Jon Swan is the author of two collections of poems—Journeys and Return and A Door to the Forest. His poems have been published in several magazines and reviews in the United States and the United Kingdom. In collaboration with director Ulu Grosbard, he translated Peter Weiss’s Die Ermittlung (The Investigation), and, in collaboration with Carl Weber, Weiss’s Hoelderlin. He lives in Yarmouth, Maine, with his wife, Marianne.
In the last years of the nineteenth century, two adolescent great powers -- the United States of America and the recently founded collection of states called the German empire -- stepped onto the world stage, flexing their muscles and arming for war.
The backwards-brain bicycle, created for Destin Sandlin, the host of a Facebook show called Smarter Every Day, is a regular bike that has been modified so that if the rider turns the handlebars to the right, the bike goes left. And vice versa. The short Facebook film shows the host and several others, in various countries, attempting to ride
the backwards-brain bike and failing. They can’t go four feet without putting a foot on the ground or falling. The point of the film is that the how-to-ride-a-bike algorithm is so strongly fixed in the adult brain that it takes months to retrain the mind to accept the new algorithm.
And it came to pass
we multiplied until there was
no room for more of us
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Tikkun 2016 Volume 31, Number 4: 57