At First, It Felt Like A Lot Of Little Coca-Cola Bubbles On Her Tongue. But Then She Saw It.

It's called a BrainPort.

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.

Heroes
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular