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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Quest to uncover the origins of horse taming is rewriting our picture of the past

Credit: Gettyimages

Zooarcheology

Horses have been intrinsically entwined with human history for the past five millennia, acting as an early means of rapid transport and playing a key part in agriculture, warfare and sport.

Despite this, major decades-long mysteries have surrounded where and how modern horses were first domesticated. Yet a large international team of zooarchaeologists, historians and geneticists, all experts in horse evolutionary history, has recently started coming up with some answers. The results are showing just how much this can reveal about both the horse itself and about human history and culture – and how much we still have to find out.

'Horses are perhaps the animals that have had the most influence on human history,' said palaeogeneticist Ludovic Orlando, director of the Centre for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse, and a research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. 'They gave us speed and the way to transport things at a pace that we couldn't reach with our own legs.'

He talks of just how much they have been involved in human culture, helping, for instance, to drive the initial development of cities by aiding transport – something that can be forgotten in today's mechanised world.

And horses have left their mark on our everyday transport and industry of today, he added. 'If you think about what we call horsepower for cars, it doesn't come out of the blue; it's because it was a metric for measuring how fast a vehicle would be with respect to the horse,' he said.

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The Secret Troves of Etymology

Credit: Gettyimages
The Evolution of Words and Meanings

Words have their own history, which is as revealing and profound for the meaning they bring as, for example, the discovery of electricity for the rapid advancement of modern technology. Each step that language has made through the years left its footprint. A word is a bouquet of various senses and a multitude of connections with other words that eventually produces not only a notion of something but a feeling, imagery. Have you ever thought how is it possible that a given word describes its object so good, how irreplaceable it sounds? Well, it is not only that we have made a convention out of it. It is also the gradual sculpturing of meaning over and over through the centuries. Even though we are not always aware of all these transformations, we have adopted them when we learned to use language. It is a network that is erected upon a huge underground structure of nuances, contexts, and connotations, which are present although implicitly. When we use a word we give rise to a tremendous chain of meanings, that makes us perceive things in one way or another. Today, we will follow the long and captivating adventure of the word cosmos, which has always sounded so beautiful to me, and it turned out it has something to do with beauty.

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Nature is an Artist

Shapes of melted ice that form in cold, intermediate and warmer temperatures of ambient water; Credit: NYU Applied Mathematics Lab

Scientists discovered that ice formations are shaped by external forces

Mathematicians and physicists at New York University have discovered that ice formations are shaped by external forces, such as water temperature. The research may offer another means for gauging factors that cause ice to melt. The study is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

"The shapes and patterning of ice are sensitive indicators of the environmental conditions at which it melted, allowing us to 'read' the shape to infer factors such as the ambient water temperature," said Leif Ristroph, co-author of a paper published in Physical Review Letters.

"Our work helps us understand how melting induces unusual flow patterns that in turn affect melting, which is one of the many complexities affecting the ice on our planet," added co-author Alexandra Zidovska. Other co-authors are Scott Weady and Josh Tong.

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What does the writer say

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6 quotes by Thomas Mann

1. Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.

2. A man's dying is more his survivor's affair than his own.

3. If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.

4. It is a strange fact that freedom and equality, the two basic ideas of democracy, are to some extent contradictory. Logically considered, freedom and equality are mutually exclusive, just as society and the individual are mutually exclusive.

5. An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates.

6. A man lives not only his personal life, as an individual, but also, consciously or unconsciously, the life of his epoch and his contemporaries.


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LGBT: The acceptance of transgender people in the U.S.

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Deep partisan divide on whether greater acceptance of transgender people is good for society

At a time when a rising share of U.S. adults say they know someone who is transgender, there is no public consensus on whether greater social acceptance of transgender people is good or bad for society, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last July.

The question was asked as part of a broader survey that asked about the public's views on a wide range of social and political issues, including whether different societal trends in the U.S. are generally good or bad for society.

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