Today’s Word: transmogrify (verb) – To transmogrify trans-MAH-gruh-fie) is to change completely. As used by Robert J. Sawyer: “Writing is transmogrifying, not just for the reader but also for the author; an author becomes someone he or she isn’t by living the lives of his or her characters.”

 Did You Know?: The most popular New Year’s Resolution (as if you couldn’t have guessed) is to lose weight.

 Worth Quoting: “A new year is a gift, a small piece of infinity, to do with as we will.”  – Jean Hersey

 What I’m Reading Now: There was a time when scientists believed that the Homo sapiens brain evolved to store large amounts of information. In The Knowledge Illusion, Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach refute this. They contend that the brain evolved to interact with other brains, and they attribute the fact that we thrived as a species to this “social brain hypothesis.” Therefore, they would like us to believe that we need to redefine smart: that it’s not only IQ (and it’s certainly not the ability to remember lots of things), it’s also the ability to contribute to group tasks. I sort of like the social brain hypothesis because it is a friendly and inclusive idea. Just because Larry’s IQ is 96 doesn’t mean he’s going to be less useful to himself or his social group than Mary, whose IQ is 132. But I sort of worry that this theory has no more scientific validity than any other social theory. The data that support it could easily have been manufactured by selectively designed social surveys – the swampy ground upon which almost all social science is built.

Watch This: Hawk vs. Squirrel

The photography in this battle between hawk and squirrel is amazing…