21st Science and technology
•It is a truism to say that in 21st century society science and technology are important.
•Human existence in the developed world is entirely dependent on some fairly recent developments in science and technology.
•Whether this is good or bad is, of course, up for an argument.
•But the fact that science underlies our lives, our health, our work, our communications, our entertainment and our transport is undeniable.
•In 'Easier Said than Done', we set out some of the reasons why we might find it hard to live in a healthy way, exercising, eating well, getting adequate sleep, and checking for early warning symptoms.
•Perhaps most importantly, we look to the field of behavioral science for strategies that people can use to overcome those hurdles and to initiate lifestyle changes.
•These include Commitment devices, where we make it very unattractive to not follow through on an intention.
•Changing existing behavior can be a difficult task, but with the help of these strategies new behaviors can become habitual, facilitating a long –term sustained healthy lifestyle.
Human worship gods
•My study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that Homo sapiens is also Homo religious.
•Men and women started to worship gods as soon as they became recognizably human they created religions at the same time as they created works of art.
•This was not simply because they wanted to propitiate powerful forces.
•These early faiths expressed the wonder and mystery that seems always to have been an essential component of the human experience of this beautiful world.
Engineered for green technologies
•Engineers are much needed to develop greener technologies.
•The energy sector has a fantastic skills shortage at all levels, both now and looming over it for the next 10 years.
•Not only are there some good career opportunities, but there’s a lot of money going into the research side, too.
•With the pressures of climate change and the energy gap, in the last few years funding from the research councils has probably doubled.
•For as long as I can remember, there has been a map in the ticket hall of Piccadilly Circus tube station supposedly showing night and day across the time zones of the world.
•This is somewhat surprising given the London Underground's historic difficultly in grasping the concept of punctuality.
•But this map has always fascinated me, and still does, even though it now seems very primitive.
•This is because it chops the world up equally by longitude, without regard the reality of either political divisions or the changing seasons.
•In Montana as elsewhere, companies that have acquired older mines respond to demands to pay for cleanup in either of two ways.
•Especially if the company is small, its owners may declare the company bankrupt, in some cases conceal its assets, and transfer their business efforts to other companies or to new companies that do not bear responsibility for cleanup at the older mine.
•If the company is so large that it cannot claim that it would be bankrupted by cleanup costs, the company instead denies its responsibility or else seeks to minimize the costs.
•In either case, either the mine site and areas downstream of it remain toxic, thereby endangering people, or else the U.S. federal government and the Montana state government pay for the cleanup through the federal Superfund and a corresponding Montana state fund.
Fill in the Blanks
I, for example, am a cyclist and a motorist. I fasten my seatbelt when I drive and wear a helmet on my bike to reduce the risk of injury. I am convinced that these are prudent safety measures. I have persuaded many friends to wear helmets on the grounds that transplant surgeons call those without helmets, “donors on wheels.” But a book on ‘Risk’ by my colleague John Adams has made me re-examine my convictions.
Adams has completely undermined my confidence in these apparently sensible precautions. What he has persuasively argued, particularly in relation to seat belts, is that the evidence that they do what they are supposed to do is very suspect. This is in spite of numerous claims that seat belts save many thousands of lives every year.
Between 1970 and 1978 countries in which the wearing of seat belts is compulsory had on average about five percent road accident death than before the introduction of the United Kingdom road deaths decreased steadily about seven thousand a year. In 1972 to Just over our in 1989. There is no evidence in the trend for any effect of the seat belt law that was introduced in 1983. There is actually evidence that the number of cyclists and pedestals killed increased by about ten percent. That twice as many children were killed in road accidents in 1922 as now must not be taken as evidence that there is less risk when children play in the street today. It almost certainly reflects the care taken by parents in keeping children off the streets.
How are these figures which are both puzzling and shoeing to be explained? This answer seems to lie in our perception of risk and how we modified our behaviour. An important concept that has been developed to account for peoples’ handling. Of risk is the Thermostat Mode. An individual’s propensity to take risks is influenced by their own experience, and that of others and this model assumes that the degree to which we lake risks varies from one individual to another. The key feature the risk-taking is the balancing of perceptions of the risk and the possible rewards, and this balance may be the rejection of an individual is a particular type of personality. In general, the more risks an individual takes, the greater will be both the positive and negative rewards.
In a sequence of bestsellers, including The Language Instinct and How the Mind Works, Pinker has argued the swathes of our mental, social and emotional lives may have originated as evolutionary adaptions, well suited to the lives our ancestors eked out on the Pleistocene savannah. Sometimes it seems as if nothing is immune from being explained this way. Road rage, adultery, marriage, altruism, our tendency to reward senior executives with corner offices on the top floor, and the smaller number of women who become mechanical engineers all may have their roots in natural selection, Pinker claims. The controversial implications are obvious: that men and women might differ in their inborn abilities at performing certain tasks, for example, or that parenting may have little influence on personality.
Impressionism was a nineteenth-century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists who started publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s. Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brush strokes, light colors, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, and unusual visual angles. The name of the movement is derived from Claude Monet’s Impression, Sunrise (Impression, Soleil Levant). Critic Louis Leroy inadvertently coined the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari. Radicals in their time, early Impressionists broke the rules of academic painting. They began by giving colors, freely brushed, primacy over line, drawing inspiration from the work of painters such as Eugene Delacroix. They also took the act of painting out of the studio and into the world. Previously, not only stilllives and portraits, but also landscapes had been painted indoors, but the Impressionists found that they could capture the momentary and transient effects of sunlight by painting air (in plain air).
The foreign policy of a state, it is often argued, begins and ends with the border. No doubt an exaggeration, this aphorism nevertheless has an ELEMENT of truth. A state’s relation with its neighbors, at least in the FORMATIVE years, are greatly INFLUENCED by its frontier policy, especially when there are no SETTLED borders. Empire builders in the past sought to extend imperial frontiers for a variety of reasons; subjugation of kings and princes to gain their allegiance (as well as handsome tributes for the coffers of the state), and, security of the ‘core’ of the empire from external attacks by establishing a string of buffer states in areas ADJOINING the frontiers. The history of British empire in India was no different. It is important to note in this connection that the concept of international boundaries (between two sovereign states), demarcated and delineated, was yet to emerge in India under Mugha rule.
Live away from home
For many first-year students, the University may be their first experience living away from home for an EXTENDED period of time. It is a DEFINITE break from home. In my point of view this is the best thing that you can do. I know you have to fend for yourself, cook and clean after yourself, basically look after yourself without your parents but the truth is – some time in your life you are going to have to part with lovely Mummy and Daddy. But they are only just a phone call away and it is really good to have some quality time without them. The first few weeks can be a LONELY period. There may be concerns about forming friendship. When new students look around, it may seem that everyone else is self- confident and SOCIALLY successful! The reality is that everyone is having the same concerns.
Increased personal freedom can feel both wonderful and FRIGHTENING. Students can come and go as they choose with no one to “hassle” them. The strange environment with new kinds of procedures and new people can create the sense of being on an emotional roller coaster. This is normal and to be expected. You meet so many more people in the halls than if you stayed at home. The main points about living away from home are: no parents! You don’t have to tell them where you’re going, who you’re going with, what time you’ll be coming, why you’re going etc. etc. You learn various social skills; you have to get along with your roommates Living with them can present special, sometimes intense, problems. Negotiating respect of personal property, personal space, sleep, and relaxation needs, can be a complex task. The complexity increases when roommates are of different BACKGROUNDS with very different values. It is unrealistic to expect that roommates will be best friends. Meaningful, new relationships should not be expected to develop overnight. It took a great deal of time to develop intimacy in high school friendships; the same will be true of intimacy in university friendships. You have a phone! So if you ever get homesick or miss you Mummy then she’s always at the end of a phone-line for you – and so are your friends
SpaceX Dragon Capsule
The rocket lofted an uncrewed MOCKUP of SpaceX’s Dragon Capsule, which is designed to one day carry both crew and cargo to orbit. “This has been a good day for SpaceX and a PROMISING development for the US human space flight programme,” said Robyn Ringuette of SpaceX in a webcast of the launch.
In a teleconference with the media on Thursday, SpaceX’s CEO, Paypal co-founder Elon Musk, said he would consider the flight 100 per cent successful if it reached ORBIT. “Even if you prove out just that the first stage functions correctly, I’d still say that’s a good day for a test,” he said. “It’s a great day if both stages work correctly.
” SpaceX hopes to win a NASA CONTRACT to launch astronauts to the International Space Station using the Falcon 9. US government space shuttles, which currently make these trips, are scheduled to RETIRE for safety reasons at the end of 2010.
Your TEENAGE daughter gets top marks in school, captains the debate team, and volunteers at a shelter for homeless people. But while driving the family car, her text-messages her best friend and rear-ends another vehicle.
How can teems be so clever, accomplished, and responsible – and reckless AT THE SAME TIME? Easily, according to two physicians at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School (HMS) who have been exploring the unique structure and chemistry of the adolescent brain. “The teenage brain is not just an adult brain with fewer miles on it,” says Frances E. Jensen, a professor of neurology. “It’s a paradoxical time of DEVELOPMENT. These are people with very sharp brains, but they’re not quite sure what to do with them.”
Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist best known for his book “The Language Instinct”, has called music “auditory cheesecake, an exquisite confection crafted to tickle the sensitive spots of at least six of our mental faculties.” If it VANISHED from our species, he said, “The rest of our lifestyle would be VIRTUALLY unchanged.” Others have argued that, on the CONTRARY, music, along with art and literature, is part of what makes people human; its absence would have a brutalizing eﬀect. Philip Ball, a British science writer and an avid music enthusiast, comes down somewhere in the middle. He says that music is ingrained in our auditory, cognitive and motor functions. We have a music INSTINCT as much as a language INSTINCT, and could not rid ourselves of it if we tried.
A new video-conferencing technology
Never has the carbon footprint of multi-national corporations been under such intense scrutiny. Inter-city train journeys and long-haul flights to CONDUCT face-to-face business meetings contribute significantly to greenhouse gases and the resulting STRAIN on the environment.
The Anglo-US company Teliris has introduced a new video – CONFERENCING technology and partnered with the Carbon Neutral Company, enabling corporate outfits to become more environmentally responsible. The innovation allows SIMULATED face-to-face meetings to be held across continents without the time PRESSURE or environmental burden of international travel.
Previous designs have enabled video – CONFERENCING on a point-to-point, dual-location basis. The firm’s VirtuaLive technology, however, can bring people together from up to five separate locations anywhere in the world – with UNRIVALLED transmission quality.
Intelligence of animals of different species
Comparing the intelligence of animals of different species is difficult, how do you compare a dolphin and a horse? Psychologists have a technique for looking at intelligence that DOES not require the cooperation of the animal involved. The relative size of an individual’s brain is a reasonable indication of intelligence. Comparing across species is not as simple an elephant will have a larger brain than a human simple because it is a large beast. INSTEADwe use the Cephalization Index, which compare the size of an animal’s brain to the size of its body.
Based on the Cephalization Index, the brightest animals on the planet are humans, FOLLOWED by grat apes, porpoises and elephants. As a general rule animals that hunt for a living (like canines) are smarter than strict
vegetarians (you don’t need much intelligence to outsmart a leaf of lettuce). Animals that live in a social groups are always smarter and have large EQ’s than solitary animals.
Jupiter Icy Moons
Scientists preparing for NASA’s proposed JUPITER Icy Moons Orbiter believe that Jupiter’s moons Europa may be corrosive mixture of acid and peroxide. Thus it may not be the IDEAL place for life to exist as was thought possibly to be the case. VIRTUALLY all the information we have about Europa comes from the spacecraft Galileo, which completed its mission to study Jupiter and its moons close up before NASA dramatically crashed it into Jupiter in 2003. ALTHOUGH the general perception of Europa is of a frozen crust of water ice harboring a salty subterranean ocean kilometers below, researchers studying the most recent measurements say light reflected from the moon’s icy surface bears the spectral fingerprints of hydrogen peroxide and strong acids. HOWEVER they accept that it could just be a thin surface dusting and might not come from the ocean below.
Two decades ago, KASHMIRI houseboat-owners rubbed their hands every spring at the PROSPECT of the annual influx of TOURISTS. From May to October, the hyacinth-choked WATERS of Dal Lake saw flotillas of vividly painted shikaras carrying Indian families. Carpet-sellers HONED their skills, as did purveyors of anything remotely embroidered while the houseboats initiated by the British Raj provided unusual accommodation. The economy boomed. Then, in 1989, separatist and Islamist militancy struck and everything changed. Hindus and countless KASHMIRI business people bolted, at least 35,000 people were killed in a decade, the lake stagnated and the houseboats rotted. Any foreigners venturing there risked their LIVES – proved in 1995 when five young Europeans were kidnapped and murdered.
Discrimination against women has been alleged in hiring practices for many occupations, but it is extremely difficult to demonstrate sex-biased hiring. A change in the way symphony ORCHESTRAS recruit musicians provides an unusual way to test for sex-biased hiring. To overcome possible biases IN hiring, most ORCHESTRAS revised their audition policies in the 1970s and 1980s. A major change involved the use of blind’ auditions with a screen’ to CONCEAL the identity of the candidate from the jury. Female musicians in the top five symphony ORCHESTRAS in the United States were less than 5% of all players in 1970 but are 25% today. We ask whether women WERE more LIKELY to be ADVANCEDand/or hired with the use of blind’ auditions. Using data from ACTUAL auditions in an individual fixed-effects framework, we find that the screen increases by 50% the probability a woman WILL be ADVANCEDout of certain preliminary rounds. The screen also enhances, BY severalfold, the likelihood a female contestant will be the winner in the final round. Using data on ORCHESTRA personnel, the switch to blind’ auditions
can explain between 30% and 55% of the increase in the proportion female among new hires and between 25% and 46% of the increase in the percentage female in the ORCHESTRAS since 1970.
The first section of the book covers new modes of assessment. In Chapter 1, KIMBELL (Goldsmith College, London responds to CRITICISMS of design programs as formalistic and conventional, stating that a focus on risk-taking than hard work in design innovation is equally problematic. His research contains three parts that include preliminary exploration of design innovation qualities, investigation of resulting classroom practices, and development of the evidence-based assessment. The assessment he describes is presented in the form of a structured worksheet, which includes a collaborative ELEMENT and digital photographs, in story format. Such a device encourages stimulating ideas but does not recognize students as design INNOVATORS. The assessment sheet includes holistic impressions as well as details about “having, growing, and proving” ideas. COLLOQUIAL judgments are evident in terms such as “wow” and “yawn” and reward the quality and quantity of ideas with the term, “sparkiness,” which fittingly is a pun as the model project was to design light bulb packaging. In addition, the assessment focuses on the process of optimizing or complexity control as well as proving ideas with thoughtful criticism and not just generation of novel ideas. The definitions for qualities such as “technical” and “aesthetic” pertaining to users are too narrow and ill-defined. The author provides EXAMPLES of the project, its features and structures, students’ notes and judgments, and their sketches and photographs of finished light bulb packages, in the Appendix.