Proust was a Neuroscientist

Proust was a Neuroscientist explores the sometimes curious relationship between art and science. In each chapter, author Jonah Lehrer reveals how a particular artist—Walt Whitman, George Eliot, Auguste Escoffier, Marcel Proust, Paul Cézanne, Igor Stravinsky, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf—anticipated later discoveries by neuroscientists. Simultaneously, Lehrer considers how the artists themselves were influenced by scientific thinking at the time. Even if science isn’t your cup of tea, Lehrer’s insights into the artists’ goals, thought processes, and influences should prove fascinating.

The Joy of Teaching

“Welcome to your first year of teaching.” So begins The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors by Peter Filene. Easy-to-read, concise, and not overly pedantic, The Joy of Teaching is a great introduction to college teaching for first-year teachers. Filene surveys the fundamentals—everything from constructing a syllabus to “teaching and not perishing”—without drowning the reader in details. He also explores topics that have only recently gained prominence in the educational literature, making the book a worthwhile read even for experienced teachers. Finally, endnotes and an annotated bibliography provide direction for additional reading and research.

Language as data compression

Language is one of the best data-compression mechanisms we have. The information contained in literature, or even e-mail, encodes our identity as human beings. … Twelve words from Voltaire can hold a lifetime of experience. —Martin Wattenberg

Source: Visualizing Big Data: Bar Charts for Words, Wired Magazine