Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Published by Macmillan Reference USA

The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World is a scholarly work “about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries.”

A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see also references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization and Political thought demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world.


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Geneva, 10 September 2008. The first beam in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN1 was successfully steered around the full 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at 10h28 this morning. This historic event marks a key moment in the transition from over two decades of preparation to a new era of scientific discovery.

“It’s a fantastic moment,” said LHC project leader Lyn Evans, “we can now look forward to a new era of understanding about the origins and evolution of the universe.” (huh)

Starting up a major new particle accelerator takes much more than flipping a switch. Thousands of individual elements have to work in harmony, timings have to be synchronized to under a billionth of a second, and beams finer than a human hair have to be brought into head-on collision. Today’s success puts a tick next to the first of those steps, and over the next few weeks, as the LHC’s operators gain experience and confidence with the new machine, the machine’s acceleration systems will be brought into play, and the beams will be brought into collision to allow the research programme to begin.

Once colliding beams have been established, there will be a period of measurement and calibration for the LHC’s four major experiments, and new results could start to appear in around a year. Experiments at the LHC will allow physicists to complete a journey that started with Newton’s description of gravity. Gravity acts on mass, but so far science is unable to explain the mechanism that generates mass. Experiments at the LHC will provide the answer (oh, really :D). LHC experiments will also try to probe the mysterious dark matter of the universe – visible matter seems to account for just 5% of what must exist, while about a quarter is believed to be dark matter. They will investigate the reason for nature’s preference for matter over antimatter, and they will probe matter as it existed at the very beginning of time.


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This three-part series covers more than a thousand years of Islamic history and culture, with emphasis on the contributions that Muslims have made in science, medicine, art, philosophy, learning, and trade.

The first one-hour segment (“The Messenger”) introduces the story of the rise of Islam, and the extraordinary life of the Prophet Muhammad. It covers the revelation of the Qur’an, the persecution suffered by the early Muslims, the first mosques, and then the rapid expansion of Islam.

The second segment (“The Awakening”) examines the growth of Islam into a world civilization. Through trade and learning, the Islamic influence extended further. Muslims made great achievements in architecture, medicine, and science, influencing the intellectual development of the West. This episode also explores the story of the Crusades (including stunning reenactments filmed in Iran), and ends with the invasion of Islamic lands by the Mongols.

The final segment (“The Ottomans”) looks at the dramatic rise and fall of the Ottoman empire.


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Johann Heinrich Friedrich Karl Witte (born July 1, 1800 in Lochau; died March 6, 1883 in Halle) was a German jurist and Dante Alighieri scholar. He was the son of a pastor who encouraged a fairly intense program of learning. His father believed that the intelligence of children is not hereditary, but results from education which should begin between birth and the age of 6. So he began the education of his son when he was a few months old. He taught him reading and writing. Little Karl Witte could read and write German and Latin at age 6. Later, he learned French. Within less than one year, he could read easy French books. After that he learned Greek. He could read Greek books within less than 6 months. By the time he was 8 years old he had learned many languages: German, Latin, French, Italian, English and Greek. He studied at Leipzig University at age 10, got his Doctorate of philosophy degree at age 12, and got a doctorate degree in law at age 16, and became a professor at Berlin University


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High levels of a male sex hormone in foetuses are linked to a higher chance of developing autistic traits in childhood, scientists say.

The findings come from an eight-year study relating the development of 253 children to levels of testosterone they were exposed to in the womb.

The scientists said it was unclear whether the hormone was causing the traits or was a by-product of them.

The research was presented at the BA Festival of Science in York.

The research team, from the University of Cambridge, looked at levels of foetal testosterone in the womb by examining samples taken from women undergoing amniocentesis for clinical reasons.

The children were then followed during their development.

At 12 months, 18 months and 46 months, the scientists used tests to spot autism-like traits, such as counting how often a child looked at its mother’s face or how large its vocabulary was.

At these early stages, the team found a link between the traits and higher foetal testosterone levels.

But the scientists’ latest research results came from a study undertaken when the children were eight years old.


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Yawning may reveal more about a person than their boredom threshold, according to research.

A susceptibility to contagious yawning may actually be a sign of a high-level of social empathy.

Although many species yawn, only some humans and possibly their close animal relatives find yawning infectious, suggesting the reason is psychological.

The University of Leeds research was presented at the British Association’s Festival of Science in York.

“Contagious yawning is a very interesting behaviour,” said Dr Catriona Morrison, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Leeds, who is leading the work.

“You don’t need a visual cue, you don’t even need an auditory cue – you can just read about it or think about it and it gets you going.

“We believe that contagious yawning indicates empathy. It indicates an appreciation of other people’s behavioural and physiological state,” she added.


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Пища для ума

Bаш мозг – самый прожорливый орган Bашего тела со специфическими диетическими потребностями. Таким образом, не удивительно, что Bаш рацион может повлиять на Вашу сообразительность. Если Вы доверяете пищевым добавкам, то можете превратиться во второго Эйнштейна, пока подберете правильную комбинацию пилюль.

Прежде всего, начнем с завтрака. Лучшее топливо для мозга – глюкоза. Поэтому, если вы пропускаете завтрак, то хуже соображаете в школе и на работе.

Однако одного сахара явно недостаточно. Согласно научным исследованиям, опубликованным в 2003, г., если ребенок завтракает газированным напитком и сладкими хлопьями, то его память и внимание деградируют до уровня 70-летнего старика.

Хороший выбор на завтрак – омлет с салатом. Яйца богаты холином, который Ваш организм использует в качестве сырья для производства передатчика нервных импульсов – ацетилхолина. Салат богат антиоксидантами, в том числе бета каротином, витаминами C и E, которые связывают свободные радикалы, повреждающие мозг.


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