Inverse Daily

Restoring vision to the blind

Technologies to compensate for limited sight have come a long way from the invention of Braille in the 1800s.

Illustration of silent monkey, monkey covering his ears and monkey covering his eyes.

It's officially Cyberpunk 2077 week, and well, we can't really think about anything else.

Prep yourself to enter Night City with some of our previous coverage:

Be sure to check the bottom of this email for our favorite responses to last week's question. We have tons of great first video game console memories!

This is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter for December 7, 2020. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day in your inbox.

Today on The Abstract — Werner Herzog and Jason Blum on how 2020 changed movies forever

The pandemic annihilated the film world, shutting down big budget films, closing movie theaters, and causing streaming to take off higher than ever.

Movie producer Jason Blum predicts the short-term theatrical release of his recent horror flick, Freaky, could forecast movies' “new normal.” And through his latest documentary, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds, legendary film director Werner Herzog offers a look at the future of sci-fi filmmaking.

On this episode of The Abstract, as Covid-19 rocks the entertainment industry, we discuss what filmmakers reveal about the future of movies.

Listen & subscribe:

CYBERPUNK — How a 1960s literary movement inspired the biggest game of 2020

On December 10, video game fans will finally get to experience something they’ve been anticipating for over seven years: Cyberpunk 2077.

Polish developer CD Projekt Red’s long-awaited launch isn’t going to reinvent the role-playing game. Cyberpunk 2077 will lean into tried and true concepts that have elevated open-world titles for years. Instead, it’s the title’s unique dystopian metropolis — Night City — that’s held gamers’ rapt attention for most of a decade.

The style of sci-fi is unmistakable in its presentation: high-tech and low-life. Cyberpunk media almost always includes a mix of super-intelligence A.I., cybernetic attachments to the human body, brain-connected computers, and far too much neon. All of that is juxtaposed with a crumbling society that is plagued by tribalist fighting, oppressive mega-corporations, and horrid living conditions.

But Cyberpunk isn't necessarily a new phenomenon. Its origins date back to the 1960s.

Cyberpunk has been around for decades →

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Feast your eyes — Behold, the rhino beetle's evolutionary beauty

Since the time of Da Vinci, humans have been fascinated by the natural biomechanics of animal flight. What started as a conversation about how to fly has transformed into an obsession with how to fly better.

In a new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, researchers honed in on the majestic rhinoceros beetle. In particular, scientists were interested in the origami-like folding structure of the hindwings.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane … It's a robot designed to buzz like a beetle →

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Health hacks — 2 tweaks to the Mediterranean diet make it especially healthy

Some of the planet's healthiest people live off the coast of the Mediterranean. Their diet, appropriately packaged as the Mediterranean diet, is associated with astonishingly low risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and metabolic syndrome.

The Mediterranean diet's stellar health effects have led some doctors to consider it the "ideal diet" for health and longevity, ranking it healthiest compared to other popular diets.

In a new nutrition study, researchers discovered that a few small tweaks may make the Mediterranean diet even more effective — at least for men.

The green Med diet may be even better than its precursor →

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Gift guide - 4 science-proven tips to give meaningful holiday gifts

During the holidays we are both givers and receivers.

But when we're in giver mode, we tend to forget what truly makes a good gift, Mary Steffel, an associate professor of Marketing at Northeastern University, tells Inverse.

"Being in the role of a giver versus in the role of a recipient has a powerful influence on our perception — it leads us to focus on different things."

Researchers like Steffel have identified some of the common traps we fall into as gift givers.

Here's what to look out for while you're shopping this year →

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Monkey see — A critical human sense could be restored after positive tests on monkeys

Scientists are designing an implant for monkeys that could one day help restore vision to the blind.

In a new study, a team of neuroscientists has demonstrated how such a vision-restoration device might work in monkeys, using an implant that sends painless electric signals to the brain to create bursts of light.

Those bursts of light could one day be beamed from glasses that can translate the visual world into sensory cues. People with vision impairments could possess a form of vision.

"Combined with the present demonstration of artificial vision, these developments place a light at the end of the tunnel for those without sight."

Learn more about this breakthrough →

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Inverse Mailroom

Last week, we asked for your first video game console memories, and the answers didn't disappoint. Here are just a few of our favorites. Thanks to everyone who responded!

Scott K. - I was the first kid in my neighborhood with an Atari 2600 (Sears version), which I won in the Kellogg's "Stick Up for Breakfast" drawing contest. I remember everyone crowding around the 12" black-and-white television to play Video Olympics (pong) and Air-Sea Battle.

Julie M. - The Atari 2600 and the games, Frogger, Q*bert and Pitfall! I can still hear Q*Bert's little scream as I accidently jumped him off the edge again. lol.

Greg Z. - I had no idea until Christmas eve 1987 that my family would be getting an original NES (Nintendo). The only reason I knew before Christmas morning is because while my sister and I were supposed to be sleeping, we instead lay awake upstairs listening to the well known sounds of the beginning level of Super Mario Brothers, as our mother gleefully played all night long.

Nate T. - My first game console was a Sega Saturn (yeah, that old thing that played these new-age CD's). The only un-exciting thing was I got it because my friend was getting the then-new PlayStation. My parents were very anti-video games through elementary school. Then in middle school, I was able to get an Xbox.

Rachel W. - I received two (not just one) Nintendo original Game Boys for my bat mitzvah back in 1991. I was so excited! Our family grew up without any electronic games so this was the first one in our household! I remember playing Nintendo, Super Mario Brothers, Kirby, and Tetris. I still have my Game Boy to this day.

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