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About Hypsibius

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  1. Hypsibius

    can a human run like a animal with feets and hands?

    Do you mean if a human (bipedal) can run as fast as a quadrupedal animal? Or just if a human can run fast on all fours as opposed to upright? Either way, there are physical constraints that make quadruped locomotion ineffective for humans, as a species that has evolved to be bipedal. It's possible for humans to run on all fours (anecdotal evidence: I used to do that when I was a kid, because it was fun running this way in the woods) but it's not an efficient way to move, because for example of the length of our upper limbs compared to the lower ones, the position of our head, the shape of our back, etc. If you analyse the structure of quadruped that have evolved to become specialised runners, you can see the many differences between their body structure and ours. For example, animals specialised in running are typically digitigrades, i.e. they stand on their toes or hooves. A human running on all fours has to either run on his/her knuckles or palms. It's painful and ineffective.
  2. Hypsibius

    What science books do you recommend?

    Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, by Theodore Gray (author),‎ Nick Mann (photographer) The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography, by Simon Singh Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem, by Simon Singh
  3. Hypsibius

    The physics of melting snow and ice

    A recent hike up in the mountains reminded me I'd like to understand better the physics behind snow and ice, in particular the combination of melting snow and ice similar to what I have encountered. As I walked, the impression I got was that the surface/outer layer was frozen (the surface was hard enough to support my weight), while the snow below that layer was softer: so if the icy crust cracked and collapsed under my weight, I hopelessly sank in the snow below. Was this observation correct in regard to the phenomenon? If so, can you explain why is it like that? Also, does snow begin to melt on the surface (because it's directly under the sun), or is the snow that is closer to the soil that melts first? Why? And why does snow around the base of trees melt faster? (there was no snow around the base of the trees, but plenty elsewhere). Thanks in advance for any educational input you can provide.
  4. Hypsibius

    Reading and remembering

    I used to be able to memorise a lot of data and successfully recall it precisely after years, but my memory has really weakened since then, and this has forced me to seek out new strategies to memorise stuff I'm interested in. For instance, I find that underlying passages with a pencil and copying quotes and then taking notes and making conceptual maps helps me a lot. Also, it's helpful if I can connect new information to things I already know - it's like I create a network of information in my mind, like my own tiny version of Wikipedia, with links that connect one piece of information to another. It makes it easier to remember for me because if I forget something I can work out a path that leads me from one thing I remember to the piece of information I need to retrieve. Does that make sense? Anyway, a lot depends on how you preferably process information. For example, if you're a visual person, associating pictures, visual outlines or maps will help you. If you're more of an auditory person, repeating things or listening to them (in a video, podcast, etc) may help you more.
  5. ...The logical conclusion being that high quality men prefer marrying non-high quality women (since high quality women prefer men closer to their own age)?? Or is this a pro-bride kidnapping manifesto? This post baffles me on so many levels...
  6. Hypsibius

    Would the world be a better place without religion?

    Well, I can give you a simple example from a recent first hand experience I've had. I met a group of Buddhists a couple of months ago in India. Some of them were Tibetan, some were Spanish, some French, some Italian. A few of them support communism or socialism, others vote conservative political parties. Some of them were considerably wealthy, while others were middle class and some of them live on the breadline. And they all sat together, talked to each other despite their differences and shared their food. I think it was pretty cool. And the only common variable they shared (aside from their humanity), is that they all follow the spiritual teachings of the same master. Had it not been for that, their lives wouldn't have probably intersected. Of course, you may debate whether Buddhism counts as a religion or not, but the example is still relevant, because I suspect something similar occurs also in other congregations, for example people among church-goers who volunteer together to do community service or support a charity. What I am saying is that religion can be a pretext for division just as much as it can become one for inclusion.
  7. Hypsibius

    about humour

    I find rape jokes sick. Does that entitle me to a green card?
  8. Hypsibius

    Would the world be a better place without religion?

    A lot of things do that, though. If it's not religion, it's money, politics, football, ethnicity, brands, neighbourhoods, social class... I don't think the problem is religion per se, but the divisive tendency that persists in people. The whole "us vs them" attitude. We're social animals who are hard-wired to associate with what we consider "our kind". Unfortunately, this often results in tribe mentality: we define ourselves in relation to who else belongs in our circle and who doesn't.
  9. Since when previous sexual contact "ruins" a person? We're talking about people, not condoms. So, according to your very peculiar view of things, a man or woman who is attractive/smart/successful/well-educated but is a widower or widow who has cared for their terminally-ill spouse is worth less as a human being compared to a man or woman who is similarly attractive/smart/successful/well-educated but has never had a sexual relationship because they are seriously messed up in the emotional/maturity department and lack any ability to form and sustain a healthy romantic relationship?
  10. Hypsibius

    Killing Animals and Spirituality?

    Well, at least in the Buddhist system of thought, what I imprecisely referred to as "morally negative" is intended as actions, words and/or thoughts that cause harm to sentient beings (including to the agent himself/herself) or in other words anything that is motivated by "avidyā" (ignorance, i.e. the lack of clear understanding of the true nature of things). In such system of thought, an action motivated by anger, for example, generates bad karma, because anger is an emotion that stems from ignorance.
  11. Hypsibius


    We can't have a thread about equines and not mention the Mongolian"Khiimori" or Kazakh "Tulpar". If anyone has any say on horses, it's the steppe people.
  12. Hypsibius

    Killing Animals and Spirituality?

    I don't really fancy getting into another discussion about veganism/vegetarianism/meat-eating because at my age I've already been in too many... but since the OP mentioned spirituality, there's something that this topic reminded me of and that I'd like to share for the sake of novelty: Apparently, karma is not arithmetic. This at least is my understanding of what was explained to me by some well-educated Tibetan Buddhist monks. The OP mentioned a person who performs a morally negative action (killing an animal or paying another to kill such animal) but also does morally positive deeds (charity, etc). According to what I was explained, in Buddhism a negative action produces an accumulation of a certain negative karma, which in time will mature and cause certain (negative) effect, while a positive action produces an accumulation of positive karma which will in turn produce positive effects. However, all this karma is not cumulative. The positive karma resulting from a morally positive deed does not erase the negative karma resulting from a morally negative deed or viceversa. Basically, according to this system of thought, this hypothetical person killing an animal and supporting charities will at some point experience both the results of his/her bad karma and those of his/her good karma.
  13. Hypsibius

    Documentaries on engineering?

    Good one, thanks!
  14. Hypsibius

    Documentaries on engineering?

    Hi! Can you recommend any good documentaries on engineering in English or even French? I'm especially interested in topics related to mechanical, chemical or civil engineering, but other branches will do too. Some topics I'm particularly interested in include anything related to mining engineering, engineering disasters (if the documentary provides educational information and insight on the mistakes that caused the failure), innovations and the history of engineering. Thanks!