Who are you?
Ingrid Newkirk is an animal rights activist, an author, and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She is best known for the animal rights awareness campaigns she organizes on behalf of PETA, which she cofounded in 1980. As PETA's president, Ingrid has spoken internationally on animal rights issues—from the steps of the Canadian Parliament to the streets of New Delhi, India, and from the drowning tanks of Taiwan to the halls of the U.S. Congress. Newkirk is the author of several books, including Free the Animals, You Can Save the Animals, and 250 Things You can Do To Make Your Cat Adore You.
Question: Who are you?
Ingrid Newkirk: Ingrid Newkirk. I’m President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
I was born in Surry in England on the Timms. I’ m not sure if that was a big formative part of my life, except that I had a dog who went everywhere with me and was like a brother to me. And I probably learned more about how to read animals’ expressions, and when they’re sad and when they’re happy from that dog that guided me in the rest of my work with animals. But I did move to India, and I spent the bulk of my childhood in India. And there I think I learned lessons that only came back to me later. I didn’t realize them at the time, this concept of ahimsa, which means “do no harm”.
When I was very little I thought I’d be a ballerina, and then a concert pianist, and then a mathematician. And finally I was studying for the brokerage, taking the brokerage exam when I happened upon some abandoned kittens. I ended up taking them to the local animal shelter, and I was so appalled at the conditions I found there. It really burst a bubble for me. I had no idea things could be that grim for animals in the United States. So I quit my brokerage job and went to clean the kennel there.
I think that moment when I started working as a kennel cleaner in an animal shelter, it was the start of a path. As a child I had always, and so had my mother, taken in animal refugees, human refugees. We always did charity work. There were unwed mothers that we helped to look after in India; orphans, lepers. We were always involved in that sort of thing. And all the strays off the streets – the animals who were hurt. But professionally it was that day when I started as a kennel cleaner, and then learned more and more about all the ways in which animals suffer; and all of the ways that you could stop that suffering. And then that started my career.
Question: Who was your greatest influence?
Ingrid Newkirk: When I was really young, I think the great Indian philosopher ______¬____ one of his disciples came to my boarding school. I was in a boarding school of all very rich little kids from overseas. We were quite snobbish, and this barefoot disciple arrived and told us about nature and about the values of simplicity; not of cherishing material things, but of decency, and understanding, and respect. And I think at the time we all snickered at him, but later on his words rang true to me as I grew up and came home to mean a lot.
Question: Do you still feel that affinity for nature?
Ingrid Newkirk: I think that caring about nature, frankly, is a lost cause, which is a very unpopular thing to say. But I think the natural world is disappearing at such a fast clip that it’s almost pointless to try to do anything to stop it. So that’s not where I focus my energies. I think nature can be terribly cruel. The human being can be deliberately cruel. Nature just is. But the wonders of nature are fast disappearing. And as we construct more and more things; as we have a greater and greater human population, there’s almost nothing left. And soon one day it will be gone.
Recorded on: November 12, 2007
Newkirk learned the concept of ahimsa early in life.
The Spilhaus Projection may be more than 75 years old, but it has never been more relevant than today.
- Athelstan Spilhaus designed an oceanic thermometer to fight the Nazis, and the weather balloon that got mistaken for a UFO in Roswell.
- In 1942, he produced a world map with a unique perspective, presenting the world's oceans as one body of water.
- The Spilhaus Projection could be just what the oceans need to get the attention their problems deserve.
It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction
- It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
- If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
- The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
Through computationally intensive computer simulations, researchers have discovered that "nuclear pasta," found in the crusts of neutron stars, is the strongest material in the universe.
- The strongest material in the universe may be the whimsically named "nuclear pasta."
- You can find this substance in the crust of neutron stars.
- This amazing material is super-dense, and is 10 billion times harder to break than steel.
Superman is known as the "Man of Steel" for his strength and indestructibility. But the discovery of a new material that's 10 billion times harder to break than steel begs the question—is it time for a new superhero known as "Nuclear Pasta"? That's the name of the substance that a team of researchers thinks is the strongest known material in the universe.
Unlike humans, when stars reach a certain age, they do not just wither and die, but they explode, collapsing into a mass of neurons. The resulting space entity, known as a neutron star, is incredibly dense. So much so that previous research showed that the surface of a such a star would feature amazingly strong material. The new research, which involved the largest-ever computer simulations of a neutron star's crust, proposes that "nuclear pasta," the material just under the surface, is actually stronger.
The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.
Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv
Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.
The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.
While they were able to discover just how strong nuclear pasta seems to be, no one is holding their breath that we'll be sending out missions to mine this substance any time soon. Instead, the discovery has other significant applications.
One of the study's co-authors, Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, said the neutron stars would be "a hundred trillion times denser than anything on earth." Understanding what's inside them would be valuable for astronomers because now only the outer layer of such starts can be observed.
"A lot of interesting physics is going on here under extreme conditions and so understanding the physical properties of a neutron star is a way for scientists to test their theories and models," Caplan added. "With this result, many problems need to be revisited. How large a mountain can you build on a neutron star before the crust breaks and it collapses? What will it look like? And most importantly, how can astronomers observe it?"
Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.
The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.
Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.
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