Over the past few years, I’ve organized philosophy workshops around the world: with students at Palestinian and Indonesian universities, Hasidic Jews in New York, teenagers in Brazil and an Iroquois community in Canada.
I chose the locations deliberately along various lines of conflict: Israel and Palestine, Islam and the West, religious orthodoxy and urban modernity, social and racial divisions in Brazil, and the struggle of Native Americans with the legacy of colonialism.
Michael Abrash, the chief scientist for Facebook's Oculus, took the stage during day two of the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco to blow everyone's mind with some trippy optical illusions. During the keynote, Abrash highlighted some interesting illusions to explain how we can trick our eyes into thinking what we're seeing is reality. And according to Abrash, these perceptions, and the assumptions our brain makes about them, are what make virtual reality work.
Lao Tzu, author of Tao Te Ching, was a philosopher and poet of ancient China. As founder of philosophical Taoism, he's a legendary figure dated back to the 6th Century BCE and supposedly a contemporary of Confucius. Throughout history, Laozi's work has been embraced by various anti-authoritarian movements.
When you look up at the blue sky, where are the stars that you see at night? They’re there but we can’t see them. A firefly flitting across a field is invisible to us during the day, but at night we can easily spot its flashes. Similarly, proteins, viruses, parasites and bacteria inside living cells can’t be seen by the naked eye under normal conditions. But a technique using a fluorescent protein can light up cells' molecular machinations like a microscopic flashlight.
Is the Earth now spinning through the “Age of Humans?” More than a few scientists think so. They’ve suggested, in fact, that we modify the name of the current geological epoch (the Holocene, which began roughly 12,000 years ago) to the “Anthropocene.” It’s a term first put into wide circulation by Nobel-Prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen in an article published in Nature in 2002. And it’s stirring up a good deal of debate, not only among geologists.
The recent earthquake in Nepal demonstrated yet again how difficult it is to reliably predict natural disasters. While we have a good knowledge of the various earthquakes zones on the planet, we have no way of knowing exactly when a big quake like the 7.8-magnitude event in Nepal will happen.
A small island between Vancouver and Vancouver Island, Lasqueti is home to a little known community of off-gridders who take pride in their isolation from both mainstream culture and mainland Canada. Most of the residents live almost entirely off the land and create no carbon footprint on the environment. With its incredibly small economy, the community is a vibrant mixture of 350 residents and includes 70 children.
From hydro-electric dams to hydrogen powered vehicles, scientists for years have been struggling to figure out innovative ways to capture the limitless potential of water. Despite the shortcomings, new wave energy technology may be a unique approach to harnessing wave power in our oceans instead.
Never been done before, a new transparent solar cell was recently developed by researchers at a Silicon Valley startup named Ubiquitous Energy. This innovative technology could greatly expand the capabilities of solar power and allow more practical ways of generating power in homes and even skyscrapers.