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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Rewriting the history books: Why the Vikings left Greenland

Credit: Lake 578 in southern Greenland, where the research was conducted; photo by Raymond Bradley
Increasing aridity contributed to the Norse abandonment of settlements in the 15th century

One of the great mysteries of late medieval history is why the Norse, who established successful settlements in southern Greenland in 985, abandoned them in the early 15th century.

The consensus view has long been that the colder temperatures of the Little Ice Age helped make the colonies unsustainable. However, new research, led by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and published in Science Advances, upends that theory. It wasn't dropping temperatures that helped drive the Norse from Greenland, but drought. The research was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

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Thoughts to reflect on

Credit: Gettyimages

Sociology

1. Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclinations toward violence, we also have an inclination to empathy, cooperation, to self-control.
- Steven Pinker

2. The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.
- Pierre Bourdieu

3. There are no passengers on the spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
- Marshall McLuhan

4. The word 'right' should be excluded from political language, as the word 'cause' from the language of philosophy.
- Auguste Comte
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The Hidden Troves of Etymology

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What does Synaesthesia mean?

Have you heard about the term synesthesia? If you haven't, the time has come. From a neuropsychological trait to a literary device, it has a wide range of meanings. Generally, synaesthesia indicates an interplay between the senses, when the information registered by one of the senses simultaneously affects one or more of the others. For example, it is the situation when you had a visual impression of sound or a tactile experience of an odor.

 It is estimated that synaesthesia is a genetically linked trait that affects from 2 to 5 percent of the general population. Aside from synaesthetes, which are experiencing it involuntarily, many artists and poets have deliberately applied various practices to attain such psychological conditions. Thus they would achieve a certain creative outcome. However, we use such synaesthetic expressions in our everyday speech, such as "a cold eye," "a burning view," "a soft wind," "a hard voice," etc.

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Editor’s pick: Georg Simmel

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Excerpts from The Sociology of Secrecy and of Secret Societies (1906)

"Since one never can absolutely know another, as this would mean knowledge of every particular thought and feeling; since we must rather form a conception of a personal unity out of the fragments of another person in which alone he is accessible to us, the unity so formed necessarily depends upon that portion of the Other which our standpoint toward him permits us to see."

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The hidden troves of etymology

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The alchemy of lexis

Could you imagine today's world without the word culture? What will you use instead of it? Civilization, habits, folklore, society, or way of life? Well, all of them are representing just a single connotation, an aspect of the above-mentioned word and its meaning. The thing is that each word has its specific perspective towards the world, and rarely, let's not say never, can be fully replaced. That statement is even more accurate when we consider such a widespread and convenient notion as culture. Following that idea, we could picture why broadening our vocabulary is so important.

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