10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 The Volumetric Approach to History

You will be thinking that we are coming to the end of this book: we’ve dealt with eight centuries, so there are only two to go. You may be surprised to learn, therefore, that in historical terms we are not even halfway. The reason for this discrepancy is that history is not time, and time is not history. History is not the study of the past per se; it is about people in the past. Time, separated from humanity, is purely a matter for scientists and star-gazers. If a previously unknown uninha...
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23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 Invasive Species Increase Biodiversity

Life becomes different, and it carries on. Since the majority of invasive species are relatively benign, they add to an island’s overall biodiversity. The ecologist Dov Sax at Brown University in Rhode Island points out that non-native plants have doubled the botanical biodiversity of New Zealand – there are 2,104 native plants in the wild, and 2,065 non-native plants. Ascension Island in the south Atlantic, once a barren rock deplored by Charles Darwin for its ‘naked hideousness’, no...
Folksonomies: environmentalism ecology
Folksonomies: environmentalism ecology
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16 FEB 2015 by ideonexus

 Benefits of a Secular Upbringing

Recent research also has shown that children raised without religion tend to remain irreligious as they grow older — and are perhaps more accepting. Secular adults are more likely to understand and accept the science concerning global warming, and to support women's equality and gay rights. One telling fact from the criminology field: Atheists were almost absent from our prison population as of the late 1990s, comprising less than half of 1% of those behind bars, according to Federal Bureau...
Folksonomies: secularism parenting
Folksonomies: secularism parenting
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Prison data is based on 2008 Census data.

24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Science Unifiers

Now it is generally true that the very greatest scientists in each discipline are unifiers. This is especially true in physics. Newton and Einstein were supreme as unifiers. The great triumphs of physics have been triumphs of unification. We almost take it for granted that the road of progress in physics will be a wider and wider unification bringing more and more phenomena within the scope of a few fundamental principles. Einstein was so confident of the correctness of this road of unificati...
Folksonomies: science unification
Folksonomies: science unification
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13 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Winter Means Things are Getting Better

“Christmas, Kwanza, whatever you call it — I fucking hate it. But winter… that’s different. I love winter. Here’s why. My grandparents dreaded winter. Back when they were kids, winter always meant bad things. Meant another war. Meant foodlines, and power outages, and people their age dying alone in the cold. But when I was a kid, I looked forward to it. And not just because I like to see old people suffering. Because winter meant a new season’s maker codes, and it meant ...
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19 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 Mother's Hormones Impact a Child's Propensity for Shyness

As we learn more about maternal hormones and their influence on the developing brain, scientists are beginning to propose actual biological mechanisms for the kind of folk prophecies that have been around for ages. One recent study, for instance, suggests that a child's shyness is determined, in part, by maternal hormone fluctuations during gestation. Researchers who interviewed several thousand preschoolers in both the United States and New Zealand noted a significant relationship between th...
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There appears to be a correlation between the amount of sunlight to which a mother is exposed mid-pregnancy and how shy her children are later on.

19 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Cultural Differences

The Italian model has a sign like a wave, meaning, “Come here.” Greek girls cause problems for non-Greek boys by saying “No” with a nod, not a shake, of their head. In New Zealand you can do one kind of V-sign but never the other. Americans look posh when they look neat; Europeans look posh when they look as if they’ve just come through a hedge backwards. A very fine linguistic example of model difference lies in the way the Irish and the English express themselves. Where the Britis...
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Examples of differences between various European countries in expressiveness.

01 MAR 2011 by ideonexus

 Self Control in Children is Predictive of Success as an A...

"Children who had the greatest self-control in primary school and preschool ages were most likely to have fewer health problems when they reached their 30s," says Terrie Moffitt, a professor of psychology at Duke University and King's College London. Moffitt and a team of researchers studied a group of 1,000 people born in New Zealand in 1972 and 1973, tracking them from birth to age 32. The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the best evidence yet...
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A study measuring children's self-control found a correlation between low self-control and problems later in life.