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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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Mind Memes for April 4: Black Holes, Dark Matter and More

April 4, 2013, 11:43 AM
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1. Living on the Edge: 2,000 Black Holes

At the center of the Milky Way galaxy there is a supermassive black hole that everything else has formed around. But it's not as nice and neat a picture as that. Over time, merging galaxies created gravitational waves capable of throwing smaller black holes to the fringes of the galaxy. Computer simulations by UCSC researchers predicted that between 70 and 2,000 of these smaller black holes might be lurking out there.

Read more here.

2. 2013: The Year of the Comeback

Is 2013 the 'Year of the Comeback'? Tommy Haas, the German-American tennis star who is 35 pulled off the upset of the year so far by dismantling Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open

Haas has defied injury and age in shooting up the men's singles rankings. Lance Armstrong has perhaps a steeper hill to climb. The disgraced cyclist has been banned from events sanctioned by U.S. Anti Doping Agency, but that won't stop him from competing in the Masters South Central Zone Swimming Championships this weekend at the University of Texas.

Read more here

3. Supercomputers Reconstruct Dinosaur Mechanics

Biologists and palaeontologists have long wondered how exactly these big guys moved around. How fast could they run? A collaboration with computational scientists called the BigDino project has been producing dinosaur simulations for 10 years. The group is now employing machine learning algorithms to sort through data from multiple simulations and understand the underlying patterns of how dinosaurs walked. 

Read more here.

4. Not Ready For Nuclear Primetime

The North Korean dictator Kim Jong un has apparently selected specific cities in Texas that he would like to obliterate, but he is having trouble keeping his own house in order. Defense analysts say there are hints that Kim may be losing his hold on the military.

He's also lost his hold on social media, as North Korean state media's Twitter account was hacked, along with its Flickr account, resulting in the release of this unsanctioned official image:

Read more here

5. Dark Matter, We Know You're Out There...

Dark Matter might be invisible, but it may not be hiding for too much longer.

A $1.6 billion cosmic ray experiment on the International Space Station has yielded results.
An instrument called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has detected an abundance of high energy particles that could be colliding particles of dark matter

Of course, we are still a long way off from pinning down the "missing mass" that holds galaxies together, and being able to fully explain its origins in the Big Bang.

As Dr. Michio Kaku says in this video, "There is a shelf full of Nobel Prizes waiting for you -- waiting for anyone -- who can come up with a convincing and experimentally verified explanation of the origin of dark matter."

To get the basics on dark matter, check out this infographic from Space.com.

 

Mind Memes for April 4: Bla...

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