Link About It: This Week’s Picks

NYC's autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh's beer festival, a device that reads your thoughts and more

Reflecting on Toni Morrison’s Life, From Her Point of View The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer prize winner for penning Beloved and a mentor to millions, among many other things, Toni Morrison lived unapologetically but with unmatched empathy, intelligence and insightfulness. She famously told Terry Gross (of NPR’s Fresh Air) that she “regret[s] everything” about her life. She explained in …

Artificial Tongue Detects Counterfeit Whisky

Designed to taste the subtle differences between whiskies—and ultimately detect counterfeit products—the University of Glasgow’s “artificial tongue” uses sub-microscopic slices of aluminum and gold as tastebuds. A checkerboard of these “buds” absorb light differently when in contact with different whiskies. They can identify individual liquids with 99% accuracy. As Slash Gear reports, this technology can also be used “in food safety testing, quality control, security, …

AlterEgo Listens to the Voices in Your Head

24-year-old inventor Arnav Kapur’s wearable device AlterEgo, which we previewed during this year’s Ted Fellows announcement, aims to assist people with communication problems by reading the voices in their head. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the technology does so through “a system of sensors that detects the minuscule neuromuscular signals sent by the brain to the vocal cords and muscles of the throat and tongue.” These …