07 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Fall of Atlantis

"But the divine revenge overtook not long after those proud enterprises. For within less than the space of one hundred years, the great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed: not by a great earthquake, as your man saith; (for that whole tract is little subject to earthquakes;) but by a particular' deluge or inundation; those countries having, at this day, far greater rivers and far higher mountains to pour down waters, than any part of the old world. But it is true that the same inundation ...
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Memed for the speculation of flood in America.

23 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 An Elegant Complex Description of Fire

The atoms like each other to different degrees. Oxygen, for instance in the air, would like to be next to carbon, and if they get near to each other, they snap together. If they’re not too close though, they repel and they go apart, so they don’t know that they could snap together. It’s just as if you had a ball, it was trying to climb a hill and there was a hole it could go into, like a volcano hole, a deep one. It’s rolling along, it doesn’t go down in the deep hole, because if it...
Folksonomies: nature wonder explanations
Folksonomies: nature wonder explanations
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From Richard Feynman, making the process of burning wood seem wondrous.

04 AUG 2012 by ideonexus

 Intellectuals Must Craft Their Minds Through Study

君子曰:學不可以已。青、取之於藍,而青於藍;冰、水為之,而寒於水。木直中繩,輮以為輪,其曲中規,雖有槁暴,不復挺者,輮使之然也。故木受繩則直,金就礪則利,君子博學而日參省乎己,則知明而行無過矣。
Folksonomies: education learning study
Folksonomies: education learning study
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[Translated] The noble person says: Learning must never cease. Blue comes from the indigo plant, yet it is bluer than indigo. Ice is made from water, yet it is colder than water. Wood as straight as a plumb line may be bent into a wheel that is as round as if it were drawn with a compass, and, even after the wood has dried, it will not straighten out again because this is the way it has been bent. Thus wood marked by the plumb line will become straight, and metal that is put to the whetstone will become sharp. The noble person who studies widely and examines himself each day will become clear in his knowing and faultless in his conduct.

22 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Seneca on Ancient Forests

When you enter some grove, peopled with ancient trees, such as are higher than ordinary, and whose boughs are so closely interwoven that you cannot see the sky; the stately loftiness of the wood, the privacy of the place, and the awful gloom, cannot but strike you, as with the presence of a deity.
Folksonomies: nature
Folksonomies: nature
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Standing in one is like being in the presence of a deity.

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Physics VS Metaphysics

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast ... "To physics and metaphysics." Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promi...
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The key difference is experimentation.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Burning Coals Warms Us With the Warmth of the Sun

From the cold garden, you run into the house, and find the fire laid indeed in the grate, but the wood dead and the coals black, waiting to be lighted. You strike a match, and soon there is a blazing fire. Where does the heat come from? Why do the coals burn and give out a glowing light? Have you not read of gnomes buried down deep in the earth, in mines, and held fast there till some fairy wand has released them, and allowed them to come to earth again? Well, thousands and millions of years ...
Folksonomies: nature wonder energy
Folksonomies: nature wonder energy
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Releasing the sunbeams stored in them long ago.

15 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Book Wheel

Ramelli's designs were very inventive and often required precise machining that was impossible in his day. Many were successfully manufactured and sold, two or three centuries later. Ramelli designed the "book-wheel" or “reading wheel” to present volumes of text to readers in whatever position they had last placed them. The “book-wheel,” an alternative version of the revolving bookstand, is a device designed to allow one person to read a variety of heavy books in one location with e...
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Not a direct quote from the text, but a description of what the book wheel was in Ramelli's book.

11 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Microscopic and Macroscopic Perspectives in Science

In science, simultaneous macroscopic and microscopic exploration is quite customary, especially in biology. Molecular biology, for example, which derived from the application of chemical analysis to biological problems and led to the discovery of DNA and its function as the carrier of information for every form of life, has developed independently from physiology, which concerns the whole animal and the way it functions as an integrated living system. In like manner, the difference between th...
Folksonomies: science perspectives
Folksonomies: science perspectives
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Seeing the trees for the forest and forest for the trees.

01 JAN 2010 by ideonexus

 A Programmer's Basic Material is Knowledge

As Pragmatic Programmers, our base material isn't wood or iron, it's knowledge. We gather requirements as knowledge, and then express that knowledge in our designs, implementations, tests, and documents. And we believe that the best format for storing knowledge persistently is plain text. With plain text, we give ourselves the ability to manipulate knowledge, both manually and programmatically, using virtually every tool at our disposal.
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And we express that knowledge in our designs.