I loved Nexus, Ramez Naam's 2012 debut novel about biohackers who produce a nano-based party drug that installs a networked computer inside your brain, and quickly turns into a war-on-drugs bioethics thriller about the free/open transhumanists and mirthless, ruthless drug enforcement agents.
The North Paw is a kit for an anklet that subtly vibrates your on the side of your ankle that faces north, so that you attain a kind of subliminal "Compass Sense" like those possessed by certain birds.
What makes it way more awesome than a regular compass? Persistence. With a regular compass the owner only knows the direction when he or she checks it. With this compass, the information enters the wearer’s brain at a subconscious level, giving the wearer a true feeling of absolute direction, rather than an intellectual knowledge as with a regular compass.
Because of the plasticity of the brain, it has been shown that most wearers gain a new sense of absolute direction, giving them a superhuman ability to navigate their surroundings. The original idea for North Paw comes from research done at University of Osnabrück in Germany. In this study, rather than an anklet, the researchers used a belt. They wore the belt non-stop for six weeks, and reported successive stages of integration.
"Hands Fixing Hands" is Shane Willis's clever and well-executed transhumanist take on Escher's "Hands Drawing Hands," with lots of crunchy little details to dote upon, including the underlying work-surface, which has the look-and-feel of a real maintenance engineer's well-used case.