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miercuri, 22 august 2012

Teotihuacan: Ancient City of Pyramids

Located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of modern-day Mexico City, Teotihuacan was one of the largest urban centers in the ancient world. No one knows who built it. The city flourished between 2,100 years ago, when construction began, and about 1,400 years ago, when it went into a period of decline, including a fire that caused great damage. However, even with the decline, the city was never truly “lost” — the Aztecs made regular pilgrimages to the site in later periods.

Singularity review repost

The discussion of my repost on the silliness of generational tropes produced a surprising amount of agreement on the main point, then a lot of disagreement on the question of technological progress.

So, I thought I’d continue reprising my greatest hits with this review of Kurzweil’s singularity post, which I put up in draft from at Crooked Timber and my own blog, producing lots of interesting discussion.  Again, seven years old, but I don’t see the need to change much – YMMV

Big Bang este contestat, fiind probabil mai mult "Big Chill"

Se poate ca Universul să fi început mai degrabă printr-un mare îngheţ (Big Chill) decât printr-o mare explozie (Big Bang), potrivit unui nou studiu australian.

O echipă de fizicieni teoretici crede că fisurile din cristale, cum ar fi cele de gheaţă, ne pot ajuta să înţelegem cum a luat fiinţă universul.

"Filosofii antici greci s-au întrebat din ce era formată materia: era formată dintr-o substanţă continuă, sau din atomi individuali?", a declarat autorul principal al studiului, James Quach, de la Universitatea din Melbourne, într-un comunicat de presă. "Cu un microscop foarte puternic, noi ştim acum că materia este formată din atomi."

2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize Received By Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Charles Bennett

Johns Hopkins University professor Charles L. Bennett and members of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) space mission that he received the Gruber Foundation’s 2012 Cosmology Prize in Beijing, China tomorrow.

Bennett and the 26-member WMAP team will share the $500,000 prize and are being recognized by the foundation for their transformative study of an ancient light dating back to the infant universe. So precise and accurate are the WMAP results that they form the foundation of the Standard Cosmological Model.

Bennett will receive a gold medal at the International Astronomical Union meeting on August 21, and will deliver a lecture on the 22nd. Watch Bennett explain WMAP’s groundbreaking science in a video here.

Claude Mossé: PROCESUL LUI SOCRATE

În primăvara anului 399, sosirea la Pireu a navei carese întorcea de la Delos, unde în fiecare an era trimisă oambasadă sacră pentru a comemora victoria lui Theseu asupra Minotaurului, a fost întâmpinată de discipolii lui Socrate cu mare durere: ea însemna, într-adevăr, căpedeapsa cu moartea pronunţată de tribunalul popular împotriva bătrânului ale cărui lecţii le urmau străluciţiitineri ai Atenei, pedeapsă a cărei execuţie fusese amânatăcu o lună, conform legii, urma să fie dusă la îndeplinire. Adoua zi, filozoful avea să bea otrava în mijlocul discipolilor săi, iar moartea lui exemplară avea să stârneascăadmiraţia secole de-a rândul.

Socrate era un cetăţean atenian, iar Atena odemocraţie care se recunoştea în afirmaţia a douăprincipii: egalitatea în faţa legii a tuturor celor care făceauparte din comunitatea civică şi libertatea care permiteafiecăruia să trăiască, să-şi crească fiii, să gândească dupămintea lui. Cele două principii fuseseră ferm susţinute îndiscursul pe care istoricul Tucidide îl pune pe seamaomului reprezentând simbolul acestei democraţii, Pericle.

Werewolves - Case Histories

In 1764 an area of France was experiencing a rash of murders among sheep herders who worked in the desolate mountain pastures. Rumors began to surface about the "loup-garou". Witnesses claimed to have seen a creature with short red fur and a pig-like snout. The king of France sent soldiers to the area to kill the creature. Once there, the soldiers encountered and shot the beast. 

The wounded beast retreated into the heavy brush, and for a few months the killings stopped. Later that year the killings started again. A hunting party was formed to try to rid the area of this terror. One of the hunters, Jean Chastel, loaded his gun with silver bullets. He caught sight of the beast and shot it twice. The party then took the dead beast down to the town for display. It was buried in the town and Jean's gun is still on display in a local church.

THOR HEYERDAHL