False ‘missing toe’ sensation(s) [digital agnosia]

Do you ever get an uncanny feeling that one of your toes is missing, despite the fact that they’re all there? You’re not alone. “To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to document the [erroneous] experience of a ‘missing toe’ in healthy volunteers.” “Nineteen young adult participants underwent tactile stimulation […]

Beijing traffic jams and the number 4

Excessively polluting and timewasting  heavy traffic congestion in central Beijing causes significant distress to drivers and residents alike. In a drive to identify root causes, researchers have put two and two together and come up with an improbable answer – the number ‘4‘. “In this work we estimate the effects of traffic congestion on subjective […]

Numbers Stations – an anachronism ahead of their time?

It’s 1963, the height of the Cold War. Safely out of sight and earshot, an international espionage agent sits furtively huddled over a short-wave radio, listening intently for strings of seemingly random numbers. Despite the high levels of static interference, they’re painstakingly written down, one by one, and later tabulated against a ‘one time pad‘ […]