10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Microcosm of Imagination

Brooding, she changed the pool into the sea, and made the minnows into sharks and whales, and cast vast clouds over this tiny world by holding her hand against the sun, and so brought darkness and desolation, like God himself, to millions of ignorant and innocent creatures, and then took her hand away suddenly and let the sun stream down.
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12 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 The Disruptive Nature of Homo sapien's Rapid Rise to Apex...

Genus Homo’s position in the food chain was, until quite recently, solidly in the middle. For millions of years, humans hunted smaller creatures and gathered what they could, all the while being hunted by larger predators. It was only 400,000 years ago that several species of man began to hunt large game on a regular basis, and only in the last 100,000 years – with the rise of Homo sapiens – that man jumped to the top of the food chain. That spectacular leap from the middle to the top ...
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06 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 The Trick of Magnifying Normal Creatures

The trick of magnifying a normal creature to menacing size is all too common. The giant amoeba is a familar example; monster insects (or whole populations of them) even more so. It might pay an author with this particular urge to ask himself why we don't actually have such creatures around. There is likely to be a good reason, and if he doesn't know it perhaps he should do some research. In the case of both amoeba and insect, the so-called "square-cube" law is the trouble. Things like streng...
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
Folksonomies: physics biology speculation
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19 MAR 2015 by ideonexus

 Make It a Treat

"Make It a Treat" is similar in spirit to "everything in moderation," but still very distinct. "Moderation" suggests a regular, low-level intake of something. MIAT asks for more austerity; it encourages you to keep the special things in life special. I apply this rule in a variety of ways. For instance, I wear makeup and high heels on special occasions. But if I dressed up all the time, it would become ordinary, and I would receive fewer compliments. If makeup and heels was my everyday look, ...
Folksonomies: humor moderation
Folksonomies: humor moderation
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31 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Fallacy of the Insect Age

To end on a more cheerful note, I think I have found a fallacy or two in some of the more spectacular arguments used by the Insect Age enthusiasts when they are hardest pressed. For one thing, the fact that insects as a class are 300,000,000 years old, if it is a fact, while we have been here only about 1,000,000 years, or 3,000,000 at the outside, does not prove to me that the insects are bound to win. It takes more than mere old age to get along these days. I think it quite likely that the ...
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
Folksonomies: humor logical fallacy
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30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Squid Skin is Like an LED Screen

Television images are sometimes displayed on giant LED (Light Emitting Diode) hoardings. Instead of a fluorescent screen with an electron beam scanning side to side over it, the LED screen is a large array of tiny glowing lights, independently controllable. The lights are individually brightened or dimmed so that, from a distance, the whole matrix shimmers with moving pictures. The skin of a squid behaves like an LED screen. Instead of lights, squid skin is packed with thousands of tiny bags ...
Folksonomies: biology explanations
Folksonomies: biology explanations
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09 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Knowing Your Work isn't Good Enough

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who d...
Folksonomies: art work creativity talent
Folksonomies: art work creativity talent
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24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 The Babbling Stage of Infancy

It is interesting and perhaps surprising to realize that most mammals lack a capacity for complex vocal learning of this sort. Current research suggests that aside from humans, only marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals), bats, and elephants have it. Among primates, humans appear to be the only species that can hear new sounds in the environment and then reproduce them. Our ability to do this seems to depend on a babbling stage during infancy, a period of vocal playfulness as instinctual as...
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W. Tecumseh Fitch describes the link between infant vocalizations and the ability of humans to vocalize extensively. This links to Chomsky's speech-center of the human brain.

22 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Game That Adds 7.5 Minutes to Your Life

Now, I could tell you what these four types of strength are, but I'd rather you experience them firsthand. I'd rather we all start building them up together right now. So here's what we're going to do. We're going to play a quick game together. This is where you earn those seven and a half minutes of bonus life that I promised you earlier. All you have to do is successfully complete the first four SuperBetter quests. And I feel like you can do it. I have confidence in you. So, everybody read...
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Quick game that hits on four aspects of a healthy life. The speaker then suggests using those seven minutes on actions that will get you even more longevity.

08 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Strength vs. Cunning vs. Skill

Here, then, Skill enters the arena with a challenge to both earlier contestants — for the prize of human control, and mastery of the social machinery; enters that contest — older than the race itself — the struggle to satisfy the primordial instincts: to Live — to Control — to Take. Strength vs. Cunning vs. Skill. Thus the contest has become a triangular fight between the Strong, the Cunning, and the Skilful; a fight in which raw brute force is a participant of rapidly diminishing ...
Folksonomies: skill knowledge society
Folksonomies: skill knowledge society
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Cunning control is the winner in the 1920s, but skill will prevail.