Archive for Geek Culture & Tech

An update on what’s up in our solar system

If you’re interested in where we are when it comes to solar system exploration, here’s a nice round-up fromEmily Lakdawalla.


This is how dystopia starts: self-destructing mosquitoes

I know mosquitoes are horrible, and that they kill shitloads of people every year. But this article really gave me goosebumps. Genetically engineered to die.
Welcome to the future.


via Kottke

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Colorblind Man Sees Color for the First Time

This is really amazing.

Count your blessings, honey. Count your blessings.

The glasses he wears to adjust his color vision are made by EnChroma.

Via Kottke.

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Bow tie pasta in slow motion

Wow. This is really cool.

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A Beautiful Sunset

Sometimes, I trip when I think of how the sun is always the same, where it’s in the deserts of Jordan, the jungles of Chile, or icy Antarctica. That people with very different realities share my night sky. It’s a big world, full of different people, doing different thing, watching the same sun set.

Now look at picture above. It’s the same sun. Our sun. Except that that’s a picture of a sunset no where on Earth.

It’s a sunset on Mars.

Taken by Curiosity, via BB

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Rana Dajani and Why She Teaches Evolution in Jordan’s Universities

Refreshing article on Nature by Rana Dajani, Assistant Professor at the Hashemite University in Jordan, on why she teaches evolution

In teaching, I offer a detailed explanation of the natural evolution of plants and artificial breeding. Later, we discuss antibiotic resistance, influenza vaccines and the development of HIV drugs. After these discussions, most students are willing to accept evolution as a mechanism for the emergence of all species except humans. Many quote evidence from the Koran that is interpreted to mean that Adam — and so humans — were created spontaneously. Human evolution remains taboo because the students are not ready to relinquish the concept that humans were created differently. I remind them that Muslims are warned against arrogance, and that humans are only part of creation.


My take, as a Muslim scientist, is that the Koran asks humans to observe and contemplate the world while celebrating the pursuit of knowledge. It does not validate scientific findings. Science allows us to question and discover how the world works and the Koran provides the moral guidelines for doing so. If an apparent contradiction arises between a scientific finding and an interpretation of the Koran, then we can turn to both science itself (which is evolving) and the interpretation of the Koran (which is not impartial, because it is a human exercise) to account for the discrepancy. This is an ongoing and fluid process, and is part and parcel of the purpose of life for Muslims.

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