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Putin vs. the Priest: A Big Story About a Small Sermon

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Putin vs. the Priest: Video

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https://www.nytimes.com

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Beijing, China

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Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It is the center of power and development of the country. Beijing is the world’s most populous national capital city, with over 21 million residents. It has an administrative area of 16,410.5 km2 (6,336.1 sq mi), the third in the country after Guangzhou and Shanghai. It is located in Northern China and is governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the State Council with 16 urban, suburban, and rural districts. Beijing is mostly surrounded by Hebei Province with the exception of neighboring Tianjin to the southeast; together, the three divisions form the Jingjinji megalopolis and the national capital region of China.

Beijing is a global city and one of the world’s leading centers for culture, diplomacy, politics, finance, business and economics, education, research, language, tourism, media, sport, science and technology, and transportation. As a megacity, Beijing is the second largest Chinese city by urban population after Shanghai. It is home to the headquarters of most of China’s largest state-owned companies and houses the largest number of Fortune Global 500 companies in the world, as well as the world’s four biggest financial institutions by total assets. It is also a major hub for the national highway, expressway, railway, and high-speed rail networks. The Beijing Capital International Airport has been the second busiest in the world by passenger traffic (Asia’s busiest) since 2010, and, as of 2016, the city’s subway network is the busiest and longest in the world. The Beijing Daxing International Airport, a second international airport in Beijing, is the largest single-structure airport terminal in the world.

Combining both modern and traditional style architectures, Beijing is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich history dating back over three millennia. As the last of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, Beijing has been the political center of the country for most of the past eight centuries and was the largest city in the world by population for much of the second millennium CE. With mountains surrounding the inland city on three sides, in addition to the old inner and outer city walls, Beijing was strategically poised and developed to be the residence of the emperor and thus was the perfect location for the imperial capital. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, parks, gardens, tombs, walls, and gates. Beijing is one of the most important tourist destinations of the world. In 2018, Beijing was the second highest-earning tourist city in the world after Shanghai. Beijing is home to many national monuments and museums and has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites—the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Zhoukoudian, and parts of the Great Wall and the Grand Canal—all of which are popular tourist locations. Siheyuans, the city’s traditional housing style, and hutongs, the narrow alleys between siheyuans, are major tourist attractions and are common in urban Beijing.

Beijing’s public universities make up more than one-fifth of Double First-Class Universities, and many of them consistently rank among the best in the Asia-Pacific and the world. Beijing is home to the two best C9 League universities (Tsinghua and Peking) in Asia & Oceania region and emerging countries. Beijing CBD is a center for Beijing’s economic expansion, with the ongoing or recently completed construction of multiple skyscrapers. Beijing’s Zhongguancun area is a world-leading center of scientific and technological innovation as well as entrepreneurship. Beijing has been ranked the city with the largest scientific research output by the Nature Index since 2016. The city has hosted numerous international and national sporting events, the most notable being the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2008 Summer Paralympics Games. In 2022, Beijing became the first city ever to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics and also the Summer and Winter Paralympics. Beijing hosts 175 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many organizations, including the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Silk Road Fund, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the Central Academy of Drama, the Central Conservatory of Music, and the Red Cross Society of China. Wikipedia

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An image of Beijing, China

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The Secret To Talking To Someone Who Always Gets Defensive

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Maybe you’re talking with your spouse. Or friend. Or brother. Or colleague. Whoever it is, you know that no matter how carefully you say something, the words won’t get through. They’re just so damn defensive.

You want to scream stuff like, “It’s not a personal attack!” or “I’m just trying to have a conversation!” Mostly, you want to ask, “Can you just stop being so defensive?”

Here’s the thing: No, they probably can’t. It’s right there in the word. They’re defending. “It implies there’s a threat,” says Ellen Hendriksen, clinical psychologist and author of How to Be Yourself. It could be you, but just as likely your words are triggering something deep-seated.

Once their fears are ignited, all focus is danger related. It’s hard for the defensive person to get out of that mode. And saying something like, “Don’t get so defensive,” is about as effective as saying “Relax” to someone panicking.

So what can you do when talking to someone who always gets defensive? Turn up your empathy and turn down your assumptions, because you’re most likely going into the interaction hot. You’re bracing for that person to feel threatened and that ends up threatening you.

“Then we have two reptilian brains talking to each other,” says Laura Silberstein-Tirch, licensed psychologist and author of How to Be Nice to Yourself. That means both of you are down to three options: fight, flight or freeze. “It’s a limited repertoire.”

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https://imgix.bustle.com/uploads/image/2022/11/10/dbb37cee-7e2f-4b2b-98f3-6af1a9f1279c-gettyimages-932650136.jpg?w=768&h=490&fit=crop&crop=faces&auto=format%2CcompressGetty/skynesher

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.fatherly.com/life/how-to-talk-to-someone-who-always-gets-defensive?utm_source=pocket_discover_self-improvement

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Scientists Tested Einstein’s Relativity on a Cosmic Scale, And Found Something Odd

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Everything in the Universe has gravity – and feels it too. Yet this most common of all fundamental forces is also the one that presents the biggest challenges to physicists.

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity has been remarkably successful in describing the gravity of stars and planets, but it doesn’t seem to apply perfectly on all scales.

General relativity has passed many years of observational tests, from Eddington’s measurement of the deflection of starlight by the Sun in 1919 to the recent detection of gravitational waves.

However, gaps in our understanding start to appear when we try to apply it to extremely small distances, where the laws of quantum mechanics operate, or when we try to describe the entire universe.

Our new study, published in Nature Astronomy, has now tested Einstein’s theory on the largest of scales.

We believe our approach may one day help resolve some of the biggest mysteries in cosmology, and the results hint that the theory of general relativity may need to be tweaked on this scale.

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https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2022/11/GalaxyWhirlpoolMap.jpg

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-tested-einsteins-relativity-on-a-cosmic-scale-and-found-something-odd

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Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

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Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. In 2019, it had a population of 8,640.

Situated to the north of Mont Blanc, between the peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and the notable Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. The Chamonix commune is popular with skiers and mountain enthusiasts. Via the cable car lift to the Aiguille du Midi, it is possible to access the off-piste (backcountry) ski run of the Vallée Blanche.

In its earliest mention from about 1091, the name is Campum munitum, meaning fortified plain or field. Already by 1283, the name had been abbreviated to a similar form to the modern Chamonis. Other forms through the ages include Chamouny in 1581, Chamony in 1652, Chamouni in 1786, and the particular spelling Chamonix from 1793. Chamonix is the fourth-largest commune in metropolitan France, with an area of 245 km2 (95 sq mi). Its population of around 8,900 ranks 1,089th within the country of France.

The valley was first mentioned in 1091, when it was granted by the Count of the Genevois to the great Benedictine house of St. Michel de la Cluse, near Turin, which by the early 13th century had established a priory there. However, in 1786 the inhabitants bought their freedom from the canons of Sallanches, to whom the priory had been transferred in 1519.

 

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An image from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

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Fossil fuel burning once caused a mass extinction – now we’re risking another

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Budleigh Salterton, on the south coast of Devon, sits above the most frightening cliffs on Earth. They are not particularly high. Though you don’t want to stand beneath them, they are not especially prone to collapse. The horror takes another form. It is contained in the story they tell. For they capture the moment at which life on Earth almost came to an end.

The sediments preserved in these cliffs were laid down in the early Triassic period, just after the greatest mass extinction in the history of multicellular life that brought the Permian period to an end 252m years ago. Around 90% of species died, and fish and four-footed animals were more or less exterminated between 30 degrees north of the equator and 40 degrees south.

Most remarkably, while biological abundance (if not diversity) tends to recover from mass extinctions within a few hundred thousand years, our planet remained in this near-lifeless state for the following 5m years. In studying these cliffs, you see the precipice on which we teeter.

The lowest stratum at the western end of the beach is a bed of rounded pebbles. These are the stones washed off Triassic mountains by flash floods and deposited in great dumps by temporary rivers. Because the forests and savannahs that might have covered the mountains had died, there was nothing to hold the soil and subsoil together, so erosion is likely to have accelerated greatly.

At the top of the pebble bed is a stony desert surface. The pebbles here have been sculpted by the wind into sharp angles and varnished with shiny oxides, suggesting the surface was unchanged for a long time. Above it are towering red Triassic sand dunes. Through a quirk of erosion, these soft deposits have been sculpted into hollows that look uncannily like fanged and screaming skulls.

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https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/fb71e95c9c77f01b1ef6d659d9e7dcb7df6ccbf7/0_0_2560_1536/master/2560.jpg?width=1020&quality=85&dpr=1&s=none

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/03/fossil-fuel-burning-mass-extinction-devonian-coastline?utm_source=pocket_discover_science

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Suffering End-of-Year Burnout? These 8 Psychological Tips Can Help Boost Productivity

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People put a lot of pressure on themselves to be productive. Whether it’s our work or nonwork lives, it’s easy to feel like we have to be getting things done. And when we get behind, anxiety, stress, and burnout may come calling. This is especially true in November and December as we work overtime to reach benchmarks and goals before the end of the year.

Productivity is more than just finishing a to-do list. It’s a mindset. The more mentally poised we are for taking care of tasks, the more we achieve and the less stress we feel. To get started, use these eight tips to help transform your frame of mind and boost your output.

And did you know that how you eat and how you think can have a big impact on your health, happiness, and productivity? Check out these seven foods that make you happy and six thought exercises that can improve your mental health.

8 tips that can help boost your productivity

Many think that psychology is only for treating mental health issues, but it also has a lot to say about how we handle the little details of our everyday lives. Here are eight productivity tips you can use to change your perspective and get more done. (see article)

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https://www.cnet.com/a/img/resize/6dd57624654b149be5f7d213573bad60d62dc260/hub/2022/10/25/2e08f918-2499-4c67-bdc9-ba3572fb37d7/gettyimages-113835975.jpg?auto=webp&fit=crop&height=675&width=1200

Many people think psychology is only concerned with treating mental health issues. But it also has a lot to say about how we handle the little details of our everyday lives.  Steven Errico/Getty Images

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.cnet.com/health/mental/suffering-end-of-year-burnout-these-8-psychological-tips-can-help-boost-productivity/?utm_source=pocket_discover_self-improvement

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Massive Energy Beam Pointed at Earth Appears to Break the Laws of Physics, Scientists Say

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An intense jet of energy in space appears to be traveling seven times faster than the speed of light—a feat that is considered physically impossible in our universe. Though this rapid pace is only an optical illusion, according to a new study, it still represents a blast of energy shooting towards us at very nearly the speed of light. 

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has captured incredible views of the jet—which was ignited by an unprecedented collision between two hyperdense objects, called neutron stars—that led to one of the most important breakthroughs in astronomical history at the time it was discovered in 2017.

While the jet did not actually break the cosmic speed limit, it raced right up to the edge of this impassable threshold, reaching at least 99.97 percent of the speed of light, which translates to about 670 million miles per hour. Scientists led by Kunal Mooley, an astrophysicist at the California Institute of Technology, used Hubble and other telescopes to clock the jet’s “superluminal motion,” meaning the trippy illusion of faster-than-light speed, in a study published on Wednesday in Nature

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https://video-images.vice.com/articles/63487e1632d7fd0093b054a3/lede/1665695445640-screen-shot-2022-10-13-at-51033-pm.png?crop=0.9961330239752513xw:1xh;center,center&resize=500:*Image: Concept art of the neutron star merger and jet. Image: Elizabeth Wheatley (STScI)

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/dy7wby/an-energy-beam-pointed-at-earth-appeared-to-break-the-laws-of-physics-scientists-s?utm_source=pocket_discover_science

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The Desert Changed My Life. It Can Change Yours, Too.

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On a frigid March morning in 2022, a friend and I were visiting the Mojave National Preserve in California’s San Bernardino County. Joshua trees, normally crooked and whimsical with spiky green leaves, were instead blanched white and charred, limbs swinging in 25-mile-per-hour winds. Creosote bushes, blackbrush, and yucca — all of which were once shelter or food for jackrabbits, night lizards and ground squirrels — had also been scorched. In August 2020, the Dome Fire burned more than a million Joshua trees alone, leaving skeletal remains of what had been a dense woodland.

We were there to help replant Joshua trees. To the south rose Cima Dome, the gentle granite hill for which the fire was named. Gradually shifting landscapes are characteristic of the Mojave Desert, where hard-packed dirt gives way to low-lying springs and sandy washes. These shifts are difficult to see unless you look closely, but since living here, the desert has taught me the art of perception: how to slow down and actually see what’s in front of you.

I grew up in a suburb just outside San Diego County, 90 minutes from the Mojave Desert. But my parents preferred taking our family to the Pacific Coast and the redwoods up north — California’s canonical landscapes. If we entered the Mojave, it was usually just to pass through. As a result, I thought deserts were flat and barren. Official definitions confirmed my ideas. The United States Geological Survey defines American deserts as “areas of the country which receive less than 10 inches (250 millimeters) of annual precipitation.”

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https://static01.nyt.com/images/2022/11/20/magazine/20mag-lor/20mag-lor-superJumbo.jpg?quality=75&auto=webpJohn Francis Peters for The New York Times

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Scientists Simulated a Black Hole in The Lab, And Then It Started to Glow

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A new kind of black hole analog could tell us a thing or two about an elusive radiation theoretically emitted by the real thing.

Using a chain of atoms in single file to simulate the event horizon of a black hole, a team of physicists has observed the equivalent of what we call Hawking radiation – particles born from disturbances in the quantum fluctuations caused by the black hole’s break in spacetime.

This, they say, could help resolve the tension between two currently irreconcilable frameworks for describing the Universe: the general theory of relativity, which describes the behavior of gravity as a continuous field known as spacetime; and quantum mechanics, which describes the behavior of discrete particles using the mathematics of probability.

For a unified theory of quantum gravity that can be applied universally, these two immiscible theories need to find a way to somehow get along.

This is where black holes come into the picture – possibly the weirdest, most extreme objects in the Universe. These massive objects are so incredibly dense that, within a certain distance of the black hole’s center of mass, no velocity in the Universe is sufficient for escape. Not even light speed.

That distance, varying depending on the mass of the black hole, is called the event horizon. Once an object crosses its boundary we can only imagine what happens, since nothing returns with vital information on its fate. But in 1974, Stephen Hawking proposed that interruptions to quantum fluctuations caused by the event horizon result in a type of radiation very similar to thermal radiation.

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https://www.sciencealert.com/images/2022/11/black-hole-art.jpg Simulation of a warped and spinning black hole. (Yukterez/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-created-a-black-hole-in-the-lab-and-then-it-started-to-glow

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