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Sunday inspirational quotes: Leibniz

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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz ( 1646 –1716) was one of the most prominent polymaths of the 17th century Enlightenment. He was a notable mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who was representative of the tradition of rationalism. Leibniz developed the ideas of differential and integral calculus independently of Isaac Newton. He was also one of the most important inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. Leibniz is often cited as one of the greatest proponents of optimism although frequently misinterpreted. Arguably, his best-known thought: "This is the best of all possible worlds" is widely misunderstood. When Leibniz claims that the way the world is created is the best, he doesn't exclude all evil, unfair, and amoral aspects of human nature and society like a man who suffers from daltonism and can't see the whole spectrum of the world's phenomena. The statement actually says the opposite. The universe with all its imperfections and distortions is, indeed, in perfect balance because it sustains existence. All that seems chaotic to us is just a higher level of order. We can't possibly conceive even the idea of a better universe because it exceeds our mental capacity. Therefore, the world as we know it is the best we can imagine. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that we should accept its flaws but that we shall embrace its natural harmony. 

Enjoy the best of all possible Sundays!


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Streams more vulnerable to stressors such as climate change than previously thought

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Scientists develop a new way of gathering data about streams fed by groundwater

Water is constantly on the move: through the air, through waterways, and underground. Life depends on a consistent supply of water, and details about its journey are necessary for understanding and managing this important resource.

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On this day, 56 years ago…

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The first spacewalk

Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov stepped out of the Voskhod 3KD capsule, becoming the first man ever to walk in space. His spacewalk continued for 12 minutes and 9 seconds and it was part of the Voskhod 2 mission. The event was originally planned to take place a year earlier on Voskhod 1 mission but it was canceled. Leonov famously exited the spacecraft just days before the U.S. intended to launch their first two-man spaceship thus the Soviet Union managed to win this particular part of the well-known Space Race.

The historical moment when Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov stepped out of the spacecraft on 18 March, 1965. Photo credit: gettyimages.com

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Quotes to reflect on: Simone de Beauvoir

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Love for Truth

To go out of your comfort zone, to become more or less skeptical, to seek reason, or reconciliation between rational intentions and irrational instincts is a lifetime dedication. Love of truth may not lead you to happiness but it's arguably the only path to achieve wisdom and thus a happier state of mind. We cannot deny the importance of such endeavors. For us is as crucial to take care of our bodies as to sustain our mental and emotional health. So, never stop following your dreams and aspirations even though they may face you with the greatest difficulties in your life. Listen to your inner voice and you will find the support you need because you are not alone. There are the Truth and all the others who search for it. 

"I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth - and truth rewarded me. " 

- Simone de Beauvoir


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Can bacteria make better crack-resistant materials?

Image credit: Qiming Wang, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Researchers harness the power of living organisms to make new materials


Biological systems can harness living cells for growth and regeneration, but engineering systems cannot -- or couldn't until now.

Qiming Wang and other researchers at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering are harnessing living bacteria to create engineering materials that are strong and resilient. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research is published in Advanced Materials.

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