History
Humans: A Multiplanetary Species

Humans: A Multiplanetary Species

I have been intrigued recently by a documentary I saw on Netflix called “Return to Space”. This documentary tells the story of SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk with the aim of making mankind a multiplanetary species. The documentary focuses on the launch of...

Alien life on Earth

Alien life on Earth

When we search for alien life, we tend to look into the vastness of space for planets that have conditions similar to our planet. But instead of looking in all three dimensions in space, there is another dimension one can look into, when searching for aliens, namely,...

The Legacy of Frank Ramsey

The Legacy of Frank Ramsey

In history, there have been numerous influential scholars in the field of economics and econometrics. Think for instance of John Maynard Keynes, who is known for his influence in macroeconomics through the Keynesian School. Or think of Adam Smith, who introduced the...

The conundrum of perpetual motion

The conundrum of perpetual motion

It is no surprise that the 19th  century was a time of scientific breakthroughs and wondrous inventions. However, for the people of Philadelphia, this meant that for only one dollar they could admire the most amazing machine in the world: a machine that stayed in...

Stop the Democracy

Stop the Democracy

The liberal democracy. For long, we have been led (or rather misled) to believe that the liberal democracy is the ideal system of governance. On one hand, it is true that democracies tend to give their subjects great freedom and prosperity. However, on the other hand,...

Doomsday Argument

Doomsday Argument

Het einde van de mensheid, heb jij enig idee wanneer dat zal zijn? Nee, ik ook niet. Brandon Carter heeft in 1983 een poging gedaan om dit te bepalen met behulp van kansrekening. Echter wordt zijn theorie ook wel een van de meest betwiste toepassingen van de...

De val van Srebrenica

De val van Srebrenica

In Servië is ex-generaal Ratko Mladić opgepakt. Dat heeft de Servische president Boris Tadić op een persconferentie bekendgemaakt. Mladić zal worden uitgeleverd aan het Joegoslavië-tribunaal. Het is nog onduidelijk waar Mladić is gearresteerd. De 69-jarige Mladić had...

Approximating pi: think like Archimedes!

Approximating pi: think like Archimedes!

Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 BC) was a Greek physicist and mathematician best known for a very famous and amusing anecdote: the king of Syracuse had a golden crown made by a blacksmith. He distrusted the blacksmith and suspected him of not having used pure gold for...

Memes: een korte geschiedenis

Memes: een korte geschiedenis

In een drieluik van artikelen zullen Tim van Schaick en Lasse Vuursteen de illustere wereld van de internetmemes induiken. Het doel: de culturele, maatschappelijke en politieke relevantie verkennen. In dit eerste deel: wat zijn memes, waarom zie je er zoveel tegenwoordig en op wat voor manier zijn memes relevant voor de zeitgeist in het informatietijdperk?

On the influence of language on mathematics

On the influence of language on mathematics

Imagine the world of mathematics without operators or even numbers. A long time ago, there were no such notions as a minus sign or π. It will be clear to everybody that hardly any serious mathematics can exist without a form of written language. Throughout history...

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