Educational

A life in quotes: Ursula K Le Guin

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The award-winning fantasy and science fiction author on politics, death, writing and gender • News report: Ursula K Le Guin dies at 88 Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Ursula K Le Guin, award-winning fantasy and science fiction author and pioneer of feminist speculative fiction, has died age 88. Her extensive catalogue of published works includes novels, essays, poetry and children’s books. Here are some of her most memorable quotes. On mortality: ”You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any ... Read More »

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

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At a public meeting in Hobart in the late 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice of New South Wales, shared with the assembled crowd his solution for dealing with “the Aboriginal problem”. Kristyn Harman The Conversation If the colony could not protect its convict servants from Aboriginal attack “without extermination”, said Stephen, “then I say boldly and broadly exterminate!” Voluminous written and archaeological records and oral histories provide irrefutable proof that colonial wars were fought on Australian soil between ... Read More »

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence

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After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism? Paul Harvey The Conversation Or, how do they turn off their phones, when there are more calls to be made and focus instead on inward cultivation? As a historian of American race and religion, I have studied how figures in ... Read More »

Essays On Air: Journeys to the underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety

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A central convention of Greek mythological narratives is katabasis, the hero’s journey to the underworld or land of the dead – and it’s a theme modern directors return to again and again. Sunanda Creagh Paul Salmond The Conversation That’s what we’re exploring today on our first episode of Essays On Air, a new podcast from The Conversation. It’s the audio version of our Friday essays, where we bring you the best and most beautiful writing from Australian researchers. In this ... Read More »

Before losing battle with cancer, this 27-year-old woman penned a heartbreaking, eye-opening letter

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“That’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Holly Butcher wrote in an emotional post on Facebook. Alex Eriksen Yahoo Butcher, 27, lost her battle with cancer this week. Her words are drawing attention on social media, garnering more than 8,000 shares, 11,000 likes, and 2,000 comments. Butcher, from Brisbane, Australia, covers a range of life topics in her letter, including coming to grips with her mortality. She ... Read More »

How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

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China’s first emperor launched an obsessive search for the elixir of life before dying aged 49 in 210 BCE, new archaeological research has revealed. BBC Qin Shi Huang, who created the world-famous terracotta army, ordered a nationwide hunt for the mythical potion. The quest is mentioned in 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats – used in China before paper. They were found in 2002 at the bottom of a well in central Hunan province. The writings contain an ... Read More »

An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions

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The mere thought of holiday traditions brings smiles to most people’s faces and elicits feelings of sweet anticipation and nostalgia Dimitris Xygalatas We can almost smell those candles, taste those special meals, hear those familiar songs in our minds. The Converstion Ritual marks some of the most important moments in our lives, from personal milestones like birthdays and weddings to seasonal celebrations like Thanksgiving and religious holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah. And the more important the moment, the fancier the ... Read More »

Aristotle’s Timeless Advice on What Real Friendship Is and Why It Matters

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At age 17, Aristotle enrolled in the Platonic Academy. Zat Rana He would stay there for 20 years. Personal Growth – Medium Founded by the father of Western philosophy, the Greek philosopher Plato, Aristotle was the most promising student around. He asked many questions and answered even more. The exact time of his departure from The Academy is disputed, but it’s said that he left soon after Plato died due to his dislike of the direction that it subsequently took. ... Read More »

Ancient Greek wisdom for today’s leadership crisis

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What makes a good leader? This question confronts us at every election and with every domestic and international policy decision. Emily Anhalt As a professor of classical languages and literature for more than 30 years, I marvel at our insistence on addressing this question as if it were brand new. The Conversation Centuries ago, myths helped the Greeks learn to reject tyrannical authority and identify the qualities of good leadership. As I write in my book “Enraged,” the same myths ... Read More »

Solidarity between good and justice keeps a society together

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Since ancient times, philanthropy or unconditional contribution, and reciprocity or retribution, such as “an eye for an eye,” have been and remain common human actions. SOKA University EurekAlert! Thus far, many researchers support the promotion of reciprocity and the suppression of philanthropism, as the latter is favorable to evil. However, Soka University researcher Isamu Okada and his collaborators Tatsuya Sasaki (University of Vienna) and Yutaka Nakai (Shibaura Institute of Technology) have found that the solidarity of philanthropism and reciprocity is ... Read More »

FactCheck: are children ‘better off’ with a mother and father than with same-sex parents?

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Public campaigns for and against same-sex marriage have been heightened by the Turnbull government’s plan to conduct a $122 million voluntary postal survey asking the nation whether same-sex couples should be able to marry under Australian law. Jennifer Power Simon Crouch The Conversation Discussing his opposition to same-sex marriage during an interview on Sky News, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews said children who are brought up with a mother and a father “are, as a cohort, better off than those who ... Read More »

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Groups lie more than individuals, according to new research

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Key Takeaway: Something as simple as communication within groups, even if each group member has previously behaved honestly, can be the key to triggering collaborative, dishonest behavior. EurekAlert! CATONSVILLE, MD, September 6, 2017 – Do you pride yourself on being an honest person? Even individuals who have a proven track record of honest behavior are no match for the potentially negative influences present in a group dynamic, especially when money is at stake, according to a new study, published in ... Read More »

Participation in the Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

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The Cyprus Institute and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will feature data and research on the challenges facing cities in MENA nations at an upcoming exhibition in South Korea. Future Earth This page will be updated following the opening weeks of the Biennale. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will participate in the upcoming Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in South Korea. ... Read More »

Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring

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Do you really believe that watching a lecturer read hundreds of PowerPoint slides is making you smarter? I asked this of a class of 105 computer science and software engineering students last semester. Universities should ban PowerPoint — It makes students stupid and professors boring – Business Insider Paul Ralph The Conversation  Business Insider  An article in The Conversation argued universities should ban PowerPoint because it makes students stupid and professors boring. I agree entirely. However, most universities will ignore this ... Read More »

The Tree Of Languages Illustrated In One Gorgeous Infographic

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When linguists talk about the historical relationship between languages of the world, they oftentimes use a tree metaphor. By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory The textbook version tends to be drab and boring, however, which is why Minna Sundberg, the creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent took the time to create a much more imaginative version.   Arika Okrent of Mental Floss writes, “An ancient source (say, Indo-European) has various branches (e.g., Romance, Germanic), which themselves have branches (West Germanic, ... Read More »

Rasmussen scrutinizes not only Hume and Smith’s personal relationship, but also the indispensable part that they played in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment.

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Rasmussen scrutinizes not only Hume and Smith’s personal relationship, but also the indispensable part that they played in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment. Jacob Heilbrunn The National Interest Dennis C. Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship that Shaped Modern Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017), 336 pp., $29.95. IN AUGUST 1776, a large crowd gathered in front of a grand neoclassical mausoleum. It was designed by Scotland’s greatest architect, Robert Adam, and stood on Calton Hill in ... Read More »