This Surprising State is Allegedly The Best Place to Ride Out Climate Change

Florida may be an abandoned city one day, according to the Armchair Urbanist. By Devan McGuinness  Unfortunately, it’s true that we are already living through the effects of climate change. The world is becoming hotter, wetter, and storms are becoming more intense. And while the next decades certainly aren’t yet foretold — there are plenty of drastic actions world governments can take to avoid the worst of climate change — there are places that will probably be better off as the planet warms. As some activists have stated, doing what we can to make a difference will go a long way, and … Continue reading This Surprising State is Allegedly The Best Place to Ride Out Climate Change

10 Years of Rituals

Inside an exorcist’s diary. BY JOHN LAST We are living through a golden age of exorcism. Since the 1990s, when the famous Italian exorcist Gabriele Amorth revived the rite, the number of exorcists in the Roman Catholic Church has exploded, with training courses running in Rome forced to turn would-be exorcists away. The pope himself has endorsed the practice, as a growing number of Protestant churches promote “deliverance ministries” and other exorcisms as a central part of worship. And Hollywood has embraced it as a plot device, pouring cash into endless feature films, one tragically canceled TV series (and another critically acclaimed show that’s still ticking), and spending $400 million on a … Continue reading 10 Years of Rituals

The oil and gas industry knew about climate change in the 1950s

Archival documents set the timeline of coverups even further back. BY BENJAMIN FRANTA/THE CONVERSATION  Four years ago, I traveled around America, visiting historical archives. I was looking for documents that might reveal the hidden history of climate change—and in particular, when the major coal, oil and gas companies became aware of the problem, and what they knew about it. I pored over boxes of papers, thousands of pages. I began to recognize typewriter fonts from the 1960s and ‘70s and marveled at the legibility of past penmanship, and got used to squinting when it wasn’t so clear. What those papers revealed … Continue reading The oil and gas industry knew about climate change in the 1950s

Some people just don’t age, at least not like most

Super Agers and their brains might reveal something about age-related cognitive decline by Kelly Cotton When you look at a face, a different area of your brain is active than when you look at, say, a house. Neuroscientists can measure this difference in activity. As you age, your brain shows less of this neural differentiation, and in most older adults over the age of 60, the patterns of brain activity when looking at one type of object look similar to the patterns when looking at another type. However, one group of older individuals has patterns of brain activity that look … Continue reading Some people just don’t age, at least not like most

We Are Our Relationships

Zen priest Norman Fischer explains how we are more than the people we seem to be and that compassion is already part of the equation. By Norman Fischer Who are we really?  We’re not anyone in particular. Every moment, in response to the conditions in front of us, another person, the sky, the flowers, we are created again. That’s who we are: our relationship in this moment. Yes, of course, conventionally, we all have identities, commitments, loves, hates, and preferences. No one avoids that, and we wouldn’t want to. But that’s not all of who we are. That’s the point of … Continue reading We Are Our Relationships

Your Brain Is Like Beethoven

We survive noise by transforming it into patterns, like composers create music. BY JONATHAN BERGER Prior to the rise of urban culture, the sounds of clucking hens must have been among the world’s most ubiquitous annoyances. For millennia, humans have been “up with the chickens,” demarcating time by the rooster’s crow. But the infernal clucking of poultry must have constituted a constant din. It seems odd, then, that this obnoxious noise has found its way into a vast repertoire of music, from “La Poule” by French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau in 1726 to “Chick Chick” by Chinese pop singer Wang Rong … Continue reading Your Brain Is Like Beethoven

The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat

The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat I. G. Kenyon The Canary Islands comprise 7 volcanic islands that rise 6 to 8 km from the seafloor Eruptions occur on average every 30 years Landslide History of the Canary Islands 1 At least 14 large landslides have been mapped offshore from the Canary Islands Most of these landslides have been dated within the last 1 million years Landslide History of the Canary Islands 2 Recurrence interval is 100, 000 years for all islands and around 300, 000 years for individual islands Landslides comprise 50 to 500 km³ of debris avalanches spread … Continue reading The Canary Islands and the Tsunami Threat

Music and sex

A song can take you on a journey of ecstatic arousal. Is music imitating sex, inviting it, or something else altogether? Michael Spitzer is professor of music at the University of Liverpool in the UK. His books include A History of Emotion in Western Music: A Thousand Years from Chant to Pop (2020) and The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth (2021). Edited bySam Dresser And then she repeats the cycle all over again, dropping back down and rising to a climax twice more, each wave higher and more confident than the one before. The second verse is more intense because the … Continue reading Music and sex

Climate Change Has Exposed the Decline of the American Empire

Responding to the climate crisis has become a race against time, and our government still dawdles at the starting line. By William deBuys Thirteen thousand feet high on the far side of the Himalaya mountains, we have entered the past and the future at the same time. We are a medical expedition and also a pilgrimage, consisting of doctors, nurses, Buddhist clerics, supernumeraries like me, and a large staff of guides, muleteers, and camp tenders. We are bound for the isolated villages of Upper Dolpo, a remote region of northwestern Nepal, land of the snow leopard—both the actual animal and the eponymous … Continue reading Climate Change Has Exposed the Decline of the American Empire

How privacy became a forgotten virtue

Dave Eggers book, “The Circle,” uses satire to illuminate how privacy is fast becoming a lost virtue in the digital age. by Jonny Thomson KEY TAKEAWAYS In Dave Eggers’ book, “The Circle,” we are told to imagine a world where “secrets are lies, sharing is caring, and privacy is theft.”  We live in a world where sharing our most intimate moments, as well as our day to day banality, is the norm. Openness is a virtue while privacy is on the decline.  But privacy is essential to who we are as human beings. It’s a virtue we need to bring … Continue reading How privacy became a forgotten virtue