50 & 100 years ago

50 Years Ago

Reading aids for the blind have so far involved the use of intact sensory pathways and have progressed little beyond Braille and tape-recorded “talking-books”. Both these systems are quite expensive … and both are slow in terms of information transfer to the reader … At a recent meeting of the Physiological Society, Brindley and Lewin demonstrated a device for stimulating the visual cortex of man directly … Essentially it consists of an array of radio receivers, encapsulated in silicone rubber and screwed to the skull … Activation of a receiver stimulated the cortex: transmission was in the form of a train of short (200 μs) pulses … it does at least seem feasible to transmit visual information directly to the central visual pathways of the recently blind.

From Nature 8 June 1968

100 Years Ago

It happened last week that about 1 lb. of fresh lamb was put into an oven at night in order that it might be cooked by morning on the “hay-box” principle. It was in a casserole, with a little water. Similar treatment in the same oven on previous occasions had been very successful. At about 5 a.m. the casserole was examined, and the broth was found to be very well tasted, and the whole smelt fresh and good, but the meat when tested with a fork was not tender, and the fat (of which there was a good deal) was entirely unmelted. The casserole was returned to the oven (then quite cool) and taken out again after breakfast. The contents were then found to be smelling most offensively, as if extremely “high”. The fat was melted. The meat and broth were judged quite unfit for human food. I wonder if any of your readers would explain this curious development.

From Nature 6 June 1918

Nature 558, 39 (2018)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-05307-6
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