Author Archives: Matt W

Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time

This week, the BBC Radio 4 programme In Our Time (“Melvyn Bragg and three guests explore the history of ideas”) is on ‘Perception and the Senses’ (it must be neuroscience week at the BBC!). Listening to it now, it’s a fantastic romp through the low-level neuroanatomy, visual perception, how senses are integrated and so on, […]

Since I’m here in the cafe at Foyles

I just have to send a big appreciative Thanks! to the folks at Foyles, not just for hosting our talk the other week (and suggesting it!), but for making Foyles the store in London to buy Mind Hacks, and being great fun with it too. There are three people in particular: Anna, Dominic and Michael […]

Do you really want to quit?

I have a question about dialog boxes on my computer. This is something I mentioned last night, and I’d appreciate some help. Below is a picture of a well-assembled dialog box. UI folks say that dialog box options should be verbs, not nouns, but that’s not important here. (ie, you should have options “Don’t save” […]

Reminder: Talk at Foyles is tomorrow, Wednesday

Just so you all the Londoners know, Mind Hacks at Foyles is at 6.30pm tomorrow. They’re expecting the tickets to sell out later today, so grab yourself a ticket if you haven’t already. See you then! ps. Bring a pen, for experimental purposes.

Mind Hacks at Foyles, March 23rd

When I was a kid, I remember making a trip to London and visiting Foyles bookshop for the first time. In the days before book superstores, Foyles was unimaginably vast, and dense, and amazing. That was a special day. Years later, there aren’t books piled everywhere, the maze of shelves and rooms has been untangled, […]

Book links

Already own Mind Hacks? You’ll know that there are many links to demos on the Web, and in the End Notes. So you don’t have to type these in, we’ve put all the book links on a single page. Keep it handy! We’ll be updating that page to give replacements for dead links as-and-when they […]

Yum

I’m not sure I can resist this brain gelatin mold: Fill the plastic brain mold with a customized gelatin mix and a few hours later, out pops a life-size, anatomically correct brain. Delicious! Recipe included. [Zombie voice:] Braaaains.

Waving, not designing

I got a wave messaging power-up cover for my Nokia 3220 phone. It’s got a line of LEDs along the back of the phone, and when you wave it, you can spell out messages in the air. Check this out: (That’s me, by the way. I posted more about this to my other weblog, if […]

UK-a-Go-Go

It’s taken a couple of weeks to cross the Atlantic, clear customs, and get through the warehouses… Mind Hacks is now in stock at Amazon UK, with a dispatch time listed of 3-4 days. And if you order now, you get 30% off. Buy Mind Hacks at Amazon UK, and get it in time for […]

Sinister Research

A couple of interesting bits of research on handedness in the news today. Chimps brains are asymmetrical in similar ways to human brains, and this is reflected in whether they’re left or right handed too. Why we have a preferred hand is still being debated, but this research shows handedness isn’t a consequence of the […]

Applying the hacks

It’s good to try some of the ideas in Mind Hacks on real-world problems. We have a piece up on the O’Reilly Network today, using visual attention concepts to comment on Flickr’s Daily Zeitgeist toy. Photos continually fade in and shrink down on a grid of pictures–what does this mean, from the perspective of change […]

Caffeine rituals

Ah, this is good to see. There’s a hack in the book about the rituals around coffee and tea. It’s on the O’Reilly catalog page for Mind Hacks as a free sample, Hack 92: Make the Caffeine Habit Taste Good. It’s like Pavlov and his dogs. He conditioned them to associate a noise with food […]

Rrrrroar

“So, I’m not really comfortable with the fact that my mind is actually something physical.” — at Daily Dinosaur Comics [via introvert.net]. Hey that freaks me out too, knowing that the thought “that freaks me out,” is not just accompanied by but actually is some kind of arrangement of the actual physical stuff in my […]

Matt

I guess I should introduce myself. I’m Matt Webb, I co-authored the book with Tom. Hello! Mostly I post notes to my personal weblog, Interconnected, and sites that I run across to the Mini Links–that’s probably the best way to find out what I’m interested in. What I’m not is a psychologist or neuroscientist (my […]

Dragon’s Head

Speaking of eyes following you around the room, this Dragon Optical Illusion is pretty cool. You make it out of paper and sellotape, and move around it with one eye closed. The head seems to move and follow you around. (There’s a PDF to make the model, and a video to watch if you can’t […]

It’s arrived!

Well, well, it looks like Mind Hacks is shipping. I was only expecting a couple of CDs today, and look what the postman brought.

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