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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday

Coffee Cup

There certainly are a lot of people working really hard to be unhappy.

Faced with traffic noise and other humanmade din, city birds have taken matters into their own hands: they adjust their songs in real time to make themselves heard. Scientists have long known that bird songs vary in different settings and that urban songbirds in particular sing at a higher pitch. But they didn't know whether the variety arose through evolution—higher frequencies carried better over low-frequency urban rumble, allowing higher-singing birds to entice mates and breed high-singing offspring—or if the birds were adapting their songs to the surrounding noise in real time.

Scientists at the Millennium Seed Bank are racing against time to gather seeds from as many of the world's plant species as they can before extinction, but the global recession and the rise of climate skepticism are making the job harder

Writing in centuries past, many scientists felt compelled to wax poetic about cosmic mysteries and God's handiwork. Perhaps one should not be surprised at this: most scientists back then, as well as many scientists today, identify themselves as spiritually devout.

But a careful reading of older texts, particularly those concerned with the universe itself, shows that the authors invoke divinity only when they reach the boundaries of their understanding. They appeal to a higher power only when staring into the ocean of their own ignorance. They call on God only from the lonely and precarious edge of incomprehension. Where they feel certain about their explanations, however, God gets hardly a mention.



Money Giveth, Money Taketh Away The Dual Effect of Wealth on Happiness

This is why they got rid of the stuff in star trek.

re: perimiter of ignorance: degrasse tyson's (or is degrasse his middle name?) article was actually pretty impressive, i thought. it brought together a lot of threads i've never seen all in the same place at the same time, except in my own mind. i had my niggles but can't be bothered to refute. overall an impressive offering from someone i always thought of as a so-so interview subject.


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