One of my favorite pieces is out again: The NYT’s The Year In Ideas. Interesting on the medical front: an exoskeleton prosthesis that takes the load off your back; eyeball jewelry, which really doesn’t seem that great, and a bit invasive into my freaking EYE; cancer music, where researchers are trying to listen to the vibrations of cells and diagnose neoplasia (how that will differentiate between benign and malignant, the important step, is beyond me); economic theory to encourage vaccine production, and skin literature (I’d have something by Vonnegut tattooed if I had to choose).
Also not to be missed is a short interview with Stephen Hawking. Some of my favorite bits:
What is your I.Q.?
I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.
With all your intense erudition, why do you bother writing pop-science books about the universe, the latest of which is the illustrated version of ”On the Shoulders of Giants”?
I want my books sold on airport bookstalls.
Are you always this cheerful?
Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.
Seriously, how do you keep your spirits up?
My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.
Really puts one’s own challenges and upsets in perspective, huh?