Will Burkey

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5 Story Techniques from Better Call Saul

<b>by John Bucher (@johnkbucher)</b>There’s little debate that <i>Better Call Saul</i> is one of the best-written shows on television right now. The writers have …

Better Call Saul

Nasa's laser-powered engine could get us to Mars in 72 hours (if it works)

For all its real-life benefits and future potential for saving our entire civilisation, space travel is still a long-term effort. Current estimates …

How Are We to Eat? Philosophers at Table

Photo: Art Institute Chicago<p>Almost everybody is familiar with the phrase: "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are", which the French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin famously included in his <i>Physiology of Taste</i>. The idea, later expressed by the German thinker Ludwig Feuerbach …

Professor Reveals Major Moral Change That Is Unfolding ‘For the First Time in History’ — and Its Profound Impact on Biblical Values

Bruce Ashford, an author and the provost of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, believes that contemporary Christians find themselves living in an evolved culture — one in which their biblical values are no longer heralded.<p>“For the first time in history …

George W. Bush

Animals are conscious and should be treated as such

ARE animals conscious? This question has a long and venerable history. Charles Darwin asked it when pondering the evolution of consciousness. His …

Top Tech Expert: The Next Trillion-Dollar Industry Will Be Built on Genetic Code

<i>Alec Ross served as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's senior advisor for innovation. During that role, he earned unique insight into the changing nature of technology. In his new book, "The Industries of the Future," Ross not only lays out the key industries that will shape the 21st</i> …

Gravitational waves detected!

We can now detect gravitational waves, says LIGO. Unanticipated discoveries, unexpected marvels, ahead.<p>The science world has buzzed with rumors about …

We're Entering a Golden Age of Space Tourism Propaganda [Updated]

Whether they’re selling tickets to orbit or making sure the science funding keeps flowing, rocket companies and space agencies alike have a vested …

The White House wants to give NASA $19 billion for the 2017 fiscal year

The White House has released its budget plan for NASA for the 2017 fiscal year, requesting $19 billion from Congress to fund the space agency. That's more than the $18.5 billion requested for NASA last year. But it's also $300 million less than the agency actually received in the recent 2016 …

Space Science

What Kids Need From Grown-Ups (But Aren't Getting)

Erika Christakis' new book, <i>The Importance of Being Little</i>, is an impassioned plea for educators and parents to put down the worksheets and flash cards, ditch the tired craft projects (yes, you, Thanksgiving Handprint Turkey) and exotic vocabulary lessons, and double-down on one, simple …

Education

The Poetics Of Darkness Captured By Laia Gutiérrez

Barcelona-based photographer and artist Laia Gutiérrez explores themes of drifting and restlessness in poetic, melancholic tones.Read more

Physicists investigate the structure of time, with implications for quantum mechanics and philosophy

(Phys.org)—Although in theory it may seem possible to divide time up into infinitely tiny intervals, the smallest physically meaningful interval of …

Quantum Mechanics

Obama unveils $4.2 billion plan to teach kids computer science

President Obama unveiled an ambitious $4 billion plan to expand computer science education in America. What does it include?<p>On Saturday, President …

B.o.B drops 'Flatline', a rap about how the Earth is definitely flat

Rapper B.o.B says the Earth is flat. He’s sure of it. Sunday night he fired off a series of tweets with his supporting evidence: “A lot of people are …

The Philosophers

Our System<p>A philosopher had spent his lifetime pondering the nature of knowledge and was ready at last to write down his conclusions. He took out a sheet of white paper and a pen. But he noticed, upon lifting the pen, a slight tremor in his hand. Hours later he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular …

The Piety of Seneca

Seneca’s writing reveals a committed Stoic, a pious soul, and an inspirational moral philosopher. Nevertheless, some of his actions and financial …

Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, whom I interviewed in my last post, wasn't the only fascinating scientist I hung out with recently at Howthelightgetsin, …

Black America’s Underground Guide to Escaping the Jim Crow South

For three decades, Victor Green published guidebooks to help African Americans find a bed or a meal in the segregation era. Now they are invaluable …

Black History

''Reality Is Unknowable to Us': The Dreamlike Fiction of Leena Krohn

Most U.S. readers probably haven’t heard of Leena Krohn, but among connoisseurs of weird fiction like Jeff VanderMeer, she’s a beloved icon. She’s …

Hateful Eight director Quentin Tarantino 'OK' with Chinese fans watching illegal versions of his films

Director Quentin Tarantino has revealed he does not mind Chinese bootleggers illegally distributing his films to get around strict censorship …

Filmmaking

War is Unavoidable—and Other Hard Lessons from Homer’s Iliad

The epic tells us that the world is never going to revert to a peaceful state.<p>Homer’s Iliad—a 3,000-year-old epic poem—continues to shape how we think about war. “Every adjective evokes the destruction and tragedy of war,” says Caroline Alexander, author of The Iliad: A New Translation. Alexander, …

The roots of language

At the heart of our unique language ability lie other forms of cognition and cooperation, argue Paul Ibbotson and Michael Tomasello<p>The natural world is full of wondrous adaptations such as camouflage, migration and echolocation. In one sense, the quintessentially human ability to use language is no …

Linguistics

Why Humans Care for the Bodies of the Dead

In tracing the history and culture of corpses, a new book shows the importance of remembrance to our species.<p>The ancient Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes was extreme in a lot of ways. He deliberately lived on the street, and, in accordance with his teachings that people should not be embarrassed to …

You Are Not Just Your Brain

For some time now, I've been skeptical about the neuroscience of consciousness. Not so much because I doubt that consciousness is affected by neural states and processes, but because of the persistent tendency on the part of some neuroscientists to think of consciousness itself as a neural …

Consciousness

Cruel War and Peace TV Producer Says We May Still Have to Read the Book

Let's cut right to the money question here: Did the A&E networks commission a lavish eight-hour production of Tolstoy's <i>War and Peace</i> as a public service, so the rest of us would never have to actually read it?<p>It could work out that way, says director Tom Harper.<p>Trouble is, his boss isn't so …

Books

Intel's RealSense camera made me the star of 'Fallout 4'

Over the holidays, I've really been putting the hours into <i>Fallout 4.</i> So when Intel and Uraniom said that it'd be demonstrating its RealSense 3D camera to embed people into that vault suit, I knew what I had to do. Uraniom's tech includes machine learning, geometry processing and 3D game engineering …

I felt like a perpetual kid — until I became a teacher

As the youngest of three brothers, being grown up always seemed distant.<p>My brothers, 12 and nine years older, were light-years ahead of me. They were so mature, smart and grown-up that they knew when somebody didn’t <i>actually</i> have their nose.<p>I couldn’t wait to be just like them. One of my earliest …

Parenting

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on Human Dignity and the Nuanced Relationship Between Agency and Victimhood

“The victim shows us something about our own lives: we see that we too are vulnerable to misfortune, that we are not any different from the people whose fate we are watching…”<p><i>“Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger,”</i> Joseph Brodsky proclaimed in the greatest …

Beer Vs. Eugenics: The Good And The Bad Uses Of Statistics

Like me, you’ve probably noticed that people tend to think of math as morally neutral. There’s the world of ethics, values, faith, meaning and philosophy. Then there’s the world of math and science. CP Snow called this artificial division of head and heart ‘the two cultures’. Ideologies, …

Human Rights