The Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) Research & Support site defines the phenomenon as, "a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs." Various stimuli can trigger the sensation -- certain kinds of sights, sounds, and situations. It's sometimes referred to as a "braingasm".
I'm not sure whether ASMR is considered to be a scientifically verified phenomenon. Nevertheless, there's a sizable community of people who actively seek the sensation, and they post videos on youtube designed to trigger it. That's why, if you wade deep enough into the depths of youtube, you'll eventually come across a whole slew of odd ASMR-trigger videos, such as this one of the sounds of gift wrapping
I believe that the whisper videos I posted about yesterday are related to this ASMR phenomenon -- because whispering can be an ASMR trigger. That is, most people simply find it annoying to have to strain to hear someone whispering, but there are a few who are getting a tingly, braingasm feeling from it.
Ralph Pearson's 15-minutes of fame came in 1951, when he briefly gained some notoriety as the Drugstore Hypnotist. He was a drugstore owner who hypnotized his customers, making them believe they were flying an airplane, or that they were the Statue of Liberty. This was in the days before CVS and Walmart, when people actually hung out and socialized in drugstores.
Men Kiss Absent Women, Fly Imaginary Airplanes in Drug Store of Hypnotist
Miami, Fla.—(AP)— A stranger walking into Ralph Pearson's drugstore any night in the week would be amazed at some of the antics there.
What would you think, for instance, if you saw a man flying an imaginary warplane, another at the soda fountain kissing a woman who wasn't there, and a girl posed as the Statue of Liberty.
Regular customers are never surprised, though. They know it's just Pearson practicing his hobby of hypnotism.
Besides having fun, Pearson accomplishes a lot of good by putting people in trances. He has cured several of the smoking habit, for example.
"I'm losing a lot of my cigarette business," he says. "But I don't mind. Most of the smokers I've cured are young people who should not be smoking, anyway."
One schoolgirl told Pearson she hated school.
"I hypnotized her and quietly suggested while she was in a trance that school was a good thing and she should enjoy it," he recalls.
"After I woke her up, I said, 'How's school going lately?'
"'Fine,' she said. 'I can't wait to go in the morning.'"
Pearson cured another schoolgirl of biting her fingernails. Another stopped drinking coffee after one session with him.
Pearson hypnotized one girl, told her she was the Statue of Liberty, and she held the pose for 15 minutes. After he woke her up, she said her arm wasn't even tired.
A young man who was about to lose his job because he overslept every morning now wakes up daily at 7 a.m. on the dot, Pearson claims.
"Too bad I can't hypnotized myself," the druggist added. "I stay up so late hypnotizing people, I'm too tired to get up in the mornings."
The druggist has attracted so much attention with his hypnotism, nobody watches the television set in his store any more.
"We'll either have to sell the store and go into the hypnotism business or stop this stuff," said Mrs. Pearson. "It's getting to be a three ring circus around here."
The Braincar is the creation of artist Olaf Mooij. He drives it around during the day, while a camera on top of the brain records videos of his travels. Then, during the night, he plays back the videos by projecting them onto the inner surface of the brain. As if the brain were dreaming... (via technabob)
Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 22, 2012 -
This was more a concept than an invention. It is also known as polyphasic sleep, meaning sleeping at more than one interval during a day. Although not really invented by Fuller, he did popularize it and gave it a catchy nickname. Bucky claims to have slept only 30 minutes every 6 hours and did not suffer any ill effects. You can read a story about it in Time Magazine's archives.
Maybe we're already in the Matrix. How would we know? While you ponder that, scientists at the University of Florida are developing a neural implant that can think independently. This is not just an implant that deciphers brain signals, but one that can learn, adapt to various scenarios and help the host achieve certain goals. The initial technology is being developed for therapeutic applications, such as allowing paraplegics the ability to control their own limbs again. You can read more about the Neural Implants here. Of course, giving such a "machine" partial control of your brain could lead to any number of problems; questions about who is really in charge. Which version of the future would you prefer to live in: I, Robot, 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Matrix?
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.