MUSEUMS/EXHIBITIONS Waking Dreams: The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum

In 1848, the year of revolutions in Europe, three British art students rebelled against the formalities of the British Academy and sought to follow a Romantic ideal of responsible freedom. Their goal was to express novel ideas, their muse was to be Nature, and they derived their artistic technique from principles they felt had lost integrity following the rise in influence of Renaissance painter Raphael.

These artists' longing for an earlier time is a spectacular chapter in cultural and art history. If you miss the exhibition in Cincinnati, it travels in 2007 to St. Louis and then San Diego.

Cincinnati Art Museum

October 31, 2006–January 7, 2007


To Know the Dark: American Artists' Visions of Night

In the absence of daylight the imagination takes over. This exhibition “explores that evocative period from dusk to dawn” in works from American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries whose interpretation of night includes “intimations of suspense, mystery, romance, fantasy, fear, despair, and hope.”

Yale University Art Gallery

On exhibit through January 14, 2007


Logic Puzzle Museum

Did the Slocum Puzzle Room at the Lilly Library (in Bloomington, Ind.) whet your appetite? Want some tactile stimulation to go with your brainteasers?

This small Wisconsin museum not only has 50-plus hands-on “brain twisters” for anyone who calls ahead and reserves a time slot but also shares space with museums that exhibit spinning tops and teach yo-yo skills. Tangrams, take-aparts, giant Rush Hour, but “no jigsaw puzzles.”

Burlington, Wis.


CONFERENCE 1st North American Regional Epilepsy Congress

The American Epilepsy Society, the Canadian League against Epilepsy and the Jamaican Chapter of the International League against Epilepsy join forces this year to bring together epilepsy care professionals in the struggle against a neurological condition that affects up to 50 million people worldwide.

San Diego

December 1–5


MOVIES We Are Marshall

On November 14, 1970, a plane crashed into a misty hillside in West Virginia. Among the 75 who died were most of the players and coaches from the Marshall University football team. The title comes from the team cheer, and the film is based closely on the events that followed the crash, as the school's president (the talented David Strathairn) and the new coach (Matthew McConaughey) struggle to rebuild the football program and in so doing help the community of Huntington, W.Va., and the university recover from a devastating tragedy.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens December 22


As a Mayan kingdom slides into extinction, its rulers attempt to offer up as a sacrifice one Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood). Rather than helping out his nation and appeasing the Gods, the young man selfishly chooses to flee. Directed (and co-written and financed) by Mel Gibson, the film is a broad allegory of his perceived decline of modern Western civilization. The director seems to be settling well into his new role as cultural lightning rod, so the wider discussions swirling around this film promise to be as fascinating as the work itself (though less gory, one hopes).

Distributed by Touchstone Pictures


Opens December 8


The American Psychoanalytic Association expanded its Web site recently. The site's most refreshing pages contain answers to the fundamental questions that a corporate culture might be tempted to brush off, such as “Does Psychoanalysis Cure?” There is a wealth of information on conditions, diagnoses and theories (all from the psychological school of thought that stems from the theories of Sigmund Freudfgbk>—so you know there's going to be an awful lot on the interpretation of dreams) as well as position statements (for instance, their “Marriage Resolution” on same-gender couples) and more practical information for students training in the psychoanalytic method.

The author of the Developing Intelligence blog, Chris Chatham, has obviously spent more time putting together this fine blog on cognitive neuroscience than pursuing his own Ph.D. studies. As lucky recipients of his efforts, we can catch up on such interesting topics as working memory and read about how commercial applications of basic research in cognitive science have propelled the burgeoning “brain fitness” movement for older adults as well as the related “enriched play” toys aimed at toddlers.