Tag Archives: Islam

Eureka! I Have Lost It!

The original keyboard cats.

Left to our own devices and allowed to live without constant fear of death by hunger or violence, we devise some pretty startling stuff.

Sure, some of our better efforts don’t outlast our calamities, or go obsolete before their time or simply never get their chance to shine because no one yet recognizes the need for them. But you can’t keep a good idea down forever, as I explore in this list of …

10 Times Humanity Found the Answer (and Then Forgot)

Fearful symmetry: the beauty and power of tessellations

Irregular pentagon tessellation
Irregular pentagon tessellation. Image by R.A. Nonenmacher

We study mathematics for its beauty, its elegance and its capacity to codify the patterns woven into the fabric of the universe. Within its figures and formulas, the secular perceive order and the religious catch distant echoes of the language of creation. Mathematics achieves the sublime; sometimes, as with tessellations, it rises to art.

How tessellations work

Related Article:
Quiz: Tessellate this!

The M.A.D. world of Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel and several recipients of his namesake Peace Prize alike contributed to warfare and violence in numerous ways—a fact that some find ironic. Yet, Nobel lived at a time when scientists didn’t consider themselves responsible for how others used their inventions, and he held a view of destructive-weaponry-as-deterrent that presaged the Cold War philosophy of Mutually Assured Destruction, so perhaps there was a method to his M.A.D.-ness. As for the others I discuss in my article below, only history can judge.

Why is the Nobel Peace Prize kind of ironic?

What’s inside a mosque?

As of 2009, about 2.5 million of the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims lived in the United States, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. According to National Public Radio, at least 100 mosques dot New York City alone and 1,000 more are spread across the country. Yet, to many of us, the inside of a mosque, and what goes on there, remain a mystery. In this article, I’ll take you on a virtual tour.

What’s inside a mosque?