Ebenezer Scrooge was famously visited by three ghosts in A Christmas Carol. The past, present and future all converged on poor Scrooge in an effort to save him from his own narrow vision of the world and wake him to the wonders of the life right before his eyes. As we navigate the frantic pace of this holiday season we, like Scrooge, might stop to let the past, present and future converge on us for the same reason. Luckily we don't need any scary spectral visitations on Christmas Eve. All we have to do is step outside and let the night sky transport us back in time.
British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany's 'Enigma' code and laid the groundwork for modern computing, was pardoned on Tuesday, six decades after his conviction for homosexuality is said to have driven him to suicide.
Following his singular contributions toward winning the war against Adolph Hitler, Turing's 1952 conviction is believed to have led two and a half years later to him taking his life by ingesting cyanide.
Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 11:51 am
By Tania Lombrozo
If you're like me, you'll be spending Christmas in the traditional manner of atheist Jews married to atheist Christians hosting their jet-lagged Australian in-laws while raising a 3-year-old who likes to bake: by making vegan mince pies and trying to squeeze in some work here and there.
OK, so none of you are like me.
But if I did celebrate Christmas, I would probably be tempted to geek it up a bit. So, with that in mind, here are three ideas for a scientifically-informed Christmas.
The California Public Utilities Commission has called on utilities and private companies to install about $5 billion worth of batteries and other forms of energy storage to help the state power grid cope with the erratic power supplied by wind and solar energy.
The need to store energy has become urgent because the state is planning to get a third of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade. And the shift in strategy could open up some big opportunities for small startups, including one called Stem.
As a good portion of the country grapples with snow, here's a fresh way to think about those accumulating — and sometimes aggravating — inches of pure whiteness: as art canvas. That's how Simon Beck sees them.