You would think that Nicole Kidman
could afford better living quarters after all those films.
Schulstad children going upstairs to bed. Aberdeen, South Dakota PhotographerJohn Vachon
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Neurosurgeon Emad Eskandar Thinks He Can Cure Complex Psychiatric Disorders Using Implanted Electrodes
Neurosurgeons hope to treat some of the most intractable mental disorders by putting advanced arrays of electrodes into patients’ brains.
Wounded Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie reaching out to a fellow Marine near Hill 484, South Vietnam on October 5, 1966
Youngest child of four of rural rehabilitation client. Father assisted in establishing poultry farm. Loan successful. Near San Fernando, CaliforniaPhotographerDorothea Lange
We start today with this picture from 1916 of the ill fated Shackleton Expedition to Antarctica in 1916. His objective was to cross Antarctica by dog sled, over the south pole. Things went badly when his ship, the Endurance became trapped in an ice pack. It was slowly crushed to pieces as the crew and dogs looked on. The team camped on the ice until it began to melt, and then escaped on the life boats. It was over a 700 mile journey, and it is amazing that many of them actually survived to make it back home.
We’re quite spoilt here in Paris, surrounded by elegant cream-colored stone Haussmanians, gifted with pockets of bucolic cobblestone streets and charmed by old-world cafés and façades. But […]
This massive meta blog uncovers Melania Trump, the Alchemist, for science!
by William Acosta
Whales are mammals (like us), and are descended from a cow-like ancestor which began to make the transition to aquatic life about 50 million years ago. Because they are mammals, whales are warm-blooded, breathe air, and give birth to live young, which they nurse on milk. There are two broad types of whales:
(1) Baleen whales, which have a sieve like structure in their upper jaw made of keratin (the same stuff that makes your nails) that they use to filter plankton from the water. These whales are the largest, even though they feed on tiny planktonic creatures.
(2) Toothed whales, which use their sharp teeth to eat fish, squid and smaller marine mammals. This group is also able to sense their environment through echolocation.
Like people (and sea turtles) they tend to be long-lived, with life spans ranging from 50 years to over a century. Like sea turtles, many species of whales are threatened or endangered. Whales have been hunted for their meat and as oil sources for centuries and by the mid 1900s, industrial whaling had left many species of whales on the brink of extinction. Most countries have now banned commercial whaling and other threats to whales survival.
A 200-year-old storm demonstrates how the way we think about the weather has changed.
An illustration depicting Westminster Street to the left and Market Square to the right in Providence, Rhode Island, during the 1815 storm.
—Two hundred years ago this week, the Great September Gale struck New England. The “gale” swamped the coastlines of five states with storm surges up to 15 feet. It reduced dozens of ships in Boston; Providence, Rhode Island; and other harbors to matchsticks and destroyed houses, churches, and barns from Long Island to New Hampshire. Forests were leveled, with trees torn up at the roots. High winds hurled broken glass, bricks, and slate roof tiles through the streets of urban areas. The storm bent the steeple of Old South Church in Boston. Most modern sources record the death toll at 38, but it could have been considerably higher.
—Though people didn’t use the word hurricane much back then, it assuredly was one, most likely a Category 4.
Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, Chinese windmill palm: three plants, one problem. All are native to continents other than Europe, but were introduced to Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants. At some point they “escaped” into the wild, where they now threaten the native flora.
—This phenomenon isn’t limited to Switzerland: biological invasions happen on every continent every day. A major driver of this is global trade, which is increasingly shifting to the internet and being conducted on auction platforms like eBay. As a result, one click is all it takes to spread potentially invasive plants from continent to continent – and unintentionally encouraging biological invasions.
Along the old Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick stands a disturbing statue of an emaciated racehorse. Once you break inside the old amusement park behind it, things get even weirder.
By Alan LightmanSeptember
A physicist considers the appeal of miracles.
Illustration by Stephen Olson. © Stephen Olson.
—“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”
—These words from Exodus describe one of the most famous miracles in the Bible. Never before and never since, in any sea or ocean on earth, have winds created a passageway through which people could walk. In scientific terms, such an event would require a sustained and highly directed column of wind blowing at hurricane force, a phenomenon that could be created only on a small scale in a human-made wind tunnel of the twentieth century. But the parting of the Red Sea occurred three thousand years ago.
Here’s a look at some of the best images taken by Globe photographers last month including an eclipse of a supermoon, Medal of Honor recipients visiting Boston, a 90-year-old’s trek up Mt. Washington, and the start of the Patriots regular season.– By Lloyd Young (35 photos total)
Bamboos are the fastest-growing plants on Earth. A typical bamboo grows as much as 10 centimeter in a single day. Certain species grow up to a meter during the same period, or about 1 millimeter every 2 minutes. You can actually see the plant grow in front of your eyes. Most species of bamboo reach maturity in just 5 to 8 years. Compare this to other popular hard woods that barely grow an inch in a week. Trees such as oak, can take up to 120 years to reach maturity. But when it comes to flowering, bamboos are probably one of the slowest plants in the world.The flowering of bamboos is an intriguing phenomenon, because it is a unique and very rare occurrence in the plant kingdom. Most bamboos flower once every 60 to 130 years. The long flowering intervals remain largely a mystery to many botanists.bamboo-flowering-4
The Horrifying Case of the Colorado Man Accused of Hunting Sex Slaves on Grindr | VICE | United States
In addition to highlighting the potential dangers of internet dating, the case suggests that even if sex-trafficking victims are usually women, troubled young gay men are vulnerable to sexual predators too.
Nietzsche on how to find yourself, the science of why we sleep, the relationship between intelligence and love, the value of uncertainty, and more
“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” Elizabeth Gilbert asked in framing her catalyst for creative magic. This is among life’s most abiding questions and the history of human creativity – our art and our poetry and most empathically all of our philosophy – is the history of attempts to answer it.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844–August 25, 1900), who believed that embracing difficulty is essential for a fulfilling life, considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties. In 1873, as he was approaching his thirtieth birthday, Nietzsche addressed this perennial question of how we find ourselves and bring forth our gifts in a beautiful essay titled Schopenhauer as Educator (public library), part of his Untimely Meditations.
The Phi Beta Kappa Society, which publishes The American Scholar, has announced the winners of its annual book awards. Each award comes with a $10,000 prize and a dinner at the Library of Congress. Congratulations to the winners. The book descriptions below are provided by PBK.
The Winners of the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards
Paleogenetics is helping to solve the great mystery of prehistory: how did humans spread out over the earth?
Mother of family camped near a creek bed, panning for gold. “Slept in a bed all my life long till now–sleeping on the ground.” Near Redding, California
Photographer Dorothea Lange
In the town of Lincoln, in the US state of Massachusetts, off Old Sudbury Road, is a patch of deserted farmland where people keep mysteriously leaving old rocking horses. Some are made of wood, some plastic with rusted springs and broken legs. The first horse is believed to have appeared in 2010, when two kids put up a lemonade stand to make a quick buck in the summer. The kids went away but left the horses behind. Others say that it started with a single headless horseman that was put up as part of a Halloween show. In any case, the first horse began attracting others and the collection grew. By the most recent count, there were 42.
The ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about life amid tragedy. In his new book Theater of War, how Bryan Doerries’s own grief led him to help today’s vets act out their suffering.
—The first plays I read in Greek as a college Classics major, some four decades ago, were titled Ajax and Philoctetes, both by Sophocles. My classmates and I dutifully hacked our way through them in thrice-weekly class meetings, as our professor gently chided our mistranslations. Something drew me powerfully to these two dramas, but it was not until four decades later, when reading Bryan Doerries’s extraordinary The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today, that I understood what it was.
—To read Greek tragedy in Greek as an undergraduate, or to teach undergraduates to read it, as I now do, is a peculiar endeavor.
To protect shore communities against storms, rebuilding isn’t the answer: smarter coastal engineering and development is
By Jennifer Hackett October 2, 2015
—During Hurricane Sandy, places along the Chesapeake Bay relied on beaches to reduce the amount of water that reached city streets.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey in 2012, it washed away >miles of beaches that the government paid billions to restore afterward. Few preventative countermeasures were in place. Now, as the Mid-Atlantic waits to see if it’s in Hurricane Joaquin’s path, whether or not its coastal communities are ready for a major storm might be put to the test.
What does it mean to live fully? To one person, it may mean loving deeply and being loved deeply in return. To another, it may mean hiking, skiing, or otherwise spending time outdoors. To yet another person, regularly pursuing physical challenges may be critical for living a full life.
—While there isn’t one answer to the question, any doctor can tell you that a “full life” must include taking care of your health. Inspired by how each of us thinks about life fulfillment, we partnered with global healthcare company Abbott to explore current thinking about some of the most unexpected benefits of living a healthier life.
—1. Make Your Own Luck (Live Better)
Robert Fahsenfeldt, owner of a segregated lunchroom in Cambridge, Maryland, throws water on a white integrationist who had earlier been hit with a raw egg (7/8/63). The protesters knelt on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant to sing freedom songs.
That Sunday night, March 29th, 2009, after the dinner dishes were done and put away, Lawrence Franks took out a bottle of Jameson and turned to his roommate, Matt Carney: “Ya wanna shot?” He asked this every night. Carney, like Franks, an officer in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division, lifted his glass and made the first toast. Here’s to the two of them and all that their lives now entailed: to surviving their first miserable winter at Fort Drum, to navigating the labyrinth of rules, regulations and duties that they, as newly minted second lieutenants, were still trying to make sense of. Here’s to figuring it out.SidebarBowe Bergdahl: America’s Last Prisoner of War »Franks downed his drink, feeling the slow, soothing burn of the whiskey. He poured another shot. Take care of yourself, buddy, he thought. I’m sorry you’re going to have to deal with my mess. “To you,” he said to Carney.
Reconciling a death sentence, from a pediatric cancer ward to death row.
—Illustration for “God’s Providence,” from the 1705 English edition of Orbis Sensualium Pictus. Image via The Public Domain Review.
—“Nothing can make injustice just but mercy.”
—Robert Frost, A Masque of Mercy
—The sight of the children rattles me every time. They sit around a tiny table in a too-small classroom, the walls stacked high with textbooks and technologies they will never use. The frailest ones wear hospital blankets draped over their shoulders. IV trolleys trail and beep behind them. Chest catheters peek out from under their clothes. One of the older girls wears a loose hijab. Her eyes are dark and bruised. Her skin is faintly gray. She lives in this hospital, in a private room down the hall. The healthy-looking children tend to live in nearby apartments, and attend this hospital-school because they are just beginning their treatments and must be hooked to an IV trolley too often to attend a traditional school in the district. They are bright-eyed and rosy-cheeked, dressed in the fresh first-day clothes any healthy child might choose for herself. One girl wears platform sandals and a bright neon wig.
Inside Zappos’ radical experiment to reinvent the American workplace.