Author: William R. Macauley

(Un)Reality Checks: Brains, Glitches, and Cinematographic Vision

A couple of years ago, a picture was posted on the internet of what appears to be a point of sales (POS) receipt for a ‘functionality check’ on a television. The printed receipt includes a concise and somewhat cryptic description of a customer complaint about the television 3d function. The provenance and authenticity of the receipt as well as the… Read more →

Pulsars, Pills, and Post-Punk: Designed for Unknown Pleasures

Since its release on Manchester’s Factory Records in June 1979, Joy Division’s debut album Unknown Pleasures (FACT 10) has captured the imagination of a diverse audience, ranging from reclusive adolescents sulking in their bedroom to celebrity scientists socialising with friends. The album has been critically acclaimed not just for the band’s distinctive musical style and sombre lead vocals performed by… Read more →

Deliquescent Acuity: Luminosity, ‘Architectural Sharpness’, and the Decayed Hyperrealism of Dreams

A while ago I found a journal article entitled Neural Decoding of Visual Imagery During Sleep. Intrigued by the title, I took a closer look and learned how a team of neuroscientists led by Yukiyasu Kamitani, based at a research lab in Kyoto, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, more commonly referred as a ‘brain scanner’, to record human… Read more →

Noisy By Nature: Artifacts and Aesthetics of Celestial Objects

Information gathered with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has transformed our perception and understanding of the universe. Since its launch in 1990, astronomers and other space scientists have used an array of instruments carried on the HST to complete over a million observations and collected data reported in more than eleven thousand scientific articles. The HST mission has become synonymous… Read more →