20 JUN 2017 by ideonexus

 The Sense of Wonder is More Viral Than Anger

In many cases, these flare-ups triggered a chain reaction of anger, with User A influencing Users B and C, and outward in a widening circle of hostility, until it seemed all of Sina Weibo was burning. The users, according to the study’s authors, passed along these messages not only to “express their anger” but to instill a similar sense of outrage among other members of their online community on Sina Weibo—one of the only venues where the Chinese can circumvent government restrictions...
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18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Habituation and Novelty

Beginning in infancy and throughout the life span, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. Habituation, the tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one, is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. If the thermostat were to suddenly turn the air conditioning on, you would hear the loud humming sound begin, but within minutes you couldn’t even hear it if you tried. Habituation, a fundamental property of the nervous system, provides mechanis...
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
Folksonomies: education learning novelty
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28 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 "Sagan" as a Unit of Measurement

Carl Sagan was an American cosmologist, astronomer, and absolute tireless champion of the sciences in the public sphere. He was the author, co-editor, or editor of almost two dozen science books, and the host the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos. Sagan was well known for his excitement in talking about science, especially cosmological issues, and would strongly enunciate the M sound in millions and the B sound in billions to emphasize just how big the numbers were and properly diff...
Folksonomies: science geek fun sagan
Folksonomies: science geek fun sagan
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From the trademark "Billions and Billions." "Billions" is plural, meaning greater than two, so billions and billions at minimum equals four.

13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Fact, Theory, and Understanding

Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did s...
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
Folksonomies: truth theory fact
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Stephen J. Gould on science's evolving understanding of the Truth.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Davy Sees Freedom in Human Fallability

The experience of ‘paralytic strokes’ (like his father’s), which destroyed ‘perception and Memory’ as well as physical motion, proved that the physical brain was the single centre of ‘all the Mental faculties’. Children were not magically endowed with intelligence and souls at birth. On the contrary: ‘A Child is not superior in Intellectual power to a common earthworm. It can scarcely move at will. It has not even that active instinctive capacity for Self-Preservation.’ Such...
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Children are no more advanced than earthworms and strokes demonstrate how we are a product of our brains, and this shows Davy that we are capable of infinite happiness and science is indefinitely perfectible.

01 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Speculation Informed by Science is Not the Same as Fantasy

Our search for life elsewhere is not haphazard or random: our knowledge of physics and chemistry and biology equips us to seek out meaningful information about stars and planets vast distances away and to identify planets that are at least possible candidates as hosts for life. There is much that remains deeply mysterious, and it is not likely that we will ever uncover all the secrets of a universe as vast as ours: but, armed with science, we can at least ask sensible, meaningful questions ab...
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We keep our speculations within the realm of the probable. It is imagination, but with rules, which is far more satisfying.

29 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

 Adults Should Share in Children's Discovery to Relive The...

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
Folksonomies: education wonder parenting
Folksonomies: education wonder parenting
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Cleveland Abbe quote about the importance of children having an adult companion to share the child's experiences of discovery and mystery.

12 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Teaching Children Wonder Does Not Require a Scientific Ba...

A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfa...
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Just appreciating the wind, or admiring nature in without explanation is enough to instill a sense of wonder.

12 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Perpetual Renewal That Comes From the Natural World

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, ...
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Those who enjoy its endless mysteries are never at a loss of interest in life.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Beauty of a Flower

I have a friend who's an artist and he's sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree, I think. And he says--"you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing." And I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as r...
Folksonomies: science beauty insight
Folksonomies: science beauty insight
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Why science makes the world more beautiful by providing insights into its beauty. This doesn't just apply to something commonly considered beautiful, like a flower, but to all of the world, natural and technological, to simple rocks, sand, wind, stars, planets, the sun. We scientists are a keenly aware of the molecular organization, epic history, thermodynamics, universal scale, wave phenomena, and everything else that goes into even the most mundane details of our existence.