Don't Throw Archimedes Out With the Bath Water Just Yet
The idea of the "Eureka! moment" might very well prove to be the most useful concept that Archimedes passed down to us.
In a previous post, we examined the famous "Aha! moment" of Archimedes, in which the mathematician realized he could measure an object's density while taking a bath. Archimedes had been stuck on the problem of how to determine whether a crown made for his king was solid gold, or had some silver mixed in.
At a conference at NYU dedicated to Archimedes, some cold water was poured into Archimedes' bath revelation. As The New York Times pointed out, as was the case with Archimedes' supposed idea to use mirrors to generate death rays to take out Roman ships, the idea of measuring density this way is simply too good to be true. That is to say, the underlying principle works, "but in practice, the tiny difference in volume between a crown made of pure gold and one made of a mixture of gold and silver is too small to be reliably measured."
Nonetheless, as the NYU conference on Archimedes makes clear, the mathematician's ideas are extremely useful today, as they are being applied in multiple fields, from engineering to astronomy.
Moreover, the idea of the "Eureka! moment," or our understanding of how creativity works (which is still in its infancy), might very well prove to be the most useful concept that Archimedes passed down to us.
The Nobel prize-winning neuropsychiatrist Eric Kandel sees Archimedes' habit of "letting the mind wander" as a blueprint for creative breakthroughs.
Read more about that here.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Beyond Beef sizzles and marbleizes just like real beef, Beyond Meat says.
- Shares of Beyond Meat opened at around $200 on Tuesday morning, falling to nearly $170 by the afternoon.
- Wall Street analysts remain wary of the stock, which has been on a massive hot streak since its IPO in May.
- Beyond Meat faces competition from Impossible Foods and, as of this week, Tyson.
Average waiting time for hitchhikers in Ireland: Less than 30 minutes. In southern Spain: More than 90 minutes.
- A popular means of transportation from the 1920s to the 1980s, hitchhiking has since fallen in disrepute.
- However, as this map shows, thumbing a ride still occupies a thriving niche – if at great geographic variance.
- In some countries and areas, you'll be off the street in no time. In other places, it's much harder to thumb your way from A to B.
A recent study used data from the Big Five personality to estimate psychopathy prevalence in the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.
- The study estimated psychopathy prevalence by looking at the prevalence of certain traits in the Big Five model of personality.
- The District of Columbia had the highest prevalence of psychopathy, compared to other areas.
- The authors cautioned that their measurements were indirect, and that psychopathy in general is difficult to define precisely.
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