Non-denominational spirituality plays an important role in the day-to-day functioning of post-apartheid South Africa, says a former director of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The African worldview—for lack of a better word—is already very spiritual, in that it discerns the presence of the divine in material things, sacred space, ritual, and the ancestors. This spirituality contributed in a very significant way to the South African willingness to accept a negotiated settlement and a truth and reconciliation commission, rather than merely resorting to prosecutions. At its core is the notion of ubuntu—that I am a person through others. I am a person through you, and you are a person through me. If there is enmity between us, you are a lesser person and I am a lesser person. The African tradition rests on that collectivity, that sense of belonging, that sense of community.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
It turns out the human scalp has an olfactory receptor that seems to play a crucial role in regulating hair follicle growth and death.
- Scientists treated scalp tissue with a chemical that mimics the odor of sandalwood.
- This chemical bound to an olfactory receptor in the scalp and stimulated hair growth.
- The treatment could soon be available to the public.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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