Inspirational Thoughts

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Voltaire

"The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood."


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Soundmapping the Genes on SGEM Florence Conference

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Fredrik Soegaard and Soundmapping the Genes

The time has come to give you a little teaser for yet another of the upcoming workshops in this year's SGEM Florence Conference.

Soundmapping the Genes is a research-based artistic project in the field between biology and music. It is using DNA code-sequence and structures it in musical form. The complete code-sequence of the H1 histamin protein of the rainbow trout is translated into MIDI language and can be used simply as a melody - consisting of 642 notes - or as information, running electronic music parameters in real-time live music settings.

As Glenn Astarita from All About Jazz stated: "DNA is elevated into a mesmeric showcase, where Frederick Soegaard intermixes psycho-rock guitar with the MIDIgenemap and TC FireworX software to complement his band mates' use of computers, electronics, and percussion. With sweeping sounds and oscillating single note implementations, the trio (it is usually performed by three musicians) poses a transient musical environment, starkly different from old school type computer-generated beeps and blips."

Below you can enjoy a short video from a previous show of Soundmapping the Genes.

Here you can see more information about all the workshops during the 8th edition of the SGEM Florence Conference.

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3 Brain Systems That Control Your Behavior: Reptilian, Limbic, Neo Cortex

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The brain - mystery (un)solved

The human brain is arguably the most complicated thing in the known universe. After centuries of introspection, examinations, and experiments, we still don't know a lot about it. Of course, we've made all these terms, divided its structure into different areas, each one responsible for particular functions. But the truth is that the brain works as a holistic union and is not a composite of various parts but a single unit within the human body. However, it is a lot easier to understand it, if we use concepts and differentiate one part from another. Like the one put forth by Paul MacLean – the triune brain – that it is coming in three functional layers. The most bottom and ancient one – Reptilian Brain. Second – the Limbic System or Emotional Brain, "having to do with fear, arousal, anxieties, sexual longings, all those sorts of things – very mammalian". And third, The Cortex – responsible for thinking planning, moral judgments, etc.

Below you can enjoy an elucidating explanation of these three layers of the brain, their evolution, complex conversation, and connection with our behavior. Take a look at the video made by Robert Sapolsky, a professor of Biology and Neurology at Stanford University and a Research Associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya.

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An interview with the network research artist Don Foresta

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Don Foresta's Workshop at the SGEM Florence Conference

This year's edition of the SGEM Florence Conference is proud to present you with the world-renowned media artist Don Foresta. Foresta will acquaint our audience with a workshop based on his work Multiple Worlds (Mondes Multiple). The book lays out his theories on the relation between art and science, art using new technologies, the role of the artist as researcher, and Foresta's conviction that we have been living a new renaissance for over 100 years with a profound transformation of how we understand and represent reality in both art and science. 

Here you can see more information about all the workshops during the 8th edition of the SGEM Florence Conference.

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The red planet's small size complicates its habitability

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Mars' mass may explain its lack of water

U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have formed a hypothesis about the absence of liquid water on the surface of Mars. The team's findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that Mars doesn't have enough mass to retain large amounts of water.

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Thought to reflect on

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  Ray Bradbury

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't "try" to do things. You simply "must" do things."


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SGEM Florence Conference Workshops

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Call for workshops and performances in Florence

We present you with three of the already confirmed workshops for this year's SGEM Florence Conference. Part of one of the main focuses of SWS Scientific Society – the prolific rendezvous of Science and Art – these sessions will immerse you into the creative realms where scientific achievements enrich the artistic imagination and vice versa. Our mission is to facilitate the conversation between the artists and the 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 links below for more detailed information about our workshop sessions:

Call for Workshops

Call for Performers


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Last call for SGEM Florence Conference

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Extended deadlines for SGEM Florence Conference

This year we decided to extend the deadlines for registration in the SGEM Florence Conference to give you even more time and chances to participate. There are 5 more days for you to register. Don't waste this opportunity. Below, you can take a look at the special promotions that we have prepared for you.

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The therapeutic effects of Psychedelics

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The scientific renaissance of mind-altering drugs

In 1938, Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman discovered a really interesting substance - LSD. It turned out that that is one of the most intense and strong mind-altering drugs that we know so far. But it is not like any other drug. It turned out that it provokes not only beautiful imagery and love in human imagination but that it has particular therapeutic effects. Moreover, the entheogens (psychoactive substances) had been in use long before their 20th-century revival. They were a necessary part of many rituals, sacraments, medical practices in the past. You can take a look at this short introduction to Psychedelics.

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Using Mozart to treat medication-resistant epilepsy

Credit: Mozart family portrait: Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), Wolfgang, Anna Maria (medallion) and Leopold Mozart; Wikimedia Commons

Music can reduce electrical activity surges in some patients

Researchers at Dartmouth University working on a program funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation are examining the effects of listening to Mozart on epilepsy patients resistant to medication. Data from the study indicates that controlled exposure to this stimulus might modulate electrical activity in the frontal cortices of the brain.

The findings have the potential for an intervention that is noninvasive and can help patients who experience suboptimal outcomes with pharmaceutical therapeutics.

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Thoughts to reflect on

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Euripides

"Human misery must somewhere have a stop; there is no wind that always blows a storm; great good fortune comes to failure in the end. All is change; all yields its place and goes; to persevere, trusting in what hopes he has, is courage in a man. The coward despairs."


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Dream Big

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The Light in the Heart by Roy T. Bennett

"Don't just learn, experience.
Don't just read, absorb.
Don't just change, transform.
Don't just relate, advocate.
Don't just promise, prove.
Don't just criticize, encourage.
Don't just think, ponder.
Don't just take, give.
Don't just see, feel.
Don't just dream, do.
Don't just hear, listen.
Don't just talk, act.
Don't just tell, show.
Don't just exist, live."




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What does the poet say: Arseny Tarkovsky

Credit: Arseny Tarkovsky in the mid 1930s; Wikipedia

EURYDICE


Man has but one body,
as lone as a loner,
The soul has had enough of
This sheer shell
With ears and eyes
the size of fivepense coins
And skin, all scars,
hung on the skeleton.

The soul flies through the cornea
To the well of heaven,
To the icy wheel spoke of
the bird-drawn chariot,
And through the bars
of its living prison, it hears
the rattle of forests and fields,
the trumpet of the seven seas.

the soul without a body is piteous,
like a body without a shirt, —
stripped of intent, or deed,
design, or strophe.
A riddle without a key:
Who will return again
having danced on that stage
Where no one's left to dance?

I dream of another soul,
in another garment:
It burns, flickering back and forth
From timidity to hope,
Turning to flame, like alcohol, it departs
With no shadow, through the land,
Leaving gathered lilacs
On the table, as a souvenir.

Run, child, don't lament
Over poor Eurydice,
And roll your bronze hoop
Around the world with a stick,
As long as, at a quarter of a sound,
In reply to each step,
The earth roars in your ears
Both merrily and dryly.


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Does an ally against climate change lie beneath our feet?

Soil test: An agronomist takes notes in the field. Environmental protection, organic soil certification, research © FCC AQUALIA SA

By enhancing soil's ability to store carbon, the ground we walk on could play an essential role in keeping carbon dioxide out of the air.

If we're going to fight the effects of climate change, we're going to have to get our hands dirty.

'With a huge potential to act as a carbon sink, the soil that sits right under our feet could be at the front lines of climate change,' said Dr Dragutin Protic, CEO of GILab, a company dedicated to developing solutions based on ICT and geoinformatics.

A carbon sink is a reservoir capable of accumulating and storing carbon for an indefinite period. In doing so, it lowers the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

According to Dr Protic, who cited some recent scientific research, soil has the potential to remove an estimated 1.09 gigatonnes of CO2 per year.

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On this date, 94 years ago…

Credit: Poster for the movie The Jazz Singer (1927), featuring stars Eugenie Besserer and Al Jolson. Warner Bros. (original rights holder); Wikipedia

The first film with pre-recorded audio dialogue

The seventh art was always somewhere between aesthetics and technology. Whenever there was a technological breakthrough it revolutionized the world of cinema as well. The first big turnabout was the appearance of speech on the screen. It was October 6, 1927, when The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jonson, premiered at the Warner Theater in New York. That was the first feature movie with dialogue. It wasn't immediate but that movie marked the end of the silent-film era.


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3 mind-blowing predictions about the future

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What is our future?

Have you ever wondered what will happen in the future? How will technology revolutionize our world? How it will look like in the next 100 or even more years? Well, most probably, yes. Now, one of the most important figures in science and, more specifically, physics today – prof. Michio Kaku – shares his view for the recent future. No matter if you find his ideas fascinating or terrifying, I personally felt them both ways, they do not sound like yet another science fiction. On the contrary, they seem like knocking on the front door of humanity.

Here you can enjoy three of his predictions of what will be the future of human society.
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Jet stream changes could amplify weather extremes by the 2060s

View looking down an ice coring borehole atop the Greenland ice sheet
Credit: Sarah Das/WHOI

Drilling into the Greenland ice sheet, researchers reconstructed the jet stream's past

New U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research provides insights into how the position and intensity of the North Atlantic jet stream have changed during the past 1,250 years. The findings suggest that the position of the jet stream could migrate outside of the range of natural variability by as early as the year 2060 under unabated greenhouse gas emissions, with potentially drastic weather-related consequences for societies on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Thoughts to reflect on

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The Modern Myths

"There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed."

― Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics


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SWS Journal of Earth & Planetary Sciences

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EPS Journal

SWS Journal of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS) is a quarterly multidisciplinary peer-reviewed academic research journal, published online in Vienna, Austria by SGEM WORLD SCIENCE (SWS) International Society.

We believe that science, and knowledge in general, are supposed to be shared and accessible for everyone. Therefore, our journal, which is issued both online and on paper, is completely open access (Online ISSN 2664-0090), thereby aspiring to facilitate communication among scientists from all around the world and to encourage individual researchers in publishing their scientific work.

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Friday Motivational Thoughts: Dune

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The litany against fear

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

― Frank Herbert, Dune


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