Discover Harvard’s Collection of 2,500 Pigments: Preserving the World’s Rare, Wonderful Colors

≡ Category: Art, Harvard, Museums, Science |2 Comments

If modern paint companies’ pretentiously-named color palettes gall you to the point of an exclusively black-and-white existence, the Harvard Art Museums’ Forbes pigment collection will prove a welcome balm.

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The “Brain Dictionary”: Beautiful 3D Map Shows How Different Brain Areas Respond to Hearing Different Words

≡ Category: English Language, Science |Leave a Comment

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We’ve all had those moments of struggle to come up with le mot juste, in our native language or a foreign one.

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What Makes the Stradivarius Special? It Was Designed to Sound Like a Female Soprano Voice, With Notes Sounding Like Vowels, Says Researcher

≡ Category: Music, Science |1 Comment

What makes violins made by the Stradivari and Guarneri families as valuable to musicians as they are to collectors? And how do we measure the optimal sound quality of a violin? One answer comes from violin maker Anton Krutz, who speculates that these highly-prized classical instruments sing so sweetly because they are “made with propo

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Act of Love: A Strange, Wonderful Visual Dictionary of Animal Courtship

≡ Category: Biology, Comedy, Dance, Life, Science |Leave a Comment

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As various nature documentaries over the years have made explicit, the animal kingdom possesses courtship rituals of such yearning and grace, they can make the erotic fumblings of our species seem a very clumsy dance indeed.

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New LSD Research Provides the First Images of the Brain on Acid, and Hints at Its Potential to Promote Creativity

≡ Category: Neuroscience, Science |3 Comments

Talk to nearly any veteran of sixties counterculture, and you’re bound to hear a story or three about an acid trip. Some of those trips were bad, man, full of nightmare hallucinations and severe anxiety. In other accounts, however, LSD gets credit for opening up the mind, releasing old patterns of thought, and freeing up latent creative energy.

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Carl Sagan Presents His “Baloney Detection Kit”: 8 Tools for Skeptical Thinking

≡ Category: Philosophy, Science |Leave a Comment

Photo by NASA via Wikimedia Commons
It is sometimes said that science and philosophy have grown so far apart that they no longer recognize each other. Perhaps they no longer need each other.

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NASA Releases 3 Million Thermal Images of Our Planet Earth

≡ Category: Science |Leave a Comment

Since 1999, NASA has used ASTER (Japan’s Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) to gather images of the Earth’s surface, providing a way to “map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

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Richard Feynman Creates a Simple Method for Telling Science From Pseudoscience (1966)

≡ Category: Philosophy, Science |16 Comments

Photo by Tamiko Thiel via Wikimedia Commons
How can we know whether a claim someone makes is scientific or not? The question is of the utmost consequence, as we are surrounded on all sides by claims that sound credible, that use the language of science—and often do so in attempts to refute scientific consensus.

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Download the Sublime Anatomy Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci: Available Online, or in a Great iPad App

≡ Category: Art, Science |Leave a Comment

I’ve always found anatomical drawing fascinating. At its best, it occupies an aesthetic space somewhere between mystical fine art and cutting-edge scientific observation—a space carved out during the Italian Renaissance, when the boundaries between artistic training and scientific inquiry were permeable and often nonexistent.

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Florence Nightingale Saved Lives by Creating Revolutionary Visualizations of Statistics (1855)

≡ Category: Health, History, Science |2 Comments

I’ve long counted myself as a fan of Edward Tufte, the preeminent living expert on the visual display of quantitative information. I like to think this puts me in the company of Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing as well as a prolific writer and still today a household name.

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