Posts Tagged: science
“The year without a summer,” as 1816 came to be known, gave birth not only to paintings of fiery sunsets and tempestuous skies but two genres of gothic fiction. The freakish progeny were Frankenstein and the human vampire, which have loomed large in art and literature ever since.
Theresa Dankovich’s “The Drinkable Book,” can purify water for drinking—enough for one person for more than four years. Gizmodo reports that the book’s pages are coated with nanoparticles that purifies the water while the pages are printed with important water safety instructions in multiple languages....more
Take that, Mom and Dad. Turns out studying literature can be practical. The Atlantic looks at the evolution of climate fiction, a new genre that’s getting readers interested in environmental issues and inspiring students to study STEM subjects:
In this respect, cli-fi is a truly modern literary phenomenon: born as a meme and raised into a distinct genre by the power of social media.
(Dan Weiss is out on tour with his band The Yellow Dress. He’ll be back on August 3rd.)...more
“It is a comfort to know how swiftly and thoroughly a civilization can crumble when nobody wants it anymore,” Rowan says early in his story…that observation is more than just a wry criticism of our current defunding of space exploration. It’s an indictment of the entire anti-scientific mindset that’s become increasingly, alarmingly prevalent in too many pockets of American society today.
(n.); nourishment; refreshment by food or drink; a meal, especially a light one; refreshment of the mind, spirit or body
“A cognitive scientist and a German philosopher walk in the woods and come across a tree in bloom: What does each one see?
For centuries the study of flowers and the cultivation of gardens were deemed to be safe pursuits for genteel young ladies – providing they did not aspire to become professional botanists…Carl Linnaeus’s sexual system for the classification of plants, based on stamens and pistils and expressed in overtly sexual terms, changed all that.
Powerful writing might be just as moving for the writer as for the reader. New research is demonstrating that the old advice about writing through your problems might actually be based in science. Researchers in various studies are gauging how writing about situations can help improve them, like students writing essays about the difficulty adjusting to college....more
(v.); to prophesy or foretell the future; from the Latin vati– (“seer”) + -cin-, combining form of canere (“to sing, prophesy”)
“Louisiana, Louisiana, They’re tryin’ to wash us away. They’re tryin’ to wash us away.”
—Randy Newman, from “Louisiana 1927.”
Much has been written on the subject of the human race’s fear of the unknown: from speculating on what happens after we die to relentless attempts to predict the future, from the impact of technology to whether it’s going to rain tomorrow....more
Neuroscientists are examining metaphors and finding that they’re essential to language. Modern brain scanning has allowed scientists to look at brain activity as the brain employs metaphors from language. What has been found is that the brain interprets metaphors literally. For instance, metaphors based on actions involving the body activate areas of the brain that normally activate when the body is in motion....more
Writers Rivka Galchen and Zoë Heller, over at The New York Times, discuss the question that will never go away: can writing be taught? They raise valid points about whether teaching writing is fundamentally different from teaching something like science and the rigid way American high schools teach essay writing....more
Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon:
But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we ought to be doing.