Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “science”

Richard Dawkins on the Luckiness of Death
Richard Dawkins on the Luckiness of Death

“The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia.”

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Tree Islands and Networked Resilience: Biomimicry Pioneer Janine Benyus on the Power of Reciprocity in Nature and Our Human Future
Tree Islands and Networked Resilience: Biomimicry Pioneer Janine Benyus on the Power of Reciprocity in Nature and Our Human Future

“The more stressful the environment, the more likely you are to see plants working together to ensure mutual survival.”

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From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas
From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas

How the world relished the world before Instagram.

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How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain
How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain

“We are our memory… that chimerical museum of shifting shapes, that pile of broken mirrors.”

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The Ocean and the Meaning of Life
The Ocean and the Meaning of Life

“Contemplating the teeming life of the shore, we have an uneasy sense of the communication of some universal truth that lies just beyond our grasp… the ultimate mystery of Life itself.”

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Humanity’s Most Successful Scientific Theory, Animated
Humanity’s Most Successful Scientific Theory, Animated

How the gaps in gravity contour the next frontiers in the quest to understand the fundaments of what we are.

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Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements
Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements

“There seems little doubt that the application of the principles of ecology to human affairs, whether personal, national or world-wide, would go far in solving the problems that beset us.”

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Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson
Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson

Rewilding the landscape of possibility for the poetry of being.

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Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living
Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living

How our cosmic improbability confers dignity and meaning upon our shared existence.

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The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture
The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture

“Colors are not possessions; they are the intimate revelations of an energy field… light waves with mathematically precise lengths… deep, resonant mysteries with boundless subjectivity… Our lives, when we pay attention to light, compel us to empathy with color.”

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