Categories
Culture & Society

Margaret Mead’s Sources of Insight

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.

Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork.

Mead was also widely known for her progressive views on sex, providing a key spark on what would become the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s.

Below is a comprehensive list of her sources of insight for her social anthropology studies.

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.  Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork. #study #culture

Famous Margaret Mead quotes:

Always remember you’re unique. Just like everybody else.

There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing…when we save our children, we save ourselves”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

Margaret Mead
Categories
Nature Science

Natural light prevents myopia

A report issued in Nature reveals that staying inside is the leading cause of myopia.

The finding refutes the myth that closeupness is the result of intense reading seasons and screen activity.

Outdoor light is beneficial to the eyes because it triggers the release of dopamine in the retina.

One myopia researcher recommends spending at least three hours a day in natural light, even if means sitting under a tree.

But what scientists really needed was a mechanism: something to explain how bright light could prevent myopia. The leading hypothesis is that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, and this neurotransmitter in turn blocks the elongation of the eye during development. The best evidence for the ‘light–dopamine’ hypothesis comes — again — from chicks. In 2010, Ashby and Schaeffel showed that injecting a dopamine-inhibiting drug called spiperone into chicks’ eyes could abolish the protective effect of bright light 11 .

Categories
Nature

Hyperion: The world’s tallest living tree

The Hyperion located in the Redwood Park of Northern California is the world’s tallest living tree, standing at a height of 380.3 feet.

To put that in perspective, the tree is nearly 70 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Hyperion: The world's tallest living tree
Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic)

Forestry researchers discovered the redwood tree in 2006 — astonishing to think it took that long given its gigantic nature.

However, the Paradox tree located in Redwood Humbolts Park is due to pass the Hyperion tree in height by the year 2031.

Hyperion: The world's tallest living tree
Hyperion: The world's tallest living tree
Hyperion: The world's tallest living tree
Hyperion: The world's tallest living tree

Images above via the Famous Redwoods website which also contains a must-see a virtual tour of the tree.

Categories
Architecture & Design

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

In the 1880s, French designers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier mocked up what would become the Eiffel Tower.

Maurice Koechlin's first drawing of the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france
Maurice Koechlin’s first drawing of the Eiffel Tower 

Thankfully, someone held on to 14 of the rejected designs. Number 3 seems to come closest to the final design, with embellished trusses added to the lower tier.

Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower #art #travel #paris #france #history
Rejected designs for the Eiffel Tower

It’s hard to imagine Paris without the iconic Eiffel Tower today. However, engineer Gustave Eiffel never built the structure with the intention of keeping it up.

The city wanted to tear it down after the Exposition Universelle of 1889. But the same community of artists who criticized the Eiffel Tower’s initial design ended up mobilizing to save it.

Categories
Science

The spherical nature of the Earth

The world is round, and it has been for some time despite the rise of the flat earth movement.

Take a look at some of the armillary spheres below, starting with the Chinese diagram from 1092. Even back then, they had could rationalize that the Earth adopted a round shape.

The curvy nature of the Earth is manifest.

Chinese Diagram, 1092

From Su Song’s book of 1092 

Damascus, 1526

Work of Taqi al-Din from the Constantinople observatory

Germany, 1585

Sphere on top of an astronomical clock, made in Kassel, Germany by Jost Bürgi and Antonius Eisenhoit
Categories
Nature

The Octopus in my house

BBC Earth is back with another excellent special, this time focusing on the intriguing creature of the octopus.

Octopuses are intelligent, with nine brains, half a billion neurons in their arms, and three hearts. They can also adapt to different colors and textures in camouflaging with their surroundings. Check out the rainbow octopus!

Alien-like, it is also believed that octopuses have a consciousness.

From the BBC’s show notes:

A professor develops an extraordinary relationship with an octopus when he invites it to live in his home. The octopus, called Heidi, unravels puzzles, recognises individual humans and even watches TV with the family.

The episode also shows remarkable behaviour from around the world – from the day octopus, which can change colour and texture in a split second, to the coconut octopus, which carries around its own coconut shell to hide in. But most fascinating of all is seeing how Professor David Scheel and his daughter Laurel bond with an animal that has nine brains, three hearts and blue blood running through its veins.