After 2,000 years, a long-lost secret behind the creation of one of the world’s most durable man-made creations ever—Roman concrete—has finally been discovered by an international team of scientists, and it may have a significant impact on how we build cities of the future.
Retail analysts say the world’s biggest retailer has reason to fear a small grocery chain that’s based in Idaho and boasts a business model that allows it to undercut Walmart on prices. So about that eye-catching Walmart quote.
I took a Greek and Roman literature class in college. Among the texts we studied was Lucretius’ On The Nature of Things. Shamefully, about the only thing I remembered from it was that the poem was an early articulation of the concept of atoms (see also Democritus). Impressive, chatting about atoms in 50 BCE. But reading Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve has reminded me what an impressive and prescient document it is, quite apart from its beauty as a poem. In chapter eight of his book, Greenblatt summarizes the main points of Lucretius’ poem:
Everything is made of invisible particles.
The elementary particles of matter — “the seeds of things” — are eternal.
The elementary particles are infinite in number but limited in shape and size.
All particles are in motion in an infinite void.
The universe has no creator or designer.
Everything comes into being as a result of a swerve.
How many people are in space right now?
More states are allowing nurses to provide all the kinds of care they learned about in school.
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So, have a seat. Put your feet up. This may take some time. Can I get you some tea? Earl Grey? You got it.
Okay. How do I want to do this? He did so much. It’s hard to just dive in. You know? You pick a spot to go from, but soon you have to back up and and go over this or that item, and you get done with that only to see that you have to back up some more. So if you feel like I’m off to the side of the tale half the time, well, this is why. Just bear with me, and we’ll get to the end in good time. Okay?
Okay. Let’s see….
It’s a simple question — perhaps so basic that it’s been overlooked. How old were the key participants of the American Revolution? Authors often reveal the age of a particular soldier, politician or other main character in books about the Revolution, but I routinely find myself wondering about their peers at the same time.
On Monday, the Onion reported that the “Nation’s math teachers introduce 27 new trig functions.” It’s a funny read.