The Wrath of Khan


The global impact of forest re-growth in even the long-lasting events [such as Black Death] was diminished by the continued clearing of forests elsewhere in the world. But in the case of the Mongol invasions […] re-growth on depopulated lands stockpiled nearly 700 million tons of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. This is equivalent to the world’s total annual demand for gasoline today. [Source]


Periodic Table of Dots

periodictableSimple, minimalist, and elegant. From here.

John & Julio

I found the following thought experiment stimulating:

Suppose two men, John and Julio, are heading to a job interview. Julio tells John: “I need this job more than you do. Please drop out of the race so I get it.” It’s perfectly reasonable for John to reply: “No. You’re a stranger and I don’t owe you anything.”

But suppose instead that John handcuffs Julio to a tree to prevent him from going to the interview. Julio says “Let me go. I deserve a shot at this job too.” At this point, it’s ludicrous for John to reply, “No. You’re a stranger and I don’t owe you anything.” Julio isn’t demanding help; he’s just demanding that John leave him alone.

And if John were to object, “You’re not leaving me alone. That job is MINE, and you’re trying to steal it from me!” we’d have to answer, “The job isn’t yours. It’s up to the owner of the business to decide who he wants to employ.”

All of this is obvious to any upright 10-year-old. You’re under no obligation to give your toys away to less fortunate kids, but you’re certainly not allowed to steal toys from less fortunate kids.

Unfortunately, if the victims happen to be born in another country, most adults don’t have the moral sense of a 10-year-old.

From here. Also read this article by Bryan Caplan, a fierce advocate of open borders, on the same topic: Why Should We Restrict Immigration? (pdf link)


“Speaking in terms of light, pink should probably be called ‘minus-green,’ because pink is just the leftovers of white light when you take out the green.”

[Also read Rainbows Have Seams]


A tree frog clutches a leaf angled towards the rain for shelter in Jember, East Java

From here.

Möbius Strip

An early design of the recycling symbol

The figure was designed as a Möbius strip to symbolize continuity within a finite entity. I used the [logo’s] arrows to give directionality to the symbol. I envisioned it with the small edge or the point of the triangle at the bottom. I wanted to suggest both the dynamic (things are changing) and the static (it’s a static equilibrium, a permanent kind of thing). The arrows, as broad as they are, draw back to the static side. [Emphasis is mine.]

Gary Anderson, the designer of this universally recognized brilliant logo


Ununpentium shell

Ununpentium, with a staggering hundred and fifteen protons in its nucleus, is the newest, soon-to-be-added, element in the periodic table. Unum is Latin for ‘one’, and Pent- is Greek for ‘five’, so the name of this synthetic super-heavy element literally means 1-1-5-ium. It lies right below Bismuth in the periodic table, and hence was once knows as eka-bismuth.

[Eka means ‘one’ in Sanskrit; here’s my earlier post about Sanskrit in the periodic table.]

#periodictable #elements #science

Mill of Oblivion

116A picture worth a thousand words.

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