When musician Clive Wearing was struck down by a brain infection in 1985, it stole his memories. It also prevented him from making new ones. Fresh events and experiences are lost in the blink of an eye. Herpes encephalitis had infected his brain and destroyed his memory. He sees and hears everything in a crystal clear fashion. Yet holding onto the precious moments is like catching smoke in a bottle – impossible.
An unassuming man in a T-shirt and baseball cap stood playing a $4 million violin near the Washington DC subway station entrance. For 43 minutes, he played beautifully on his nearly 300-year-old instrument. This is no surprise since Joshua Bell is one of the world’s most talented violinists. He is used to standing-room-only audiences and adoring fans asking for his autograph.
In 1982, two elderly musicians would each suffer a stroke and become disabled on one side of their body. Without the use of both hands, the two women suddenly found themselves unable to make music. That is, until the day they finally met each other.
Daryl Davis is a black man who has made a name for himself befriending white supremacists. Davis learned about racism at a young age. In 1968, the ten-year-old boy was marching in a Boy Scouts parade when people started throwing rocks and bottles at him. He thought that they must really hate the Boy Scouts until he realized none of the other boys was getting hit. Davis was the only black Boy Scout marching that day. When he got home, his parents explained that there were people in the world who hated him because of the color of his skin. From that day onward, he became fascinated with racism.
We see with our eyes and hear with our ears. At least that’s the conventional way to do things, but no one is calling Neil Harbisson conventional. Neil is colorblind. Unlike many colorblind people, who are unable to see just a few specific colors, like red or blue, Neil can’t see any colors except for grey. He has spent his whole life experiencing the world as only different shades of grey. That is until recently.