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The Airport Ritual

This weekend I was at the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, where they held a memorial for sociologist Peter Berger. I thought of Berger and Luckmann’s classic The Social Construction of Reality in the airport on the way home. Whenever people say ritual is dying out, or socially constructed […]

Preservation for the (digital) ages

(University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center) Researchers from the Texas Advanced Computing Center, working with classicists and computer scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, developed a method to preserve digital humanities databases. Show More Summary

You would not ask a firefighter to perform open-heart surgery

(Iowa State University) The concept of 'collective intelligence' is simple -- it asserts that if a team performs well on one task, it will repeat that success on other projects, regardless of the scope or focus of the work. While it sounds good in theory, it doesn't work that way in reality, according to an Iowa State University researcher.

How we determine who's to blame

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Using eye-tracking technology, MIT cognitive scientists have obtained the first direct evidence that people use a process called counterfactual simulation to imagine how a situation could have played out differently to assign responsibility for an outcome.

Volcanic eruptions linked to social unrest in Ancient Egypt

(Future Earth) Did volcanic eruptions in the planet's high northern latitudes play a role in causing violent rebellions in Ancient Egypt? A new study suggests that the answer is yes. Researchers examined a range of evidence -- from climate records to papyri -- finding a close link between eruptions and political unrest in the Ptolemaic era. Show More Summary

Johns Hopkins finds training exercise that boosts brain power

(Johns Hopkins University) One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity.

North American first: University of Guelph researchers publish scientific study on cannabis production

(University of Guelph) University of Guelph researchers have published what is believed to be the first scientific paper in North America on improving medicinal cannabis plant production, helping move the industry into the realm of high-tech...Show More Summary

Michael Keidar 2017 recipient of the Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics

(American Institute of Physics) AIP Publishing has announced its selection of Michael Keidar as the winner of the 2017 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics. The annual award is presented in collaboration with the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics to recognize outstanding plasma physics research by a Physics of Plasmas author.

Origami lattice paves the way for new noise-dampening barriers on the road

(American Institute of Physics) Researchers at the University of Michigan have brought a new method into the sound-dampening fold, demonstrating an origami lattice prototype that can potentially reduce acoustic noise on roadways. The...Show More Summary

Using satellite data to respond to environmental disasters in Malaysia, Ethiopia and Kenya

(University of Oxford) The challenge of providing a rapid response to environmental disasters as varied as flooding, drought, illegal logging and oil spills is the focus of two new projects in which the University of Oxford is a key partner.

'Revising the image of Islamic law'

(Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics") Scholar of Islamic studies Norbert Oberauer explores the unknown legal genre of the 'maxims' - Study sheds new light on the legal history of Islam: far more alterations from the Middle Ages to the modern age than expected -- Formulas of the maxims systematized the law, an innovative step in history that had long been overlooked.

levy book forum part 1: what is rationalism, pluralism and freedom about?

This month, I will discuss Rationalism, Pluralism and Freedom by my good friend Jacob Levy. I usually don’t write much on “political theory,” as it is a genre of scholarship that I am not fluent in, but I thought orgtheory readers might enjoy this book. Levy’s goal is to review the tradition of political thought […]

Youth football: How young athletes are exposed to high-magnitude head impacts

(Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group) Researchers examined exposure to high-magnitude head impacts (accelerations greater than 40g) in young athletes, 9 to 12 years of age, during football games and practice drills to determineShow More Summary

NJIT and IBM announce agreement for collaboration to deliver digital technologies

(New Jersey Institute of Technology) NJIT and IBM announce an agreement for collaboration to deliver digital technologies and education through the university's Martin Tuchman School of Management (MTSM) and its Business Analytics Lab. Show More Summary

UTA researchers earn grant to help Texas city prioritize post-Harvey debris cleanup

(University of Texas at Arlington) Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have been awarded a $34,000 National Science Foundation RAPID grant to use unmanned aerial vehicles to create highly accurate 3-D and profile maps of the storm debris so the city knows the full extent of what it needs to remove.

Sound and color

(University of California - Santa Barbara) Benioff Ocean Initiative awards first grants for project to curtail collisions between ships and whales.

Altermodernity and the Common

While we're discussing the future and seeing as Michael Hardt is in the big smoke discussing his latest collaboration with Toni Negri, I want to come back to the Empire trilogy for a look at what they have to say about it. After all,...Show More Summary

Tweeting rage: How immigration policies can polarize public discourse

(University of Washington) In a University of Washington study of tweets in the months before and after the 2010 passage of Arizona's 'show me your papers' law, findings show that the average tweet about Mexican immigrants and Hispanics, in general, became more negative. Show More Summary

Some faiths more likely to turn to religion for answers to science

(Rice University) When it comes to seeking answers to questions about science, evangelical and black Protestants and Mormons are more likely than the general population to turn to religion, according to a new study.

Trump’s U-turn may see Iran join North Korea as a nuclear state

In refusing to recertify the Iran nuclear deal, US president Donald Trump risks creating another North Korea – as another Republican president did before him

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