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  • El gran diseño - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow June 23, 2017
    Aun antes de aparecer, este libro ha venido precedido, en todos los medios de comunicación, de una extraordinaria polémica sobre  sus conclusiones: que tanto nuestro universo como los otros muchos universos posibles surgieron de la nada, porque su creación no requiere de la intervención de ningún Dios o ser sobrenatural, sino que todos los universos pro […]
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  • La tabla rasa - Steven Pinker June 23, 2017
    La concepción que podamos tener de la naturaleza humana afecta a todos los aspectos de nuestra vida, desde la forma en que educamos a nuestros hijos hasta las ideas políticas que defendemos. En La tabla rasa , Steven Pinker explora la idea de la naturaleza humana y sus aspectos éticos, emocionales y políticos. Demuestra que muchos intelectuales han negado su […]
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  • Ask the Brains, Part 1 - Scientific American Editors June 23, 2017
    Why do we do the things we do? The human brain is a marvelous, mysterious piece of evolution that on one hand empowers us to be rational, self-aware and innovative. On the other, the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology are a testament to our attempts to understand the human brain and behavior. Why do we persist in believing opinions despite scientific e […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach June 23, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • Réussir sa mort - Fabrice Hadjadj June 23, 2017
    Ce n'est pas nous qui réussissons notre mort, c'est elle qui ne nous rate pas. À nous toutefois de ne pas la rater non plus. Que signifie dès lors réussir sa mort ? Avec verve, humour, espièglerie, mais vérité et sincérité, Fabrice Hadjadj nous invite à passer du confort au combat, à choisir la vie alors même que nous mourons et que nous mourrons. […]
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  • Inteligencia emocional para niños. Guía práctica para padres y educadores - Mireia Golobardes Subirana & Sandra Celeiro González June 23, 2017
    ¿Cómo podemos enseñar a los más pequeños a gestionar sus emociones? ¿Cómo ayudar a nuestros hijos a mejorar en sus relaciones con los demás? ¿Cómo facilitar a nuestros alumnos su capacidad para identificar sus emociones y la de los demás y favorecer relaciones sanas y positivas, con empatía y respeto? ¿Cómo contribuir a que padres y profesores puedan también […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking June 23, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku June 23, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • EnCambio - Estanislao Bachrach June 23, 2017
    EnCambio te va a permitir alumbrar los procesos por los cuales te comportás de determinada manera con el fin de dejar atrás aquellos hábitos y conductas que ya no te sirven. El objetivo es que aprendas del potencial que tiene tu cerebro para cambiar y la capacidad que tenés vos para modificarlo. Este año cambio de trabajo, empiezo el gimnasio, bajo esos kili […]
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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking June 23, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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Happy 50th birthday to the home microwave

The first affordable microwave changed the way we cooked- for a while, anyway […]

Bees have feelings and can experience optimism

A new study finds that bees can have positive feelings. […]

Getting the Most of Your Terps

What are terpenes? Terpenes are naturally occurring volatile compounds responsible for much of the flavors and aromas within plants. Ever pop open a fresh bag only to be hit in the face with a lemony or pine-forward scent? Those aromas are a result of different combinations of terpenes. But terps affect more than just the […]

Caffeine-free coffee shop does well in NYC, despite rumors of a cultural apocalypse

Swiss Water is a coffee company that uses a unique water-based decaffeination method to remove 99.9% of caffeine while maintaining the beans’ integrity. The result is a fabulous cup of coffee without – gasp! – any caffeine. […]

Is it time for the toilet to finally come out of the (water) closet?

With people living in smaller spaces and with better toilets, perhaps it is. […]

You should be excited about this SCOTUS decision, too

You should be excited about this SCOTUS decision, too

By on 29 Jun 2015commentsShare

Amid big huzzahs for the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage last week, there was another, less-heralded 5-4 vote that also deals a stiff blow to decades-old discriminatory practices: The court’s ruling on a Texas case involving housing discrimination.

On June 25, SCOTUS found that the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The court cited the legal concept known as “disparate impact” — the idea that policies can still be discriminatory (and therefore illegal) even if the discrimination is not intentional. Disparate impact is an important concept in civil rights law, since proving intentional discrimination is extremely difficult in court. Disparate impact, however, per the New York Times’ take on the news, “can be proved using statistics.”

As Brentin Mock pointed out in January, while this particular case specifically addresses housing discrimination — the plaintiffs argued that state officials were sanctioning too many subsidized housing developments in African-American neighborhoods, perpetuating the very segregation they were meant to address — its outcome has huge ripple effects on environmental justice, too. Zoning laws, which are typically responsible for the siting of hazardous waste facilities and other polluting industries, can be called up under the Fair Housing Act. And showing the disproportionate impacts of pollution on low-income communities of color in court is far easier, Brentin wrote, than proving “there was malice in the heart of the developer who placed the housing projects near the landfills.”

Still, bloggers and analysts maintain, the court undermined its own historic ruling by limiting the ways that the disparate impact claim can be used. According to Quartz, for instance:

Unfortunately, the court tempered its own ruling by limiting disparate-impact claims to cases where a law or policy raises “artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers.” That gives lower courts a lot of leeway in interpretation. And it said that purely statistical evidence of disparate impact isn’t enough; plaintiffs must also prove that a law or policy caused that impact, which will often be hard.

So, this is hardly the end of the road. But now that the nation’s highest court has finally, officially recognized disparate impact, it should be far more possible to address real injustices that do exist — regardless of whether anybody intended them to.

Source:
The other big US Supreme Court Decision we should be celebrating is one no one’s talking about

, Quartz.

Justices Back Broad Interpretation of Housing Law

, New York Times.

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Terrifying video shows smog taking over the earth

desolation of smog

Terrifying video shows smog taking over the earth

By on 30 Jan 2015 5:16 pmcommentsShare

If you lived your entire life on NASA’s International Space Station, watching the earth like some sort of space-age Rapunzel, you’d probably imagine that life on the blue planet looks a little like this — and only partly because Harry Potter has been your only companion all those lonely years in space. Mostly, it’s that the earth’s atmosphere actually does resemble a powerful wizard fire battle right now.

Spoiler: It’s not actually magic. The video above, produced by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center between September 2006 and April 2007, shows the paths of air pollution particles (called aerosols) traveling across the globe and, scientists believe, strengthening storms and cyclones.

Since Asia has some of the worst air pollution on the planet, scientists are starting their hunt for an aerosol-weather connection there. Jonathan Jiang and Yuan Wang from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that China’s extreme smog leads to worse weather patterns outside of tropical regions. Here’s Quartz with an explanation:

They found that the current pollution patterns, such as heavy pollution from China, lead to stronger cyclones outside of tropical regions. That’s because when storms form across the Pacific, more water condenses onto the increased aerosols. This condensation releases energy, making the storms even more powerful.

OK, China may be particularly grimy right now, but that’s just where the scientists started their research. If you sit down for three minutes and actually watch the globe turn (take this as poetically as you please, but I’m talking about the above vid), you’ll notice aerosol hot spots on almost every continent save the poles. Unfortunately, we can’t holler “stupefy” to halt these dueling forces — well, I dunno, has anyone tried yet?

Source:
Watch Asia’s air pollution spread across the globe

, Quartz.

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