Tag Archives: history

Iron as an Achievement of Science, and a Warrior’s Tool

Iron can be found in many places, but not in the form that it was once used to influence the wars of the world. To be more precise, the iron that can be discovered in various places is not strong enough to be utilized as an effective tool. Only after it goes through a specific smelting process will it be in a form that people can actually use for practical purposes. It is with this in mind that we take a look at the unbelievable rigour blacksmiths thousands of years ago must have had to come up with just the right solution, and what that has to do with science.

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Relax! Because video games will soon react to your physiological arousal

As technologies multiply, so too do our uses for them. In fact, video games in particular started out as nothing more than a form of entertainment – some would say “mindless entertainment.” But especially in recent years, games have turned from “fun” to “therapeutic” and “educational,” among having other cognitive and social benefits. This article won’t be about these benefits, though, but about where the industry is headed in terms of its biggest new hardware innovations, and why non-gamers should care about them. So far, it looks like the next big thing is a controller that can actually sense your physiological arousal.

Posted in Culture, Medicine & Health, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Do You Truly Understand?: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation

correlation_does_not_equal_causation_bachmannI found a great little infographic on correlation vs. causation, which is one of the most important lessons every science-minded person must learn in order to effectively understand the world. People have the tendency to make assumptions based on things they don’t understand, because they have not learnt the fundamentals of critical thinking. For example, many people buy cold medicines, which end up “completely curing” clients after a week of usage. Most people would chalk their recovery up to the medicine, when it really may have been nothing more than just a function of time. So this article will clear up some misconceptions involved in the correlation/causation confusion.

Posted in Psychology, Skepticism | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Visual History of Sex and Violence

I stumbled upon an amazing picture that basically shows the evolution of man in terms of sex and violence, all the way from club-wielding cavemen to go-go dancers and semi-automatic machine guns. It’s a very interesting image that clearly the creator took a lot of time to make. Not just because of the artwork, but because of the random story-arcs and the various period references. So let’s see what you’ve got: How many periods can you identify? (Extra points for relevant locations) Write a comment below to show your history knowledge.

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Is Japan Losing its Culture? – Part 1: A History of Cultural Adoption

I want to talk about the problem I usually find when non-Japanese people talk about Japanese culture, which is that they generalize too much. They make sweeping statements that are inherently too loaded to be anything but false. This is usually because they approach Japan through the lens of their own culture – the etic approach, in anthropological terms. Japan can only possibly be understood in the greater Japanese context – one that considers its history, and its interaction with other nations. Making a statement like “Japan is very ________, and here’s my anecdote…” is an approach doomed to failure. For example, I often hear complaints that Japan is becoming highly Westernized, or more specifically, Americanized. A big concern is that they’re losing their culture. …But is it true? Is Japan losing its culture?

Posted in Culture, Japan | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments