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!

Winged microchip is smallest-ever human-made flying structure

Credit:  A 3D microflier sits next to a common ant to show scale;  Northwestern University

'Microfliers' could monitor air pollution, airborne disease and environmental contamination

Engineers have added a new capability to electronic microchips: flight.

About the size of a grain of sand, the new flying microchip, or "microflier," does not have a motor or engine. Instead, it catches flight on the wind -- much like a maple tree's propeller seed -- and spins like a helicopter through the air toward the ground.

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8 quotes from Frank Herbert’s Dune

Credit: Gettyimages

The wisdom of the epic sci-fi fantasy book Dune

1. "The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience." - Frank Herbert, 'Dune'.

2. "Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."

3. "The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future."

4. "It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult."



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On this date, 23 years ago

Credit: Gettyimages

On 20th November 1998, the first module of the International Space Station was launched

The module was called Zarya and was Russian-built and American-owned. Zarya is an FGB (Functional Cargo Block), which provided electrical power, storage, propulsion, and guidance to the ISS during the initial stage of assembly. The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project operated by 5 space agencies – the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, US's NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is a manned artificial satellite. The brightest man-made object visible to the naked eye from Earth. ISS orbits the Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (28,000 kilometers per hour) at an average distance of 248 miles (400 kilometers) from Earth.

The station's purpose is to serve as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory where scientific research is conducted in meteorology, astronomy, astrobiology, physics, and other fields. The ISS is suited for testing the spacecraft systems and equipment required for possible future long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars.



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Scientists improving the ‘crystal ball’ for better climate predictions

Credit: Gettyimages

Recent progress in Climate Models

Climate models are used to predict how the climate will likely respond to rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the coming decades, a timescale crucial to meeting the terms of the Paris Agreement. That's why it's necessary to keep developing and refining such models to better support climate policies.

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The 3 ‘demons’ that haunted legendary scientists

Credit: Gettyimages

The inner demon of the scientists

Jimena Canales, an expert in 19th and 20th-century history of the physical sciences, began a fascinating journey a decade ago. She began to investigate the appearance of the word demon in a historical context. And it turned out that it is present not only in religion or occultism but in the serious world of objective science, skepticism, and technology. Well, first of all, one should take into account that the word comes from Ancient Greek δαίμων daemon with the meaning – spirit or a divine power but not necessarily an evil one or malevolent in any way. The negative connotation came with the tradition of Christianity. Long before that, the daemon notably appears in Plato's works describing the divine inspiration of Socrates. It had (and still has) this positive and even productive meaning, which is the subject matter of this short video by Big Think. So, which is your demon?

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SGEM Vienna Art 2021 Workshops

Credit: Pexels

Call for workshops and performances in Vienna

We present you with three of the already confirmed workshops for this year's SGEM Vienna Art Conference. Two really important parts of the main focuses of SWS Scientific Society are first, the prolific rendezvous of Science and Art; and second, the integration of green technologies in both science and art. That's why we created our special workshops panel - to give our participants a space for action. The idea of these sessions is to involve you and give you the chance to immerse yourself into the creative realms where scientific achievements enrich the artistic imagination and vice versa. Our mission is to facilitate the conversation between environmentalists, artists, and scientists, in order to show how elucidating and inspiring their collaboration could be.

We invite you to participate with your own workshop or as a spectator, and why not both. It's up to you!

Follow the link below for more detailed information about our workshop sessions:

Call for Workshops

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SGEM Vienna Green 2021 Workshops

Credit: Gettyimages

Call for workshops and performances in Vienna

We present you with four of the already confirmed workshops for this year's SGEM Vienna Green Conference. Two really important parts of the main focuses of SWS Scientific Society are first, the prolific rendezvous of Science and Art; and second, the integration of green technologies in both science and art. That's why we created our special workshops panel - to give our participants a space for action. The idea of these sessions is to involve you and give you the chance to immerse yourself into the creative realms where scientific achievements enrich the artistic imagination and vice versa. Our mission is to facilitate the conversation between environmentalists, artists, and scientists, in order to show how elucidating and inspiring their collaboration could be.

We invite you to participate with your own workshop or as a spectator, and why not both. It's up to you!

Follow the link below for more detailed information about our workshop sessions:

Call for Workshops

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Scientists create artificial neural networks that detect symmetry and patterns

Credit:  A rendering of an artificial neural network with a computer chip in the center;  mikemacmarketing (original); Liam Huang (cropped)

New AI neural network will do tons of work for scientific researches

A research team at Lehigh University, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, developed and effectively taught an artificial neural network to sense symmetry and structural similarities in materials and to create similarity projections. The researchers published their findings in the journal npj Computational Materials.

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What does the writer say

Credit: Hemingway working on his book For Whom the Bell Tolls at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, in December 1939; via Wikipedia

Ernest Hemingway

"There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is your life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life. A good life is not measured by any biblical span."
― For Whom the Bell Tolls


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Planetary evolution reveals a volatile history

Credit: Gettyimages

Planet Formation

Just as human beings and all other living things exist in a vast number of different forms thanks to their genetic makeup, so different types of planets occur due to the chemical processes at work in the dusty regions surrounding newborn stars.

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Last call for SGEM Vienna Green early-bird registration

Image source: .sgemviennagreen.org

The 21st edition of the SGEM Vienna Green conference

After careful consideration, we decided to extend the deadlines for papers and proposal submissions for this year's conference. We understand all the uncertainties and difficulties caused by the pandemic and try to make participation easier for all of you who would like to join us. So, instead of the 19th of October, we are giving you one month more. Until the 19th of November, you will have the chance to receive a special 15% discount on all registrations.

Don't hesitate and take this opportunity to share and exchange your ecological and scientific achievements with the rest of the world. Because together we stand strong! 

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Last call for SGEM Vienna Art early-bird registration

Image credit: www.sgemvienna.org

The 8th edition of the SGEM Vienna Art conference

After careful consideration, we decided to extend the deadlines for papers and proposal submissions for this year's conference. We understand all the uncertainties and difficulties caused by the pandemic and try to make participation easier for all of you who would like to join us. So, instead of the 19th of October, we are giving you one month more. Until the 19th of November, you will have the chance to receive a special 15% discount on all registrations.

Don't hesitate and take this opportunity to share and exchange your artistic and scientific achievements with the rest of the world.


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The great free will debate

Credit: Gettyimages

Is there free will or not?

One of the oldest and most perplexing philosophical questions of all time. Do we have a choice or are we just subject to the predetermination of our biochemistry? And if we don't have free will, are we responsible for our actions or not? What is the relation between free will and morals? And many more topics debated by some of today's brightest minds. 

Enjoy the video below!

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Adapting plant roots to a hotter planet could help ease pressure on food supply

Credit: Alexander Bucksch and Suxing Liu;  Composite artwork of a photograph and a reconstructed 3D model of the same maize root

Supercomputer-powered 3D imaging of roots helps develop climate change-adapted plants

The shoots of plants get all the glory, with their fruit and flowers and visible structure. But it's the portion that lies below the soil -- the branching, reaching arms of roots and hairs pulling up water and nutrients -- that has deep implications for the future, according to plant physiologist and computer scientist Alexander Bucksch of the University of Georgia.

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Thoughts to reflect on

Credit: Portrait of Michel de Montaigne; via Wikipedia

Michel de Montaigne

"My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened."


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What does the poet say

Credit: Williams in 1921; via Wikipedia

Autumn

A stand of people
by an open

grave underneath
the heavy leaves

celebrates
the cut and fill

for the new road
where

an old man
on his knees

reaps a basket-
full of

matted grasses for
his goats

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The Secret Troves of Etymology

Credit: Pexels by Skylar Kang

Our world is made out of words

Language is all around us. It is everywhere and in everything. It constructs our culture and makes us human beings. You could find it even in places where you wouldn't expect and that's natural because we understand the world's phenomena through it. We can see its patterns in each particular thing since our mind process information like that. And it is a handy thing. We communicate very complex ideas thanks to it. Today, we will take a look at the origins of one remarkably famous and somehow obscure word – metaphysics. Its power stays hidden behind the prefix meta-, which could be used with a multitude of words like meta-language, meta-text, meta-history, or as we can see from the most recent usage – meta-verse (the virtual universe). 

Below you can see the extraordinary etymological story of the word meta-physics.

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Our intelligent ancestor, the Neanderthal

Credit: Gettyimages

What is the true story of the Neanderthals?

While the jury is still out as to why the Neanderthal, an ancient ancestor of modern humans, became extinct about 40,000 years ago, it has long been assumed that it was because they possessed a low level of intelligence. Pioneering research is challenging this idea, uncovering evidence to suggest that our ancient cousins were in fact much more like us than we thought.

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Is there life after death?

Credit: Gettyimages

What happens with us after we die?

Certainly, the most puzzling question that teases our imagination is what happens with us after we die? Are we going to live forever as some kinds of conscious observers of the physical world? Or maybe we will be away just for a while before being thrown back in another body or even life form? Or maybe, gone forever? Well, people have always tried to dismantle the mystery of death and have always been in front of the same paradoxical situation. As far as we know, each person who lived on our planet at some point experienced death but no one has ever returned to disclose the truth about it. The most chilled-out standpoint about death is credited to Epicurus: "Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist."  And yet, could you really go along with that?

Below you can take a look at a video where some of the brightest contemporary scientific minds share their views on the topic of death.

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How life reemerges from cataclysms

Credit: Smithsonian Institution;  A trilobite fossil from the Ordovician period, from about 485 million to 443 million years ago.


What is the recovery pattern of lifeforms after natural cataclysms 

Scientists at Stanford University have discovered a surprising pattern of how life reemerges from cataclysms. Research published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that the usual rules of body size evolution change not only during mass extinctions but also during the subsequent recovery.

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SSA Recent Posts

22 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Jean Louis Théodore Géricault – The Raft of the Medusa (Museo Del Louvre, 1818-19); via Wikipedia The unrecognized genius Do you know which is the second most popular painting in the Louvre museum, second only to Mona Lina? If not, maybe you ...
38 Hits
20 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Gettyimages Making connections requires brain circuits to be active and interact during sleep Relational memory is the ability to remember arbitrary or indirect associations between objects, places, people or events -- such as names and faces...
52 Hits
17 June 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Cortada.com Xavier Cortada's Public Art Over the past three decades, Cortada has created art across six continents including more than one hundred and fifty (150) public artworks and dozens of collaborative murals and socially engaged project...
89 Hits