From a Rare Neurological Condition Comes Gloriously Vibrant Art

Painter Melissa McCracken’s synesthesia transforms music into colors, inspiring her newest series Song Portraits.

Inspired by Callow, Airhead, via Visual News

Synesthesia, a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense can trigger an involuntary sensory experience in another—for example “hearing” color, or “tasting” a sound—is an unusual muse for creatives ranging from musicians to perfumers. While an average human’s sense mechanisms operate autonomously, synesthetes often fuse one or more senses, or cognitive pathways, simultaneously. The trait is a quirk of evolution that affects roughly 2-4 percent of the population, and has 60 known forms. Missouri painter Melissa McCracken has synesthesia and when she hears a song it instantly transforms into a pastiche of color and vibrant life. The artist’s recent “song portraits,” a series based on her synesthetic experiences, are centered on these visions. She uses oil and acrylic paint as her medium, so that the canvas becomes a backdrop for the the sensory neurons firing in her brain. Below, take a trip through the mind of McCracken, in glorious detail:

Inspired by Flip, Glass Animals, via Visual News

Inspired by Gravity, John Mayer, via Visual News

Inspired by Imagine, John Lennon, via Visual News

Inspired by Seems So Long, Stevie Wonder, via Visual News


Seventy-five years ago, on January 27, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland.

Auschwitz was the deadliest of Nazi Germany's 20 concentration camps. From 1940 to 1945 of the 1.3 million prisoners sent to Auschwitz, 1.1 million died. That figure includes 960,000 Jews, 74,000 non-Jewish Poles, 21,000 Roma, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, and up to 15,000 other Europeans.

The vast majority of the inmates were murdered in the gas chambers while others died of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and executions.

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via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

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via Stu Hansen / Twitter

In a move that feels like the subject line of a spam email or the premise of a bad '80s movie, online shopping mogul Yusaku Maezawa is giving away money as a social experiment.

Maezawa will give ¥1 million yen ($9,130) to 1,000 followers who retweeted his January 1st post announcing the giveaway. The deadline to retweet was Tuesday, January 7.

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