February 16, 2012

Newton’s Theological Papers
He’s considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time. But Sir Isaac Newton was also an influential theologian who applied a scientific approach to the study of scripture, Hebrew and Jewish mysticism. Now Israel’s national library, an unlikely owner of a vast trove of Newton’s writings, has digitized his theological collection—some 7,500 pages in Newton’s own handwriting—and put it online. (Aron Heller, Associated Press)

Spending Money on Experiences
Do psychologists have anything to say about what sorts of experiential purchases yield the most enduring satisfaction? As it happens, they do. (Gary Belsky and Tom Gilovich, Moneyland, TIME)

Meet Robonaut 2
Robonaut 2, or R2 as it is known at NASA, is a 2.5 million dollar droid designed to be an autonomous assistant to help astronauts with complex chores to keep the space station running properly. The robot was developed through a NASA partnership with car manufacturer General Motors and is the first humanoid robot ever to fly in space. (Tariq Malik, Space.com)

Beautiful Souls

Journalist Eyal Press explores what motivates people to heed the voice of their conscience despite the threat of ostracism or worse. This book is a study in the psychology of dissent, but more explicitly it is a collection of stories very well told, a biography of unlikely courage—unlikely because Press chooses people who are not brazenly heroic and whose noncompliance is subtle, their deeds largely unsung. (Michael Bond, CultureLab, New Scientist)

Who’s Sorry Now?

From the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the 2008 Maple Leaf Foods crisis to the innumerable sex scandals involving public figures, the art and science of the public apology—when to apologize, where to apologize, and, most important, how to apologize—is now big business, complete with advisers, consultants, and public-relations experts. (Alex Strachan, Postmedia News)

Category: Field Notes


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