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The Secret Troves of Etymology

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The word Energy

Energy is one of those words that most of us use on a daily basis. It has both everyday and scholarly meanings. We all know what does it mean and yet that could really mislead us whenever we are trying to examine the full range of its connotations and its origins. Let's set out on a trip towards the roots of one of the most common words today.

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Do you know what a Red Poppy symbolizes?

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Red Poppies


After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. The unusual growth was attributed by the scientists to the soils in France and Belgium, which became enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the debris, dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. It came to symbolize the bloodshed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem "In Flanders Fields." It was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines and witnessing the horrors of the war.

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On this date, more than six centuries ago...

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What Happened on April 17, 1387 and 1397

Geoffrey Chaucer is considered the greatest English poet before Shakespeare. He is also famous as one of the first scholars along with Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, and Desiderius Erasmus, to use vernacular language for writing his most renowned work – The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer was an important civil servant, diplomat, and courtier who was trusted by three successive kings – Edward III, Richard II, and Henry IV. However, history remembers him mostly with his poetic works, which embody a great variety of subject matter, genres, styles, and approaches towards the complex themes of the human condition, religion, and existence.

Canterbury Tales was written between 1387 and 1400. According to the scholars, the date when Chaucer's characters started their fictional pilgrimage was the 17th of April 1387. It was today, 634 years ago when one of the greatest journeys in the world of Literature began and it is still inspiring poets and artists from all around the globe. It could be a coincidence but ten years later, the same date (17.04.1397) was the first time that Geoffrey Chaucer publicly tells the Canterbury Tales at the court of King Richard II.

Sometimes fictional events could have even a greater impact upon human culture than historical ones. In that regard, factual and fictional worlds intertwine and together they influence human reality and the way our civilization progresses. Today, we celebrate one of these cases when a body of Literature changed our perception and had a great effect on our future activities.


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356 Years Old - The Pioneers of Scientific Publication

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From 1665 to 2021

Today we can not imagine the world of science without scientific journals. Starting with two - Journal des Sçavans and Philosophical Transactions in 1665, today we have tens of thousands of scientific journals with more than 2 million publications annually. Let's take a look at those two pioneers and their history.

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On this day, 125 years ago…

portrait: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadar


On this day, 125 years ago, the world-famous microbiologist Louis Pasteur died, but his accomplishments in the sphere of science never will.
Pasteur is renowned for his work on vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization.

His findings still help the prevention of many diseases. The first vaccines for rabies and anthrax were created by him, thus saving countless lives ever since.

Louis Pasteur is considered among the pioneers in the sphere of bacteriology and is called "the father of microbiology". He is also one of the fathers of germ theory, according to which no microorganisms would develop without prior contamination.

"The greatness of human actions is measured by the inspiration that it brings.


Louis Pasteur

Today it is inevitable to ask ourselves: what would this great scientist tell us in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic if he was still alive? Please, share your thoughts on this in the comments below…

Meanwhile, let us share with you some inspiring quotes by Louis Pasteur that will make you rethink your concepts of science and humanity…

Louis Pasteur on Science, Faith, and More

1. Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. (as quoted in "Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science" (1960) by René Jules Dubos)

2.…whatever your career may be, do not let yourselves become tainted by a deprecating and barren skepticism. ("The Life of Pasteur" (1911), Volume II)

3. There does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are sciences and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit of the tree which bears it. ("Revue Scientifique" (1871))

4. I am utterly convinced that Science and Peace will triumph over Ignorance and War, that nations will eventually unite not to destroy but to edify, and that the future will belong to those who have done the most for the sake of suffering humanity. (as quoted in "Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science" (1960) by René Jules Dubos)

5. Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. (as quoted in "There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" (2001) by Wayne W. Dyer)

6. The human spirit, driven by an invincible force, will never cease to ask: What is beyond? ("Discours de réception de Louis Pasteur" (1882))

7. Where are the real sources of human dignity, freedom, and modern democracy, if not in the concept of infinity to which all men are equal? ("Discours de réception de Louis Pasteur" (1882))

8. The greatness of human actions is measured by the inspiration that it brings. Blessed is he who carries within himself a God, an ideal of beauty and obeys it: an ideal of art, an ideal of science, an ideal of country, an ideal virtues of the Gospel! These are the wellsprings of great thoughts and great actions. All reflections illuminate infinity. ("Discours de réception de Louis Pasteur" (1882))


Ask questions, find answers, and share your thoughts on science, art, and the challenges the world meets today by taking part in the one of a kind international scientific conference on arts and humanities "The Magic of the Renaissance" in Florence, Italy, on 26-28 October, 2020. For more information: www.sgemflorence.org

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