Short Takes: News From All Over

Syn, a Magazine for Synaesthetes
By Claire Mills, Syn
For people who experience synaesthesia, the neurological mixing of the senses that can give taste to shapes or colors to sounds, there are very few forms of entertainment tailored to their unique condition. Enter Syn, a pilot magazine created by a British graphic design student that offers a fascinating mixture of thought and exploration that plays on the fringes and frontiers of the sensory experience. — Brendan Themes

Shop At Your Own Risk
By David S. Bernstein, The Boston Phoenix
If George W. Bush gives you a headache, you might want to think twice before buying Tylenol to take the pain away. That’s because Johnson & Johnson heir Robert Wood Johnson IV raised big money for Bush’s campaign. David S. Bernstein uncovers top company executives’ donating habits to help you shop where your politics are. — Rose Miller

Power Lines May Provide a Haven for Bees
By Duncan Graham-Rowe,
Beneath humming power lines, bees are all the buzz these days. A recent study suggests that strips of unmowed grass and scrub growing under the oft despised lines offer healthy habitats for numerous species of bees and other critters. US power companies looking to improve PR have helped conservation efforts seeking to reverse the declining number of bee colonies nationwide. — Archie Ingersoll

Tears of Laughter
By Christopher Turner, Cabinet
Charles Darwin’s quest to differentiate the facial expressions of laughter and crying led him first to photographs by a French doctor who manipulated a man’s paralyzed face with electrical devices. Later, Darwin would try frightening monkeys with a giant turtle. Modern science eventually discovered an area of the brain that, when prodded with an electrode, yields alternating fits of crippling grief and giddiness. — Ty Otis

Guerilla Gardening in Toronto
By Staff, Toronto Public Space Committee
The Toronto Public Space Committee is looking for more vandals for next season. The recommended gear? Soil, water, and seedlings. These guerilla gardeners take over neglected public property, tilling the soil and planting seeds, seedlings, bulbs, shrubs, or whatever manages to charm city officials into not digging it up again. Check out the group’s photos from the ’05 season and their links to more information on the topic. — Sarah Wash
By Staff,
Anti-war activists are taking their messages to the streets. is encouraging folks to line highways with clever, provocative messages like ‘We refuse to fight in a war started by men who refused to fight in a war’ and ‘Can you feel a Draft?’ The group says more than 1,800 signs have gone up in 315 cities in all 50 states. If you’re inclined to join in, the site has a handy ‘How To’ section. — Hannah Lobel

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