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Answer to What are some of the interesting facts about India?

The <b>Tirupati Balaji</b> <b>temple and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple both,</b> receive more visitors than the Vatican City and Mecca combined.<p>Every 12 years, a …

Murali Duggineni's answer to What are some amazing facts about the Indian Railways?

1). For more than fifty years after the formation of the Indian Railways, there was one crucial element that was missing on the nation's trains: …

Melting of Antarctic ice sheet and 3-meter sea level rise inevitable - study

Massive regions of the ice sheet that makes up West Antarctica have begun collapsing in a process that scientists have worried about for decades and …

5 Classic Books That Have Inspired Innovative Thinking Throughout Time

“Innovation”, “mindfulness”, and “creativity” are terms we hear a lot these days, but where did they come from? These five books helped shape generations of thinkers, and their lessons still apply today.<p>Creativity, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship–they all begin within us; each is very much …

The Pacific Ocean Has Become Acidic Enough to Dissolve Sea Snails' Shells

Meet the tiny, translucent "sea butterfly," whose home is currently being transformed into an acid bath.<p>Images: NOAA<p>Meet the tiny, translucent "sea butterfly," whose home is currently being transformed into an acid bath. Off the US's west coast, there are anywhere between 100 and 15,000 of these …

Best Telescopes for the Money

<i>*Editor's Note: Today, check out our Cyber Monday deals page for up-to-date discounts on</i> <i>telescopes, binoculars and more gifts for all the space fans</i> …

Telescopes

Gorgeous Illustrations Of Famous Writers' Lives

Most Hemingway fans know of his reverence for bullfighters, and affinity for spiced rum. But did you also know that his beloved pet cats had opposable thumbs?<p>These and other fun author tidbits (Tolstoy learned to ride a bike at age 67!) are illustrated in <i>Artists, Writers, Thinkers, Dreamers:</i> …

The Future of Humanity Awaits in Deep Space, NASA Chief Says

BOULDER, Colorado – The way NASA chief Charles Bolden sees it, the future of U.S. human space exploration is in deep space, but there’s need to reach …

Space Exploration

Is Freedom Just An Illusion? Maybe We Don't Want To Know

The possibility that machines will be able to simulate the human brain is all over the news these days. In the United States, President Obama's Brain Initiative promises $100 million to fund research into "how we think, learn, and remember." In Europe, the Blue Brain Project, headed by Henry …

Charles Bukowski, Arthur C. Clarke, Annie Dillard, John Cage, and Others on the Meaning of Life

The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the dawn of existence. Modern history alone has given us a plethora of attempted answers, including ones from Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick, David Foster Wallace, Anais Nin, Ray Bradbury, and Jackson Pollock’s dad. In 1988, the …

A Calendar of Wisdom: Tolstoy on Knowledge and the Meaning of Life

On March 15, 1884, <b>Leo Tolstoy</b> (September 9, 1828–November 20, 1910) wrote in his diary:<p>I have to create a circle of reading for myself: Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Lao-Tzu, Buddha, Pascal, The New Testament. This is also necessary for all people.<p>So he set out to compile “a wise thought for every …

Richard Feynman on the Meaning of Life

<i>“The world of learning is so broad, and the human soul is so limited in power! We reach forth and strain every nerve,”</i> pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell wrote in her diary in 1854, <i>“but we seize only a bit of the curtain that hides the infinite from us.”</i> The meaning of life has indeed been …

Carl Sagan on the Meaning of Life

<b>Carl Sagan</b> was not only one of the greatest scientific minds in modern history, he was also an unrelenting humanist with profound insight on spirituality, psychology, and even literature. From <i>The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here</i> (<i>public library</i>) — the same …

George Lucas on the Meaning of Life

When a frustrated young woman asked the most brilliant man in the world why we’re alive, Einstein responded in five poignant lines. This question — at the heart of which is a concern with the meaning of life — has since been answered by many other great minds: For David Foster Wallace, it was about …

Richard Feynman on the Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society

<i>“I fully expected that, by the end of the century, we would have achieved substantially more than we actually did,”</i> lamented original moonwalker <b>Neil Armstrong</b>, who passed away at the age of 82 last week. Implicit to his lament is the rather unsettling question of why — what is it that has held …

The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity

It seems to be the season for fascinating meditations on consciousness, exploring such questions as what happens while we sleep, how complex cognition evolved, and why the world exists. Joining them and prior explorations of what it means to be human is <b>The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of</b> …

Trying Not to Try: How to Cultivate the Paradoxical Art of Spontaneity Through the Chinese Concept of Wu-Wei

<i>“The best way to get approval is not to need it,”</i> Hugh MacLeod memorably counseled. We now know that perfectionism kills creativity and excessive goal-setting limits our success rather than begetting it — all different manifestations of the same deeper paradox of the human condition, at once …

The Art of Thought: A Pioneering 1926 Model of the Four Stages of Creativity

In 1926, thirteen years before James Webb Young’s <i>Technique for Producing Ideas</i> and more than three decades before Arthur Koestler’s seminal “bisociation” theory of how creativity works, English social psychologist and London School of Economics co-founder <b>Graham Wallas</b>, sixty-eight at the time, …

The Art of Practical Wisdom

<i>“It’s insulting to imply that only a system of rewards and punishments can keep you a decent human being,”</i> Isaac Asimov told Bill Moyers in their magnificent 1988 conversation on science and religion. And yet ours is a culture that frequently turns to rigid external rules — be they of religion or …

A 5-Step Technique for Producing Ideas circa 1939

Literature is the original “inter-net,” woven of a web of allusions, references, and citations that link different works together into an endless rabbit hole of discovery. Case in point: Last week’s wonderful field guide to creativity, <i>Dancing About Architecture</i>, mentioned in passing an intriguing …

Feeding the Mind: Lewis Carroll’s Rules for a Fine Information Diet and Healthy Intellectual Digestion

Included in the altogether fantastic <b>Alice in Wonderland Cookbook: A Culinary Diversion</b> (<i>public library</i>) — which also gave us some delicious recipes inspired by the Carroll classic and the author’s tips on dining etiquette — is Carroll’s essay titled <i>Feeding the Mind</i>, originally written in 1907, …

New Study Outlines 'Water World' Theory of Life's Origins

Life took root more than four billion years ago on our nascent Earth, a wetter and harsher place than now, bathed in sizzling ultraviolet rays. What …

Pioneering Psychologist Jerome Bruner on the 6 Pillars of Creativity and How to Master the Art of “Effective Surprise”

One of the greatest preoccupations not only of our culture but of our civilization is the question of what creativity is, dating back to the dawn of recorded thought. But it wasn’t until the advent of modern psychology in the early twentieth century that our answers to the question began to take …

Susan Sontag on Beauty vs. Interestingness

<i>“Attitudes toward beauty are entwined with our deepest conflicts surrounding flesh and spirit,”</i> Harvard’s Nancy Etcoff wrote in her fantastic meditation on the psychology of beauty. Indeed, beauty is a complex beast surrounded by our equally complex attitudes, and who better to tease those …