“Those who travel with the current will always feel they are good swimmers; those who swim against the current may never realize they are better swimmers than they imagine.”—From The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives by Shankar Vedantam
French Renaissance man Francois Rabelais died 461 years ago. His legacy includes the word Rabelaisian—used to describe good-natured, bawdy humor. This quote is supposed to be his dying words — that may be in dispute, but I like it nevertheless.
The first eclipse of 2014 is a good one for observers throughout the Western Hemisphere and especially for the Americas.
On Tuesday, April 15, there will be a total lunar eclipse that will turn the moon a coppery red, according to NASA. It’s called a blood moon, and it’s one of four total eclipses that will take place in North America within the next 18 months. Within a year and a half, North…
“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship)
I know a few people who have tried getting off the Internet for a day or weekend or abandoning technology to purge their minds, bodies and souls of the pollution of information. We are on the overload setting and the idea of being purified does seem tempting.
I have also been reading about sensory deprivation – a topic that I haven’t heard much about in many years.
of scientist Gregory Pincus, born in Woodbine, New Jersey (1903).
He was a successful teacher at Harvard, doing research on sexual physiology in mammals, but his career floundered after he completed in-vitro fertilization of rabbits in 1934. In-vitro fertilization was a new technique, and the general public was horrified by the idea of test-tube babies.
Pincus lost his position at Harvard. A friend got him a position at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, but he still had to work as a janitor to supplement his income.
In 1951, he met Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, and she realized that he could be a good choice to explore the possibilities of human contraceptives.
She secured a grant for Pincus and his co-worker, Min Chueh Chang, and they did research to confirm that excessive amounts of the hormone progesterone worked to stop ovulation. From there, they created the first birth control pills, which were approved by the USDA in 1960.