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Mind Memes for Passover: Faith, Feminism and the Meaning of Life

1. Is the Purpose of Life to Make Babies?

Why are we here? To fullfil some grand purpose or merely to perpetuate our genes? Is the act of helping to ensure the survival of life indeed the fulfillment of a grand purpose? Lawrence Rifkin tackles these questions at Scientific American, quoting Ann Druyan on the children she had with Carl Sagan:

When we come closest to each other we can create new life forms that carry on that continuity that stretches back all those billions of years, and in them are the generations of human beings who have struggled. That is magnificent.

Read more here

2. The Higgs Boson in 3 Minutes

We suggest you check out the YouTube channel One Minute Physics which offers "physics and other sweet science - all in a minute!" This featured video, however, takes a bit longer, since it seeks to explain the significance of the Higgs Boson. In the video below, animator Henry Reich uses a whiteboard and some humor to deliver the goods. 

Watch here:

3. Who Needs Feminism?

Responding to the negative connotation of the word feminism, the members of Professor Rachel Seidman’s "Women in a Public Sphere" class at Duke University developed a powerful meme, "Who Needs Feminism?" Here's one example:

Here is the group's Tumblr page.

Hat Tip to Upworthy

4. Machines Replacing Humans on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge will become the nation's first major toll bridge to go all electronic, as toll collectors are scheduled to be replaced by a fully automated system. While this change will save the state money and speed up traffic, commuters will lose the human touch. "Unlike their counterparts at other bridges," The New York Times reports, "the Golden Gate’s toll collectors are instructed to smile and greet their customers, even though that may delay traffic." Indeed, many motorists chose the human-operated cash lanes over the automated FasTrak lanes. As 18-year toll collector Jackie Dean put it, "I met people from all over the world. I kissed babies from different countries. I’ve taken pictures for people from all over the world. I’ve seen cars that aren’t even out, the prototypes."

Read more here

5. The Radical Truth Behind Passover

Niles Goldstein, the founding Rabbi of the New Shul in Manhattan and author of Gonzo Judaism: A Bold Path for Renewing an Ancient Faith, tells Big Think that "the real revolutionary idea of Passover" is that a band of newly freed slaves had the "courage and guts to be able to introduce monotheism to a world that was still practicing idolatry." That is what makes it radical "and that is what makes it counter-cultural and what makes it revolutionary," Goldstein says.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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