Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “science”

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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Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle
Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle

Encounters with the beautiful and the sublime in the science of “the single most dangerous object known to humanity.”

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Between Science and Magic: How Hummingbirds Hover at the Edge of the Possible
Between Science and Magic: How Hummingbirds Hover at the Edge of the Possible

How a tiny creature faster than the Space Shuttle balances the impossible equation of extreme fragility and superhuman strength.

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Love and Symmetry: Poet A. Van Jordan Imagines the Undelivered Feynman Lecture About the Mystery Lying Between Scientific Truth and Human Meaning
Love and Symmetry: Poet A. Van Jordan Imagines the Undelivered Feynman Lecture About the Mystery Lying Between Scientific Truth and Human Meaning

“Mysteries inside mysteries in our own bodies of which we can’t make sense, another world waiting for a religion or calculus to explain.”

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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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Matter, Music, and the Mind
Matter, Music, and the Mind

“Sound is sea: pattern lapping pattern… Matter delights in music, and became Bach.”

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The Vast Wonder of the World: An Illustrated Homage to Ernest Everett Just’s Trailblazing Life and Life-Redefining Science
The Vast Wonder of the World: An Illustrated Homage to Ernest Everett Just’s Trailblazing Life and Life-Redefining Science

How a visionary turned the art of noticing into a leap of science.

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The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation
The Woman Who Saved the Hawks: Redeeming an Overlooked Pioneer of Conservation

The story of the countercultural courage and persistence that shaped the modern ecological conscience.

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The Spirituality of Science and the Wonder of the Wilderness: Ornithologist and Wildlife Ecologist J. Drew Lanham on Nature as Worship
The Spirituality of Science and the Wonder of the Wilderness: Ornithologist and Wildlife Ecologist J. Drew Lanham on Nature as Worship

“As I wander into the predawn dark of an autumn wood, I feel the presence of things beyond flesh, bone, and blood. My being expands to fit the limitlessness of the wild world.”

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