It’s a wonderful potential technology for going interstellar. But in your lifetime? Don’t hold your breath. “Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We […]
A new wave of authors — think of them as Richard Dawkins' more evolved descendants — is building the case for a "new atheism" that focuses more on what it values than on a blanket rejection of God.
“They f**k you up, your mum and dad,” poet Philip Larkin wrote in the late work “This Be the Verse.” “They may not mean to, but they do./ They fill you with the faults they had/ And add some extra, just for you.” Larkin kidded that those lines would be his best remembered, a guess not too far off 30 years after his death. Where others see in those lines a perfect portrait of the sour, sad curmudgeon poet, in the new biography Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love, James Booth sees something different. “The poem’s sentiment is sad, but the poem is full of jouissance,” Booth argues. “This must bid fair to be the funniest serious English poem of the 20th century.” Likewise, Larkin — target of posthumous charges of racism, misogyny, and assorted cruelties — could lay claim to being the “funniest serious” English poet of the 20th century. Booth, who knew and worked with Larkin, shows the sweet, happy side of the sour, sad poet and makes a strong case for learning to love Larkin again, if not for the first time.
Philip Zimbardo is one of the most famous and prolific psychologists of the past half-century. Best-known as the father of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo is also author of […]
A videoconference scheduled for tomorrow will bring together 6,000 people from opposite sides of a 40-year-old conflict in the hope that they can begin the hard work of peace.
Once in a great while, I write something that’s too long to fit comfortably in a blog post. This week one of those pieces, an essay on the notorious and […]
Friday Flotsam: Etna, fear-mongering in Chile and New Zealand, Philippine volcanoes and a new crater lake at Grimsvötn
This week ended up being a little busier than I expected – I had to make that quick transition from wedding/honeymoon to beginning to prepare for my field/labwork coming up […]
Today marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most significant eruptions (video – archived from news broadcasts) of the last century (or more) – the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo in the […]
Sorry about the scarcity lately – it was graduation weekend here at Denison, so that always keeps me more than busy. However, now that graduation is done, summer is officially […]
Another week has blown by … and I haven’t had a lot of new volcano news (beyond the earthquakes at Krísuvík) to report this week – just some images and books. […]
Like the banshee of Irish and Scottish legend, Scottish artist Susan Philipsz keens songs of lamentation and loss that haunt those within hearing of the “sound sculptures” centered on her […]
Without Étienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré, the genius of the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer would have been lost to time.
"All moments past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist."
Astronomers have been looking for radio waves sent by a distant civilization for more than 60 years.
Many countries just ship their plastic waste overseas.
After 70 years, "The Power of Positive Thinking" remains incredibly popular, even though its critics find the book to be mostly fluff.
Humanity is poised to pass the 8 billion milestone mid-November, but population growth is actually slowing down.
Expressing gratitude encourages others to continue being generous, promoting a cycle of goodness.
If you want to escape the negativity, head to Kazakhstan.
Though difficult to watch, films like "Shoah" and "Life of Crime" cover topics that should not be ignored.
Nietzsche both wished he was as stupid as a cow so he wouldn’t have to contemplate existence, and pitied cows for being so stupid that they couldn’t contemplate existence.
The 557-million-year-old specimen challenges the theory that animal body plans were laid out in the Cambrian explosion.
Musical preferences are correlated with personality traits. This connection exists across cultures and continents.
More than 300 years ago, a Spanish ship laden with unspeakable treasure sank after a battle. Because of greed, the treasure remains on the sea floor.
How efficiently could quantum engines operate?
“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it’s us without our past?” Steinbeck writes.