Introducing the latest and greatest in exo-planet hunting: TESS. This is a compilation of news about NASA’s new telescope.
During the past few years I’ve noticed just how much of my wife’s mind is permanently connected to our son, perpetually preoccupied about how to ensure he gets the best of everything. I think at least a third of her brainpower is dedicated to ensuring his well-being and addressing all possible (and impossible) threats.
It’s not that I don’t try to do the same, but most partners have it so much easier than mothers, not only because of family roles (let’s admit it, they exist even in the most egalitarian of societies) but also because of the “chemical advantage” of not having given birth. The male (or not-mother) body is instinctually less preoccupied with taking care of offspring.
But the mother’s incessant worrying might end up impacting brain health. Even worse, through body-language, it transmits some of this worry to the child and other family members. I’ve come across two interesting articles that highlight these aspects. Here’s some useful knowledge to integrate.
A great thinker writes a few words about life on two pieces of paper. 95 years later, the two notes written by Einstein sold for $1.8 million. Not bad for something that was, according to the seller, given by the scientist as a tip to a messenger during the trip when he learned he has been awarded the Nobel prize in Physics.
What did Einstein write on the two notes?
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Mind-blowing news about scientific discoveries, incredible political earthquakes, terrible wars, fascinating technologies, disgusting commercial practices. Flowing from the great yonder out there, there’s no shortage of massive topics to write about weekly.
But as a magnet on my fridge says: “It’s the little moments that make life big”. Here’s one such little moment.
Recently, scientists have come up with some interesting conclusions about the gas giant’s atmosphere. Thanks to infrared observations, they managed to detect a certain gas that is quite likely to be present towards the top of Uranus’ cloud cover. Hydrogen sulfide is what gives rotten eggs their charming smell.
I always thought Uranus is a beautiful name for a planet. But then my English improved and, at one point, the punchline hit me. I still think it’s a beautiful name. I mean, the human body is beautiful, isn’t it? In English, it’s a beautiful funny name for a planet, so that makes it even better. Still, it makes it really difficult to say that I come from Uranus. Journalists across the web raced in coming up with the most memorable way to report the analytical news.
In general, it’s good for a country to have large, powerful companies that employ a lot of people and pay them very well (more taxes). However, the resulting income inequality causes some serious trouble in communities hosting or close to high-pay hotspots.
One of the saddest examples is San Francisco, where property prices have skyrocketed during the past decade, mostly due to an influx of well-payed employees from corporations such as Google, Apple and Facebook as well as a host of tech startups and highly profitable medium-sized companies.
George Carlin is, hands down, my all-time favorite stand-up comedian. I am madly in love with the way his dark humor mercilessly punishes certain absurd traits of human civilization. Below, you can find some of my favorite moments from his illustrious career.
There’s some pretty interesting human activity going on in outer space during this period. For example, NASA recently launched InSight, yet another probe heading for Mars (yes, I do believe we’ve spending a bit too much on Mars). Along with that, they also launched two cubesats, the world’s first interplanetary such (cheaper) satellites. “MarCO-A and MarCO-B are demonstrating a number of cubesat technologies during their nearly 7-month cruise to Mars, including a folding high-gain antenna and a cold-gas propulsion system.”
Draw a line between the position of two planets every several days and behold the apparition of beautiful shapes.
The article lists some other funky coincidences about the planetary bodies in our solar system. It’s written in a slightly “new age metaphysical” tone, but facts are facts and these are undoubtedly interesting facts. Personally, what I draw from all the above is a feeling of complete agreement with what a wiser person has said before me: “Mathematics is the language of nature” (and I perceive even physics and chemistry as flavors of mathematics).
There’s a lot of negative news out here, and for good reason I’d say. The world has indeed improved since a century ago, but we as a species know we can do better. I’m happy to see that people strive in that direction by wanting to improve and shouting about those things that are obviously wrong with our civilization.
But here’s a list of good news from around the world. And all of these happened in one, single year!