June 16, 2019

Science

"The glaciers are melting, the coral reefs are dying, Miami Beach is slowly going under. Quick, says a voice in your head, go see them before they disappear! You are evil, says another voice. For you are hastening their destruction. To a lot..."

"The 19th-century physicist Hermann von Helmholtz compared his progress in solving a problem to that of a mountain climber “compelled to retrace his steps because his progress stopped.” A mountain climber, von Helmholtz said, “hits upon traces of..."

"The 27,500 scientists who work for the University of California generate 10 percent of all the academic research papers published in the United States. Their university recently put them in a strange position: Sometime this year these scientists..."

"Unless you have lived under a rock with no Internet or mobile data connection, you know science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are vital career pathways of the future. However, STEM is often not the chosen pathway for minorities..."

"Alex Honnold, the death-defying rock climber known for scaling thousand-foot granite walls without a rope, has a well-rehearsed rule for survival: The key to climbing, he likes to say, is knowing when to quit. This applies in the small sense..."

"More than half of American adults and over 60 percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This tracks pretty closely with belief in God, and if Pasulka is right, that’s not an accident."

"In America, the conventional wisdom of how to live healthily is full of axioms that long ago shed their origins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Get eight hours of sleep. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

"From inside a black hole's event horizon, if you move in any direction, you'll eventually encounter the singularity itself. Therefore, surprisingly, the singularity appears in all directions!"

"...which 2020 candidate is going to seize this moment and take up the possible existence of extraterrestrial life as a campaign issue?"

"Never mind that we’re not experiencing a boom economy anywhere on this planet. Once you leave the atmosphere, things are literally and otherwise going to be out of this world and larger than life."

"More information increases the chances of an intelligent and productive discussion of these strange occurrences, rather than confining such conversations to supermarket tabloids."

"This is the first installment in a new series, “Op-Eds From the Future,” in which science fiction authors, futurists, philosophers and scientists write op-eds that they imagine we might read 10, 20 or even 100 years in the future. "

"There are still a lot of people that do not believe astronauts landed on the moon. However, science denial may be more complicated than we think."

"A recent United Nations-backed report highlighted the scale of destruction humans are inflicting on the natural world. To reverse these trends, humanity must transform its economic models and food system..."

"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"

"With most animal populations, the niches that encase the populations are of constant size. Animal societies growing in a given niche have dynamics neatly fitted by equations with a constant limit or ceiling."

"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."

"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "

"Living longer, staying younger: With greater longevity, the quest to avoid the infirmities of aging is more urgent than ever."

"‘Why is it that no one understands me and everyone likes me?’ Einstein wondered. His appeal lay in his supposed incomprehensibility."

"With these new tests, as in Hans Christian Andersen’s 19th-century tale, a gap yawns between the promise and the reality – and now and then, as in the story, someone says so in the public square."

"Not So Fast on Psychedelic Mushrooms: Psilocybin has a lot of potential as medicine, but we don’t know enough about it yet to legalize it."

"Scientists do basic research for the sake of knowledge. When reminded that that knowledge has costs, they usually offer a utilitarian argument: The benefits to humanity outweigh the harm done to animals, whose lives have less value than human ones."

"The message of the report, like that of so many others, couldn’t be clearer: If we don’t address this enormous environmental problem immediately, we’re doomed."

"...imagine inhabiting a world without such a numbered timeline for ordering current events, memories and future hopes."

"If you dropped a dozen human toddlers on a beautiful Polynesian island with shelter and enough to eat, but no computers, no cell phones, and no metal tools, would they grow up to be like humans..."

"Ticks rising -- In the warming world, ticks thrive in more places than ever before, making Lyme disease the first epidemic of climate change..."

"The Race to Develop the Moon: For science, profit, and pride, China, the U.S., and private companies are hunting for resources on the lunar surface."

"As a doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Eisenberger found it curious that we often describe being rejected in terms of physical pain..."

"Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, believed that miasma, or bad air, caused disease; the cure was clean air. While medicine has made enormous advances, research suggests nature therapy still has value. "

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Ever since the second-largest Ebola outbreak began raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August, health authorities have feared that the virus might one day spill over DRC’s porous borders. That moment, unfortunately, has arrived."

"Even in these tortured times, it is worth devoting a small sliver of outrage to the fact that Jared Kushner—whose only qualification to senior-advise the president on policy is that he is married to the president’s daughter—seems to have taken..."

"The 1967 Six-Day War ended with what many people considered a miracle. It allowed Israel to do what it could not do during the War of Independence 19 years earlier: Liberate Jerusalem and unite the capital; take control over the ancient parts of..."

"Love, in the world of Walt Disney films, has changed. Between Tangled (2010) and Moana (2016), the ideal of heterosexual romance has been dethroned by a new ideal: family love. The happy ending of our most-watched childhood stories is no longer..."

"The recent California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco exposed the divide between the state’s progressive and working-class voters. Progressives, in their militant certitude, support left-wing policies that often don’t affect them..."

"Seven years after the arrival of 4G, EE has finally switched on the UK’s first 5G networks in six UK cities – and more are coming. The upgrade promises much faster data connections but conspiratorially-minded online activists are convinced that..."

"Scroll below any news network’s tweet about an act of human kindness or survival and you’ll find the grateful replies: “Finally, some good news for a change,” and “We need more stories like this!” and “Faith in humanity restored!”"

"How many words can you fit in a subtitle? For a slew of modern books, the answer seems to be as many as possible. Just look at Julie Holland’s “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not..."

"This parenting thing is bonkers. Parenting a special needs child? Super bonkers. How else to describe the reality of constantly making decisions that one’s supremely unqualified to make, decisions that impact the life of a child?"

"A sour, unfamiliar, and not particularly pleasant smell began to waft through the house, not what you would expect from bread that was fresh out of the oven. But this wasn’t ordinary bread, it had risen thanks to some exceptional yeast that had..."

"The glaciers are melting, the coral reefs are dying, Miami Beach is slowly going under. Quick, says a voice in your head, go see them before they disappear! You are evil, says another voice. For you are hastening their destruction. To a lot..."

"Is Judaism a tradition linked directly to the Bible, taking us back to Mount Sinai, i.e., the original word of God? Or is it a general code of law that slowly evolved over the years into what it is today? If we delve into the Talmud, we will..."