A couple weeks ago, we asked you a question: Are we alone in the universe? We challenged you to send us the answer in the form of an illustration. We'll reveal the winner next week. Meantime, the Studio 360 staff couldn't help choosing our own, unofficial favorites. ...

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