Common Ground: How Communities Rise Together to Respond to Disasters

“Human beings are a community. If we are in China, in Puerto Rico, in Japan, wherever.” By Robert RaymondCo-Producer and Creative Director, Upstream PodcastSenior Producer, Designer, and Creative Director, The Response When Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, Judith Rodriguez was asleep in her home. Or rather, she was trying to[…]

The Compassionate Instinct: A Biological Basis for People Helping People

Think humans are born selfish? Think again. By Dr. Dacher KeltnerProfessor of PsychologyCo-Director, Greater Good Science CenterUniversity of California Berkeley Introduction Humans are selfish. It’s so easy to say. The same goes for so many assertions that follow. Greed is good. Altruism is an illusion. Cooperation is for suckers. Competition is natural, war inevitable. The[…]

Ground Zero: How Do Scientists Predict a Hurricane Season?

Keep an eye on the African monsoon, ocean temperatures, and a possible late-blooming La Niña. By Dr. Kristopher KarnauskasAssociate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesFellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of Colorado Boulder Introduction As summer in the Northern Hemisphere approaches, forecasters begin watching every bout of rainy weather between the[…]

Philolaus: Philosophy and Science in Classical Greece

Philolaus is said to have claimed that mathematical reason has a certain affinity with the nature of the universe, By Daniel CostaHistorian Introduction Philolaus of Croton (c. 470 – c. 385 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher from Magna Graecia, in modern-day southern Italy. He shared the Pythagoreans’ interest in music, numbers and the soul, which shone through his output. He[…]

Distant Grind: The Largest Hurricane in the Solar System on Jupiter

The Great Red Spot has been observed since 1831. Continuous observation began in 1879. Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Overview The Great Red Spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter, producing an anticyclonic storm that is the largest in the Solar System. Located 22 degrees south of Jupiter’s equator, it produces wind-speeds up to 432 km/h (268 mph). Observations from 1665 to[…]

The Use of Fire by Stone Age Humans to Permanently Change the Landscape

How ancient humans by Lake Malawi in Africa were the first to substantially modify their environment. By Dr. Jessica ThompsonAssistant Professor of AnthropologyYale University By Dr. David K. WrightProfessor of Archaeology, Conservation and HistoryUniversity of Oslo By Dr. Sarah IvoryAssistant Professor of GeosciencesPenn State Introduction Fields of rust-colored soil, spindly cassava, small farms and villages[…]