February 17, 2020

Science

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"Depending on who is speaking, the war against cancer that President Richard Nixon declared nearly half a century ago has either been a soaring triumph of innovation and doggedness or a colossal failure, featuring lunkhead decisions, bottomless..."

"Two years ago Sunday, the New York Times broke the stunning story of a secret Pentagon program to study unidentified flying objects. That story led me to delve into this strange world. I've learned some interesting stuff about UFOs ("unidentified.."

""Humans have a “natural” lifespan of around 38 years, according to a new method we have developed for estimating the lifespans of different species by analysing their DNA. Extrapolating from genetic studies of species with known lifespans, we..."

"Science seems under assault. Attacks come from many directions, ranging from the political realm to groups and individuals masquerading as scientific entities. There is even a real risk that scientific fact will eventually be reduced to just...'

"This holiday season, the United States Postal Service expects to ship almost one billion packages — cardboard boxes full of electronics and fabric and plastic galore. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans generate 25..."

"Among the promised psychological and physical benefits of meditation are the elimination or reduction of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as bipolar disorder, eating disorders, diabetes, substance abuse, chronic pain, blood pressure..."

"To secure a stable climate for future generations, humanity will need to permanently bury gigatons of carbon dioxide. There is already too much in the atmosphere — 415 parts per million, when scientists say 350 ppm is the upper bound of safety..."

"OF COURSE, there’s a Crisis of Truth and, of course, we live in a “Post-Truth” society. Evidence of that Crisis is everywhere, extensively reported in the non-Fake-News media, read by Right-Thinking people. The White House floats the idea of..."

"Ernst Mach, the Austrian physicist-philosopher of the late 19th century, famously denied the reality of atoms. “Have you ever seen one?” he mockingly asked of atom advocates. Today many scientists speak with similar derision about the idea that..."

"THE HARD PROBLEM, DAVID CHALMERS CALLS IT: Why are the physical processes of the brain “accompanied by an experienced inner life?” How and why is there something it is like to be you and me, in Thomas Nagel’s formulation? I’ve been reading around.."

"Water rushes into Venice’s city council chamber just minutes after the local government rejects measures to combat climate change. Wildfires consume eastern Australia as fire danger soars past “severe” and “extreme” to “catastrophic” in parts of..."

"It was 2007, during a trip to visit her sister in Norway’s pristine Lofoten Islands, when Maja Rosén had an unsettling thought. As she took in the breathtaking archipelago north of the Arctic Circle that is dotted with mountains, carved with..."

"An extremely compelling unidentified flying object incident occurred over Washington, D.C., in 1952. Did another UFO pay a visit to D.C. on Tuesday? Probably not, but it's a possibility — seriously. First, the facts. An intruding radar contact..."

"Ask most scientists about their work and you’ll very likely be treated to an hour of animated explanation about the topic. There will be enthusiastic gesticulations demonstrating the processes involved and vivid illustration of the rollercoaster..."

"Imagine you’re a lecturer teaching a celebrated novel that features violent scenes – say, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). It transpires that one of your students has themselves been a victim of violence and now, thanks to your..."

"What's out there? So far, NASA has classified more than 21,000 asteroids and more than 100 comets as near-Earth objects. Of that group, about 2,000 are considered "potentially hazardous," meaning they have orbits within 4.5 million miles of..."

"AURORA A flaring ring of light illuminating the night sky. Each of Earth’s poles has an aurora, which can occasionally grow large enough to be seen near the equator, inspiring visions of apocalypse. (In the biblical second Book of the Maccabees..."

"To riff on the opening lines of Steven Shapin’s book The Scientific Revolution (1996), there is no such thing as a science-religion conflict, and this is an essay about it. It is not, however, another rebuttal of the ‘conflict narrative’ – there..."

"The fires we see are only part of our disturbed pyrogeography. Of perhaps equal magnitude is a parallel world of lost, missing and sublimated fires. The landscapes that should have fire and don’t. The marinating of the atmosphere by greenhouse..."

"Imagine for a moment that an alien astrophysicist on some distant but inhabited planet is trying to find out whether Earth is inhabited. If they were looking in the last 100 years, there would have been several unequivocal pieces of evidence..."

"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."

"Earth is most fortunate to have vast webs of magnetic fields surrounding it. Without them, much of our atmosphere would have been gradually torn away by powerful solar winds long ago, making it unlikely that anything like us would be here...."

"It was when I found myself perched on our rooftop at dawn in my pajamas, coating the asphalt shingles with Mongolian Hot Oil, that I first wondered whether I had lost perspective. The woodpeckers had forced my hand. Every morning that June, one..."

"Everything we think we know about the shape of the universe could be wrong. Instead of being flat like a bedsheet, our universe may be curved, like a massive, inflated balloon, according to a new study. That’s the upshot of a new paper published..."

"Climate denialism is back. For decades, denialists rejected truths about the environment: the link between carbon emissions and global warming, the human role in rising emissions, and the adequacy of climate modeling. That old form of denialism..."

"Indeed, as the site’s editor Rabbi Zev Farber notes in an essay contemplating the “Torah from Heaven” doctrine: “Women were not created from the rib of a man, snakes did not lose their legs because of sin, the terrestrial world was not drowned..."

"Since 1980, the temperature of the planet has risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius, resulting in unprecedented melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the acidification of oceans. In 2015, 175 million more people were exposed to heat waves compared with..."

"A change has come over the public discussion of religion in recent years. In the decade of the New Atheists, religion was the root of all evil. Nowadays, however, it tends to be thought of as a good, even necessary, part of society. In his..."

"Many scientists believe that natural selection brought our perception of reality into clearer and deeper focus, reasoning that growing more attuned to the outside world gave our ancestors an evolutionary edge. Donald Hoffman, a cognitive..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."

"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."

"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."

"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."

"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."

"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."

"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."

"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."