Weekly Head Voices #90: The geriatric edition.

This is the 90th edition of the weekly head voices. I just looked up the very first edition – it was way back in August of 2009! (That was apparently about 285 weeks ago, meaning I’ve averaged about one post every 3.17 weeks.)

To celebrate, have some bullets:

  • Behind me are two weeks of extreme focus chasing various deadlines. I can feel my brain taking some strain switching between C++ and GPU shaders on the one side and Python and D3 on the other. I’m hoping it’s the good kind of strain.
  • Had to get the latest NVIDIA 346 drivers going on an Ubuntu 14.04 Optimus laptop (dynamic switching between Intel and NVIDIA graphics) due to very specific features required for a work project. This first led to this post fixing Ubuntu black screen on the bleeding edge and then acted as the straw that broke the camel’s back…
  • … where with “straw” I actually mean a very good excuse to buy a new PC, an event which I found so exciting that I surgically removed it from this post and inserted into a completely separate post which you can read by clicking here.
  • Here, have a summary of a really interesting article in the nytimes from which I learned at least two interesting new things:
    • Von Economo neurons, or spindle neurons, are neurons that can be four times as large as other neurons, are long and thin, and have branches that extend far across the brain. Researchers think that these neurons act as fast relays between different remote regions of the brain, which could for example help humans “manage impulses and stay focused on long term goals”.
    • In a post-mortem study on so-called SuperAgers, people who at past 80 were still as cognitively strong as healthy 50 year olds, it was found that these geriatric geniuses had five times more Von Economo neurons than normal. The burning question now is: Did they start out with more than normal, or did they just retain them better?

Just in case you sometimes doubt that the internet is, in spite of everything, an awesome force for good in the world today, I present the following evidence (via @alper):

May your Von Economo neurons live long and prosper!