A Victorian eccentric’s gorgeous Mondrian-like primary-color illustrations for the ancient Greek mathematical classic Euclid’s Elements
“Mathematics is the source of timeless profound knowledge, which goes to the heart of all matter and unites us across cultures, continents, and centuries.”
Love and math, a beautiful read:
“The self is more of a superhighway for social influence than it is the impenetrable private fortress we believe it to be.”
Neuroscientist Matthew D. Lieberman, head of UCLA’s Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, on why our brains are wired to connect
“There is tenderness in the chemist measuring and re-measuring salts in the hood; in the mathematician kneading his equations to understand the shape of the cosmos; in the marine biologist learning to talk to dolphins…”
On tenderness – what genetics godfather Gregor Mendel teaches us about the heart of science:
How the word “meme” was born – legendary atheist Richard Dawkins’s surprising religious inspiration
“In our lives we all in some way contribute to this greater choice, either drawing our collective future down to Earth or thrusting it out closer to the stars.”
Searching for life among the stars, and the math of how much a planet actually costs:
The beautiful and frightening experience of how science is done – Richard Feynman’s letter of encouragement to James Watson, a manifesto for the messiness of science and the value of subjectivity
“To understand the vagina properly is to realize that it is not only coextensive with the female brain, but is also, essentially, part of the female soul.”
The science of stress, orgasm, and creativity – Naomi Wolf on how brain and body conspire to shape our conscious experience
"Tip-of-the-tongue syndrome," transactive memory and how the internet is making us smarter than we think – superb read:
The surprising, dark story of how the Nobel Prize was born – involving bad journalism, existential guilt and dynamite
Art, science, and butterfly metamorphosis – the astounding insect drawings of Maria Sibylla Merian, a self-taught 17th-century woman who laid the foundations for modern entomology
“Though antidepressants are effective at managing negative emotions, they don’t in themselves provide the sense of meaning and direction that a person equally needs in order to find her way in life.”
Absolutely fascinating and necessary read on how antidepressants affect selfhood, teenage sexuality, and our quest for personal identity
“It is possible to be unselfish without a moral code, sophisticated without an education, and beautiful wearing a skeleton on the outside.”
What insects teach us about ourselves
"I feel in my inmost heart your admirable qualities & feelings & all I would hope is that you might direct them upwards."
Emma Darwin’s beautiful love letter to Charles, 30 years and ten children into their marriage.
"Metaphorical thinking … is essential to how we communicate, learn, discover, and invent."
Fascinating read on what children’s minds teach us about the evolution of the imagination