10 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Asymmetrical Psychology: Computers Use Knights Better Tha...

e. Chess players have the most trouble visualizing the moves of knights because their move is unlike anything else in the game, an L-shaped hop instead of a predictable straight line like the other pieces. Computers, of course, don't visualize anything at all, and so manage every piece with equal skill. I believe it was Bent Larsen, the first GM victim of a computer in tournament play, who stated that computers dropped a few hundred rating points if you eliminated their knights. This is an ex...
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24 FEB 2013 by ideonexus

 Hypothesizing on a World Without Stars

'Well, then, supposing there were other suns in the universe.' He broke off a little bashfully. 'I mean suns that are so far away that they're too dim to see. It sounds as if I've been reading some of that fantastic fiction, I suppose.' 'Not necessarily. Still, isn't that possibility eliminated by the fact that, according to the Law of Gravitation, they would make themselves evident by their attractive forces?' 'Not if they were far enough off,' rejoined Be...
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Asimov's world with so many suns there is no night is a place where people hypothesize other configurations of worlds they cannot see and do not believe exist.

01 JUL 2011 by ideonexus

 The Impact of Scientific Ignorance on Society

As a society, we walk a tightrope between limbo and extinction. We’re on a threshold of survival, in a society threatened as never before to find the way, with less and less margin for error. The decades ahead to the year 2000 and beyond, as were the decades just past, can be either interrogative, presumptuous, or insane. And we have to create our own flight plan, because this Earth didn’t come with one telling us how to get to the future safely. The winds of change are blowing across th...
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Anticipating the future is the lesson of the past, and the modern world is increasingly disenchanted with the technological progress that makes life possible.

20 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Caenorhabditis elegans

Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen in the 1960s as an ideal experimental animal by the formidably brilliant South African biologist Sydney Brenner. He had recently completed his work, with Francis Crick and others at Cambridge, on cracking the genetic code, and was looking around for a new big problem to solve. His inspired choice, and his own pioneering research on its genetics and neuro-anatomy, has led to a worldwide community of Caenorhabditis researchers that has grown into the thousands....
Folksonomies: biology experiments
Folksonomies: biology experiments
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A species in which we know every cell in its body, making it an excellent experimental specimen.

11 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 We Exaggerate the Magnitude of Ice Ages

The history of Earth's climate is one of the more compelling arguments in favour of Gaia's existence. We know from the record of the sedimentary rocks that for the pst three and a half aeons the climate has never been, even for a short period, wholly unfavorable for life. Because of the unbroken record of life, we also know that the oceans can never have either frozen or boiled. Indeed, subtle evidence from the ratio of the different forms of oxygen atoms laid down in the rocks over the cours...
Folksonomies: ice ages geology epochs
Folksonomies: ice ages geology epochs
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Ice Ages did not encroach on over 70 percent of the Earth's surface, meaning they were not as significant of an event as we tend to imagine them.