Tag Archives: science

Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things

 You’re not really all that different from a plant. Excerpted from the article “Plants Feel Pain and Might Even See:  It’s time to retire the hierarchical classification of living things” by Peter Wohlleben in Nautilis: After our first cup of coffee, we were soon deep into our main topic: trees and plants in general. Coccia …

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In Flight

Stunningly beautiful!

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I maintain / I insist

Excerpted from Abbey’s Road by Edward Abbey, ©1979: I camped that first night near the Olga Mountains, strange hoodoo domes and humps of monolithic, barren sandstone, similar in origin to Ayers Rock but different in color and shape, a little higher, and much more extensive in total area. They looked even older than the Rock, …

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Faith

“Praying to the Lord in situations of calamity (for Him to modify them) only demonstrates how little faith we have in the arrangements He is making in our lives. The Lord arranges everything in the life of his devotee by His own desire, without being influenced by any other factor. Why should a devotee then …

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Within You Without You

“The biggest development of the immediate future will take place, not on the Moon or Mars, but on Earth, and it is inner space, not outer, that needs to be explored.” ~J.G. Ballard, in 1962

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Luna

You can read more about Luna 2 at Wikipedia. You can visit XKCD on the web HERE.

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An Aside

“Astronomers know what stars are, but astrologers know what stars are for.” I don’t really believe that, but it’s a fun thing to say just to judge people’s reactions.  I bet it’d get quite a rise out of Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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The Outer Fringe

Americans: A Book of Lives ©1946 by Hermann Hagedorn has been really fun and informative.  In this excerpt, he shared horticulturist Luther Burbank’s concept of life, the universe, and everything: “Life,” Burbank wrote, “is not material… the life-stream is not a substance. Life is a force– electrical, magnetic, a quality, not a quantity.” He saw …

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The Empathy Circuit

via JoshKornbluth.com.

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“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”  ~Stephen Jay Gould

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Solitary Wanderer

Excerpted from The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, © 1957: It is curious in how great a degree human progress depends on the individual. Humans, numbered in thousands of millions, seem organized into an ant-like society. Yet this is not so. New ideas, the impetus of all development, come from individual people, not from corporations …

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Poles

There’s a North Pole and a South Pole, but there’s not an East Pole or a West Pole. It would be very hard to give someone directions if you were standing at the North Pole, because every direction would be South. If you took a compass to the North Pole, it would point South. Magnetic …

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A crystal to precipitate

Excerpted from The Great Influenza by John M. Barry,  © 2004: All real scientists exist on the frontier. Even the least ambitious among them deal with the unknown, if only one step beyond the unknown. The best among them move deep into a wilderness region where they know almost nothing, where the very tools and …

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The Narrow Confines

“One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought. With this negative motive …

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Probe Vertically, See Horizontally

Excerpted from The Great Influenza by John M. Barry,  © 2004: The greatest challenge of science, its art, lies in asking an important question and framing it in a way that allows it to be broken into manageable pieces, into experiments that can be conducted that ultimately lead to answers. To this requires a certain …

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A Kind of Perceived Truth

Excerpted from The Great Influenza by John M. Barry,  © 2004: Indeed, methodology matters more than anything else. Methodology subsumes, for example, Thomas Khun’s well-known theory of how science advances. Kuhn gave the word “paradigm” wide usage by arguing that at any given point in time, a particular paradigm, a kind of perceived truth, dominates …

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Charm

The BBC recently posted an article on the science of being charming.  Here, in summary, is how you do it: Smile Arch your eyebrows Mirror other’s body language Feign interest in their lives Maybe it’s an English thing, but it was interesting to me that they just assume you’ll have to pretend to be interested …

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Fossilized Compassion

This made me happy.  Excerpted from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, ©2003: Also found at Lake Turkana by (Kamoya) Kimeu was KNM-ER 1808, a female 1.7 million years old, which gave scientists their first clue that Homo erectus was more interesting and complex than previously thought.  The woman’s bones were deformed …

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Ernest

Another excerpt from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, ©2003: For all his success, (Ernest) Rutherford was not an especially brilliant man and was actually pretty terrible at mathematics. Often during lectures he would get so lost in his own equations that he would give up halfway through and tell the students …

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We are stardust…

Excerpted from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, ©2003: Because they are so long-lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled …

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