Michael Murphy's blog

Idiosyncratic Perceptions

Perceptions vary from person to person to person, so, I will be delving into the various aspects of sensory and psychological perception. My introduction begins with the sensory system and input through the five senses. The stimulus/input is always the same but perceptions are what give things new meaning to us. Our brain utilizes many techniques for categorizing and classifying incoming information based on previous experiences. Our brain is also able to sort out important information from all of the hodgepodge we are bombarded with on a daily basis.

Life Bringing Plasma

This week we were able to learn a little bit on plasma from a foremost expert, Dr. Gekelman. We learned about the different qualities of plasma, and what characteristics are featured by this elusive 4th state of matter. He began with a physical description of plasma as a superheated gas in which the electrons are given so much energy that they can dissociate and reassociate with their respective atoms freely, which requires a massive amount of energy. How much energy? Well Dr. Gekelman's lab alone uses more energy than the entire city of Westwood combined!

Interactive Media

We had a chance to visit with the contemporary artist Toni Dove, and we were even invited to tinker around with her interactive media exhibit. She mainly deals with cinema manipulation, and emphasizes being well versed on the subject matter that the artist intends to work with.

Why Has No One Made a Dragon Yet?!

It's crazy how philosophies created thousands of years ago such as the Zodiac signs, Hindu folklore/traditions, and I-Ching philosophies are still applicable today. There seems to be a timeless nature to people, and a sort of balancing act with personalities and individualities. This same kind of balance is seem through different fields of study from art and science to math and humanities.

Ignored Ideals & Ideas

In Mick Lorusso's guest lecture this week, he spoke of an inspiring character, Buster Simpson. Simpson was an artist who manifested his artistic renderings from scavenged pieces of trash, debris, or forgotten materials. His take on art was that it should always come with a message, but not just any message, an inspiring and eye-opening one. He prided himself on bringing attention to environmental and political issues with his artwork, and sending a message that social changes were in dire need.

Creative Genius

When I first heard of a topic attempting to bridge the gap between art and science, I couldn't imagine what such a field could bring forth. However, after watching several intro videos and attending Pinar Yoldas's guest lecture, I have a whole new respect for this expansive and creative field of study.

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