Celebrity Gossip or the Physics of Intelligence?

I know I’ve changed now. Like all, when I’m in the airport, I have a ton of choices to buy reading material before boarding the plane. For years, when I wanted to relax, I would choose People magazine, USWeekly, some celebrity eye candy publication (along with a chocolate Hershey’s bar) where I didn’t have to think while I was relaxing in between spurts of work on the plane ride home.  Well, this time, on my trip home to NJ from Austin, TX,  I was compelled to buy Scientific American magazine, intrigued by the cover article, “The Physics of Intelligence…Can We Get Any Smarter?” by Doug Fox…. So I bought it plus the June 27th issue of Newsweek w/former President Bill Clinton on the cover. Eye candy? No, intriguing headline, yes, “14 Ways to Save America’s Jobs” by Bill Clinton. Just enough money left for my Hershey chocolate, I dumped my craving for the July issue of People. I felt a little liberated, kind of nerdy, i guess “older” too, but really, I couldn’t wait to sit down and read both magazines cover to cover for the 4-5 hour trip home, complete with stop over.  Instead of admiring photos and salivating over gossip, I was motivated to consider my own mind and body in the context of our planet and the universe.  Yes, I learned my brain (and yours) is probably too small to get that much smarter and Lee Kump in The Last Great Global Warming article says the prior prehistoric warm up, paled in comparison to what’s going on now.  I felt so connected to the words on these pages, not like a passive observer.
I would like to know why celebrity magazines have intrigued me over the years. Why did the more interesting, educational science magazines elude me.  Don’t say it…brain is too small? Ha, ha, ha. Seriously, why? I thought about this and then I saw the answer in a pull quote from Stephen Hawking, the British physicist on p. 21 of SA. He states: “I wouldn’t compare it to sex, but it lasts longer.” – Hawking is speaking about the joys of scientific discovery.
I for one and am looking forward to my expanding wisdom lasting a long time. As I munch on my Milky Way, my appetite (vice?) for chocolate remains unchanged (sigh).

2 thoughts on “Celebrity Gossip or the Physics of Intelligence?”

  1. I was captivated by Fox’s article also. I ended up subscribing to the digital version for a year. Not disappointed so far!
    If you find you enjoy neuroscience may I suggest visiting David Eagleman’s web page at:
    His book Icognito, excellent BTW, has sort of launched me on a neuroscience renaissance. Watch some of Eagleman’s videos. His buoyant optimism and friendly conversational style is contagious, even in a cranky old curmudgeon like me. I must confess, I have never been into People Magazine or celebrities but have dabbled in neuroscience and other sciences since Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Welcome to a world that will dazzle your imagination and sense of awe.
    I wrote a post at my blog on Fox’s excellent article,
    I enjoyed your post, and you write very well.

    1. I checked out David Eagleman’s site and now following him on Twitter. Thank you for sending as I have been off course, (reading People magazine and such (smile). I am fascinated by neuroscience and look forward to reading more about this area and David’s writings.

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