While it was known beforehand the remains of a person were inside, another startling discovery was made during the scan: where the organs had been removed prior to mummification, researches discovered rolls of paper scraps covered in Chinese writing.
- From an interview with legendary mathematician Freeman Dyson entitled, “A ‘Rebel’ Without A Ph.D.” [via Quanta Magazine]
What is it about numbers that made you want to figure them out?
It’s just like asking, “Why does a violinist like to play the violin?” I had this skill with mathematical tools, and I played these tools as well as I could just because it was beautiful, rather in the same way a musician plays the violin, not expecting to change the world but just because he loves the instrument.
- The richest 1% of Americans own half of all mutual funds and stocks. The bottom 90% hold 9%. [via The Wall Street Journal]
The research helps explain part of why the recent recession, which hinged on a housing bust, was so much more difficult for the middle class than a typical recession. It also helps explains why the recovery has been so disappointing to many.
- Psilocybin, the hallucinogen found naturally in psychedelic mushrooms, is seeing renewed interest from the science community for its potential in treating anxiety, addiction, and depression… and in studying the neurobiology of mystical experience. [via The New Yorker]
Several volunteers used the metaphor of a camera being pulled back on the scene of their lives, to a point where matters that had once seemed daunting now appeared manageable—smoking, cancer, even death. Their accounts are reminiscent of the “overview effect” described by astronauts who have glimpsed the earth from a great distance, an experience that some of them say permanently altered their priorities.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Phillip Levine, who found poetry growing up in the working-class communities and auto factories of Detroit, passed away on February 15, 2015 at the age of 87. [via NPR]
In 2004, at the age of 76, Levine said his biggest literary influence was the New Jersey poet, William Carlos Williams. “He seemed able in his best poetry — to find poetry almost anywhere, anywhere,” Levine said. “And that was the big lesson I got from him: Don’t scorn your life just because it’s not dramatic, or it’s impoverished, or it looks dull, or it’s workaday. Don’t scorn it. It is where poetry is taking place if you’ve got the sensitivity to see it, if your eyes are open.”
- Flamenco in Seville, through the eyes of a Columbian guitarist devoted to its sound, voice, and dance.” [via Aeon Magazine]