Showing posts from January 13, 2019

Who is Jack Frost?

It's beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter finally, so I thought, since today is Mythical day, I'd talk about the guy whose been causing all this freezing weather.
You might have heard of him, the one responsible for nipping at your nose and frosting your windows with fern-like patterns during wintertime. His name is Jack Frost, and his legend dates back centuries. So who is Jack Frost? Who is Jack Frost? Jack Frost Origins There’s not one particular story that we can point to for the creation of Jack Frost, but rather a collection of stories taken from countries all over the world. In some cultures he’s considered a villain, in some hero, but in all of them he’s the personification of the winter season.
While there’s much debate over the origins of Jack Frost, many believe he originated from Scandinavian or Anglo-Saxon traditions. In one popular story, he’s the son of Kari, Norse god of the winds. In Finnish folklore, there is the legend of Frostman and Frostwoman, …

What is Anarchism?

Whenever public protests ignite into violent behavior, the mainstream media are often quick to refer to “anarchy” and to “anarchists”. Those who are referred to as anarchists are protesters who burn tires or engage in battles with the police. In this narrative, anarchists are lawless hooligans and anarchy is about chaos and pointless violence.
Think back to the Million Mask March in London on November 5, 2015. This event was indeed organised by a number of anarchist groups – and there were limited outbreaks of violence – but the equation of chaos and violence with anarchism is about as productive as the equation of circles with squares. It is a crude and bizarre misrepresentation.
What is anarchism anyway? It is a radical and revolutionary political philosophy and political economy. While there are many definitions and many anarchisms, most would agree to the definition formulated by Peter Kropotkin. This definition is in an article which Kropotkin was invited to write for the 11th e…

What To Do When Existential Dread Strikes?

Existential flashes — moments where you become very aware of your own existence — can hit anytime, anywhere, and without invitation or fair warning. Maybe you’re riding your bicycle on a brilliant, blue day taking in the sights and scents around you, or perhaps you’re meandering through the stuffy aisles of your local grocery store on a busy Saturday afternoon. You could even be chilling in front of the TV — a pile of potato chip crumbs sprinkled evenly across your chest, causing you to notice that yes, you’re still here.
That sudden hyper-awareness of your own existence feels uncomfortable. And though it sometimes passes quickly, it can leave you with a lingering sense of discomfort about your place in this world. Give it too much thought, and you could even find yourself in a dark and winding hole of listless melancholy, or worse, straight up dread.
WHAT IS EXISTENTIAL DREAD? “Existential dread is the terror we experience in our awareness that we are transient beings acting out lif…

Inside the Mind: Alan Moore

Alan Moore is waiting when I get off the train in Northampton, a majestically bearded figure in a hoodie, scanning the crowd that pushes through the turnstiles with a look of fearsome intent. When I wave, the glare becomes a beaming smile. ‘How are you, mate?’ he booms. ‘Splendid, splendid. I thought we’d go for a bit of a walk, so I can show you around and we can work up an appetite.’
Off we go up the hill. Moore swings his stick – a wooden snake coiled around the handle to symbolize his enthusiastic worship of Glycon, a second-century Macedonian snake god – and keeps up a constant flow of arcane local chatter. This station car park, he tells me, used to be King John’s castle, where the First Crusade began. That charmless glass-and-steel building was once a Saxon banqueting hall. Over there was a pub where, ‘if you’d come along here on a Sunday afternoon in the 1920s or ’30s, you’d have found a zebra tied up outside it.’
Before long, tramping through the riverside mud under a railwa…

How New Technologies Are Changing Language Learning

AI, AR and VR are increasingly hot topics in the language learning space — with new tools and technologies being touted as silver bullets that will fundamentally change the way we learn.
Numerous on-demand apps and free tools have made language learning accessible to everyone: Duolingo is a prime example, busuu’s Alexa bot is making it easy to practice hands-free while performing other household activities, and Google’s new wireless headphones offer real-time translation from Google Translate. And Mondly VR is leading the charge in the VR space with its foreign-language teaching app, which places people into situations where they’d need to use the language, like a cab ride or checking into a hotel.
There's no doubt that technologies like this will have a massive impact on the way we learn, the way we live and the way we work. Some believe they’ll even eradicate the need to learn it at all — like Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Seventh Sense, who makes a case that more data mean…

Who Believes in Conspiracy Theories Study

The Apollo moon landing was staged. The CIA killed JFK. 9/11 was a plot by the U.S. government to justify a war in the Middle East. President Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen. The massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school was staged as a pretense for increased gun control. The "deep state" is trying to destroy Donald Trump's presidency.
Conspiracy theories have been cooked up throughout history, but they are increasingly visible lately, likely due in part to the president of the United States routinely embracing or creating them.
Given that any particular conspiracy theory is unlikely to be the subject of mainstream consensus, what draws people to them?
New research by Josh Hart, associate professor of psychology, suggests that people with certain personality traits and cognitive styles are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. The research was recently published in the Journal of Individual Differences.
"These people tend to be more suspicious, …

There is No Life without Death?

What would life be like without death? Would there even be such a thing as ‘life’ without death? And why do we die? What’s the purpose of it? Is there even a purpose of it? Is there some kind of masochistic creator who likes to hurt us? And if so, wouldn’t making people die contradict its notion of creating? Or maybe even the creator became confused about the notions of life and death, and in the end decided just to go with it? Whatever the explanation is, death remains a mysterious, yet inescapable, destination we all share.
Let’s see: what causes us to die? Well, death might just come about because of a flaw in our biological make-up; an unintended by-product of the designer of humanity. It might only be due to physical decay that our bodies will – eventually – perish. Death is just another obstacle to overcome in our human struggle with nature, a struggle that we will inevitably come to win. Within a couple of decades from now, people will be able to change their cancerous limbs f…