Why The World Is Starting To Panic Over Climate – Analysis

By Robin Russell-Jones Scientific background Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity has ever faced. Warming of the troposphere as a result of releasing man-made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere was predicted as long ago as 1896. Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have been measured continuously since 1958 at the Mauna Lao Observatory in Hawaii. CO2 has risen from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 415 ppm (2021). Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas and has risen from a pre-industrial level of 722 parts per billion to 1,866 (2019). Methane levels … Continue reading Why The World Is Starting To Panic Over Climate – Analysis

Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

DNA, Atoms and particles (Getty Images/Yuichiro Chino) An expanding notion of what “consciousness” is could have profound repercussions By MATTHEW ROZSA Dr. Martin Picard is an associate professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, specializing in both psychiatry and neurology. Together, expertise in these two fields suits one well to understanding the essence of what makes one human. Picard is particularly knowledgable about mitochondria, a structure found within nearly all cells that have a nucleus. They provide most of the chemical energy that cells use in their various biochemical tasks, and are sometimes likened to batteries. Picard sees something else in mitochondria, too. Last year, he … Continue reading Panpsychism, the idea that inanimate objects have consciousness, gains steam in science communities

We’re More of Ourselves When We’re in Tune with Others

Music reminds us why going solo goes against our better nature. BY KEVIN BERGER When musicians have chemistry, we can feel it. There’s something special among them that’s missing when they perform alone. Anyone who’s heard a Mick Jagger solo album knows that’s the case. Clearly nature wants us to jam together and take flight out of our individual selves. The reward is transcendence, our bodies tell us so. What’s the secret of that chemistry? It’s a question that one of the most refreshing neuroscientists who studies music has been probing lately. Refreshing because her lab is not only in … Continue reading We’re More of Ourselves When We’re in Tune with Others

Vast early America

There is no American history without the histories of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. And this past has consequences today Karin Wulf is executive director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and professor of history at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Edited bySam Haselby Nations need history; it is a key genre for explaining the status quo. Modern nations and modern historical practices in the West developed over the same centuries, so the effort to harness the latter to the former is no surprise. Yet whether about the removal of statues, the veracity of journalism and … Continue reading Vast early America

It’s Time for a New International Space Treaty

With satellite traffic increasing and space tourism set to take off, the laws governing space are due for an overhaul. BY RAMIN SKIBBA SPACE IS MUCH BUSIER than it used to be. Rockets are launching more and more satellites into orbit every year. SpaceX, the private company founded by Elon Musk, blasted more than 800 satellites into space in 2020 alone. Extraterrestrial tourism is about to take off, led by space barons Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson, two of whom have already taken their first private space outings. The frenetic activity of space agencies and space companies around the world will extend beyond Earth’s atmosphere, … Continue reading It’s Time for a New International Space Treaty

Stop Calling Them “Girls’ Bikes“

A case for pedaling a step-through bike by Eben Weiss Like a dog’s tail communicates its mood, a bike’s top tube indicates its intent. A level top tube implies a bicycle of classical proportions and dignified comportment. A sloping one suggests light weight and snappy acceleration. And a top tube low enough to easily lift your foot over in order to mount the bicycle means it’s a “girl’s” bike, and not one meant to be ridden hard by serious riders. Yeah, right. While the purpose of the step-through frame was originally to accommodate a woman’s wardrobe (women in pants was a radical … Continue reading Stop Calling Them “Girls’ Bikes“

Earth Temperature Could Reach ‘Tipping Point’ Within Five Years, Study Warns

A study by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggests Earth’s temperature could reach its ‘tipping point’ within the next five years.  BY : EMILY BROWN  Last year marked one of the three warmest years on record, with the global average temperature being 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels, but the WMO has warned the worst could be yet to come as the chances of the temperature reaching 1.5°C are increasing with time. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has established 1.5°C as a key tipping point for the Earth’s temperature, beyond which the risks of disasters such as extreme drought, fires, floods and … Continue reading Earth Temperature Could Reach ‘Tipping Point’ Within Five Years, Study Warns

Your brain has limits. Here are some simple ways to extend your mind, according to science

Acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul says that in order to think the intelligent, informed, original thoughts we’re capable of, we can’t rely on the brain alone. Read on to learn how you can extend your mind. BY BOOK BITES Annie Murphy Paul is an acclaimed science writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Scientific American, TIME magazine, and the Best American Science Writing. She is currently a fellow in New America’s Learning Sciences Exchange. Below, Annie shares five key insights from her new book, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. Listen to the audio version—read by … Continue reading Your brain has limits. Here are some simple ways to extend your mind, according to science

Everything could have been so different

Your life is far more arbitrary than you might think. by Jonny Thomson  Jorge Borges’ story, The Library of Babel, asks us to imagine all the books that could be written using a random shuffling of 25 characters. Daniel Dennett argues that, in some ways, the genetic makeup of all life is similar but with only four characters. The history of the universe is only one possible way our story could have gone. Much of our reality is simply arbitrary. Imagine all the lives you didn’t live. A life where you never met your partner. Where you never had a brother … Continue reading Everything could have been so different

Plagues and empires

What can the decline of the Roman Empire and the end of European feudalism tell us about COVID-19 and the future of the West? John Rapley is a political economist at the University of Cambridge, as well as a senior fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study. His latest book is Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a Religion and How it all Went Wrong (2017). He lives in London and Johannesburg. Edited bySam Haselby Early in 2020, after a mysterious coronavirus emerged out of China and then raced across the globe, a quiet new year took a screeching turn. … Continue reading Plagues and empires