Time to say farewell to steak and chips (fries)

Soon, most of us will stop eating beef,  and it won’t be because we’ll all agree with vegans that meat is murder. It’ll be due to the logic of advanced capitalism. The alternatives to meat now being developed – plant-based substitutes and vat-grown meat produced from cultured animal cells – will taste the same as …

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The genius of Einstein

Walter Isaacson, biographer ofAlbert Einstein, writes the following (page 550): Perhaps the most important aspect of his personality was his willingness to be non- conformist. “The theme I recognise in Galileo’s work” , he said, “ is the passionate fight against any kind of dogma based on authority”. Plank, Poincare and Lorentz all came close …

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Epicureanism: 12 main conclusions about the universe

From time to time I publish, or re-publish, some basic background information  about Epicurean science.  Epicurus reached twelve  conclusions of particular importance, provable through firm evidence and reasoning. The three faculties being given us by Nature to deduce this evidence are (1) our five senses, (2) our faculty of perceiving “anticipations,” and (3) our faculty of “feeling” …

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Re-cycling, Part 2: Endlessly recyclable plastic

Dr.  Brett Helms. who heads up a team of scientists, has announced that he has discovered a way of making scrap plastic indefinitely re- recyclable able.    Plastic material can be recycled, but because its quality degrades during the recycling process, even the stuff that makes it as far as a recycling plant (which is …

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What a mess we are making of our planet!

Microplastics have been found dropping from the sky in a remote stretch of the high Pyrenees – a stark illustration of the way that the pollutants, carried on the winds, have the potential to accumulate “anywhere and everywhere”.  Humans and other animals are consuming microplastics via food and water (including tap water), and there is …

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Now will you believe the science?

This planet of ours is beginning to burn — and not just last week or month either. It’s been smoldering for decades now. Last summer, for instance, amid global heat records (Ouargla, Algeria, 124 degrees Fahrenheit; Hong Kong, over 91 degrees Fahrenheit for 16 straight days; Nawabsha, Pakistan, 122 degrees Fahrenheit; Oslo, Norway, over 86 …

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Is climate change becoming too normal?

A recent study suggests that we quickly get used to unusual weather, which has troubling implications for our ability to motivate people to support measures that will protect us from global climate change.  The study measured the literal remarkability of different temperatures by seeing how much comment they generated on Twitter. Hot and cold conditions …

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Epicurus and the universe

Epicurus believed that there were twelve principles of nature, provable through firm evidence and true reasoning, using our five senses, our faculty of perceiving “anticipations,” and our “feelings” of pleasure and pain. He believed in conclusions supported by clear and convincing evidence. No evidence, he said, is ever to be disregarded as worthless. Real evidence …

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Our ( British) ancesters were all probably dark brown

The first modern Britons probably had blue eyes, dark hair and dark brown skin, according to a new DNA analysis of the oldest complete skeleton ever found in the UK. Cheddar Man, dug up in Somerset in 1903, lived some 10,000 years ago, not long after settlers began crossing over from Europe at the end …

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So much for the ‘Mediterranean diet’

Children in Italy, Greece and Spain are now the fattest in Europe. More than 40% of boys and girls aged nine are either overweight or obese. Sweets,junk food and sugary drinks have displaced the region’s traditional diet based on fruit and vegetables, fish and olive oil. (World Health Organisation) One study suggests that your bank …

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A thought from CERN, Geneva

I have just been to CERN and was reminded that Epicurus was a forerunner of todays particle physicists. Epicurean atomism was remarkably similar to nineteenth-century atomic chemistry: atoms as indivisible, eternal building blocks, things regarded as mere accumulations of atoms colliding with each other. More, the Epicureans came up with a “many worlds” cosmology long …

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Amazon Echo and electronic snooping

A Portland couple were discussing hardwood floors. Their Amazon Echo was listening, recording their discussion, then sending the recording randomly to someone in their contacts list, without the couple’s knowledge. The wife told Seattle TV station KIRO 7 that they learned something was amiss when they received a phone call from an employee of the …

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