The separation of science from “culture” is a modern phenomenon. Plato and Aristotle had a profound respect for what was known of science in their day. The Renaissance was as much concerned with the revival of science as with art and literature. Leonardo da Vinci devoted more of his energies to science than to painting. The Renaissance artists developed the geometrical theory of perspective. Throughout the eighteenth century a very great deal was done to diffuse understanding of the work of Newton and his contemporaries. But, from the early nineteenth century onwards, scientific concepts and scientific methods became increasingly abstruse and the attempt to make them generally intelligible came more and more to be regarded as hopeless. The modern theory and practice of nuclear physicists has made evident with dramatic suddenness that complete ignorance of the world of science is no longer compatible with survival.
What Was the Sputnik Moment: Video | Motherboard
Thomas Friedman has been doing it for years. Energy Secretary Chu has used the expression. And on Tuesday, President Obama called this moment “our generation’s Sputnik moment.” This 2007 documentary by David Hoffman explains what the original was, using old archival film.
APOD: Powers of Ten
Credit & Copyright: Charles & Ray Eames (Eames Office)
Explanation: How different does the universe look on small, medium, and large scales? The most famous short science film of its generation gives breathtaking comparisons. That film, Powers of Ten, originally created in the 1960s, has now been officially posted to YouTube and embedded above. Please click the above arrow to see the nine minute movie for yourself. From a picnic blanket near Chicago out past the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, every ten seconds the film pans out to show a square a factor of ten times larger on each side. The video then reverses, panning back in a factor of ten every two seconds and ends up inside a single proton. The Powers of Ten sequence is actually based on the book Cosmic View by Kees Boeke in 1957, as is a similar but mostly animated film Cosmic Zoom that was also created in the late 1960s. The changing perspectives are so enthralling and educational that sections have been recreated using more modern computerized techniques, including the first few minutes of the movie Contact, and in a short digital video called The Known Universe created last year for the American Museum of Natural History. Ray and husband Charles, the film’s creators, were known as quite visionary spirits and even invented their own popular chair.
What’s Hot or not
Don’t expect any kinky girls here. It’s pure science. Go to the link to find out what lies between the hottest and the coolest temperature we ever know.
The writing on the cave wall - New Scientist
Until now, the accepted view has been that our ancestors underwent a “creative explosion” around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, when they suddenly began to think abstractly and create rock art….
While some scholars like Clottes had recorded the presence of cave signs at individual sites, Genevieve von Petzinger, then a student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, was surprised to find that no one had brought all these records together to compare signs from different caves. And so, under the supervision of April Nowell, also at the University of Victoria, she devised an ambitious masters project. She compiled a comprehensive database of all recorded cave signs from 146 sites in France, covering 25,000 years of prehistory from 35,000 to 10,000 years ago.
What emerged was startling: 26 signs, all drawn in the same style, appeared again and again at numerous sites (see illustration). Admittedly, some of the symbols are pretty basic, like straight lines, circles and triangles, but the fact that many of the more complex designs also appeared in several places hinted to von Petzinger and Nowell that they were meaningful - perhaps even the seeds of written communication…
A group of 26 symbols crops up at Stone Age sites throughout the world – are these the origin of the written word?