Luck… Chance… Gods…

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Its mostly luck, which determined the success of a person in life, according to a new research. [1] It is mostly luck which determined reproductive success. [2] Its mostly luck which determines the survivability of a species. [3]

In a world of chance, we insist on believing that it is us who determine our future. In a world dominated by random events, we keep insisting that it is us who make things happen. We know that there is Logos governing the universe. Because we are part of it. We feel it constantly. We have just misjudged what is the source of that Logos.

It is not logos within us.
It is logos transcending the cosmos.

Stay humble and you will see.
You cannot control anything.
Because you are everything…

X, Y, Male, Female…

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In most mammals, us included, biological sex is determined by a lottery between two letters: X and Y, the sex chromosomes. Inherit one X each from mom and dad, and develop ovaries, a womb and a vagina. Inherit an X from mom and a Y from dad, and develop testes and a penis.

But there are rare, mysterious exceptions. A small number of rodents have no Y chromosomes, yet are born as either females or males, not hermaphrodites. Now, scientists may be one step closer to figuring out how sex determination works in one of these rodents.

In a study published in Science Advances, Japanese scientists suggested that cells of the endangered Amami spiny rat, from Japan, are sexually flexible and capable of adapting to either ovaries or testes. When the researchers injected stem cells derived from a female rat into male embryos of laboratory mice, the cells developed into and survived as sperm precursors in adult males. The result was surprising since scientists have never been able to generate mature sperm from female stem cells, largely because sperm production normally requires the Y chromosome. (1)

Even matter itself shows us not to trust her.

It changes, adapts, follows rules and then brakes them.

And yet we believe that our mind is just matter.

But it is not. It is a living being.

It changes, adapts, follows rules and then brakes them…

See beyond your brain. Think beyond your eyes.

You are not who you are because of them.

You are the law breaker.

And they are the police…

Rain…

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The fourth planet from the sun, Mars has geological features like the Earth and moon, such as craters and valleys, many of which were formed through rainfall. Although there is a growing body of evidence that there was once water on Mars, it does not rain there today.

But in their new study, geologists Dr. Robert Craddock and Dr. Ralph Lorenz show that there was rainfall in the past – and that it was heavy enough to change the planet’s surface. To work this out, they used methods tried and tested here on Earth, where the erosive effect of the rain on the Earth’s surface has important impacts on agriculture and the economy. (1)

Mars used to be a living planet.

But not because rain shaped its valleys.

Earth is a living planet.

Again, not because rain shapes its mountains.

But because poets write about the rain.

Because people sing in the rain.

Because men and women like to just walk in the rain…

Take a good look at that little red dot in the sky.

It was not always red.

You painted it that way…

Keep looking.

Don’t mind the rain.

Planets. Life. Silent music.

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When NASA announced its discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 system back in February 2017 it caused quite a stir, and with good reason. Three of its seven Earth-sized planets lay in the star’s habitable zone, meaning they may harbour suitable conditions for life.

But one of the major puzzles from the original research describing the system was that it seemed to be unstable. “If you simulate the system, the planets start crashing into one another in less than a million years”, says Dan Tamayo, a postdoc at U of T Scarborough’s Centre for Planetary Science.

Tamayo and his colleagues seem to have found a reason why. In research published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, they describe the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system as being in something called a “resonant chain” that can strongly stabilize the system. In resonant configurations, planets’ orbital periods form ratios of whole numbers. It’s a very technical principle, but a good example is how Neptune orbits the Sun three times in the amount of time it takes Pluto to orbit twice. Since the two planets’ orbits intersect, if things were random they would collide, but because of resonance, the locations of the planets relative to one another keeps repeating.

“There’s a rhythmic repeating pattern that ensures the system remains stable over a long period of time,” says Matt Russo, a post-doc at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) who has been working on creative ways to visualize the system. TRAPPIST-1 takes this principle to a whole other level with all seven planets being in a chain of resonances. To illustrate this remarkable configuration, Tamayo, Russo and colleague Andrew Santaguida created an animation in which the planets play a piano note every time they pass in front of their host star, and a drum beat every time a planet overtakes its nearest neighbour. Because the planets’ periods are simple ratios of each other, their motion creates a steady repeating pattern that is similar to how we play music. (1)

Huge planets orbiting one another.

Matter in harmony inside a vast cold space.

And in this vastness, life.

Born from the silence, noise.

The forest is not empty any more.

The forest is full of music.

Heard by beings who are meant to do more than hearing.

Pythagoras was right.

There is music in the world.

But music not made of notes.

It is music made of silence.

Science is not Technology! A simple and yet forgotten fact… [+ The meaning of life as Bonus]

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Besides the beautiful decor and the impeccable construction, Damascus swords were famous for their strength, durability, and elasticity. They were the pride of the city of Damascus, Syria, due to their exceptional qualities mainly because of the so-called Damascus steel; a type of steel whose main ingredient was a wootz steel imported from India. A simple way to recognize a genuine Damascus blade is by its distinctive patterns of banding and mottling which resemble a flowing water.

Through the ages, Damascus swords have become legendary. Many stories speak of their tremendous strength, sharpness, and flexibility. One such story talks about a meeting between Richard the Lion-Hearted and Saladin. Richard wanted to impress Saladin by cutting a thick iron bar with his broadsword. Saladin was not impressed, he took his Damascus saber, threw a silk pillow and sliced it into small pieces before it fell to the ground. Another legend says that a Damascene blade was so flexible that a warrior could take the hilt in one hand, the blade in the other and bend the whole sword around his body. Then, after he released it, the sword would return to its original shape. In some other tales, a Damascus blade could cut a rifle barrel or a falling hair.

Today, there aren’t many original Damascus swords left in the world, since most of the master blacksmiths from Damascus took the secret of the original method in their graves.

A group of German researchers analyzed an old Damascus blade in 2006 and found nanowires and carbon nanotubes in its molecular structure. It is still unclear how did the ancient craftsmen manage to create the nanotubes inside the steel, but scientists have offered a few theories. It is possible that the process of nanotube making is connected with the traces of vanadium, chromium, manganese, cobalt and nickel found in the wootz steel. (1)

This is just one of the stories about a technology invented and then forgotten. (e.g. think of the Romans who invented concrete and then another civilization reinvented it thousand years later) One of the many examples of technology created well before we understand how things work. (think of the many inventions of Edison if you want another example) Because understanding how things work (a.k.a. “science”) has nothing to do with technology. Technology is – simply put – the result of innovation, instinct and intuition of a man who just has the urge to create.

It sounds more poetic than technical and it is.

And poetry is what makes the world go around.

Poetry is about writing things which seem to make no sense.

And yet they are the most sensible of them all.

The era of understanding will soon come to an end.

For reasons we will never understand.

Because we have chosen to know.

While not knowing is the only way of being…

The swords of today seem strong. But they will break.

Science is just the analysis of the grammar rules.

But no man became a poet for knowing grammar…

In silence.

That is where the meaning of life lies.