Streams

Marcelo Gleiser

Marcelo Gleiser appears in the following:

Five 'Scary' Experiments That Did Not Destroy The World

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Scanning YouTube for popular science videos, I found a jewel — clocking over 10 million views — titled "Five Experiments That Could Have Destroyed The World."

The fact that we are here means these experiments did not succeed on this front. The message, however, is quite clear: We toy ...

Comment

Cleaner Cities, Cleaner Planet

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Growing up in Brazil, I always looked up to America and Europe as standards for how to keep cities clean.

Walking along in New York or Paris, I was struck by how the streets and walkways were garbage-free — at least compared to the streets of Rio and São Paulo. ...

Comment

Q&A: 'Unity' Director Discusses Humanity's Future

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a 13.7 post about the documentary Unity, written and directed by Shaun Monson, which opened Wednesday for a one-day screening in more than 1,000 theaters around the world.

With an unprecedented cast of 100 celebrity narrators, Unity is a manifesto for ...

Comment

'Unity': Are We There Yet?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The documentary Unity will hit theaters nationwide on Aug. 12. By the director Shaun Monson, of Earthlings fame, the film is a wake-up call to humanity, a manifesto toward a different future, a future where humanity doesn't see itself as being in control of nature and animals but, ...

Comment

Game Of Quarks: A Guide For The Perplexed

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nature is the ultimate puzzle player, as scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) found out last week.

In the late 1950s, particle physics was in crisis. Being the branch of physics that studies the structure of matter, particle physicists search for the smallest bits of stuff ...

Comment

Pluto Encounter Is A Legacy Of Our Generation

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

It finally happened. On Tuesday, the space probe New Horizons passed by a mere 7,800 miles from Pluto, the closest encounter ever with a world that is, on average, 3.7 billion miles from Earth.

It took nine years for the very fast probe to get there, something that our

Comment

The Brain's Remarkable Sculpting Of Memories

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

It is a remarkable fact that the brain, made of neurons and their connections to one another named synapses, is able to remember.

After all, if there is one thing we can say about our bodies and about nature, it's that change is everywhere. To remember is to go the ...

Comment

Designing Superhumans

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The age of genetic design is here.

It is now possible to edit genes of diverse organisms — almost like we edit a string of text — by cutting and pasting (splicing) genes at desired locations. A recent technology known as CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) allows ...

Comment

The Never-Learned Lesson In 'Jurassic World'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's hard to have missed the explosive launching of Jurassic World, the new dinosaurs vs. humans bout in Steven Spielberg's venerable series. (This time he is executive producer, while Colin Trevorrow directs.) The movie made history already by being the highest grossing film ever in its first weekend, taking ...

Comment

After Long Slumber, Philae Says Hi To The World

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In a technological feat that moved the world, last November the European Space Agency landed the small probe Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which is cruising at some 100,000 miles per hour toward the sun. Excitement turned to high drama when the landing put the probe away from the ...

Comment

Neil Young Is Displeased That Donald Trump Was 'Rockin' In The Free World'

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he's running for president, the soundtrack at the Trump Tower event was Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," which was played loudly and repeatedly. But afterward, Young said Trump had used the song without permission — and that he's a Bernie Sanders ...

Comment

If You Don't Know You Are Held Captive, Does It Matter?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Last week, I held a class discussion on the issue of freedom. This was the closing lecture of my Dartmouth course "Question Reality!," an examination of the nature of physical reality and the limits of knowledge.

As a starting point, I asked the students to watch the classic movie

Comment

The High Price Of What We Eat

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

On World Water Day, March 22, I wrote here at 13.7 that water — particularly its scarcity — should be one of our top worries for the coming decades. We listed a website with many disturbing facts about water or lack thereof, across the globe.

On Sunday, The ...

Comment

Viewing A Universe In Flux

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The phenomenally successful Hubble Space Telescope turned 25 last month.

To celebrate the occasion, the Hubble team released a spectacular photo of a "stellar nursery," a region of space where huge amounts of gas and dust churn dramatically under gravity's never-resting arms to create new stars and, with them, new ...

Comment

Merging Global Values In A More Secular America

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We have an African-American president and may soon have a female president. But would Americans ever elect an atheist or agnostic president?

Perhaps in a decade or so.

A new Pew Research Center survey, dramatically titled "America's Changing Religious Landscape," has painted a somewhat surprising picture of the decline ...

Comment

Are We To Become Gods, The Destroyers Of Our World?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

In the stylish new sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, Frankenstein's old theme re-emerges in a beautifully designed setting: Instead of the Gothic castle we have a spectacular estate in a vast mountainous wilderness, home of the recluse genius who wants to create the first true artificial intelligence.

As in Mary ...

Comment

Pope's Coming Statement On Global Warming Will Be Significant

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It is fitting that Pope Francis I, who chose his name from St. Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals and the environment, is preparing to publish an encyclical this summer on the effects of climate change on the poor, and the need to protect Earth and its environment.

...

Comment

'Planetary' Calls For A Global Vision Shift For Earthlings

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

As today is Earth Day, it may be that nothing is more appropriate than watching, here, at 13.7, a preview of the documentary Planetary.

Using footage from NASA, interviews and spectacular imagery from across the planet, the movie calls for a change in perspective — a new way ...

Comment

Einstein's Universe Turns 100

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

One hundred years ago, a 36-year-old Albert Einstein presented the complete formulation of the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Across the world, events and conferences will be celebrating what is considered, without hyperbole, the most beautiful of physical theories, marrying mathematics with physical concepts ...

Comment

What The 'God Of The Gaps' Teaches Us About Science

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"God of the Gaps": When God is invoked to fill in the blanks in scientific knowledge. An old-fashioned and doomed theological approach, but one that is nevertheless very much alive in the minds of many.

In the General Scholium, a sort of epilogue to his monumental Mathematical Principles of Mathematical ...

Comment