The Optimist’s Guide to Schopenhauer’s Pessimism (Audio Essay)




Schopenhauer was a profoundly pessimistic man. He argued that all life was suffering. Was he right or is there room for optimism? This audio essay tries to answer that question. It is based on an earlier written essay. You can listen below or download here.



These audio essays are released as part of the Philosophical Disquisitions podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Player FM, Podbay, Podbean, Castbox, Overcast and more. Full details available here.


New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS

New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS | www.APHLblog.org

First discovered in the 1930s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) now pervade almost every aspect of modern life. In fact, PFAS compounds are found in everything from dental floss to cookware. But human exposure to PFAS comes at a cost, and as old compounds are removed from production, new compounds take their place. So how does a public health laboratory handle this challenge with limited resources? As our feature article shows, by establishing new public-private partnerships.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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The post New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

How to spot a partisan gerrymander

For FiveThirtyEight, William T. Adler and Ella Koeze describe how a metric called partisan bias is used to assess partisan gerrymandering. As you might imagine, it’s fuzzy.

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Sickle cell screening abstract retracted for host of reasons, including an ambivalent co-author

Researchers have lost a 2018 conference abstract on screening for sickle cell disease in Africa over a dispute over authorship and the lack of appropriate disclosures.   The article, “Implementation of a sickle cell disease screening initiative in Uganda with HemoTypeSC(TM),” which was presented at a 2018 conference and then appeared in Blood, described a … Continue reading Sickle cell screening abstract retracted for host of reasons, including an ambivalent co-author

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The Relationship Timeline Continues to Stretch

We know that people are marrying later in life, but that's not the only shift. The whole relationship timeline is stretching. Read More

NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover Is Put to the Test

Technicians working Mars 2020

In January, Mars 2020 engineers and technicians took over JPL's cleanroom to put the mission's cruise, entry capsule, descent stage and rover through their paces.



Colors of Tintin

Marian Eerens charted the colors of each Adventures of Tintin book cover. The only thing missing is the actual covers on the mouseover.

It’s a straightforward thing, but I find these sort of abstract color charts calming for whatever reason. See also the colors of: campaign logos, LEGO kits, Game of Thrones episodes, Mister Rogers’ cardigans, Western films, Avengers comic book covers, science fiction book covers, and more.

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Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

A group of researchers at Harbin Medical University in China has had a third paper retracted, making for a tale of three notices. The first retraction appeared in April 2017 as one of more than 100 from Tumor Biology for fake peer review. The second, for “Functions as a Tumor Suppressor in Osteosarcoma by Targeting … Continue reading Group in China up to three retractions, ostensibly for three different reasons

Updated Funding Opportunity – Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships

Our friends in MCB have some important information to share regarding the Science and Technology Centers (STC). Please see their write-up below:

“The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnerships program has released an updated solicitation calling for preliminary proposals that would ultimately lead to the awarding of five new research STCs. Science and Technology Centers support innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. They provide a means to undertake potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. These centers can cover research in any topic that is funded by NSF including all areas of biology, and education. They usually include partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and international collaborations, as appropriate, to accomplish their research. More information on eligibility and other program specifics can be found in the solicitation 19-567.

Some important details:

  • Submissions of preliminary proposals are limited to 3 proposals per institution
  • Submissions limited to 1 proposal per PI or co-PI
  • Preliminary Proposal Due June 25, 2019
  • Full Proposal Due January 27, 2020

Questions can be answered by reaching out to the cognizant program officer. All proposals submitted in response to this STC solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019.”