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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Ancient DNA reveals surprises about how early humans lived, traveled and interacted

Credit: Hora Rockshelter in Malawi, where excavations uncovered individuals analyzed in an ancient DNA study; Jacob Davis

New research provides evidence of demographic shifts in sub-Saharan Africa

A new analysis of human remains buried in African archaeological sites has produced the earliest DNA from the continent, telling a fascinating tale of how early humans lived, traveled and even found their significant others.

An interdisciplinary team of 44 researchers outlined its findings in a paper published in Nature. The scientists report findings from ancient DNA from six individuals buried in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia who lived between 18,000 and 5,000 years ago.

"This more than doubles the antiquity of reported ancient DNA data from sub-Saharan Africa," said David Reich of Harvard University, whose lab generated the data in the paper. "The study is particularly exciting as a collaboration of archaeologists and geneticists."

The study also reanalyzed published data from 28 individuals buried at sites across the continent, generating new data for 15 of them. The result was an unprecedented dataset of DNA from ancient African foragers -- people who hunted, gathered or fished. Their genetic legacy is difficult to reconstruct from present-day people because of the many population movements and mixtures that have occurred.

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Thoughts to reflect on: Tolstoy

Credit: Tolstoy on 23 May 1908 at Yasnaya Polyana, Lithograph print by Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky; via Wikipedia

Leo Tolstoy

"Yes, love, ...but not the love that loves for something, to gain something, or because of something, but that love that I felt for the first time, when dying, I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I knew that feeling of love which is the essence of the soul, for which no object is needed. And I know that blissful feeling now too. To love one's neighbours; to love one's enemies. To love everything - to Love God in all His manifestations. Some one dear to one can be loved with human love; but an enemy can only be loved with divine love. And that was why I felt such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What happened to him? Is he alive? ...Loving with human love, one may pass from love to hatred; but divine love cannot change. Nothing, not even death, can shatter it. It is the very nature of the soul. And how many people I have hated in my life. And of all people none I have loved and hated more than her.... If it were only possible for me to see her once more... once, looking into those eyes to say..."
―  War and Peace


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100 years ago, Jack Kerouac was born

Credit: Jack Kerouac in front of his typewriting machine; Gettyimages

The Father of the Beat Generation

One century ago, Jack Kerouac was born to live, travel, love, suffer, write and elucidate our minds with his intense rhythmical prose. To put each word in its special place like bricks on the bridge between the East and West, between people and people. The incurable wanderer, the believer, the one who will burn, who will flare up to illuminate happiness, sorrow, life, death, everything. He who transformed himself into books and words, which are now, many years later, still circulating the minds of the readers around the world. Thank you, Jack!

Enjoy several excerpts from his books.

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Oolite Arts’ Home + Away Residency at Anderson Ranch Arts Center

Credit:  Cortada creates wax sculptures in preparation for bronze casting at his Anderson Ranch studio. (Photo by Trae Broomfield, Anderson Ranch)

Xavier Cortada's residency works

During his Oolite Arts' Home + Away residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Aspen Snowmass, Colorado, artist Xavier Cortada is creating a series of new works to advance his social practice in Miami. Using state of the art facilities at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Cortada is creating both 3-D printed pieces and hand-carved wax sculptures that will be cast in bronze.

Cortada's sculptures will be displayed at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) in Liberty City at the end of April for his ArtCARE exhibition. Addressing juvenile justice in the context of broader structural issues impacting Miami communities (systemic racism, social inequity, climate gentrification), the exhibition will serve to launch a community-building participatory art project and reforestation effort he is developing through AHCAC as part of the Socially Engaged Art in Law course he is co-teaching at the University of Miami.

Cortada was selected to attend the residency at Anderson Ranch Art Center by jurors Amy Galpin, chief curator of the Frost Art Museum, Leilani Lynch, Curator at The Bass and Lorie Mertes, Executive Director, Locust Projects. The residency extends from February 6 to March 9, 2022.

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Global Europe in Research and Innovation

Credit: Gettyimages


Marseille Declaration

The biggest challenges confronting humanity necessitate countries work together. At the Marseille Conference on 8 March, Europe explored the path forward for international collaboration in research and innovation.

Now more than ever we bear witness to the achievements made possible in research, when countries collaborate closely and gain access to the right tools and expertise to get the job done. Years of international research collaborations in academia and industry underpinned the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the development of vaccines.

At the same time, geopolitical developments in the past decade have shown that collaboration sometimes needs to be modulated. The illegal Russian military aggression against Ukraine is a clear example of such developments. The EU has strongly condemned the invasion and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that sanctions would include limiting Russia's access to crucial technology, such as semiconductors or cutting-edge software. The Commission has suspended cooperation with Russia on research and innovation and Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel, issued a statement.

However, with those countries that respect fundamental values, the EU is committed to keep an open approach. This is not just beneficial, it is necessary.

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