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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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Mind Memes for Spring: The Universe is Older and Extreme is the New Normal

March 21, 2013, 2:09 PM

1. Extreme Weather is the New Normal

Happy Spring! That means it's time to expect winter storms. That's the new normal, according to National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini. "We have observed more snowstorms and heavy rain events that have been extreme," he said, due to the fact that a warming atmosphere can "hold more water vapor that can increase the intensity of storms."

Read more here

2. The Memes That Get You Fired

You better think before you record yourself and your colleagues doing the Harlem Shake. It may not be safe for work. A group of dancing Australian miners, for instance, were recently fired for safety violations and for breaching "core values of safety, integrity and excellence." But it doesn't end there. Remember the pastor Alois Bell who wrote "I Give God 10 percent. Why do you get 18" on a restaurant check? The waitress who posted a picture of the receipt on Reddit has been fired. 

Find out more ways to go viral and get fired here

3. Entanglement: Physicists Tie Knots of Water

The video below, shot using a high-speed laser CT scan, shows how physicists created "vortex rings" by sending water through a 3D-printer-built device. "Being able to custom-make and manipulate these flowing knots on command could lead to a much better understanding of the effects of their mysterious topology on different kinds of turbulence" wrote a team of physicists from the University of Chicago in Nature Physics

4. Imagine No Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles

On the occasion of the 44th anniversary of her marriage to her late husband John Lennon, Yoko Ono tweeted the following image:

44 years ago the couple took their famous honeymoon at the Amsterdam Hilton, which was memorialized in the song, The Ballad of John and Yoko, the Beatles' last single to go to #1 on the UK charts:

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspaper said, "Say what you doing in bed?"
I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace."

5. The Universe is a Little Older and a Bit Slower

We're older than we think we are. 80 million years older, in fact. Based on observations made by the European Space Agency’s Planck space probe, scientists have reported that the Universe is 13.81 billion years old. The cosmos is also expanding slower than previously thought.


Mind Memes for Spring: The ...

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