Michio Kaku on Stephen Hawking and the wonders of the brain (video)

A brainy guy talking about the brain. Ain’t nothin’ better.

I’ve only seen Michio Kaku on TV a few times. My usual favorite brainy guy is Brian Greene.

And I don’t mean Mormon bigot Orson Scott Card.

Or that guy from 90210.

Rather, it’s this guy:


In any case, Kaku talked about a number of fascinating things, including the fact that Stephen Hawking has glasses with a computer chip in them that reads his brainwaves, and permits him to type.

Here’s Kaku explaining it to NPR:


Michio Kaku

Stephen Hawking, my colleague, is totally paralyzed, and he has a chip in his right glass. Next time you see him on television, look in his right frame, and you see a brain sensor which picks up radio from his brain and allows him to type mentally.

From my googling, that’s not exactly what I’m finding. What I did find was that the glasses have a chip that reads infrared from Hawking’s cheek, and that the movement of his cheek helps him put together words on a Google Glasses type screen in front of him.

Scientific American did say a year ago that Intel was helping Hawking come up with an improvement to the word processing setup, and that it would hopefully help him create 5 words or more per minute, versus the one word per minute that he can create now.  I had no idea he was only able to create one word a minute.  He apparently writes longer things, saves them, and then plays them back, such as when he gives speeches.  I suspect the TV spots we’ve seen of him must have been done this way as well.  I never realized.

Anyway, maybe Kaku is referring to something new that Hawking didn’t have at the time of the Scientific American story. Regardless, he’s an interesting speaker, and is able to explain complicated science to regular people, which is a pretty neat gift.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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