A recent episode of Radiolab updated us on a story they reported on a few years ago about a young artist losing her eyesight. It was (and remains) one of Radiolab's most popular stories.

Now, that young artist is learning how to "see" again using something that sounds, frankly, unbelievable.


The device works like this: We have a lot of ways to communicate with our brain using our senses. Usually, we *taste* with our tongue, *see* with our eyes, etc., and the "roadways" these signals travel to our brain are well-established. But our bodies can create new pathways for those signals to get to our noggin. That's what this device does for the sense of sight.

Using a combination of a camera placed near the eyes and a small piece of titanium with thousands of electrodes placed on the tongue, this BrainPort Vision Device miraculously creates a new way for the brain to receive "sight."

It's tough to describe so listen to how Radiolab explains it, and especially check out how Emilie Gossiaux describes the sensations on her tongue:

Now you'll appreciate this video of Emilie in action. Here she is using it to paint:

In the hunt to find even more information about this fascinating device, I found some footage of another person using the device. It features this really deep quote:

"You don't see with your eyes, you see with your brain."

Cue jaw drop. Before discovering this device, I hadn't really thought of it like that before. Check it out:

And there you have it — technology making the world a better place. All day, every day. Crushing it.

I live in Washington, the state with the first official outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. While my family lives several hours from Seattle, it was alarming to be near the epicenter—especially early in the pandemic when we knew even less about the coronavirus than we know now.

As tracking websites went up and statistics started pouring in, things looked hairy for Washington. But not for long. We could have and should have shut everything down faster than we did, but Governor Inslee took the necessary steps to keep the virus from flying completely out of control. He's consistently gotten heat from all sides, but in general he listened to the infectious disease experts and followed the lead of public health officials—which is exactly what government needs to do in a pandemic.

As a result, we've spent the past several months watching Washington state drop from the #1 hotspot down to 23rd in the nation (as of today) for total coronavirus cases. In cases per million population, we're faring even better at number 38. We have a few counties where outbreaks are pretty bad, and cases have slowly started to rise as the state has reopened—which was to be expected—but I've felt quite satisfied with how it's been handled at the state level. The combination of strong state leadership and county-by-county reopenings has born statistically impressive results—especially considering the fact that we didn't have the lead time that other states did to prepare for the outbreak.

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