Sunday, March 18, 2012

"60 Minutes" on March 18, 2012

First story: private enterprise into space. Second story: Face-blindness (Prosopagnosia).

Scott Pelley: the US, Russian, China, and Elon Musk are the only four entities who have launched successfully into outer space.
The White House decided private industry should take the lead in launchings. Elon Musk is the founder and CEO of SpaceX. Musk is a native of South Africa and the co-founder of PayPal. Musk is the founder of Tesla. Musk made three trips to Russia to try to buy a re-furbished ICBM (Kniepper). When something is important enough, you do it even when the odds are not in your favor. SpaceX is in a factory near Los Angeles where 747s used to be built. SpaceX builds most of its parts in house. 1400 employees. Final assembly takes place at Cape Canaveral. Self-taught in the sense Musk does not have an aerospace degree (does have a physics degree). Go back in time to be with Howard Hughes. Building space ships is the chance of a lifetime. Falcon-1, first three test flights, failed to reach orbit. Fourth flight worked. Falcon-9 and cargo capsule Dragon. Critics: Musk doesn't know what he doesn't know. Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan have testified against the Obama commercial space plan. Next flight: cargo to space station. Plan: deliver cargo to space station in 2012 Next: contract for manned space flight.

Lesley Stahl on face blindness, which condition means one cannot recognize faces. Jacob Hodes is one who suffers from faceblindness. John Travolta, Jimmy Carter. Michael Jordan. Brad Dushanes at Dartmouth College studies faceblindness. A test with faces upside down. Lesley could not identify any of six. Denzel, John Travolta, Jennifer Anniston, Stahl's daughter were among the six.

Jo Livingston, Ben Dabrowsky are others with face blindness.

Chuck Close is face blind. He paints faces. He works from a photograph with a grid on it. Jay Leno is given as a test. Identified. Identified Tiger Woods. But failed at Tom Cruise. Deduced Martin Luther King with moustache.

Jo, a victim, could not identify her own daughter.

Dr. Oliver Sax, author of the book The Mind's Eye. Mary Ann Sieghart. 1 in 50 may be face blind.

The flip side: super recognizers.

Colleen Castaldo suffered a seizure, due to brain tumor. Operation to remove tumor. After operation, problem in recognizing faces. Clooney, Obama were not recognized by her.

MIT Nancy Kanwisher. neuroscientist. Did MRI scanning. Fusiform face area.

Super recognizers like Jessica Jarrod. Pictures at an early age can be recognized. Dick Cheney, Richard Gere and Nancy Pelosi. George Clooney. Recognized Mike Wallace as a six year old.

Harvard team is studying the superrecognizers.

Tim McDonough, a child who is face blind.

The need to look for cues. Be extremely charming.


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