A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

7 Quotes by J. Krishnamurti

Credit: J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, aboard the S.S. Bremen, arriving in New York City for a vacation; Getty Images

7 Thoughts by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti

1. "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

2. "You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life."

3. "The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence."

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High-performance visible-light lasers that fit on a fingertip

Credit: Getty images

Significant advance for technologies such as quantum optics and laser displays for augmented and virtual reality

As technologies keep advancing at exponential rates and demand for new devices rises accordingly, miniaturizing systems into chips has become increasingly important. Microelectronics has changed the way electricity is manipulated, enabling sophisticated electronic products that are now an essential part of our daily lives.

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Atmosphere of excitement as Europe’s JWST astronomers study climate on other planets

Credit: Getty images

Where do we come from?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched on Christmas Day 2021, is already transforming our understanding of planets in our Solar System and far beyond. A versatile satellite observatory, JWST has a clear-eyed view from its orbital position, 1.5m km away from Earth in space. This gives it a major advantage over ground-based telescopes which must peer out to space through Earth's hazy atmosphere.

JWST collects five times as much light as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), allowing it to detect faint signals from distant worlds using its spectroscopic capabilities.

'Before the James Webb Space Telescope, only a very small number of molecules could be observed, such as water, carbon monoxide and sodium,' said Jérémy Leconte, astrophysicist at the University of Bordeaux in France.

Previous missions and observations from Earth have discovered thousands of exoplanets (those outside our Solar System) and astronomers are already taking advantage of JWST's unique capabilities to study the building blocks of life in the Universe.

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London: The City of Art

Credit: Getty images

London as a Museum of Art

Certain cities in Europe could be considered the centers of Art. One, of course, is Rome, another is Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, and many more. However, the focus today is London. One of the largest cities in Europe with a population of around 9 million, it was and is one of the main cultural hubs of European artistry. 

There are 857 public art galleries in the city, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library, and who knows how many private ones. As the art historian James Payne says: "If you went to an art gallery every single day for the next two years, you still couldn't visit them all." You can only imagine how multifarious and diverse is the world of art in the capital of England. There is a myriad of pieces of art just in that particular city. The amount of cultural heritage it gathered through the ages is just incredible.

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Designing with DNA

Credit: Nanostructures built using software that lets researchers design objects out of DNA. Models (top) with electron microscope images of the objects (bottom); Raghu Pradeep Narayanan and Abhay Prasad, Yan lab, Arizona State University

Software lets researchers create tiny objects out of DNA

Look at the tiny nanoscale structures emerging from research labs at Duke University and Arizona State University, and it's easy to imagine you're browsing a catalog of the world's smallest pottery.

A new paper reveals some of these creations: itty-bitty vases, bowls and hollow spheres, one hidden inside the other, like housewares for a Russian nesting doll.

But instead of making them from wood or clay, the U.S. National Science Foundation-supported team of researchers designed these objects out of threadlike molecules of DNA, bent and folded into complex 3D objects with nanometer precision.

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Editor’s pick: Baruch Spinoza

Credit: Baruch de Spinoza (1632 - 1677), Dutch philosopher. Woodcut engraving, published in 1881.; Getty images

Excerpts from Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (1677)

1. "Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be destroyed by love."

2. "The more we understand the order and connections of things, the more we understand the laws of God."

3. "The highest good is knowledge of the union existing between the mind and the whole of nature."

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Education and healthcare are set for a high-tech boost

Credit: Getty images

The enhancement of human-machine interaction is expected to bring big improvements in support for learning and access to healthcare

In a Swiss classroom, two children are engrossed in navigating an intricate maze with the help of a small, rather cute, robot. The interaction is easy and playful – it is also providing researchers with valuable information on how children learn and the conditions in which information is most effectively absorbed.

Rapid improvements in intuitive human-machine interactions (HMI) are poised to kick off big changes in society. In particular, two European research projects give a sense of how these trends could influence two core areas: education and healthcare.

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The latest technological revolution

Credit: Getty images

How will AI change the world?

It is generally accepted that so far, there were four main industrial revolutions. The introduction of coals around 1760; gas -1870; electronics and nuclear – 1969; and internet and renewable energy – 2000. In the last several years, however, we are witnessing a worldwide and immense new technological shift. That is the turn to artificial intelligence systems. It develops with such a tempo that we cannot really grasp it.

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Researchers cook up a new way to remove microplastics from water

Credit: Getty images

Team used egg whites to create a lightweight, porous material

Researchers at Princeton University have found a way to turn a common breakfast food into a new material that can cheaply remove salt and microplastics from seawater.

The researchers used egg whites to create an aerogel, a lightweight and porous material that can be used in many applications, including water filtration, energy storage and sound and thermal insulation.

The research was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation through a grant to the Princeton Center for Complex Materials. The results of the research are published in Materials Today.

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Editor’s Pick: Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Credit: The philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty in his home in Paris 1950; Getty Images

Short Bio

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) was a French phenomenologist philosopher and a leading figure in existentialism. He was born in Rochefort-sur-Mer, France and died in Paris, France. He studied at the École Normale Supérieure and later taught at the Sorbonne, the University of Lyon, and the Collège de France. Merleau-Ponty is best known for his work in phenomenology, which emphasizes the role of perception and embodiment in understanding the world. His major works include "Phenomenology of Perception" (1945) and "The Structure of Behavior" (1942). He died at the age of 53 in a road accident.

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From mussels to meadows, the sea offers big lessons for all life

Credit: Getty images

Ordinary people are at the heart of new projects to turn the tide on marine damage and biodiversity loss

In the Tuscan Archipelago, the seagrass meadows capture carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. The underwater flowering plants have the potential to be an essential tool in the fight against climate change but are vulnerable to disturbance from human activities such as tourism and fishing.

Coordinated from Cork, Ireland, the four-year Marine SABRES project is bringing people together to work on the conservation and restoration of the ancient beds of Tuscan seagrass as one of its focus areas.

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The Art of Yayoi Kusama

Credit: The installation "The Spirits of the Pumpkins Descended Into the Heavens" by Yayoi Kusama; Getty Images

The most famous Japanese avant-garde artist

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist known for her avant-garde work in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, performance art, and installation art. Born in 1929 in Matsumoto City, Japan, Kusama began creating art at a young age and moved to New York City in 1958 to pursue her career. She quickly became a prominent figure in the art world, known for her use of polka dots and repetitive patterns. In 1973, she returned to Japan and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, which has greatly influenced her art. Kusama's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world and is held in the collections of major museums worldwide.

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Astronomers discover the closest black hole to Earth

Credit: Getty images

Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii reveals the first dormant, stellar-mass black hole

Astronomers have discovered the closest black hole to Earth, the first unambiguous detection of a dormant stellar-mass black hole in the Milky Way. Its close proximity to Earth, a mere 1,600 light-years away, offers an intriguing target of study to advance understanding of the evolution of binary systems.

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The immersive marvels of digital art exhibitions in Paris

Credit: Paul Cézanne - the master of Provence; Culturespaces

L'Atelier des Lumières

L'Atelier des Lumières is an art center in Paris, France that features immersive digital art exhibitions. The exhibitions use state-of-the-art technology to project images and animations onto the walls and floors of the center's galleries, creating an immersive and interactive experience for visitors. The exhibitions often focus on the works of a specific artist or art movement, which at moment are the French impressionist Paul Cézanne and the Russian abstractionist Vassily Kandinsky.


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Sean Carroll talks about the multiverse

Credit: preposterousuniverse.com

Short Bio

Sean M. Carroll is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He is currently a research professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, where he works on a variety of topics in theoretical physics, including quantum field theory, cosmology, and the foundations of physics. He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and the author of several popular science books, including "The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself". He has also been a frequent public speaker and has written for various publications, including Scientific American, Space.com, and New Scientist. Dr. Carroll received his PhD from MIT in 1993, and before joining Caltech he was a professor at the University of Chicago.

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Quotes to reflect on

Credit: Faulkner in 1954, photographed by Carl Van Vechten; via Wikipedia

5 quotes by the American writer William Faulkner 

1. "I decline to accept the end of man."

2. "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

3. "The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed."
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Impact of coral chemical compounds on reef health

Credit: Getty images

Researchers also stumble on reef alga releasing caffeine

Stumbling upon a new source of underwater caffeine was just an added bonus of a new study examining the impact of chemical compounds that corals release into the seawater.

The study found that the organic chemical compounds produced through metabolism — known as metabolites or exudates — vary significantly by coral species, and that the compounds impact the abundances and compositions of reef microorganisms differently.

This differential release of metabolites from benthic reef organisms is particularly significant in the Caribbean, where coral dominance is shifting from hard stony corals to soft octocorals in response to human-caused stressors such as eutrophication, overfishing and global climate change.
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Editor’s pick: Arthur Schopenhauer – the great pessimist

Credit: Arthur Schopenhauer, german philosopher, 1788-1860; Getty images

Excerpts from The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1(1818)

1. "The life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general, and when only its most significant features are emphasized, is really a tragedy; but gone through in detail it has the character of a comedy."

2. "Truth is no harlot who throws her arms round the neck of him who does not desire her; on the contrary, she is so coy a beauty that even the man who sacrifices everything to her can still not be certain of her favors."

3. "What keeps all living things busy and in motion is the striving to exist. But when existence is secured, they do not know what to do: that is why the second thing that sets them in motion is a striving to get rid of the burden of existence, not to feel it any longer, 'to kill time', i.e. to escape boredom."

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Do electric scooters reduce car use?

Credit: Getty images

Research finds reduction in traffic congestion and carbon emissions with greater scooter use

Banning scooters may reduce sidewalk congestion and keep would-be riders and pedestrians safer, but it comes at a cost, according to a new study by Georgia Tech researchers. In research examining the impact of Atlanta's 2019 ban on e-scooters and e-bikes in the city, researchers found that average commute times increased by about 10%.

The ban in Atlanta, one of many U.S. cities put in place in response to increased accidents and hospitalizations from micromobility devices, was in effect between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. A moratorium during peak rush hour would cause even more congestion, the study's lead investigator, Omar Asensio, said. "These are fairly significant congestion effects that most travelers will feel as an unintended consequence of the safety regulation."

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Cryptocurrency upheaval could be a blessing in disguise for the future of blockchain technology

Credit: Getty images

Every cloud has a silver lining. So whether or not the sun sets on cryptocurrencies, its underlying technology, blockchain, has a bright future beyond just coins

Sam Bankman-Fried was the darling of the cryptocurrency world, then he became its black sheep. In November of this year, the cryptocurrency company he founded, Futures Exchange (known widely as FTX), collapsed in a spectacular way.

The exchange, a digital platform where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies, filed for bankruptcy after allegedly mishandling customer funds. Bankman-Fried had previously been well-liked by investors and media, which applauded his generous donations to charity and for calling out unethical practices in the industry. The bankruptcy destroyed that image. The collapse also came on the heels of a massive crash of cryptocurrency prices, and the failure of several big players in the industry.

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SSA Recent Posts

07 February 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: J. Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher, aboard the S.S. Bremen, arriving in New York City for a vacation; Getty Images 7 Thoughts by the Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurti 1. "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly si...
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01 February 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Getty images London as a Museum of Art Certain cities in Europe could be considered the centers of Art. One, of course, is Rome, another is Paris, Barcelona, Vienna, and many more. However, the focus today is London. One of the largest cities...
55 Hits
29 January 2023
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Baruch de Spinoza (1632 - 1677), Dutch philosopher. Woodcut engraving, published in 1881.; Getty images Excerpts from Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order (1677) 1. "Hatred is increased by being reciprocated, and can on the other hand be...
69 Hits