Huge St. Thomas Aquinas News from Logos

This could be big. Logos Bible Software is hoping to commission and publish the first complete English translations of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on the Sentences of Peter LombardCommentary on the Prophet Isaiah, and Commentary on the Prophet Jeremiah. All three texts will come with both the Latin original and a new English translation.

Logos has placed these titles in their pre-pub program in order to gauge interest and raise money for the translations. No word yet on who will be doing the translations, but Andrew Jones of Logos (who has completed his dissertation and will earn his PhD in Medieval ecclesiastical history next month) says it “will likely be a team effort. It is a very big project and is going to take some time to raise the money and find the scholars to work on it. As we collect pre-orders, we will nail down more aspects of the project and post more information about it. Aquinas’ commentaries on Jeremiah and Isaiah are much smaller and we will be able to do a lot of the work in house. Louis St. Hilaire, our patristics product manager, and I will work on these. We will then get them reviewed by outside scholars. The translations will be high-quality and accurate, and ultimately I’ll be responsible for the style of translation. ”

You don’t need to buy the full Logos package to order or even read these texts. Any book you buy from Logos comes with a free download of the software engine. It doesn’t have all the texts that make the platform so powerful, but it certainly allows you to read, search and annotate any text you’ve purchased. Continue reading

New Imaging Reveals Unexpected Order in the Brain

This detail from a DSI scan shows a fabric-like 3-D grid structure of connections in a monkey brain. Credit: Van Wedeen, M.D., Martinos Center and Dept. of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University Medical School

National Institute of Mental Health Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. calls the image above “a high resolution wiring diagram of our brains.” Well, sort of, but I won’t fault the guy for reaching for a bit of overstatement in order to produce a pithy soundbite, and what the team has accomplished is pretty dang amazing.

What you’re looking at in the picture above is diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI) of the neuronal pathways of a monkey brain. This is the “wiring” in question, and it was once commonly believed to be an unordered system akin to a bowl of spaghetti. Instead, the new imaging discussed in this story has shown that the pathways are in fact laid out in a grid, and cross at right angles. This isn’t visible because of the folds in the brain, but with the help of algorithms and improved imaging, the team was able to “unfold” the wiring, revealing a network more akin to a piece of woven fabric.

Now, this isn’t the fabled “wiring diagram” because, as the story points out, “The technology used in the current study was able to see only about 25 percent of the grid structure in human brain. It was only apparent in large central circuitry, not in outlying areas where the folding obscures it. But lessons learned were incorporated into the design of the newly installed Connectom scanner, which can see 75 percent of it.”

Nonetheless, the results are impressive: Continue reading

Rear Window Timelapse

Author Rod Bennett posted this to Facebook, and I was just blown away by the effort that went into it. It’s a meticulous time-lapse reconstruction of the events of Hitchcock’s Rear Window as though you’re seeing the entire set as a diorama. The creator, Jeff Desom, has used nothing but footage from the film to create a kind of composite moving image that captures the whole film in wide angle in 2.5 minutes. Astonishing.