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Talking points: Art by the slice, glad you called, pea-sized brain Add to ...

ART BY THE SLICE

Why just eat toast when you can turn it into a work of art? Twitter user Hittomii draws characters using powder. Though he has refused to give up all his secrets of how he makes toast look so pretty, one thing’s for certain – everyone is gobbling it up.

GLAD YOU CALLED

Tired of telemarketers always calling when you’re sitting down to dinner? Frustrated by the sheer number of times you’ve threatened that if they ever call back “why, you’ll …” and the fact they still seem to get great pleasure out of dialling your number with a maniacal grin on their faces? Well, has one man got a plan for you. Lee Beaumont swapped his easily-accessed-by-telemarketers number for a premium-rate number, so now it costs about 16 cents a minute to call him, of which he earns 11 cents a minute. Now, he’s going out of his way to get anyone to give him a call. He will gladly stay on the line for hours because, after all, he’s getting paid. Though the phone company says it wouldn’t advise everyone to follow suit, Beaumont told the BBC that he’s open and honest about the fact there’s a charge for phoning him.

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PEA-SIZED BRAIN

Scientists in Austria have grown a tiny human brain in a laboratory and plan to use it to help understand neurological disorders. The pea-sized structure is reported to be at the same level of development as a nine-week-old fetus and cannot think. But the fact that scientists have been able to coax it into building itself the same way a brain would has given hope to many in the field, the BBC reported. Embryonic stem cells or adult skin cells were used initially to make the part of the embryo that develops into the spinal cord and brain. When that was put into a “nutrient bath,” the cells grew and rearranged themselves to form the various parts of the brain. Because there is no blood supply, oxygen cannot get into the middle of the “mini-brain,” the researchers say. Though the brain is not an exact replica of a human brain, the BBC says scientists are excited at the possibilities it presents.

QUOTED

“Warmer temperatures are a product not of any particular human being or group, but the interaction between nature and countless decisions by countless people.”

CASS R. SUNSTEIN

The law professor and Bloomberg columnist explains why people get more scared by terrorism than climate change. He argues the consequences for the lack of fear could be dire.

 

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