Oliver Sacks, the great neurologist, died in August at the age of 82. Few people have done more to educate the masses on the wondrous physical and chemical interactions within those squishy folds inside our skulls that make us who we are. In his book Musicophilia, Sacks describes a particularly interesting patient. This very normal dude with hardly any interest in music was struck by lightning.
He survived, but ended up with an odd side effect. He became focused on classical music. He began buying sheet music, taught himself how to play Chopin and then suddenly found himself able to compose his own classical works. Something in his brain was awakened by that bazillion-volt jab of electricity. It somehow made a normal guy amazingly musical. That is so cool—but please: don’t try this at home.