Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “science”

Dotspotting Expressionist Science: What the Mysterious Color-Markings on Storm Drains Have to Do with Rachel Carson’s Legacy and the War on a Deadly Virus
Dotspotting Expressionist Science: What the Mysterious Color-Markings on Storm Drains Have to Do with Rachel Carson’s Legacy and the War on a Deadly Virus

Strange signals from the lacuna between street art and microbiology.

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Conchology, or, the Natural History of Shells: Stunning 19th-Century Illustrations from the World’s First Color Encyclopedia of Mollusks
Conchology, or, the Natural History of Shells: Stunning 19th-Century Illustrations from the World’s First Color Encyclopedia of Mollusks

Voluptuaries of geometry and color, elaborate living urns, lavish lampshades for the palace of some sea god, miniature Hindu temples, gorgeous drag queens of the deep, otherworldly amphoras from the bottom of this spectacular world.

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New Year’s Eve: Astronomer and Poet Rebecca Elson’s Spare, Stunning Meditation on the Mystery of Being
New Year’s Eve: Astronomer and Poet Rebecca Elson’s Spare, Stunning Meditation on the Mystery of Being

The wonder of wading into the black lake boiling with light.

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How to Live with Our Human Limitations: Physicist Brian Greene Reads and Reflects on Rilke’s Profoundest Elegy
How to Live with Our Human Limitations: Physicist Brian Greene Reads and Reflects on Rilke’s Profoundest Elegy

“Not because happiness exists, that over-hasty profit from imminent loss, not out of curiosity, or to practice the heart… But because being here is much, and because all that’s here seems to need us.”

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Favorite Books of 2020
Favorite Books of 2020

Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Bruce Lee, chance, love, black holes, constraint as a catalyst of creativity, and a whisper of Whitman.

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The Blue Hour: A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of Nature’s Rarest Color
The Blue Hour: A Stunning Illustrated Celebration of Nature’s Rarest Color

“The day ends. The night falls. And in between… there is the blue hour.”

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The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story
The Snail with the Right Heart: A True Story

A love story, a time story, an invitation not to mistake difference for defect and to welcome, across the accordion scales of time and space, diversity as nature’s wellspring of resilience and beauty.

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The Best of Brain Pickings 2020
The Best of Brain Pickings 2020

A glance over the shoulder of time to reveal the patterns, themes, and ideas that steady us and shelter us in the tempest of life.

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To Be an Earth Ecstatic: Poet Diane Ackerman on the Spirituality of Wonder Without Religion
To Be an Earth Ecstatic: Poet Diane Ackerman on the Spirituality of Wonder Without Religion

Branchings of belief from the lovely common root of “holy” and “whole” in the interleaving of all things.

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Alfred Russel Wallace’s Prophetic Prescription for Course-Correcting Away from Ecological Catastrophe and Toward Widespread Human Happiness
Alfred Russel Wallace’s Prophetic Prescription for Course-Correcting Away from Ecological Catastrophe and Toward Widespread Human Happiness

“The final and absolute test of good government is the well-being and contentment of the people — not the extent of empire or the abundance of the revenue and the trade.”

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