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Alternative Periodic Tables
Alternative periodic tables are tabulations of chemical elements differing in their organization from the traditional depiction of the periodic system.
Over a thousand have been devised, often for didactic reasons, as not all correlations between the chemical elements are effectively captured by the standard periodic table.
- "Alternative Periodic Tables" | 2019-04-02 | 77 Upvotes 14 Comments
In linguistics, comparative illusions (CIs) or Escher sentences are certain comparative sentences which initially seem to be acceptable but upon closer reflection have no well-formed meaning. The typical example sentence used to typify this phenomenon is More people have been to Russia than I have. The effect has also been observed in other languages. Some studies have suggested that, at least in English, the effect is stronger for sentences whose predicate is repeatable. The effect has also been found to be stronger in some cases when there is a plural subject in the second clause.
- "Comparative Illusion" | 2022-02-07 | 77 Upvotes 24 Comments
List of algorithms requested on Wikipedia - if you know one, do your share
- "List of algorithms requested on Wikipedia - if you know one, do your share" | 2009-01-30 | 34 Upvotes 6 Comments
1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident
On 26 September 1983, the nuclear early-warning radar of the Soviet Union reported the launch of one intercontinental ballistic missile with four more missiles behind it, from bases in the United States. These missile attack warnings were suspected to be false alarms by Stanislav Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces on duty at the command center of the early-warning system. He decided to wait for corroborating evidence—of which none arrived—rather than immediately relaying the warning up the chain-of-command. This decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack against the United States and its NATO allies, which would likely have resulted in an escalation to a full-scale nuclear war. Investigation of the satellite warning system later determined that the system had indeed malfunctioned.
- "1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident" | 2021-09-26 | 16 Upvotes 6 Comments
Space Infrastructure Servicing
Space Infrastructure Servicing (SIS) is a spacecraft being developed by Canadian aerospace firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to operate as a small-scale in-space refueling depot for communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
In June 2017, SSL announced its first commercial customer, Luxembourg-based satellite owner/operator SES S.A.
- "Space Infrastructure Servicing" | 2018-11-25 | 24 Upvotes 4 Comments
Lawsuits Against God
Lawsuits against God have occurred in real life and in fiction. Issues debated in the actions include the problem of evil and harmful "acts of God".
- "Lawsuits Against God" | 2021-09-30 | 20 Upvotes 4 Comments
Tutankhamun's Meteoric Iron Dagger
Tutankhamun's meteoric iron dagger, also known as Tutankhamun's iron dagger and King Tut's dagger, is an iron-bladed dagger from the tomb of the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (reigned c. 1334–1325 BC). As the blade composition and homogeneity closely correlate with meteorite composition and homogeneity, the material for the blade is determined to have originated by way of a meteoritic landing. The dagger is currently displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
- "Tutankhamun's Meteoric Iron Dagger" | 2022-11-15 | 85 Upvotes 12 Comments
Behavioral Immune System
The behavioral immune system is a phrase coined by the psychological scientist Mark Schaller to refer to a suite of psychological mechanisms that allow individual organisms to detect the potential presence of disease-causing parasites in their immediate environment, and to engage in behaviors that prevent contact with those objects and individuals.
These mechanisms include sensory processes through which cues connoting the presence of parasitic infections are perceived (e.g., the smell of a foul odor, the sight of pox or pustules), as well as stimulus–response systems through which these sensory cues trigger a cascade of aversive affective, cognitive, and behavioral reactions (e.g., arousal of disgust, automatic activation of cognitions that connote the threat of disease, behavioral avoidance).
The existence of a behavioral immune system has been documented across many animal species, including humans. It is theorized that the mechanisms that comprise the behavioral immune system evolved as a crude first line of defense against disease-causing pathogens.
- "Behavioral Immune System" | 2020-05-02 | 67 Upvotes 16 Comments
The Scottish Café (Polish: Kawiarnia Szkocka) was a café in Lwów, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine) where, in the 1930s and 1940s, mathematicians from the Lwów School of Mathematics collaboratively discussed research problems, particularly in functional analysis and topology.
Stanislaw Ulam recounts that the tables of the café had marble tops, so they could write in pencil, directly on the table, during their discussions. To keep the results from being lost, and after becoming annoyed with their writing directly on the table tops, Stefan Banach's wife provided the mathematicians with a large notebook, which was used for writing the problems and answers and eventually became known as the Scottish Book. The book—a collection of solved, unsolved, and even probably unsolvable problems—could be borrowed by any of the guests of the café. Solving any of the problems was rewarded with prizes, with the most difficult and challenging problems having expensive prizes (during the Great Depression and on the eve of World War II), such as a bottle of fine brandy.
For problem 153, which was later recognized as being closely related to Stefan Banach's "basis problem", Stanisław Mazur offered the prize of a live goose. This problem was solved only in 1972 by Per Enflo, who was presented with the live goose in a ceremony that was broadcast throughout Poland.
The café building now houses the Szkocka Restaurant & Bar (named for the original Scottish Café) and the Atlas Deluxe hotel at the street address of 27 Taras Shevchenko Prospekt.
- "Scottish Café" | 2021-05-29 | 173 Upvotes 46 Comments
Our world is turning into the one depicted in Ray Bradbury's "The Murderer"
"The Murderer" (1953) is a short story by Ray Bradbury, published in his collection The Golden Apples of the Sun.
- "Our world is turning into the one depicted in Ray Bradbury's "The Murderer"" | 2011-09-26 | 10 Upvotes 2 Comments