Saturday, December 16, 2017

Essays , Commentary, and Insights

**Warning: This article contains major spoilers for A Nation Under Our Feet, a Black Panther story by Ta-Nehisi Coates** “…neither cities nor States nor individuals will ever attain perfection until the small class of philosophers, whom we termed useless but not corrupt, are providentially compelled, whether they will or not, to ...

A human population approaching 8 billion can be maintained only if wild habitat is given over to human cultivation and habitation, if rain forests can be turned into green deserts, if genetic engineering enables ever higher yields to be extorted from the thinning soils – then humans will have created ...

Change, or die: that’s the stark choice most protagonists face in literature, whether they recognize it or not.  Change is constant, and stasis is only an illusion.  What is true of people is also true of civilizations.  Cultures evolve, or they follow the lead of Ozymandias. Neal Stephenson’s epic and ...

Speculative Insights from the Web...

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  • 15 books to give your niece or nephew that will make you “the cool aunt”
    15 books to give your niece or nephew that will make you “the cool aunt” Being an aunt is awesome. For the most part, you get to enjoy all the fun of parenthood without any of the actual responsibility. If you have nieces and nephews, you know what we’re talking about. We can’t help it; we love spoiling our nieces and nephews. So this holiday season, it’s only natural to want to get ... Read more...
    Source: HelloGiggles (myths and fairytales)Published on Friday, December 15th, 2017By Elizabeth Entenman
  • Koichi Enomoto Toys with Reality, Mythology in Paintings
    Japanese artist Koichi Enomoto packs his oil paintings with manga influences, dystopian visions, and pop culture nods. Often, these pieces offer a dialogue about mankind’s relationship with technology, in particular. The artist calls his work “my private myth, like a vision, rising from the relations between my own and public reality.”More ... Read more...
    Source: HiFructose (myths and fairy tales)Published on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017By Andy Smith
  • Medieval Islamic Medicine
    Something of a truth I find in most books is that the implied themes almost always impart the more powerful lessons, and it is definitely true of Medieval Islamic Medicine. The importance of this book is difficult to quantify, as it is written for an academic audience with all the obligatory references, footnotes, and a bibliography to get lost in. Thus, in that sense, it is a really good and thorough ... Read more...
    Source: Ancient History EncyclopediaPublished on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

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  • Freedom Fighters: The Ray Season 1 – Where are Uncle Sam and the Human Bomb?
    The CW Seed has rolled on their new animated series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray, and while I’m enjoying the new series and curious what is going to happen next, I am left with one question. Where are Uncle Sam and the Human Bomb? When the Freedom Fighters were created back in 1973 in the pages of Justice League of America #107 by Len Wein and Dick Dillin, they had pulled together six characters originally created ... Read more...
    Source: BleedingCool (comics and superheroes)Published on Saturday, December 16th, 2017By Dan Wickline
  • A New Age of Comics Begins in Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Age of Comics is the latest comic book store to follow Diamond Comic Distributors programme for stores to expand their locations. They now have a new, much larger location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just opened.And for their grand opening, they attracted  appearances of the creators of the New Mutants comic book Bob McLeod and Chris Claremont, who signed comics and met fans, as well as opening what the store call their “Danger Room” – featuring valuable ... Read more...
    Source: BleedingCool (comics and superheroes)Published on Saturday, December 16th, 2017By Rich Johnston
  • Watch a Fascinating Documentary on The History of IMAGE COMICS – “So Much Damage”
    Back in 1992 a group of extremely talented comics book artists went rogue, threw up the middle finger to Marvel and DC to build a new comic book publishing empire called Image Comics. If you were reading comics in the 90s there no way you missed this. They were creating some of coolest, freshest, and badass comic at the time. It was a storm of awesomeness and I found myself hooked on what they were producing. ... Read more...
    Source: Geek Tyrant (comics and superheroes)Published on Friday, December 15th, 2017By Joey Paur
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  • A brief history of HIV [excerpt]
    The first of December is World AIDS Day: a day to show support for those living with HIV, to commemorate those we have lost, and ultimately unite in the fight against HIV. To combat this pandemic though, we need to understand how the virus – and the wider virus group – reacts with the human body. In the following excerpt from Virus Hunt, Dorothy H. Crawford discusses the discovery and history of HIV and the ... Read more...
    Source: Oxford University Press – Science and MedicinePublished on Friday, December 1st, 2017By DanP
  • Artificial DNA Base Pair Expands Life’s Vocabulary
    Scientists have taken another step towards putting two additional letters in the dictionary of life to work. Researchers at the Scripps Institute have engineered cells to successfully transcribe a brand new artificial DNA base pair and make a never-before-seen protein with it. The breakthrough is part of an effort to expand the library of amino acids that animal cells can work with, potentially leading to the creation of compounds entirely different from those life can produce now. The ... Read more...
    Source: Discovery – Medicine – GeneticsPublished on Thursday, November 30th, 2017
  • Citizen scientists can document the natural world
    At the start of the 21st century, it may come as a surprise that we still have not catalogued the detailed anatomy or traits of most plants, animals and microbes whether they are living or fossil species. That we lack much of this basic information – how species’ cells are constructed, what their physiology is like, the details of their bones, muscles or leaves – may be remarkable given that the study of comparative “morphology” ... Read more...
    Source: Oxford University Press – Science and MedicinePublished on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017By DanP

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  • Paolo Nespoli returns to Earth
    Paris (ESA) Dec 15, 2017 ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli landed back on Earth early this morning after 139 days in space. The ride home from the International Space Station required braking from 28 800 km/h to a standstill in barely three hours. Paolo and crewmates Randy Bresnik of NASA and Sergei Ryazansky of Roscosmos touched down on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 08:37 GMT. The Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft endured th ... Read more...
    Source: Space DailyPublished on Friday, December 15th, 2017
  • Herschel Data Links Mysterious Quasar Winds to Furious Starbursts
    Noordwijk, Netherlands (SPX) Dec 14, 2017 Astronomers have used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to solve a decades-old mystery about the origin of powerful cool gas winds in the hot environs of quasars. The evidence linking these powerful winds to star formation in the quasar host galaxies may also help resolve the mystery of why the size of galaxies in the universe appears to be capped. Since their discovery in the 1960s quasars ... Read more...
    Source: Space DailyPublished on Friday, December 15th, 2017
  • RS-25 Engine Test is Giant Step for 3-D Printing
    Stennis Space Center, MS (SPX) Dec 15, 2017 Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., and NASA completed hot-fire testing of an RS-25 rocket engine containing its largest additively manufactured component to date. Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing, will help lower the cost of future missions of NASA's powerful Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket. "This test demonstrates the v ... Read more...
    Source: Space DailyPublished on Friday, December 15th, 2017
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