29 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Time is the Most Precious Commodity

Your Earth is a very small part of a very large industry. ... In your world, people are used to fighting for resources, like oil, minerals, or land. When you have access to the vastness of space, you realize that there's only one resource worth fighting over--even killing for--more time. Time is the singlemost precious commodity in the Universe.
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01 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Dissecting Crystals

A casual glance at crystals may lead to the idea that they were pure sports of nature, but this is simply an elegant way of declaring one's ignorance. With a thoughtful examination of them, we discover laws of arrangement. With the help of these, calculation portrays and links up the observed results. How variable and at the same time how precise and regular are these laws! How simple they are ordinarily, without losing anything of their significance! The theory which has served to develop th...
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Hauy describes learning the secrets of their structure.

26 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 "Peculiar Difficulties" of Geology

Geology has its peculiar difficulties, from which all other sciences are exempt. Questions in chemistry may be settled in the laboratory by experiment. Mathematical and philosophical questions may be discussed, while the materials for discussion are ready furnished by our own intellectual reflections. Plants, animals and minerals, may be arranged in the museum, and all questions relating to their intrinsic principles may be discussed with facility. But the relative positions, the shades of di...
Folksonomies: geology
Folksonomies: geology
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Other sciences have clear demarcations and methods of experimentation, while Geology is more muddled. I think the author overestimates the certainty of species classification.

30 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Trees are Made of Air

By blending water and minerals from below with sunlight and CO2 from above, green plants link the earth to the sky. We tend to believe that plants grow out of the soil, but in fact most of their substance comes from the air. The bulk of the cellulose and the other organic compounds produced through photosynthesis consists of heavy carbon and oxygen atoms, which plants take directly from the air in the form of CO2. Thus the weight of a wooden log comes almost entirely from the air. When we bur...
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Sounds much like the Richard Feynman quote.