What It Means To Think Critically

by Terry Heick What does ‘critical thinking’ mean? Well, that depends on who you ask. For educators, as a term critical thinking it is similar to words like democracy, global and organic You hear people use them all the time, but no one seems to understand exactly what they mean. This kind of etymological opacity…

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Lightning Strikes Create a Strange Form of Crystal Rarely Seen in Nature : ScienceAlert

The violent fingers of electricity that struck a sand dune in Nebraska have left behind a configuration of crystal rarely found in nature. Inside a piece of fulgurite – or ‘fossilized lightning’ – created by a powerful bolt of electricity traveling into and fusing sand, scientists have found a quasicrystal, an arrangement of matter once…

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Death, Sex and Aliens: A Surprising History of Slime

Slime: A Natural Historyby Susanne WedlichTranslated by Ayça TürkoğluMelville House, 2023 ($27.99) In Slime: A Natural History science journalist Susanne Wedlich preempts her readers’ repulsion. Although “we are all creatures of slime,” she writes on page 2, the mere mention of the name connotes images of sickness, death, and other taboo experiences of modern, “hyperhygienic”…

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Babies May Not Be Born With a Microbiome After All, Scientists Say : ScienceAlert

For more than a century, the womb has been largely considered a sterile environment. Yet even today, with advanced medical technology at hand, researchers cannot come to a consensus over whether the placenta and the amniotic fluid that bathes a fetus are truly germ-free or not. Some scientists claim to have detected signs of microbial…

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Exxon’s Own Models Predicted Global Warming–It Ignored Them

It’s been seven years since journalists first revealed Exxon Mobil Corp.’s decadeslong efforts to undermine the scientific certainty around climate change, despite knowing how serious a problem it was. Now, a new analysis demonstrates exactly how much the company knew — and how its public disinformation campaigns sabotaged the warnings of its own scientists. Exxon…

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This Island Appeared Out of Nowhere, With Life Forms Never Seen Before : ScienceAlert

When a new island rose from the South Pacific in 2015, it created an unprecedented opportunity not just for geologists and volcanologists, but for biologists and ecologists, too. The appearance of a new island offers a chance to learn about how ecosystems begin, starting with microbial pioneers that colonize new land like this, before plants…

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Free Will Is Only an Illusion if You Are, Too

Imagine you are shopping online for a new pair of headphones. There is an array of colors, brands and features to look at. You feel that you can pick any model that you like and are in complete control of your decision. When you finally click the “add to shopping cart” button, you believe that…

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There’s a ‘Lost City’ Deep in The Ocean, And It’s Unlike Anything We’ve Ever Seen : ScienceAlert

Close to the summit of an underwater mountain west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a jagged landscape of towers rises from the gloom. Their creamy carbonate walls and columns appear ghostly blue in the light of a remotely operated vehicle sent to explore. They range in height from tiny stacks the size of toadstools to a…

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Why Capturing Imagination Is Important For Deeper Learning –

by Drew Perkins, Director of TeachThought PD I miss teaching. Not so much the rigors of bells, short breaks, endless supervision duty, multiple preps, rushed lunches, and the paperwork. But I miss the actual moments in my classes where I captured the imagination of students. I still get that privilege when I facilitate our professional…

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What an Endless Conversation with Werner Herzog Can Teach Us about AI

On the website Infinite Conversation, the German filmmaker Werner Herzog and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek are having a public chat about anything and everything. Their discussion is compelling, in part, because these intellectuals have distinctive accents when speaking English, not to mention a tendency toward eccentric word choices. But they have something else in…

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