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!

Blog of Social Sciences & Arts SSA blog gives you the opportunity to participate in discussions concerning the human spirit in all of its aspects and applications. The discourse crosses the imaginary border between Science and Art in order to obtain a new level of understanding the cultural phenomena. From Political Sciences, Economics and...

Blog of Social Sciences & Arts SSA blog gives you the opportunity to participate in discussions concerning the human spirit in all of its aspects and applications. The discourse crosses the imaginary border between Science and Art in order to obtain a new level of understanding the cultural phenomena. From Political Sciences, Economics and Psychology to Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Philosophy, Literature and Visual Art, here is the place to extend the scope of your own knowledge or to share your expert opinion.

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Day or night — your brain is always listening

Credit: Getty Images

New research explores how the brain responds to music and speech during sleep

You're fast asleep. But your brain isn't taking the night off, according to new research funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Researchers studied activity in the human cerebral cortex in response to music and other sounds. They observed vigorous auditory responses in the sleeping brain, similar in many ways to responses in the wakeful state but differing in a key component. While the waking state is characterized by ongoing feedback signals in the brain as it attends to and interprets incoming sounds, researchers found that those signals are greatly reduced during sleep.

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Secret troves of Etymology: Taikonaut

Credit: Getty images

What is a Taikonaut?

We have all heard the words astronaut and cosmonaut and know their meaning. But what is a taikonaut? In fact, the three words are synonyms: an individual who is trained to travel in spacecraft or has flown in outer space. So, why do we need three words if they have exactly the same meaning? Well, the truth is that on an etymological level they aren't exactly the same. Let's see what are the similarities and differences between the three terms.

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A prison opera and digital transformation boost diversity of artistic voices

O Tempo (Somos Nós)', performance June 3rd 2022, Leiria, Portugal © Gil de Lemos/SAMP

A special opera performance in Lisbon improves inclusivity for the marginalised while digital literacy will create new artistic opportunities.

Four professional Portuguese singers performed the main roles in a new opera based on Homer's "Odyssey" at a packed concert hall in Portugal's capital Lisbon in mid-June.

Also on the stage that evening were 16 amateur performers from the central Portuguese city of Leiria, where they are members of the city's "school prison" population. The prison houses offenders in the age range of around 16 to 21 years.

What's more, a second group of Leiria inmates took part in the performance by video link from a stage that was located back in the jail 150 km away.

Welcome to TRACTION, a European research project that tackles social exclusion through the use of opera. The people behind it are redefining what is often perceived as an elite activity so that some of society's most-marginalised groups – young offenders, migrants and the rural poor to name but three – can find expression for themselves.

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The rise and fall of the medieval Islamic Empire

Credit: Koran verses on wall; Getty images

The story of the Islamic Empire

One of the greatest empires of the ancient world was formed by the ingenious religious and political leader Muhammad ibn Abdullah. He united the Arabic people, created a new religion, and formed the foundations of the Islamic empire in the 7th century CE. The new religion spread around with tremendous speed and the empire grew bigger and bigger. But the wealth, success, and inner conflicts for power made the following leaders arrogant and negligent. 

Below you can see a short video explaining the rise and the fall of one of the most powerful empires of the past.

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5 thoughts by Gustave Flaubert

Credit: Wikipedia

Thoughts to reflect on

1. "Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars."

2. "Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work."

3. "Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live."

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