NPR Science: Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

  • ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:
  • If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.
  • UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's amazing.
  • WESTERVELT: You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • MORGAN FREEMAN: What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?
  • DAVID EAGLEMAN: We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.
  • WESTERVELT: That is David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • WESTERVELT: And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.
  • EAGLEMAN: Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)
  • ELLEN DEGENERES: It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?
  • AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER).
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • DAVID SPADE: Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.
  • WESTERVELT: It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • SPADE: How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.
  • WESTERVELT: Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...
  • ARIANA ANDERSON: Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.
  • WESTERVELT: Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?
  • ANDERSON: Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.
  • EAGLEMAN: For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?
  • WESTERVELT: Again, David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.

silver-seidr asked: I'm watching Sailor Moon for the first time and at this point (sailor moon s) the only one of the inner senshi I can really see as straight is Minako, but even then, I don't know. They seem like a bunch of bi girls, but maybe that's just wishful thinking. How do you see them?

ladyloveandjustice:

cycil:

ladyloveandjustice:

cycil:

ladyloveandjustice:

They’re all queer. Minako may come off as straight in the anime, but in the manga she is queer as fuck. Here’s how I see them.

Usagi- bi (I was gonna say pan, but actually I do think she finds different things attractive in men, women and inbetween) and potentially eventually polyamorous

Rei- open homoromantic asexual in the manga and PGSM and probably Crystal, closeted (but will eventually come out) lesbian in the 90s anime

Ami- biromantic ace (or maybe just bi- hard to say without more evidence)

Mako- bi- tends to favor boys, but when she crushes on a girl, she crushes hard (see: Ami and Haruka)

Minako- pansexual

Haruka and Michiru- lesbian space princesses

Setsuna- bi- equal level crush on Serenity and Endymion

Hotaru- lesbian

Chibiusa- bi like mama

Why do you think that they are ALL queer…?

How is Usagi bi? She isn’t in love with Haruka or Seiya (and even doesn’t know that Seiya is a girl until pretty late in the 90’s anime).
Rei has something close to a relationship with a man in the old anime (not saying anything about the other stuff…).
How do you get Ami’s vibes…? From where…? And how is she romnatically connected to Makoto?
Also I don’t think that admiring a woman (what you count as a “crush”) determines one sexuality (Makoto’s admiration for Haruka).
Why is Minako pansexual? (In the manga she has something for Rei, in the old anime she’s into boys - or do you consider her crush on Yaten as evidence?)
Setsuna has a crush on Endymion - that one’s true. But she just respects her queen… That doesn’t count as a crush.
Why is Hotaru a lesbian? Because she is close to Chibiusa…? Is that also the reason why you count Chibiusa as bisexual? Being close to a person also doesn’t determine your sexuality…


I don’t think that making people more queer than they are is better than making queer people heterosexual…

the better question is, why the fuck do you care about my headcanons? Do not follow my blog if you’re going to bother me with your heteronormative bullshit.

and you’re right, Usagi is so completely straight, there is no evidence she’s bi.

She completely platonically gets off on lingerie clad friends groping her breast

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Minako is doing some really heteorsexual boob groping in her most heterosexual outfit too. 

True, Usagi is known for going on buses specifically to check out hot girls, then getting hearts in her eyes and following them off the bus bc in her words “she’s so pretty”

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How on earth could anyone read that as queer?

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Note the official translation had her saying “I’ll forgive anything if it’s a pretty girl” or “I’ll do anything a pretty girl tells me to” something that people would be JUST SILLY to think is a sign Usagi is attracted to pretty girls.

And there was totally never the slightest sign she was attracted to Haruka

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how heterosexually her heart pounds and she swoons slightly as she prepares for haruka to kiss her, offering no r

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Usagi completely heterosexually had a dream about Haruka kissing her after it happened and woke up flushed and feeling like she’d cheated on Mamoru, which I’m not sure why she’d think that. considering how straight she is.

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In the anime, she was stalked Haruka for an entire episode and asked if she had a girlfriend in a heterosexual way, was head over heels about the idea of dancing with her in a heterosexual way, and the other girls swooned and were jealous of usagi for dancing with her in a heterosexual way.

And you’re right! Rei had a guy who has a crush on her in the anime! It’s true that she said outright she didn’t have any feelings for him and simply admired his devotion to her in her R episode with Koan, but we all know women aren’t allowed to decide whether they want to be in a relationship with a guy who likes him. If a guy likes them, they are OBLIGATED to return their feelings! And Rei definitely wasn’t know to have really gay moments with Usagi.

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and it’s not like Usagi ever teased her about possibly being gay, or that she tried to hide an interest in attractive women.

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I’m such a silly, where do I get this stuff.

And she comes off as so hetero in the manga. Definitely nothing ever implied there.

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nooooope. Nothing implied with Minako either (ps i did say Minako might come off as straight in the anime- however, since her anime character wasn’t as developed, i tend to fill in gaps with her manga and pgsm characterization.)

definitely they weren’t super queer in PGSM or anything either.

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(don’t think being “they type who doesn’t like boys” means Rei isn’t straight. It’s a new type of straightness we haven’t identified but we’re working hard)

And yeah, that Makoto and her platonic fascination with Ami’s butt, that she doesn’t take her eyes off for a full minute

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And how could I read Chibiusa and Hotaru’s friendship as anything but platonic? I mean, Hotaru totally platonically fondling Chibiusa’s naked chest.

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totally platonically gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. while naked. Foreheads touching.image

this completely platonic scene

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Hotaru may have never shown any interest in boys, but you’re right, i should read her as straight regardless.

how could anyone think that was gay, with that phrasing. Especially since Mamoru watches on and describes it as “giving his daughter away as a bride”. Platonically.

I’m so sorry that I, a silly, stupid queer woman, dared try to read any of these characters as queer. Everyone is straight until proven otherwise, you’re right. You’ve shown me the way with your hetero wisdom.

…I just asked. I didn’t expect you get that aggressive about that. And talking about “hetero wisdom” without knowing anything about the person you’re talking to? I’m glad you are obviously NOT someone who just jumps to conclusions as she likes :D
(And embarrassment can’t be the reason why Makoto was staring at Ami’s ass, you’re right. GOD, I must be SUCH an IDIOT! Staring at your friends butt which suddenly appeared in front of you just HAS to mean that you’re into them… and not that you’re surprised. I have missed out on a lot of stuff in my life, then.)
I’m sorry, I didn’t know that people aren’t allowed to question what you write about when they follow your blog. I am glad that you seem like a grown up woman who doesn’t just feel offended when someone questions your opinion and answers aggressively like one tried to kill your family or something like that.
And since it was stuff that you stated as a FACT and not as your “headcanon” I decided to ASK you about that - just because I, the dumb “heteronormative” bitch that I am, didn’t read much stuff in any little piece of art like you did.
But “thank you” for the answer, anyway… and try to bitch less when you answer someone next time. It doesn’t underline your point as much as you would’ve liked it to.

The response I expected from you, the response where you don’t have to examine what you did wrong and why it might upset somebody. Congrats, you’ll never have to learn anything, you can just get mad about marginalized people being upset you police their fun conversations

Hetero referred to you being heteronormative wanting me to see the world as hetero, but yeah, I think it is pretty likely you are, since it’s generally hetero people who police queer people like this. If not, you’re just an incredibly heteronotmative queer person, so feel free to tell me if you are, and reblog to let everyone know you are. If you’re not,you’re essentially getting mad at me for being right, lulz.

I said “this is how I see them” and it’s my fucking blog and my fucking askbox, so yes, I’m going to answer with my fucking views on the subject.

You didn’t just ask, you challenged me to “prove” it and used straight as default in your reasoning, which is shitty, and I have enough of people challenging me to prove things about sexuality thanks. I’m not required to justify anyhing to you.

There is plenty more moments Mako has with girls (including her heart eyes over Haruka, and yes I don’t give a damn if she brushed it off as “respect because she’s so attractive” (which makes zero sense as a concept, who respects someone for being good looking? to the point of swooning?), lots of queer girls justify their crushes that way) and even if there wasn’t there is NO FUCKING EVIDENCE SHE ISN’T BI. Because she likes guys? BI PEOPLE LIKE GUYS. 

Nobody needs to prove anything to you. If you said you read Usagi was straight, I wouldn’t challenge you on it. since yeah, it’s not as concrete as it could be and it’s your goddamn blog. So don’t do that when people say a character is queer. especially when people are so starved for queer representation.

Also, saying someone is queer is just as bad as saying someone is het is offensive bullshit. There are precious few queer characters in media, and queer people are marginalized. So yes, you’re being offensive and shitty for equating the issues and erasing struggles and oppressive. Either own up to it, or prepare to get blasted. Nobody’s playing nice with you because that shit ain’t nice.

I never called you an idiot, I just said what you said is bullshit, but I think your putting words in my mouth proves who’s really behaving in a childish manner. You using a misogynist insult towards me also makes it seem like you’re a reasonable adult.