davereed
I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.

Gerry Spence, How to Argue & Win Every Time (via scu)

File this under #non-sequitur. This isn’t even a coherent thought.

As Chesterton said somewhere, the purpose of an open mind is to close it on something solid. When it comes to belief, it’s not whether but what.

(via sds)

What sds said.

(via suchtango)

I suppose I can see how someone would say that belief closes the mind, but only in the same way as any other change in someone’s life attitude or conviction.  When someone does some reflection and decides that they are a feminist or atheist or revolutionist or whatever, it is, in essence, a closing of the mind to entertaining the antitheses of these things. All conviction is closed-mindedness.  What is to be feared is not a closed mind, but a mind unwilling to close on something important.

And faith is not a replacement for wonder; it is borne of it.

(via davereed)

Yuuup.  I will never tire of holding forth on this, especially the false dichotomy between science & faith

I suspect that the posted quote is meant to criticize belief systems & faiths (like Christianity, which happens to be mine; and yes, I’m voluntarily taking this personally, probably because I’m a woman), that this man disagrees with or simply finds distasteful.  Which doesn’t sound very open-minded to me, if open-mindedness means refusing to reject any idea you encounter out of respect for what you might not understand about it.  Pragmatically, of course, it would be impossible to live a sane human life that way.

You might say, “Whatever, you know what he means.”  And I think I do, maybe.  He means that some people do ugly, destructive things; and that he would rather side with constructiveness & celebration.  Fine.  He’s just phrased it clumsily by mismatching his parameters & unwittingly ended up with something akin to “Cake or Death?" (which is brilliant for the same reasons the quote is absurd).  We all eventually get death.  Hopefully, we get to enjoy cake along the way.  The two are not mutually exclusive. 

By the way, about that book title.

letsprocrastinap
arianejurquet:

“These delicate glass models reveal a hidden, yet beautiful, microscopic world of fungi. Examining mouldy fruit or rotten vegetables would disgust many people, but Dr. Dillon Weston (1899-1953) made studying fungal diseases of fruit and vegetables a lifetime’s passion. He created these models of the intricate fungi he saw down the microscope using glass rods and a Bunsen burner.” (via Glass Models of Microscopic Fungi.)

Tip of the hat to you, Dr. Weston.

arianejurquet:

“These delicate glass models reveal a hidden, yet beautiful, microscopic world of fungi. Examining mouldy fruit or rotten vegetables would disgust many people, but Dr. Dillon Weston (1899-1953) made studying fungal diseases of fruit and vegetables a lifetime’s passion. He created these models of the intricate fungi he saw down the microscope using glass rods and a Bunsen burner.”
(via Glass Models of Microscopic Fungi.)

Tip of the hat to you, Dr. Weston.

letsprocrastinap

biomedicalephemera:

Have some time on your hands? Know how to read? Want to help science?

Join me at the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers Transcription Center!

There are thousands of collection items, field journals, and cataloged diaries and specimens at the Smithsonian, and because the pages and data are hand-written or irregular, digital transcription is unable to decode them.

This is where the Digital Volunteers come in! By transcribing and double-checking the transcription efforts of others prior to final review by Smithsonian staffers, we save the Smithsonian thousands of hours of initial squinting and trying to make sense of semi-illegible words.

Cursive is largely not taught in schools anymore, but the scientific value of these documents and specimens will still be true long after we’re gone. By transcribing things now and getting them into a digital database that can be searched and organized, scientists and historians of both tomorrow and decades in the future will benefit.

There are more difficult transcription pieces (such as the top page posted here), as well as very simple and easy-to-read pieces, such as The Bumblebee Project (SO MANY BEES).

This is where I procrastinate, these days. It’s strangely addicting.

Don’t mind if I do.

letsprocrastinap
scienceyoucanlove:

Awesome shot of a healing wound Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a healing wound on the skin. There are red blood cells (erythrocytes) on the skin’s surface.Keratinocytes (skin cells that contain the protein keratin, centre) are forming a hard protective layer (scab) over the wound.Magnification x400, by Steve Gschmeissner
text source 

scienceyoucanlove:

Awesome shot of a healing wound 

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a healing wound on the skin. There are red blood cells (erythrocytes) on the skin’s surface.

Keratinocytes (skin cells that contain the protein keratin, centre) are forming a hard protective layer (scab) over the wound.

Magnification x400, by Steve Gschmeissner

text source 

northeastnature
northeastnature:

Here’s something a little different. The lines on this rocky hill are glacial striations: scratches caused by debris stuck in flowing glaciers. What’s even cooler is that you can see the paths of three different glacial movements here:
One set of lines is from the broad glacial flow that buried the whole region,
One is from the later, diminished flow that was boxed in by the surrounding mountains, and
One is from the even more diminished flow from ice that was trapped in this one valley.

northeastnature:

Here’s something a little different. The lines on this rocky hill are glacial striations: scratches caused by debris stuck in flowing glaciers. What’s even cooler is that you can see the paths of three different glacial movements here:

  1. One set of lines is from the broad glacial flow that buried the whole region,
  2. One is from the later, diminished flow that was boxed in by the surrounding mountains, and
  3. One is from the even more diminished flow from ice that was trapped in this one valley.
thecryptocreep

markscherz:

rhamphotheca:

2 New Species of Helmetcrest Hummingbirds (amongst others) Recognized From South America

L - Buffy Helmetcrest (Oxypogon stubelii). Endemic to Colombia, located in the central mountain range (the paramos surrounding the Parque los Nevados). Photos: Oswaldo Cortés

R - White-bearded Helmetcrest (Oxypogon linden), endemic to Venezuela and only present in the Andes of Venezuela. Photo - Peter Boesman

(read more: ProAves)

You guys don’t understand how rare it is to find new hummingbirds. There are over 300 species recognised, and the majority of them were described before the turn of the nineteenth century!

sambolic
Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers - often implicitly - assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species - frequent outliers. The domains reviewed include visual perception, fairness, cooperation, spatial reasoning, categorization and inferential induction, moral reasoning, reasoning styles, self-concepts and related motivations, and the heritability of IQ. The findings suggest that members of WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans. Many of these findings involve domains that are associated with fundamental aspects of psychology, motivation, and behavior - hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close by proposing ways to structurally re-organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges.
infinity-imagined
The Milky Way Galaxy is one of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of galaxies notable neither in mass nor in brightness nor in how its stars are configured and arrayed. Some modern deep sky photographs show more galaxies beyond the Milky Way than stars within the Milky Way. Every one of them is an island universe containing perhaps a hundred billion suns. Such an image is a profound sermon on humility.