The Lombard effect is the involuntary tendency of a speaker to increase the intensity of the voice when speaking in loud noise to enhance audibility. This change includes not only loudness but also other acoustic features such as pitch, rate and duration of sound syllables.

Choral singers experience reduced feedback due to the sound of other singers upon their own voice. This results in a tendency for people in choruses to sing at a louder level if it is not controlled by a conductor. Trained soloists can control this effect but it has been suggested that after a concert they might speak more loudly in noisy surrounding as in after-concert parties.

Noise has been found to effect the vocalizations of animals that vocalize against a background of human noise pollution. Birds sing with a higher frequency than those in quieter area to overcome the masking effect of the low frequency background noise pollution of cities. Beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River estuary adjust their whale song so it can be heard against shipping barge noise.


Exformation is a term related to information for describing useful and relevant information or a specific kind of information explosion. With exformation, thought is in fact a process of throwing away information, and it is this detritus that is crucially involved in automatic behaviours of expertise such as riding a bicycle or playing the piano.

In using words, sounds and gestures, a speaker has deliberately thrown away a huge body of information, though it remains implied. Exformation is everything we do not actually say but have in our heads when, or before, we say anything at all. Information is the measurable, demonstrable utterance we actually come out with.

If someone is talking about cows, what is said will be unintelligible unless the person listening has some prior idea what a cow is, what it is good for, and in what context one might encounter one. From the information content of a message alone, there is no way of measuring how much exformation it contains.

In 1862 the author Victor Hugo wrote to his publisher asking how his most recent book, Les Misérables, was doing. Hugo wrote “?” in his message, to which his publisher replied “!”, to indicate it was selling well. This exchange of messages would have no meaning to a third party because the shared context is unique to those taking part in it. The amount of information was extremely small, and yet because of exformation a great deal of meaning was clearly conveyed.


Cuneiform is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Written on clay tablets by means of a blunt reed for a stylus, cuneiform underwent considerable changes over a period spanning three millennia. Originally, pictograms were either drawn on clay tablets in vertical columns with a pen made from a sharpened reed stylus, or incised in stone. This early style lacked the characteristic wedge shape.

Before cuneiform, clay tokens were used count agricultural and manufactured foods. The tokens were placed in hollow clay containers and the lids were marked with the number of tokens inside by pressing them into the lids as many times as the amount of tokens. Later, it was realized that there was no need for both the tokens and the inscription on the containers, so only the inscription was used. Eventually, this system was streamlined with the introduction of symbols for numbers. For example, to avoid making 100 pictures to represent 100 tokens, a dedicated symbol was used.

The writing originated as a system of pictographs. The markings became successively more sophisticated, and pictographs developed into conventionalized linear drawings. The pictorial representations became simplified and more abstract. The number of characters in use also grew gradually smaller, from about 1,000 unique characters in the Early Bronze Age to about 400 unique characters in Late Bronze Age.

Cuneiform tablets could be fired in kilns to provide a permanent record, or they could be recycled if permanence was not needed. Many of the clay tablets found by archaeologists were preserved because they were fired when attacking armies burned the building in which they were kept.


Neurogenesis is the process by which neurons are generated in the brain. Most active during pre-natal development, neurogenesis is responsible for populating the growing brain with neurons throughout life.

There is evidence that neurogenesis is important for learning and memory. Multiple mechanisms for the relationship between increased neurogenesis and improved cognition have been suggested, including computational theories to demonstrate that new neurons increase memory capacity, reduce interference between memories, and add information about time to memories.

It is possible that these neurons augment the role of the hippocampus in the negative feedback mechanism of physiological stress and perhaps in inhibiting the region of brain responsible for fearful responses to stimuli. This is consistent with numerous findings linking stress-relieving activities such as learning, exposure to a new environment, and exercise, to increased levels of neurogenesis.

Some studies have hypothesized that learning and memory are linked to depression, and that neurogenesis may promote the ability of the human brain to change as a result of one’s experience. One study proposes that mood may be regulated by experiences and and not chemistry. Accordingly, the effects of antidepressant treatment would be secondary.


The unmoved mover is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as the first cause that sets the universe into motion. In his book Metaphysics, Aristotle describes the unmoved mover as being perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation: itself contemplating.

Aristotle begins by describing substance, of which he says there are three types: the sensible, which is subdivided into the perishable (which belongs to physics) and the eternal (which belongs to “another science”). He notes that sensible substance is changeable and that there are several types of change, including quality and quantity, generation and destruction, increase and diminution, alteration, and motion.

Change occurs when one given state becomes something contrary to it: that is to say, what exists potentially comes to exist actually. Therefore, a thing can come to be out of that which is not, and also all things come to be out of that which is, but is potentially. That by which something is changed is the mover, that which is changed is the matter, and that into which it is changed is the form.


Anoles are small and common lizards that can be found throughout the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and various other regions of the Western world. A large majority of them sport a green coloration, including the only species native to North America, the aptly named Green anole, although the green anole can change its color based on its mood and surroundings.

They are frequently and incorrectly called American chameleons or geckos, although they are not closely related to either of those groups. In fact, they are more closely related to iguanas. These misconceptions are likely due to their ability to alter their skin color and run up walls.

Anoles are an exorbitantly diverse and plentiful group of lizards. There are currently about 372 known species. The Knight, Green, Bark Anole, and Cuban brown anoles can all be found in the United States, primarily in Florida, although the most prevalent of these species by far is the Cuban brown anole, which has pushed the native green (or “Carolina”) anole population farther north.

They are very territorial. Although the lizards are small, their territories are quite big, around three square yards. Their territories often contain a basking area, a shady area, a high lookout, and always a place to hide from predators. When an intruder is in the area, the anole raises its spine, fans its dewlap, and does “push-ups” accompanied by intermittent ultrasonic hisses. When caught by a person they will tend to bite if agitated and require some effort to remove from skin. They very rarely draw blood or cause injury.


A cure or remission is the end of a medical condition. The term may refer specifically to a substance or procedure that ends the medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or even a philosophical mindset that helps a person suffer. It may also refer to the state of being healed, or cured.

The proportion of people with a disease that are cured by a given treatment, called the cure fraction or cure rate, is determined by comparing disease-free survival of treated people against a matched control group that never had the disease.  If everyone treated for a disease is cured, then they will all remain disease-free and live as long as any person that never had the disease.

Inherent in the idea of a cure is the permanent end to the specific instance of the disease. When a person has the common cold, and then recovers from it, the person is said to be cured, even though the person might someday catch another cold. On the other hand, a person can successfully manage a disease, such as diabetes, so that it produces no undesirable symptoms for the moment, but without actually permanently ending it.

Some diseases may be discovered to be technically incurable, but also to require treatment so infrequently as to be not materially different from a cure. Consequently, patients, parents and psychologists developed the notion of psychological cure, or the moment at which the patient decides that the treatment was sufficiently likely to be a cure as to be called a cure. For example, a patient may declare himself to be cured, and to determine to live his life as if the cure were definitely confirmed, immediately after treatment.


Allometry is the study of the relationship between size and shape. It is a well-known study in biology for practical applications to the differential growth rates of the parts of a living organism’s body. One application is in the study of various insect species where a small change in overall body size can lead to an enormous and disproportionate increase in the dimensions of appendages such as legs, antennae, or horns.

It often studies shape differences in terms of ratios of the objects’ dimensions. Two objects of different size but common shape will have their dimensions in the same ratio. Take, for example, a biological object that grows as it matures. Its size changes with age but the shapes are similar.

In addition to studies that focus on growth, allometry also examines shape variation among individuals of a given age, which is referred to as static allometry. Comparisons of species are used to examine interspecific or evolutionary allometry. An example is found in frogs – aside from a brief period during the few weeks after metamorphosis, frogs grow isometrically. Therefore, a frog whose legs are as long as its body will retain that relationship throughout its life, even if the frog itself increases in size tremendously.


The capability to externally influence the contents of dreams with various stimulus during sleep is an ongoing area of study among dream researchers. Experiments have been made to determine which sense has the most power to evoke memory and emotion, and smell has been found to be the most potent stimulus for evoking memory and the emotions associated with it.

In one study, the participants were allowed to drift into sleep, and as they entered the REM phase (the period most associated with dreaming) the strong odor of either rotten eggs or sweet roses was wafted under their noses. A minute later the subjects were woken and asked about the nature of their dreams and how they felt.

It was found that the sleepers hardly ever dreamed of smelling something. Nevertheless, the emotional tone of the dream did change depending on the stimulation. The unpleasant smell changed the emotional content of the dream to mostly negative, while the scent of roses coloured the dreams with a positive glow.

Other studies have found that using smells during sleep can also have a powerful effect on memory. A group of researchers used the scent of roses on volunteers as they studied, and later as they slept. It improved their performance on a memory test by almost 15 per cent.


Technological singularity refers to the hypothesis that technological progress will become extremely fast, and so make the future unpredictable and qualitatively different from today. Although technological progress has been accelerating, it has been limited by the basic intelligence of the human brain, which has not changed significantly for millennia. However, with the increasing power of computers and other technologies, it might be possible to build a machine that is fundamentally more intelligent than humans.

If such a machine were built, then the machine itself could build a more intelligent machine. If the machine is more intelligent than humans, then presumably it would be better at building a more intelligent machine. The more intelligent machine would then be better at building an even more intelligent machine. This process might continue exponentially, with ever more intelligent machines making bigger increments to the intelligence of the next machine.

Superhuman intelligences could have goals inconsistent with human survival. When we create the first superintelligent entity, we might make a mistake and give it goals that lead it to annihilate humankind, assuming its enormous intellectual advantage gives it the power to do so. For example, we could tell it to solve a mathematical problem, and it might turn all the matter in the solar system into a giant calculating device, in the process killing the person who asked the question.

Many prominent technologists and academics dispute the plausibility of the notion of a technological singularity. Belief in the idea is based on a naive understanding of what intelligence is. As an analogy, imagine we had a computer that could design new computers faster than itself. It might accelerate the rate of improvements for a while, but in the end there are limits to how big and fast computers can run. We would end up in the same place, we would just get there a bit faster.