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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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> 1,000 Words Posts

Ideas in visual form

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> 1,000 Words

Star Trails Over El Capitan

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about 11 hours ago

From base to summit, Yosemite's El Capitan is around 3,000 feet, and hiding the north celestial pole in this photograph. But follow the star trails, and you'll of course get a sense of where the north celestial pole is anyway.  NASA has more:   Their short arcs reflecting the planet's ...

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Spica, Mars, and the Red Eclipsed Moon

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2 days ago

On April 15th, people in North America were treated to a "blood moon," when dispersed light from Earth's sunsets and sunrises covered the face of the Moon during a lunar eclipse. This is the first in a series of four "blood moon" lunar eclipses occurring over the next year and a half, as we ...

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Saturn in Blue and Gold

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4 days ago

If a human hovered close to the giant ringed planet, she would see Saturn as partly blue. In March 2006, the robot Cassini spacecraft, still orbiting Saturn, snapped this image of the planet in gold and blue.  NASA explains why Saturn can be seen sporting UC Berkeley's colors:   Here ...

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The Sunflower Galaxy

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6 days ago

Around 25 million light-years from the constellation Canes Venatici in the northern sky, the Sunflower Galaxy clearly deserves its nickname. The flower-looking bright spiral galaxy is nearly 100,000 light-years across, which is about the size of our own Milky Way.  From NASA's website ...

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Martian Sunset

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7 days ago

What is a sunset like on Mars? The image and question may seem like something out of The Little Prince. Luckily, NASA's robotic rover Spirit, sent to the "Red Planet" in 2005, snapped this image to give us an idea. From NASA's website: Colors in the above image have been slightly ...

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Einstein's Last Desk

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9 days ago

Albert Einstein passed away on April 18, 1955. A photographer from LIFE snapped his desk at Princeton hours after Einstein had died. Einstein gave new meaning to the saying, cluttered desk, cluttered mind. Perhaps genius requires a little disorder. 

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Inside the Orion Nebula

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10 days ago

Around 1,500 light-years away, hot young stars surrounded by glowing gas make up the Great Nebula in Orion. This massive starbirth region is on the edge of an interstellar molecular cloud. Hubble takes us inside the Orion Nebula with this brightly colored image.  NASA has more:  In the ...

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Tiger Stripes on Saturn's Moon

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11 days ago

Underground oceans may be venting through these long "tiger stripes" on Saturn's moon Enceladus. The moon's icy interior shoots ice through the stripes and into space.  NASA has more:  Long features dubbed tiger stripes are known to be spewing ice from the moon's icy interior into space ...

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Along the Western Vail

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14 days ago

These red waves of glowing gas arch toward the constellation of Cygnus. They can be found in the western part of the Veil Nebula, the remnant of a large supernova born from the exploding death of a giant star. Light from the original star was visible on Earth over 5,000 years ago. NASA has more ...

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Dusty Cosmic Clouds

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15 days ago

Around 6,400 light-years away, in the constellation of Orion, is this sparkling skyscape captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. On the edge of NGC 2174, this image shows a corner of a nebula-rich constellation.  NASA explains:  It follows mountainous clouds of gas and dust carved by winds ...