Omni (Winter 2017)

Posted by Dave Switzer under My thoughts

{5/5} “From brutal genocides, to generations of slavery, to famines, the tragedies endured by our ancestors may linger in our bodies and influence the outcome of our lives. Now scientists are saying that this kind of trauma can alter expression of our genes — including those that cause cancer and control stress in the brain.” […]

Information is Beautiful

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

I first came cross this site of infographics via this astonishing timeline, in which we can see when Chernobyl is finally safe, when glass has decomposed, and when men have gone extinct: Timeline of the Far Future According to the site it’s “dedicated to helping you make clearer, more informed decisions about the world.” Here’s […]

A warning to humanity

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

More than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries have signed a document issuing a warning to humanity about the environment. Included are points about a decline in freshwater, dwindling biodiversity, and population growth. Here’s how CBC covered the story: More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’ We’ve seen before with CFCs […]

Cutting through confirmation bias

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s a short but informative video about how people don’t necessarily respond to facts. But if you take into account where they’re coming from, you might be able to persuade them. Tali Sharot, neuroscientist, on Big Think uses the examples of climate change and vaccines: Facts Don’t Win Fights: Here’s How to Cut Through Confirmation […]

New species of orangutan discovered

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

A population of orangutans has been studied and determined to be a distinct species, Tapanuli orangutans. They live on the island of Sumatra, which is part of Indonesia. Unfortunately there are less than 800 of them, which makes them endangered. Here’s the story from CTV News: Scientists discover new orangutan species in Sumatra Hopefully the […]

Things keep getting discovered

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

I feel like I’ve been paying too much attention to Donald Trump and not enough attention to other things. There have been a lot of incredible discoveries in the past year. This list of 25 is from the YouTube channel called “list25”: 25 Most SHOCKING Discoveries In The Last Year

Great apes know when you’re mistaken

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

We’ve been studying great apes for decades, but once in a while we find out something new. A study published in the journal Plos One found that great apes understand when a human is mistaken — for example, when a human goes to grab something from a box but the something has been moved to […]

Regarding science doubters

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Here’s an articulate article from National Geographic about why people doubt science. It talks about climate change, difficulties with the scientific method, and the science communication problem. Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

Humans almost died out around 70 000 BC

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

Why haven’t I heard about this before? After an unbelievably huge volcano eruption, humans almost died out around 70 000 BC. The volcano is called Toba and its eruption is the biggest that scientists are aware of. Evidence suggests that the population was down to mere hundreds or thousands of people. How Human Beings Almost […]

World changing ideas and innovation

Posted by Dave Switzer under From the web

This web site has some really cool ideas on it — both things that are fun and things that will help make the world a better place. From an exoskeleton to help paralyzed people walk again to 10 steps for improving capitalism to an index of difference-making nonprofit organizations, these are ideas that are worth […]