Daydreaming Like a Scientist and other Mind Memes

1. Don't Let Math Get in the Way of Big Ideas

"Many of the most successful scientists in the world today are mathematically no more than semiliterate." E.O. Wilson shares this professional secret in The Wall Street Journal. But not to worry: "Pioneers in science only rarely make discoveries by extracting ideas from pure mathematics," Wilson writes. So don't let your deficiencies in high level math keep you from entering a career in science. Discoveries come from daydreaming like a scientist. 

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2. Meet PETMAN

The creepy robot of the day award goes to Boston Dynamics, which released this video of its PETMAN robot testing out a chemical protection suit and gas mask.

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3. To Catch an Asteroid

NASA's asteroid-retrieval project is likely a go, as $100 million is expected to be allocated for the project as part of President Barack Obama's federal budget request for 2014. 

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4. Red Meat + Bacteria = Heart Disease

Bacteria in the human digestive track metabolizes carnitine, a compound that is found in red meat, as well as energy drinks. This promotes atherosclerosis, or the clogging of the arteries. 

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5. The Benefits of Psilocybin

The chemical psilocybin is the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms. Professor David Nutt, a professor at Imperial College London, says psilocybin can be used to treat severe depression, and argues for a change in drug laws. 

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Car culture and suburbs grow right-wing populism, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • 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.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • 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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