19 Nov 2017

Tianjin Binhai Library. China’s Futuristic and Controversial New Library

Tianjin Binhai Library, located just outside Beijing, features a luminous spherical atrium with bookshelves lining the walls, from floor to ceiling. What looks to be a book lover's ultimate fantasy could ultimately house 1.2 millions tomes.

Text description provided by the architects. MVRDV in collaboration with local architects TUPDI has completed the library, a 33,700m2 cultural centre featuring a luminous spherical auditorium around which floor-to-ceiling bookcases cascade. The undulating bookshelf is the building’s main spatial device, and is used both to frame the space and to create stairs, seating, the layered ceiling and even louvres on the façade. Tianjin Binhai Library was designed and built in a record-breaking time of only three years due to a tight schedule imposed by the local municipality. Next to many media rooms it offers space for 1,2 million books.

"Salvator Mundi". Leonardo da Vinci Painting Sells for $450.3 Million

Leonardo da Vinci‘s Salvator Mundi (circa 1500), billed as the last known painting by the Renaissance master in private hands, sold at Christie’s for $450.3 million. It is, by far, the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. In fact, the price is more than double the next most expensive work ever sold, Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’), which fetched $179.4 million in 2015.

The work went to an anonymous client of Alex Rotter, Christie’s global co-head of contemporary art. Before a packed salesroom and scores of camera phones held aloft, bidding opened at $70 million. At $190 million, five bidders—four on the phones and one in the room—were still chasing the painting.

The 19-minute contest eventually came down to Rotter and Francois De Poortere, the head of Christie’s Old Master painting department in New York.

At $352 million, auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen produced a glass of ice water from behind the rostrum and took a sip.

How Soviet Artists Imagined Communist Life in Space

Artists from the Soviet Union didn't just imagine a worker's Utopia on Earth. They also thought that the great communist experiment would eventually reach other worlds, too. Here are some incredible works of art and conceptual design that put the Soviet Union in space.

Testicular cancer: 5 things every man needs to know

Testicular cancer: 5 things every man needs to know
Cancer isn’t something anyone wants to spend a lot of time thinking about, yet knowledge is power. When it comes to testicular cancer, acting early has huge implications.

Here are five things every man needs to know:

Testicular cancer is very curable. While a cancer diagnosis is always serious, the good news about testicular cancer is that it is treated successfully in 95 percent of cases. If treated early, that number rises to 98 percent. Although a man’s risk of getting it is 1 in 263, his chance of dying from the disease is only about 1 in 5,000.

Early detection is especially important. Say you have a stage 1 seminoma — a tumor that grows slowly and stays within the testicle — our standard management is observing it with serial exams, blood work, chest X-rays and CT scans. The likelihood of a cure in this circumstance? Virtually 100 percent. Even metastatic testicular cancer is highly curable, typically with a combination of chemotherapy and surgery.

18 Nov 2017

5 interesting facts about the human body

Your body is many things: a mechanical device, a walking chemistry set, a sustainable life form, and an ever-changing biological phenomenon. There's a lot to know about the body. Were you aware of these amazing facts?

1. For every pound of fat gained, you add seven miles of new blood vessels.

New tissue needs blood supply, so your vascular system expands to accommodate it. This also means your heart must work harder to pump blood through the new network, which may reduce oxygenation and nutrient replenishment in other tissues. Lose a pound? Your body will break down and reabsorb the unneeded blood vessels from the previous tissue.

2. You are taller in the morning than in the evening.

Temple of Artemis, Sardis

Temple of Artemis, Sardis
The Temple of Artemis in Sardis was the fourth largest Ionic temple in the world. Originally built in 300 BC by the ancient Greeks, the temple was renovated by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. During the Roman period it served also as a temple of the imperial cult.

Just outside the entrance was an altar of Artemis much older than the temple, from as early as the 6th century BC. In the Hellenistic period the altar was incorporated into a large stepped platform that still exists.

Immortality is impossible, say scientists studying the mathematics of aging

While healthcare has dramatically extended our lifespans by preventing certain causes of death, aging still inevitably takes its fatal toll. And, as scientists report in a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, that’s not going to change: Whether it’s by cancer or run-of-the-mill cell destruction, aging and death is mathematically inescapable.

In the paper published Monday, Joanna Masel, Ph.D., and Paul Nelson, Ph.D., both of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, provide mathematical evidence that aging and eventual death must happen, no matter how we intervene in the aging process.

They explain that every cell in the body is tasked with two opposing missions: ensuring its own survival and supporting the organism it’s a part of. Masel and Nelson reason that this endless push and pull between those missions means that aging is unstoppable.

30 Oct 2017

The lightest robot. A biologically inspired microrobot.

The lightest robot. A biologically inspired microrobot.
A biologically inspired, flapping-wing, hybrid aerial-aquatic microrobot.

The insect-inspired machine is about 1,000 times lighter than previous aerial-aquatic bots. The new robot that can move between air and water is a lightweight.

Weighing the same as about six grains of rice, it is the lightest robot that can fly, swim and launch itself from water, an international team of researchers reports October 25 in Science Robotics. The bot is about 1,000 times lighter than other previously developed aerial-aquatic robots. In the future, this kind of aquatic flier could be used to perform search-and-rescue operations, sample water quality or simply explore by air or sea.

Operation Overmatch. Video Game

Operation Overmatch
Operation Overmatch
The U.S. Army is developing a new way to test technologies and tactics—but first they have to get tens of thousands of soldiers to play it.

As far as video games go, Operation Overmatch is rather unremarkable. Players command military vehicles in eight-on-eight matches against the backdrop of rendered cityscapes—a common setup of games that sometimes have the added advantage of hundreds of millions of dollars in development budgets. Overmatch does have something unique, though: its mission. The game’s developers believe it will change how the U.S. Army fights wars.

Ara Guler. The Eye of Istanbul and Street Photography

Ara Güler is an Armenian-Turkish photojournalist, nicknamed "the Eye of Istanbul" or "the Photographer of Istanbul". He is considered one of Turkey's few internationally known photographers.

In 1958, the American magazine company Time–Life opened a branch in Turkey, and Güler became its first correspondent for the Near East. Soon he received commissions from Paris Match, Stern, and The Sunday Times in London. After completing his military service in 1961, Güler was employed by the Turkish magazine Hayat as head of its photographic department.

In the 1960s, Güler's photographs were used to illustrate books by notable authors and were displayed at various exhibitions throughout the world. His works were exhibited in 1968 in 10 Masters of Color Photography at the New York Museum of Modern Art and at Photokina Fair in Cologne, Germany. His book Türkei was published in Germany in 1970.

Tatev Monastery, Armenia

The Tatev Monastery is a 9th-century Armenian Apostolic monastery located on a large plateau near the Tatev village in Syunik Province in southeastern Armenia. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a center of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.

The monastery is the "best-known site" in Syunik. Wings of Tatev, a cableway from Tatev to Halidzor village was opened in October 2010. It was included in the Guinness World Records as world's "longest non-stop double track cable car."

According to tradition, Tatev Monastery is named after Eustateus, a disciple of St. Thaddeus the Apostle, who preached and was martyred in this region. His name has evolved to Tatev.

Elon Musk reveals first photo of LA high speed tunnel

Elon Musk has revealed the first photo of LA tunnel, which is constructed by his Boring Company.

Musk has received official permission from the local authorities and now digs a test section of the tunnel, which according to authors will provide quick transportation in large American cities.

The 150-metre (500ft) shaft, excavated by the billionaire's tunnel-digging firm The Boring Company, "should be 2 miles (3.2km) long in three or four months".

28 Oct 2017

Змеиное вино — для кого–то буквальное понимание “зеленого змия”

“зеленого змия”. Представляет собой алкогольный напиток, особенностью которого является ядовитая змея в бутылке. Змеиное вино возникло во Вьетнаме. А оттуда уже распространилось по всей Юго-Восточной Азии. Пика же популярности напиток достиг в Японии.

Уверяют, будто змеиное вино обладает лечебными свойствами, лечит всё на свете, от близорукости до облысения и, для полного счастья, увеличивает сексуальную активность. Разумеется, всё это следует рассматривать как шутку. Всё это выдумали хитрые торговцы для привлечения потребителя.

Впрочем, иностранные любители острых ощущений и крепких напитков любят посещать змеиные рестораны. Ведь ввоз змеиного вина запрещён во многие страны. По той причине, что для его изготовления используются кобры и другие редкие вымирающие виды змей.

Древнейшая библия в мире

Самая старая библия в мире была найдена бедуином на севере Иордании, в пещере, находящейся в отдаленной пустынной местности. Открытие было сделано в 2005—2007 годах, но широкой общественности о находке, которая, по мнению ученых, перевернет всю библейскую историю, стало известно лишь весной 2011 года.

По случайности, наводнение в одной из пещер, находящейся на севере Иордании, открыло две потайные ниши, в которых находились семьдесят свинцовых книг, соединенных между собой проволокой.

11 Oct 2017

Karabakh’s Gandzasar Monastery will mark 777th anniversary

Gandzasar monastery
The upcoming Sunday will mark the 777th anniversary since the consecration of Gandzasar Monastery of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Gandzasar monastery is a 10th to 13th century Armenian monastery situated in the Mardakert district of de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. "Gandzasar" means treasure mountain or hilltop treasure in Armenian. The monastery holds relics believed to belong to St. John the Baptist and his father St Zechariah. 

Gandzasar is now the seat of the Archbishop of Artsakh appointed by the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Gandzasar monastery
Gandzasar monastery

Women are nicer than men. Myth or science ?

Richard Thaler has just won the Nobel prize for economics for his work explaining how human choice can be influenced. The insight that people make decisions for all sorts of reasons, not all of them based on a cool assessment of the consequences, led Professor Thaler to global acclaim as the slayer of homo economicus.

Homo economicus was an entirely fictional character who decided whose turn it was to put the bin out on rational grounds. Thaler was, among his lesser achievements, David Cameron’s favourite economist, his nudge theory credited with encouraging people to stop smoking and eat more healthily.

What Professor Thaler, in his moment of glory, may not yet realise is that his insights may already be on their way to extinction, just like homo economicus. He is being nudged out of the future by biology: to be precise, by neuroeconomics, which like his is an interdisciplinary science but one that studies brain activity, or the lack of it, to draw conclusions about why people behave as they do.

Some new facts about sex addiction

Scientists discovered the cause of sex addiction
Australian and Canadian scientists have been referred to as hypersexuality and sex addiction, having the desire to have sex in person continuously, explaining the reason for psychological discomfort in the inability to control the person's sexual behaviour.

According to research published in results of sexual behavior archives, scientists have developed a concept called ' hypersexual cycle ' as a result of examination of people. This cycle contains stages such as sexual desire, constant active behaviour, saturation and period of sexual fatigue. By time of sexual fatigue, patient is taking his body to rest. After a while, patient's re-awakening with cycle repeats. As one of reasons for this, cognitive insufficiency is defined as memory disorders.

11 Jul 2017

Хорхе Борхес. Наш бедный индивидуализм

Патриотические обольщения не знают пределов. Еще в первом веке нашей эры подвергались насмешкам Плутарха те, кто уверял, что луна над Афинами лучше луны коринфской; в XVII веке Мильтон замечал, что Бог, как правило, в первую очередь являлся Своим добрым англичанам; Фихте в начале XIX века утверждал, что обладать сильным характером и быть немцем, несомненно, одно и то же. Итак, патриотов становится все больше; по их собственному признанию, ими движет – достойное внимания или наивное – желание способствовать развитию лучших черт аргентинского характера. Они, однако, понятия не имеют о том, что такое аргентинцы, предпочитая определять их как производную от чего-то постороннего, скажем, от испанских завоевателей, или от воображаемой католической традиции, или от «британского империализма».

Аргентинец, в отличие от североамериканцев и почти всех европейцев, не отождествляет себя с Государством. Это можно отнести за счет того обстоятельства, что в этой стране обычно отвратительные правители или, как правило, Государство являет собою непостижимую абстракцию46; но несомненно, аргентинец – индивидуум, а не общественное существо. Гегелевская мысль о Государстве как воплощении нравственной идеи покажется ему неудачной шуткой. Фильмы, снятые в Голливуде, зачастую с восторгом излагают историю, в которой человек (как правило, журналист) завязывает дружбу с преступником, чтобы затем предать его в руки полиции; аргентинец, для которого дружба – это страсть, а полиция – своего рода мафия, воспринимает такого героя как отъявленного подлеца. 

Аргентинец, как и Дон Кихот, полагает, что «каждый сам даст ответ за свои грехи» и что «людям порядочным не пристало быть палачами своих близких, до которых, кстати сказать, им и нужды нет» («Дон Кихот», 1,22). Не раз, следуя замысловатым построениям испанского литературного стиля, я подозревал, что мы безнадежно разнимся с Испанией; этих двух строк из «Дон Кихота» достаточно, чтобы убедиться в ошибке, они – как бы символ нашей неявной, тихой близости. Это же подтверждает одна ночь в аргентинской литературе: та отчаянная ночь, когда деревенский сержант полиции восклицает, что не допустит преступления, убийства храбреца, и начинает сражаться против собственных солдат бок о бок с Мартином Фьерро.
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