One of my by-now rather irregular WLASze posts: Weekend links of Arts, Sciences and zero economics. Enjoy!
In the week of Nobel prizes, it is worth taking a look at some awards.
Chemistry: a well-deserved award for empirical work on improving our ability to observe sub-cellular activities http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/09/science/nobel-prize-chemistry.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0 And a lovely story of a scientist leaving a big mark on his field and then leaving the field…
Meanwhile, in Physics, the Prize went for an invention that is rather more about engineering than science: the LED (and a sub-component of that, to boot): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/science/isamu-akasaki-hiroshi-amano-and-shuji-nakamura-awarded-the-nobel-prize-in-physics.html?rref=science&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Science&pgtype=article In my view, nothing earth-shattering as far as knowledge goes, but big item as far as practical applications are concerned.
Physiology (or popularisingly: Medicine): an exciting choice covering the discovery of the structure of the brain responsible for spatial positioning: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/07/science/nobel-prize-medicine.html?rref=science&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Science&pgtype=article
And a priceless account by 2011 Nobel Physics Prize winner of his attempt at smuggling the Nobel medal to fargo, North Dakota… http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/10/10/nobel-prize-airport-security/
Stories are the stuff Literature is made of. And Modiano - this year's winner - is no stranger to them. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/09/patrick-modiano-wins-nobel-prize-for-literature. Another take on same: http://moreintelligentlife.com/blog/simon-willis/my-first-patrick-modiano.
Let my literary professionals friends take this one over…
While you were on the pages of Scientific American, did you spot this gem? "Is Kindness Physically Attractive": http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/10/09/is-kindness-physically-attractive/ . Clearly, there's no end to social 'sciences' experimentation… at which point it is probably worth shouting: "Stop! Leave at least something undiscovered, will you?" To break my own chain of thinking - here's a link I blogged on before, covering the Mathematics of Beauty: http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2009/02/22/beauty/?page=full
But no, never, reply social 'scientists', deploying a total buzz-killer: the Social Machines to Tackle Twitter http://socialmachines.media.mit.edu/ At least, for now, the machines are chasing us… for now… Half-ironically, earlier today I tweeted:
which relates to the MIT Media Lab's latest Lab nicely and, of course, confirms the self-referential nature of social 'science'. At one point we will get fed up with all this trawling of the www and start thinking once again.
Meanwhile, for those who still marvel at art and science and thought, a nice essay on one of my favourite artists of all times, Anselm Keifer: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/arts-and-books/anselm-kiefer-inside-a-black-hole
Here are some of the links to his works:
Maybe it's German psyche exposed. Or human one. Or both... just kidding...
And to marvel at something entirely different, a wonderful essay on the Killogram: http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ideas/tom-whipple/weight-almost-over via The Economist's Intelligent Life supplement.