Uncanny Valley

Today I learned, from NHPR and “On The Media”, about the Uncanny Valley.   It turns out that if computer animation is 90% realistic, that’s cool  92% still cool.  95% all good.  But when it hits 96%, it totally freaks us out.  Kids cried when the Shrek princess hit that threshold.  Monkeys look away. 

To get the full effect, you really need to hear this podcast or check out this transcript (Monday afternoon).  Then tell me what you think!


Chocolate Cake and the Too-Busy Brain

Today I learned, from RadioLab via Andy, that it you are busy thinking too hard (like remembering 7 items instead of 2), it’s hard to choose fruit salad over chocolate cake.  Well that explains so much!  It’s about the same part of the brain trying to keep things straight.

Here, listen for yourself.  It may just make more sense if you hear the whole story.


What’s your excuse?  What’s filling your brain?  Leave a comment!