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Fareed Zakaria recently published an article, Why America’s obsession with STEM is dangerous. While he makes some excellent points about the U.S. education system, whose faults are regularly exposed by those infamous international math tests – but whose huge advantages are almost never discussed, including a culture that seems to engender a major portion of the world’s creativity. 
Fareed Zakaria makes a number of excellent points in this article -- Why America's obsession with STEM is dangerous -- about the U.S. education system, whose faults are regularly exposed by those infamous international math t...
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From The Planets to The Elements: a look at some of the music inspired by science...
Science inspires music more often than you might think. Philip Ball compiled a playlist of the good, the bad and the far-out.
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In my third posting on Avatar, I suggest a small addition… Maybe five minutes worth of footage, added to a "director's cut," might alleviate many of the problems outlined in my earlier postings….
Following on my earlier analyses of James Cameron's Avatar, please let me reiterate that I actually quite like the film!  What's not to like about such a feast for the eye that's also packed with terrific action, and that tri...
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A fascinating article on a boom in myopia: Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. In China nearly 90% of teenagers and young adults are short-sighted (compared to 10 to 20% sixy years ago).  Such a rapid change can not be attributed to genes, nor does the data support a cause from computer use or reading! However, there does seem to be a protective effect from time spent outdoors – possibly due to the eye’s exposure to bright light, or greater viewing distances. Studies indicate that children need to spend three hours a day exposed to levels of at least 10,000 lux (a well-light classroom offers 500 lux).

Experiments with animals support the idea that myopia develops preferentially under lower light intensity. Researchers hypothesize that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina – which blocks the elongation of the eye. 
Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.
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A worthy cause...Help Air Shepherd Drones stop elephant and rhino poaching in Africa. Support on Indiegogo!
40,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year. Drones and supercomputers can stop it. Join us! | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
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To cheer up your Saturday: 26 charts and maps that show the world is getting better. Hunger and extreme poverty are on the decline worldwide; child mortality is down. Life expectancy is rising, rates of violent crime have decreased; more children are going to school for longer periods of time. There is hope in the world…
Poverty is down, literacy is up, and life expectancy is rising.
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In the history of our own planet, encounters between cultures of greatly differing technological sophistication have rarely gone well. We have many examples where a technologically advanced civilization contacted a technologically less advanced civilization. And in every one of those cases, there was pain…even when both sides had the best of intentions.
This article is part of Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. On Thursday, April 9, Future Tense will host an event in Washington, D.C., on the future of space exploration. For more information and to...
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Think so? Great info on group. Interesting. Brin deserves an award for writing so much online, involved with society. I read Mr. Brin is against Active seti. Right thinking. I listened to George Noorey one night when he played the message he had a friend transmit and beam to the stars, in his voice giving a greeting to any ? and inviting contact...active seti call. Oh well. Im instead thinking of seeing The Who in concert in a few months sept they will be in san diego, acdc open and close Coachella shows april furst and seventh, and then I just heard The Rolling Stones are coming back soon to San Diego, last time i got the super backstage medallion with a holographic logo and enjoyed the worlds greatest rock band. Thats enough sound for me. But i am not commenting on other seti matters. Concerts are fun, jazz shows cool too. La Joya is nice. 
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An audio version of Heart of the Comet has just been released – my novel written with Gregory Benford. 
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I remember that one as being pretty damned good! 
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For all you Tolkien fans (and those bewildered by the details), here’s Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained, in two parts:
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Most Hollywood films (and nearly all dramatic novels) share one central tenet: society doesn't work. It seems an almost-biblical injunction.“Thou shalt never show democratic-western civilization functioning well. Especially, its institutions must never be of any help solving the protagonist’s problems.” Think about that. A functioning, decent, competent civilization is a drama killer…. Every hour of every day, emergency professionals stand ready to leap into action because we want most of the danger removed from daily life... but we don't want it sucked out of our movies and novels! People yearn to have it both ways. They demand that all the cogs and gears of responsible civilization keep turning... but we also want to fantasize that none of it works!
Last time, I went on a bit, describing some logical faults in a motion picture that -- in fact -- I deeply admire. After all, criticism can be well-intended. And clearly, James Cameron intended his epic film -- Avatar -- to b...
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We're all going back to Planet Pandora - with a coming sequel to the blockbuster sci-fi epic Avatar -- no, make that three sequels… But of course, Avatar was about more than special effects. Director-producer James Cameron wants to entertain everyone, but also to make members of the audience think. Hence, it is the lessons of Avatar that I plan to engage and dissect in my blog... This version of “Dances with Others”  is set not in the past like Dances with Wolves, but in a future where humans have apparently not improved, have learned nothing -- the most relentless preaching in Avatar is about the moral and esthetic superiority of the Na’vi, along with the beyond-all-redemption vileness of western civilization. Whereas even now we view diversity as strength; and we got to that point by relentlessly self-criticizing 6000 year old habits of intolerance that most cultures took for granted.
Well it seems we're all going back to Planet Pandora. And why not? With the proclamation of a coming sequel to the blockbuster sci-fi epic Avatar -- no, make that three sequels -- the near-universal response from one and all ...
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When researchers spliced human DNA into mice embryos, their brains were about 12% larger than those spliced with chimp DNA. Will we see Planet of the Mice? Which science fictional scenario are we on the verge of unfolding? Resurrection of past species? (Not dinosaurs but perhaps Mammoths and Neanderthals, as in Existence.) Augmentation of higher animals, as in my Uplift  Series?  Oh certainly there will be some eager beavers who will splice human hare5 genes into chimps — get ready for that fire storm!
== Increasing brain size == According to new research, just a bit of DNA explains human's big brains: The 5% or so DNA difference between chimps and humans is being explored, bit by bit. “One stretch of DNA looked promi...
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Have them in circles
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Author of The Postman, Earth, Existence, The Uplift War, and The Transparent Society.
Introduction
Scientist, futurist and best-selling author. David Brin's novels include Earth, Existence, The Postman, and Kiln People, as well as Hugo Award winners Startide Rising and The Uplift War. The Transparent Society won a Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association.

Take a look at my biography.