• scishow:

    How Much of Me Is “Star Stuff?”

    Carl Sagan famously observed that we are all made of “star stuff.” But what does that mean? And how much of you is really made of dead stars? SciShow Space explains!

    (via child-of-thecosmos)

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  • Pop Quiz

    This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade.
    Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefor all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect one another, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, “Thou art God.” Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth.

    1. Melville’s Moby Dick begins, “Call me Ishmael.” We say it is told in the first person. In what person is Genesis told? From whose viewpoint?

    2. Who is the “good guy” in this story? Who is the “bad guy”? Can you make a strong case for reversal of the roles?

    3. Traditionally, the apple is considered to be the fruit the serpent offered Eve. But apples are not endemic to the Near East. Select one of the following, more logical substitutes, and discuss how myths come into being and are corrupted over long periods of time: olive, fig, date, pomegranate.

    4. Why is the word Lord always in capitals and the name God always capitalized? Shouldn’t the serpent’s name be capitalized, as well? If no, why?

    5. If God created everything (see Genesis, Chap. I), why did he create problems for himself by creating a serpent who would lead his creations astray? Why did God create a tree he did not want Adam and Eve to know about, and then go out of his way to warn them against it?

    6. Compare and contrast Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling panel of the Expulsion from Paradise with Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights.

    7. Was Adam being a gentleman when he placed blame on Eve? Who was Quisling? Discuss “narking” as a character flaw.

    8. God grew angry when he found out he had been defied. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, didn’t he know? Why couldn’t he find Adam and Eve when they hid?

    9. If God had not wanted Adam and Eve to taste the fruit of the forbidden tree, why didn’t he warn the serpent? Could God have prevented the serpent from tempting Adam and Eve? If yes, why didn’t he? If no, discuss the possibility the serpent was as powerful as God.

    10. Using examples from two different media journals, demonstrate the concept of “slanted news.”

    11. God is:
    A. An invisible spirit with a long beard.
    B. A small dog dead in a hole.
    C. Everyman.
    D. The Wizard of Oz.

    12. Nietzsche wrote “God is dead.” By this did he mean:
    A. Life is pointless.
    B. Belief in supreme deities has waned.
    C. There never was a God to begin with.
    D. Thou art God.

    13. Ecology is another name for:
    A. Mother love.
    B. Enlightened self-interest.
    C. A good health salad with granola.
    D. God.

    14. Which of these phrases most typifies the profoundest love:
    A. Don’t leave me with strangers.
    B. I love you.
    C. God is love.
    D. Use the needle.

    15. Which of these powers do we usually associate with God:
    A. Power.
    B. Love.
    C. Humanity.
    D. Docility.

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  • insteadofwatchingtv:

    What is Quantum Entanglement?

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  • nevver:

    Siurrealistinis, Gediminas Pranckevicius

    (Source: gedomenas.com)

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  • explore-blog:

    In praise of slowness and reflection – wonderful read from 1910, all the more urgently relevant today

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  • Ambulatory Meat

    To overcome our planet’s most pressing problems, we are required to think not as individuals, not even as nations, but as a single humanity

    fractal_spheres

    We know that our bodies change, our selves change, moods change, dreams change. Everything about a normal, healthy person is in flux. Yet somehow there is a ‘oneness’, a through line, a continuous sense of self. You wonder, how the heck does that happen? Where is this self thing? Where does this idea of recognizing a self come from?
    (more…)

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  • His fears for the future stemmed from two fundamental convictions: We humans can’t resist selfishly misusing the powers our machines give us, to the detriment of our fellow humans and the planet; and there’s a good chance we couldn’t control our machines even if we wanted to, because they already move too fast and because increasingly we’re building them to make decisions on their own. To believe otherwise, Wiener repeatedly warned, represents a dangerous, potentially fatal, lack of humility.

  • Can Computers Think?

    BeyondTuring_blk2
    The Turing Test has long been recognized as the true measure of machine intelligence. Will machines ever be able to answer enough questions to completely fool a human into thinking it is “human”? It is time to stop this notion.

    (more…)

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