Opinion

Is the Universe a Hologram?

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Scientists Answer the Most Provocative Questions Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual “eurekas.” * By Adolfo Plasencia * Foreword by Tim O’Reilly * The MIT Press Overview This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both… Is the Universe… Read More »

Standing royal commission to protect the vulnerable

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All Australians should be appalled at allegations about NSW mental health units and group homes for the disabled. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald The Herald, like many Australians, adheres to Gandhi’s adage: “The true measure of any society is how well it treats its most vulnerable.” With great regret, then, we all must recognise that abuses and mistreatment of the vulnerable occur daily in our neighbourhoods, communities, towns and… Standing royal commission… Read More »

A Patient With Diabetes No Longer Needs Insulin After Receiving A Bioengineered “Pancreas”

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A year after receiving a new type of islet cell transplant to treat her severe diabetes, a patient continues to do well and no longer needs insulin injections to manage her disease. Kristin Houser Futurism Even the most exciting breakthrough medical treatment can be rendered obsolete by a particularly insurmountable obstacle: time. A HAPPY ANNIVERSARY If a treatment only works temporarily, it has… A Patient With… Read More »

Government has role to play in stopping modern slavery

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We might think slavery is something relegated to the annals of history, but it is a huge modern-day problem. And a global one. Molly Harriss Olson Brisbane Times The Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people in 167 countries are in some form of modern slavery. And the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said that 21 million people were in forced labour in 2012, generating a profit of nearly… Government has role… Read More »

UCI doctor’s plan to stop superbugs is widely used. At her own hospital, it didn’t work

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By the end of December, a lethal bacterium had swept through UC Irvine Medical Center’s intensive care unit, sickening seven infants. Melody Petersen Los Angeles Times Dr. Susan Huang, the hospital’s infection control expert, had a plan. The strategy — which she had promoted so successfully that most U.S. hospitals now use it — included bathing all infants in the ICU with a powerful disinfectant, and swabbing inside their noses with an… UCI doctor’s plan… Read More »

A Pakistani man is detained indefinitely in Australia, and there is little courts can do

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A man who came to Australia 17 years ago has been in detention for nearly five years with little prospect of being repatriated, or even resettled elsewhere Richard Ackland The Guardian A Pakistani national who came to Australia 17 years ago has been holed up in immigration detention since November 2012 with little prospect of being repatriated to his homeland any time soon, or even resettled in a… It’s one of those unsettling… A Pakistani man… Read More »

Fethullah Gulen: The Turkey I no longer know

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Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate. SAYLORSBURG, Pa. Fethullah Gulen The Washington Post As the presidents of the United States and Turkey meet at the White House on Tuesday, the leader of the country I have called home for almost two decades comes face to face with the leader of my homeland. The two countries have a lot at stake, including the fight against the Islamic State, the future of Syria and the refugee… Fethullah Gulen: ... Read More »

12 incredible psychological tricks to get people to do what you want

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There are plenty of ways to get people to do what you want — without them even realizing you’ve persuaded them. The Power of Ideas Ideapod blog  Whether you want people to like you, to agree with you, or to buy your products, use these tips to feel more powerful in your everyday interactions 1) The Conversation Conditioner You can have real fun with this trick. When talking to… 12 incredible psychological… Read More »

New nation-branding plan needed for Arab world

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It is crucial for the Arab world to put together a committee of the best experts and partners to create programs and initiatives that will promote Arab culture globally. Mark C. Donfried  Arab News An Arab News poll conducted from March 17-22 proved the negative perception of the Arab world, especially in the US, and the urgent need for new nation-branding initiatives. The poll results were published and announced on May 2 at the… New nation-branding… Read More »

A Zen master explains why “positive thinking” is terrible advice

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Have you ever been told to just “think positive” and your problems will go away? Or that to achieve your goals in life, all you have to do is visualize it with positive intent? The Power of Ideas Inspirational Ideapod blog It’s a philosophy that’s been popular for decades thanks to books like How to win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich.  But is it really helping us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives? Not exactly… A ... Read More »

Humanities teach students to think. Where would we be without them?

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Following announced funding cuts in US universities, is it entirely paranoid to wonder if humanities are under attack because they enable students to think? Francine Prose The Guardian Humanities departments in America are once again being axed. The reasons, one hears, are economic rather than ideological. It’s not that schools don’t care about the humanities – they just can’t afford… Humanities teach students… Read More »

The biggest threat to free speech isn’t 18C. It’s this

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A very noisy section of the commentariat believes that the biggest threat to free speech in Australia is anti-discrimination law, particularly the “offend and insult” provision, section 18C. Michael Bachelard Brisbane Times They are wrong. A far bigger threat is defamation law. Yes, it’s a threat to the media, and to investigative journalism particularly. But it’s also a… The biggest threat… Read More »

Australia’s shame on stage for the world to widness

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It’s not every day you get invited to speak on the stage of New York’s Lincoln Centre between the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, and the woman who very nearly became the first female President of the US, Hillary Clinton – and just after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Jennifer Robinson Brisbane Times But such is the growing international concern about Australia’s… President Trump’s infamous first phone call with… Australia’s shame on… Read More »

Immigration will remain a toxic issue until Britain faces up to its colonial past

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Emmanuel Macron has condemned France’s behaviour in Algeria. Until Britain is similarly honest about its history, we will still think in terms of “us” and “them” David Wearing The Guardian Both Ukip and Theresa May trumpeted their anti-immigrant credentials yesterday, with fresh and not-so-fresh policies for the election. Hostility to foreigners is now an… Immigration will remain… Read More »

Rein in the executive: let the people, via Parliament, decide whether we go to war

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Rein in the executive: let the people, via Parliament, decide whether we go to war Julian Cribb The Canberra Times Australia may soon be sucked into a new war. Possibly more than one war. And Australians will again have no say in the matter. In two months, United States President Donald Trump has launched military actions in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, turned up the heat on North Korea and… Rein in the… Read More »

The decision to only fund disadvantaged volunteering projects threatens viability of vital support services

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IMAGINE a world without volunteers. What would that mean for the thousands of organisations, the communities, the individuals and their families that 5.8 million Australians freely give their time and talent to? Evelyn O’Loughlin The Advertiser What would it mean to the volunteers themselves? Individuals choose to volunteer for many different reasons – for some it provides an… Evelyn O’Loughlin: The… Read More »