Omni February 1990

 

 

CHAOS AND ITS ROLE IN THE BRAIN


BIG DIGS:
THE SEARCH FOR LOST TREASURES

NASA'S HOT NEW ROCKETS

MODERN-DAY HUMAN SACRIFICE

CRACKING THE VISUAL CODE:
HOW WE SEE

PLUS:
OUR ANNUAL TREASURE HUNT
- AND A CACHE OF PRIZES

 
OMNI1990FebLG

Vol.12 No. 5

Cover Art: Artist Stanislaw Fernandes paints "a vision of chaotic explosion in dealing with the monsters of thought and nature." Cirque appeared as the cover illustration on the book of the same title by science fiction author Terry Carr.


Editor in Chief & Design Director: Bob Guccione

President: Kathy Keeton
Editor: Patrice Adcroft
Graphics Director: Frank Devino
Managing Editor: Steve Fox
Art Director: Dwayne Flinchum

 
Contents / Articles

First Word (pg 10)
It's said that everything is bigger in Texas, so where else
would you expect to find the largest scientific instrument
ever built? Nobel prize-winner Glashow explains how $6 billion
and 20 trillion electron volts may teach us about the
origin of the universe.
by Sheldon Lee Glashow

Omnibus (pg 14)
The Who's Who of contributing authors

Communications (pg 18)
Readers' writes.

Forum (pg 22)
Do unexplained phenomena such as Bigfoot warrant investigation?
What do our readers say?
by Justine Kaplan

Mind (pg 24)
Turn off the lights, please! Former LSD users are experiencing
visual reruns that rival the worst of late-night television.
by Steve Nadis

Stars (pg 25)
There's a severe storm watch predicted for this year.
You can expect power outages but no rain: The only
thing you'll be saturated with is sun rays.
by Curt Wohleber

Space (pg 26)
New power systems could have you rocketing to Mars on flights
departing from the moon. A one-way trip will take at least 30
days, and there's no talk of a frequent-flier program.
by Jan Ziegler

Artificial Intelligence (pg 28)
Things they are a-changin'. After a good night's sleep and pleasant
dreams, your computer will be refreshed for the day's work.
by R. Colin Johnson

Explorations (pg 32)
Crusading for the gods: A man with a mission, and a perverted
mythology, is executing rituals from thousands of years ago.
And he's for hire, if you can track him down.
by Patrick Tierney

Continuum (pg 33)
Vienna woods: a tale of a childhood love that grew into a lifetime
devotion. Will surgeons take extra time to bore their patients?
Is that a golf ball in your pocket, or are you carrying a melon?
A brain-new cereal without the cardboard taste.

Get Smart: Controlling Chaos (pg 42)
Could a state of disarray reflect a higher form of order?
New research into chaos theory seems to indicate that the
optimum level of brain functioning can be achieved from a
chaotic state. Like the wind and white water, our minds
find order in this seeming turbulence.
by Kathleen McAuliffe

Fiction: The Sadness of Detail (pg 50)
Although hardly given the choice, a woman with a stake existence
and a simple talent finds herself endowed with the ability to
transform her future. The price she pays: knowledge.
by Jonathan Carroll

Adventure Capital (pg 58)
Tales of sunken ships that carried valuable cargo have spurred
on many a treasure seeker. Today, with the aid of high-tech
equipment, these ventures at sea - and capers on land - are
proving very profitable for modern-day pirates. From Phoenix,
Arizona, to the Philippine islands, much of the bounty
remains unclaimed.
by Richard Boderick

Pictorial (pg 68)
The apparent ease with which nature creates its living shapes
has long been imitated by man - captured in oils and on film.
And now, mathematics replaces the muse; the computer,
the blank canvas.
by Rebecca Norris

Interview (pg 74)
Nobel laureate David Hubel, with partner Torsten Wiesel, changed
science's view of how the brain processes visual signals. Among
other things. Hubel's work has led to a cure for
certain kinds of blindness.
by Doug Stewart

Antimatter (pg 81)
Famed Marfa lights: Teardrop-shaped flames that vanish in the
wink of an eye; it's not only the French who enjoy munching
on frogs' legs; the strangest events of 1989l and belting
unsympathetic men.

The Fifth Annual Great Omni Treasure Hunt (pg 113)
Dig through the pages of this issue to
unearth heavenly riches

Games (pg 118)
Recipe for a folktale: Take an improbable story, repeat incessantly,
and say it happened to someone you know personally.
by Scot Morris

Star Tech (pg 122)
Recycled and Earth-safe products to help our ailing planet.

Last Word (pg 124)
Your socks are single, and you don't even own a clothes dryer.
And who hasn't woken up cold because the blankets were wrapped
around his partner? This month we expose these and other wonders.
by Tom Naughton