science

Top environmental problems: Selfishness, greed, and apathy alvin April 2, 2018 - 7:51pm

I saw this quote by Gus Speth on Facebook and Twitter, and wanted to share it here. As Mr. Speth says, the top environmental problems aren’t biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change, they’re selfishness, greed, and apathy (mostly the first two, in my opinion).

Teaching the mathematics of infinity (and childrens’ brains)

Here’s an article with two interesting exercises near the end of it: How thinking about infinity changes kids’ brains on math. When you’re ready to go deeper, that article links to a NY Times article, Teaching the mathematics of infinity. And then that article links to another titled, The life of Pi and other infinities.

(When I was a young lad, I’d often lay in bed at night and wonder, “Okay, so I go to the edge of the universe ... what’s after that? There’s gotta be something after that, right?”)

Researchers are developing photovoltaic windows that can provide shade and generate electricity

From a fastcodesign.com article: “Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are developing smart photovoltaic windows that can shade you and generate electricity at the same time ... This coated glass is about 82% transparent when it’s at room temperature ... At 7% efficiency, they’re still under the minimum of 10% that the team led by Professor Peidong Yang believes would be adequate for commercial purposes. Dou told me that they hope to reach that mark in the next three to five years ... They also face a manufacturing roadblock: the color. Right now, Yang’s team can get the glass to turn orange, red, and brown ... But the main problem, right now, is the glass’s temperature threshold, which they’re working to reduce to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, the typical temperature of glass exposed to a typical sunny midday.”

Mashable asked astronauts if they think aliens exist

Mashable asked astronauts if they think aliens exist. Here’s part of the article I found interesting:

“The math isn’t easy. How many stars are in the universe? Well, that depends on the size of the universe. We’re able to observe the cosmic microwave background (CMB), radiation formed around 400,000 years after the Big Bang. It tells us the observable universe goes back around 14 billion years. But there could be something beyond the CMB, or even other universes contained in a massive ‘multiverse.’”

“Within the constraints of the observable universe, there could be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (or septillion) stars, according to astronomer David Kornreich. (He conceded to Space.com that the number could be a gross underestimate.)”

“He has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me”

“He has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion."

~ Stephen Hawking (1/8/1942 to 3/14/2018), in regards to Albert Einstein (3/14/1879 to 4/18/1955)