Humans just got a step closer to being able to think a message into someone else’s brain on the other side of the world: in a first-of-its-kind study, an international team of researchers has successfully achieved brain-to-brain transmission of information between humans.

The team, comprising researchers from Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Starlab Barcelona in Spain, and Axilum Robotics in Strasbourg, France, used a number of technologies that enabled them to send messages from India to France — a distance of 5,000 miles (8046.72km) — without performing invasive surgery on the test subjects.

"We wanted to find out if one could communicate directly between two people by reading out the brain activity from one person and injecting brain activity into the second person, and do so across great physical distances by leveraging existing communication pathways," said co-author Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD, director of the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.

"One such pathway is, of course, the internet, so our question became, ‘Could we develop an experiment that would bypass the talking or typing part of internet and establish direct brain-to-brain communication between subjects located far away from each other in India and France?’"


The study had four participants, aged between 28 and 50. One participant was assigned to the brain-computer interface to transmit the thought, while the other three were assigned to the computer-brain interface to receive the thought.

At the BCI end, the words “Ciao” and “Hola” were translated into binary. This was then shown to the emitter subject, who was instructed to envision actions for each piece of information: moving their hands for a 1 or their feet for a 0. An EEG then captured the electrical information in the sender’s brain as they thought of these actions, which resulted in a sort of neural code for the binary symbols — which in turn was code for the words.

This information was then sent to the three recipient subjects via TMS headsets, stimulating the visual cortex so that the recipient, with ears and eyes covered, saw the binary string as a series of bright lights in their peripheral vision: if the light appeared in one location, it was a 1, and the second location denoted a 0. This information was received successfully and decoded as the transmitted words.

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Tea for me and YouTube videos for cats.

Happy Caturday.


“Heart weeps.
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart.
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.”


Lydia Davis



A few months ago I was lucky enough to get to work with Gnarwhal Studios (Creators of Humans vs Zombies) and Max Temkin (creator of Cards Against Humanity) on a new game called Slap .45! It’s a western themed slap based reaction card game. We just launched our KICKSTARTER. If It’s not to much trouble we would really appreciate your support. You can find it here:

I did all of the illustration for Slap 45 (note that those backgrounds were my place holders). The super talented Ade’ Hogue handled all of the graphic design for the final game (and totally fucking killed it).

These illustrations were made for the Shoot out cards. Due to gameplay reasons only 4 of the images appear in the final version of the game. In playtests we found that having flavor imagery hurt people’s ability to recognize the card type immediately and for game about reacting quickly this was obviously a problem. Still had a great time creating all of them though!

It was a pleasure and an honor working with Kellan and Adé on Slap .45. We’re 200% funded on Kickstarter on our first day!


New York Times:

In the hardest places to live in the United States, people spend a lot of time thinking about diets and religion. In the easiest places to live, people spend a lot of time thinking about cameras.

This summer, The Upshot conducted an analysis of every county in the country to determine which were the toughest places to live, based on an index of six factors including income, education and life expectancy. Afterward, we heard from Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google, who suggested looking at how web searches differ on either end of our index.

The results, based on a decade of search data, offer a portrait of the very different subjects that occupy the thoughts of richer America and poorer America. They’re a glimpse into the id of our national inequality.

In the hardest places to live – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.

To be clear, these aren’t the most common searches in our list of hardest places. They’re the searches with the highest correlation to our index. Searches on some topics, like Oprah Winfrey or the Super Bowl, are popular almost everywhere. The terms on these lists are relatively common subjects for web searches in one kind of place — and rarely a subject in the other.


Income has stagnated in working-class communities, which helps explain why “selling avon” and “social security checks” correlate with the hardest places from our index. Inequality in health and life expectancy has grown over the same time. And searches on diabetes, lupus, blood pressure, 1,500-calorie diets and “ssi disability” – a reference to the federal benefits program for workers with health problems – also make the list. Guns, meanwhile, are in part a cultural preference, but they are also a health risk.

Given all these troubles, you can understand why religious web searches that are relatively more popular in places where life is harder have such a dark cast. “They are not just about religion but about apocalyptic religion,” notes Dan Silver, a cultural sociologist at the University of Toronto.

In the places on the other end of the spectrum, the picture is much brighter. People have disposable income to buy new technology and take faraway vacations. Their time spent prostrate on a foam roller or out running with the baby in a jogging stroller is more than enough to make up the occasional cupcake. And of course they are intent on passing down their way of life to the next generation, via Baby Bjorns and early access to technology.

That last point may be the most troubling. The different subjects that occupy people’s thoughts aren’t just a window into American life today. They’re a window onto future inequality, too.

America is going in some weird directions.


If Jupiter were as far away as the Moon.



The next game from Gnarwhal Studios, which includes Cards Against Humanity co-creator Max Temkin, is a card-based “Wild West slap duel” game called Slap .45 currently seeking funding via Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter campaign describes Slap .45 as “a simple slap game that captures the feeling of a classic Western shootout. Players chose their own gang with a special power and play to outwit — and outslap — the competition. According to the Kickstarter campaign, Slap .45 has been a work-in-progress for about a year.

The full game includes 67 shootout cards, 43 mini gang cards for seven gangs, seven gang home bases, a custom box and the rule set. Gnarwhal Studios is hoping to raise $18,850 by Sept. 17, which will allow its creators to print 1,000 copies. 

The campaign has only one backer goal at the $35 level, which includes a copy of the game shipped “to your doorstep” in April 2015. At the time of this post, more than $7,000 has been raised.


Slap .45 is 50% funded on the first day. Thank you so much for this amazing launch, it’s been totally overwhelming.


Slap .45 is an Old Western slap duel for three to seven players.

I’ve been working on this game for a little over a year, it’s been insanely fun to playtest. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve worked on since Cards Against Humanity.

$35 (including shipping) on Kickstarter.



Chinese and Russian officials are warning of a potential humanitarian crisis in the restive American province of Missouri, where ancient communal tensions have boiled over into full-blown violence.

"We must use all means at our disposal to end the violence and restore calm to the region," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments to an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the America crisis.

The crisis began a week ago in Ferguson, a remote Missouri village that has been a hotbed of sectarian tension. State security forces shot and killed an unarmed man, which regional analysts say has angered the local population by surfacing deep-seated sectarian grievances. Regime security forces cracked down brutally on largely peaceful protests, worsening the crisis.

America has been roiled by political instability and protests in recent years, which analysts warn can create fertile ground for extremists.

Missouri, far-removed from the glistening capital city of Washington, is ostensibly ruled by a charismatic but troubled official named Jay Nixon, who has appeared unable to successfully intervene and has resisted efforts at mediation from central government officials. Complicating matters, President Obama is himself a member of the minority sect protesting in Ferguson, which is ruled overwhelmingly by members of America’s majority “white people” sect.

Analysts who study the opaque American political system, in which all provinces are granted semi-autonomous self-rule, warned that Nixon may seize the opportunity to move against weakened municipal rulers in Ferguson. Missouri’s provincial legislature, a traditional “shura council,” is dominated by the opposition faction. Though fears of a military coup remain low, it is still unknown how Nixon’s allies within the capital will respond should the crisis continue.

Now, international leaders say they fear the crisis could spread.

Vox covers Ferguson as they would if it were in another country.


I might be willing to violate my no hard things in soft things rule for these guys.

(via laughterkey)


I’ve been working on a new card game called Slap .45 for the last year; here’s some of the concept art.


Tabletop Deathmatch is filming! We stepped up our production game for season 2. The soundboard looks like something out of Ghostbusters.


Most exciting games from Gen Con so far: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skulls & Shackles, A Quiet Year, Dead of Winter, Quartermaster General, XCOM: The Board Game.