Photo of a city street with heavy motion blur
Biology

Motion Perception—How We Perceive Motion In Our World

April 25, 2017

Have you ever wondered how your visual system parses and interprets complex motion information. Let’s start by considering 3 different situations that produce 3 different inputs on the retina; that is, onto the back of the eye. […]

Classical Philosophy

What Was Greek Philosophy Before Socrates?

April 21, 2017

Greek philosophy is divided into the period before and after the life of Socrates. Starting with the Ionians, the earliest philosophers are now known as the “Presocratics”. The question is, what was their role in defining Western Philsophy as we know it today? […]

Christianity

The Synoptic Gospels — A Historian’s Perspective

April 20, 2017

The story of Jesus’ life can be found similarly told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In fact, they are so similar in parts, that many scholars believe that one of these Gospels was used as a source for the other two. […]

artistic rendering of a lighting strike superimposed on random green numbers
Applied Math

Our Random World—Probability Defined

April 17, 2017

While it’s nice to think that our challenge in life is to get rid of uncertainty and be in complete control of everything, that is not going to happen. One of life’s real challenges is to deal with the uncertain and the unknown in some sort of an effective way; and that is the realm of probability. […]

Image of Marian Anderson singing at Lincoln Memorial
American History

The Smithsonian Collection—Marian Anderson’s Mink Coat

April 7, 2017

On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939 African American contralto Marian Anderson performed an unprecedented open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. What she wore on that day illustrated that, despite stereotypes and obstacles, an African American woman could transcend entrenched social and cultural barriers to achieve fame, fortune, and success. […]

Ancient History

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

April 3, 2017

For all its renown as a work of style, elegance, wit, and insight, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by the Enlightenment historian Edward Gibbon can be quite intimidating for the armchair historian. Yet even today, centuries after its original publication, Gibbon’s historical chronicle demands to be read and understood. […]

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