December 3rd, 2007

Wanderlust

A Mysterious Stroll Through Human History
Wanderlust. Being human is apparently all about wanderlust.



Today, we are a global species, that is, found on every continent, because 200,000 years ago fully modern humans pulled up stakes and took off. First we moved out of
Africa, going north and then around the Mediterranean, spreading quickly into Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.
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A piece of History

"Top Secret" Papers for Sale
Got $20k? If so, you may be able to purchase the 166-page Ph.D. dissertation written by German rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun in 1934.
 
Von Braun was the technical director of Germany's V-2 rocket program during World War II and later became the first director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, where he led the development of the Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon.
 
The dissertation, which includes hand-written notes and charts, is recognized as an important milestone in modern rocketry. It was originally classified as "top secret" and remained unpublished until 1960. The auction will take place on December 4 at Bonhams New York.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
 
 
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The Power of Meditation

Mastering Your Own Mind
Distracted? Angry? Envious? There's growing evidence that attention, emotion regulation—even love—are skills that can be trained through the practice of meditation. Perhaps it's time for you to become a high-performance user of your own brain.

 
Practiced Buddhist meditators deploy their brains with exceptional skill. Drawing on 2,500 years of mental technology—techniques for paying careful attention to the workings of their own minds—they develop expertise in controlling the flow of their mental life, avoiding the emotional squalls that often compel us to take personal feelings oh, so personally, and clearing new channels for awareness, calm, compassion and joy.
 
Their example holds the possibility that we can all choose to modulate our moods, regulate our emotions and increase cognitive capacity—that we can all become high-performance users of our own brains.
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Still a Mystery

Dark Energy Hits Tenth Birthday
So we're just about ten years into the discovery that the universe is probably blowing apart due to a cosmic, anti-gravitational force called dark energy. And how much more do we know about it?

 
Scientists have made some headway, but there are still some frighteningly large questions to be addressed.  They now agree that dark energy makes up 75 percent of the cosmos. Dark matter, another mysterious substance, commands a 21 percent share.
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Quote of the Day

 
“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.”
 
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
 
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Person of the Week

Andrew Fraknoi
This Harvard and UC-Berkeley-educated professor and scientist has a rare talent for translating complex astronomical ideas and discoveries into clear, compelling language for the non-ivy-league-educated.
 
Among his many professional activities, Fraknoi is a member of the SETI Institute's Board of Trustees, and teaches astronomy at FoothillCollege. This month, Fraknoi was selected as the 2007 California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement & Support of Education.
 
He's a consummate astronomy educator, which is readily apparent in a fun new book called "Wonderful World of Space." Fraknoi teamed with Disney Learning to produce this up-to-date, well-illustrated book. It features beautiful images and explanations that are complemented by engaging Disney characters to entertain young readers with funny little asides. 

MILF of the Week

Bridget Moynahan
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