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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

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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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Christmas Science

December 25, 2009, 6:53 AM
"’Santa is using technologies that we are not yet able to recreate in our own labs,’ explains North Carolina State University's Dr. Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who just completed a six month visiting-scholar program at Santa's Workshop-North Pole Labs (SW-NPL). ‘As the first scholar to participate in the SW-NPL program, I learned that we have a long way to go to catch up with Santa in fields ranging from aerodynamics and thermodynamics to materials science.’ For example, Silverberg says that Santa's sleigh is far more advanced than any modern form of air transportation. ‘The truss of the sleigh, including the runners, are made of a honeycombed titanium alloy that is very lightweight and 10 to 20 times stronger than anything we can make today,’ Silverberg says. The truss can also morph, Silverberg adds, altering its shape slightly to improve its aerodynamics and ‘allowing it to cut through the air more efficiently. The runners on the sleigh, for example, have some flexure. This allows them to tuck in to be more aerodynamic during flight, and then spread out to provide stability for landing on various surfaces -- such as steeply pitched roofs.’”
 

Christmas Science

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