From All Over the World, Words About Love We All Understand
Languages the world over have words for love we all seem to understand.
Love. Contrary to older notions, it’s not what makes us human. But it is one thing we all share, wherever in the world we are. The course of romantic love is one of our richest experiences, full of overwhelmingly wonderful — and sometimes painfully gut-wrenching — emotion. To listen in on names other cultures have given its moments is to experience them all over again. While Big Think has written about some of these untranslatable words before, this sweet video from the CBC is a poignant reminder of an experience we share.
Romantic love comes and often goes, and each phase is as emotionally electric as the rest.
We crave those moments when the initial spark of meeting — or tiam in Farsi — leads to mamihlapinatapei, from Tierra del Fuego’s Yaghan people. It’s that moment when you both have the same idea about each other, and you think you both know it, but neither person is quite brave enough to act. There’s nothing else so simultaneously exciting and terrifying. (The Guiness Book of World Records considers “mamihlapinatapei” the most succinct word in the world.)
Ubuntu is a South-African Ndebele word with a sound that evokes the calm devotion of settled love, and it means, “I find my worth in you, and you find your worth in me.”
Sometimes, of course, love ends, and in Russian, that’s razliubit. It’s like a death has occurred, and we grieve — no tub of ice cream is safe. In Germany, they have a great word for the weight gained getting over lost love: kummerspeck. It means literally “grief bacon.”
There are so many days when it seems like we’re all so different, but we’re not. Each of these words reminds us of that because it describes something we know, no matter where we live. That all of us all over the world feel love as we do is a beautiful, powerful thing. It’s a reason for hope.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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