06 janvier 2018

Happy birthday, Braille: how writing you can touch is still helping blind people to read and learn

The ConversationLouis Braille, who was born on January 4, 1809, invented a tactile reading and writing system which transformed the lives of countless people with severe vision impairments or blindness. Braille was blind himself, and first came up with the idea for a form of writing you can read by touch while he was still at school. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:15 - - Permalien [#]

2017: the year in extreme weather

The ConversationOverall 2017 will be the warmest non-El Niño year on record globally, and over the past 12 months we have seen plenty of extreme weather, both here in Australia and across the world. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:12 - - Permalien [#]

China’s economic power is actually a lot smaller than you think

The ConversationIn recent years, reports by financial institutions like the World Bank have claimed China is the world’s largest economy. China’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), when converted to United States dollars using purchasing power parity exchange rates is estimated to be worth around US$19 trillion, surpassing the USA’s GDP of US$17 trillion. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:11 - - Permalien [#]

Who was Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings?

The ConversationJanuary 1 can be a day of regret and reflection – did I really need that fifth glass of bubbly last night? – mixed with hope and optimism for the future, as we make plans to renew gym memberships or finally sort out our tax files. This January ritual of looking forward and backward is fitting for the first day of a month named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:09 - - Permalien [#]

Look up! Your guide to some of the best meteor showers for 2018

The ConversationThis year gets off to a relatively slow start when it comes to seeing the annual major meteor showers. 
The Quadrantids, one of the big three annual showers, are lost to the vagaries of the full Moon in early January. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:08 - - Permalien [#]

A high price for policy failure: the ten-year story of spiralling electricity bills

The ConversationPoliticians are told never to waste a good crisis. Australia’s electricity sector is in crisis, or something close to it. The nation’s first-ever statewide blackout, in South Australia in September 2016, was followed by electricity shortages in several states last summer. More shortages are anticipated over coming summers. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:06 - - Permalien [#]

Explainer: the gods behind the days of the week

The ConversationThe origins of our days of the week lie with the Romans. The Romans named their days of the week after the planets, which in turn were named after the Roman gods:
  • dies Solis “the day of the sun (then considered a planet)”
  • dies Lunae “the day of the moon”
  • dies Martis, “the day of Mars”
  • dies Mercurii, “the day of Mercury”
  • dies Iovis, “the day of Jupiter”
  • dies Veneris, “the day of Venus”
  • dies Saturni, “the day of Saturn”
When the Germanic-speaking peoples of western Europe adopted the seven-day week, which was probably in the early centuries of the Christian era, they named their days after those of their own gods who were closest in attributes and character to the Roman deities. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:05 - - Permalien [#]

Driverless cars could be better or worse for our health – it’s up to us

The ConversationDriverless cars – autonomous vehicles – are coming. The topic is a constant presence in media; The New York Times Magazine recently devoted most of an issue to it. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:03 - - Permalien [#]

The five most anticipated digital games of 2018

The ConversationIt’s been an interesting year for digital games.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds became the most played PC game on the digital distribution platform Steam, with its battle-royale, scavenge and survive 100 player gameplay shaking up the first-person shooter genre. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:02 - - Permalien [#]

Trust Me, I’m an Expert: Risk

The ConversationAh, the new year. A time for throwing off your shackles, following your bliss, quitting your job and abandoning your family to finally start the artisinal yak-butter-sculpture studio of your dreams. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 20:01 - - Permalien [#]