AmaroEr

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Changing faces

Face transplants expose deep-held prejudices about identity and wellbeing. Are these ideas ripe for a radical rethink?<i>By Sharrona Pearl</i>Read at Aeon

Medicine

A Mass Shooting in Texas and False Arguments Against Gun Control

Hey, good morning. The Giants looked terrible, didn’t they? One more Russian connection turned up in the Trump Cabinet—Oh, what’s that? A gun massacre in Texas? Oh, was it a terrorist attack? How many dead? Twenty, they’re saying! Now it’s <i>more</i> than twenty? Twenty-six dead and twenty wounded. In a …

Should Children Form Emotional Bonds With Robots?

For better and worse, toys powered by AI are becoming an intimate part of kids’ lives.<p>When I brought the robot home from the Apple Store, I knew I was inviting a new kind of strangeness into our lives. My wife worried about giving our 4-year-old son a(nother) digital thing, a “smart” thing. I …

Robotics

Who is Banksy and what are his most famous works of art?

Banksy is the anonymous British graffiti artist and who has brought his satirical street art to walls, bridges and buildings throughout the world.<p>His …

What It's Like to Learn You're Going to Die

Palliative-care doctors explain the “existential slap” that many people face at the end.<p>Nessa Coyle calls it “the existential slap”—that moment when a dying person first comprehends, on a gut level, that death is close. For many, the realization comes suddenly: “The usual habit of allowing thoughts …

Cancer

The secret of happy children? Get rid of teachers and ban homework

Schools could save money, turn out happier pupils and improve education. All they need to do is ignore politicians and follow my simple tips<p>There is a certain irony in the announcement that schools are to start trialling “happiness lessons” for eight-year-olds. It’s a bit like Vlad the Impaler …

What Dinnertime Looks Like In 36 Different Homes

These intimate portraits invite the viewer to take a seat at the table.<p>Photographer Lois Bielefeld offers an inside look at families and the intimate moments they spend together during mealtimes. When she was a child her parents instilled proper table etiquette in her, which made her wonder if …

Chomsky, Wolfe and me

I took on Noam Chomsky’s ideas about language and unleashed a decade of debate and ridicule. But is my argument wrong?<i>By Daniel Everett</i>Read at Aeon

Linguistics

Modern Diplomacy - Modern Diplomacy

Defense17 hours agoThe new US strategy and the possibility of conflict with Russia and China Economy17 hours agoHistorical aspects of the economic …

Diplomacy

Watch How Zero Became a Number

Zero is a tricky number. It's the only integer that is neither positive nor negative. You cannot divide by zero, but you can add, multiply, and …

Mathematics

Give robots 'personhood' status, EU committee argues

Proposed rules for robots and AI in Europe include a push for a general basic income for humans, and ‘human rights’ for robots<p>The European parliament has urged the drafting of a set of regulations to govern the use and creation of robots and artificial intelligence, including a form of “electronic …

Free Speech and Fake News

Fake news – “active misinformation” that is packaged to look as if it comes from a serious news site – is a threat to democratic institutions. In the …

Donald Trump

Does Queer Nightlife Need to Go Back in the Closet to Survive?

Cops shutting down my New Year's Eve party suggests that our communities need to go deeper underground to stay alive.<p>It's 11:30 PM on New Year's Eve and I'm kissing a boy when the lights go on. My first thought is that someone is snapping a photo of us, and I turn my head to fire off a cunty, …

Titanic

Future tension

Facts about the past and present are either true or false. Can knowledge of the future offer the same degree of certainty?<i>By Anthony Sudbery</i>Read at …

Quantum Mechanics

The Biased Policies That Are Pushing Black Girls Out of School

At a listening session in Philadelphia with the Education Law Center, a young woman of color told a story about getting her period in school when she …

Scientific Discoveries

Silicon Valley Has an Empathy Vacuum

Silicon Valley seems to have lost a bit of its verve since the Presidential election. The streets of San Francisco—spiritually part of the Valley—feel less crowded. Coffee-shop conversations are hushed. Everything feels a little muted, an eerie quiet broken by chants of protesters. It even seems as …

Should Men Be Able to Opt Out of Fatherhood?

Weighing the pros and cons of a man's right to "financial abortion."<p>Matt Dubay and Lauren Wells had broken up by the time she discovered she was pregnant. The two had only dated for a few months and had polar opposite views on parenthood: Wells wanted to keep the child; Dubay didn't want to become …

Feminism

Trump's rise and Brexit vote are more an outcome of culture than economics

Populists are tapping into the outrage of those who have been losing the cultural battles over race, gender and social identity in a globalised world<p>If Donald Trump loses the US election, will the tide of populism that threatened to overwhelm the world after the Brexit vote in June begin to wane? …

Is our world a simulation? Why some scientists say it's more likely than not

A swath of technologists and physicists believe that ‘simulation theory’ will be proved, just as it was proved that the Earth was not the center of the universe<p>When Elon Musk isn’t outlining plans to use his massive rocket to leave a decaying Planet Earth and colonize Mars, he sometimes talks about …

Esta es la pastilla que llevamos toda la vida esperando

¿Una píldora de la felicidad sin efectos secundarios? La ciencia sueña con ella (y los monos también)<p>Un grupo de investigadores del Departamento de …

Björk on Nature and Technology

<b>Nature and technology have always overlapped in your work.</b><p>For me, nature and technology stand for hope, and for a movement onwards to the future. …

Faroe Islands

The State of the Presidential Debate

How should candidates—and voters—argue about politics?<p>This election’s first Presidential debate will be held on September 26th, the anniversary of the first televised Presidential debate, between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy, in 1960. Nixon and Kennedy met in a bare CBS studio in Chicago, …

Pope backs opposition to Mexico's gay-marriage proposal

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has voiced support for Mexican bishops and citizens opposing the government's push to legalize same-sex marriage.<p>At his weekly Sunday blessing, Francis said he willingly joined their protest "in favor of family and life, which in these times require special pastoral …

Pope Francis

Art show too male? At times, this cry makes no sense

Where are the women, ask the critics of London’s new blockbuster exhibition. Well, you can’t change history…<p>‘Abstract expressionism,” wrote poet and curator Frank O’Hara, “is the art of serious men.” The bad boys of this great American art movement, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and …

Artists Will Not Stop Tormenting America With Nude Trump Statues

Make it stop. Please, someone, make it stop.<p><i>Warning: Photos of naked Donald Trump statues lie ahead. Read on at your own risk.</i><p>Anonymous street artist collective Indecline, still high off the unhinged hullabaloo caused by their last art stunt, are back at it again.<p>In the wee hours before daybreak on …

Michael Stipe shares a video in support of Chelsea Manning

Manning began a hunger strike last week<p>R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe has shared a video in support of Chelsea Manning. Manning was a soldier in the US …

Michael Stipe

Can Morality Be Taught?

The key to molding well-adjusted students: experiential learning<p>After watching with my 3-year-old the scene in <i>Peter Pan</i> when Wendy, her brothers, and the Lost Boys encounter the Native American tribe in Neverland, my daughter asked, “Are they bad guys?” She told us she thought they had “mean faces” …

Teaching