Hanukkah’s true meaning is about Jewish survival

Hanukkah’s true meaning is about Jewish survival www.shutterstock.com Alan Avery-Peck, College of the Holy Cross Every December Jews celebrate the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, perhaps the best-known and certainly the most visible Jewish holiday. While critics sometimes identify Christmas as promoting the prevalence in America today of what one might refer to as Hanukkah kitsch, …

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Leftovers, as one French chef put it, ‘can be as good as, if not better than, the first time they are served.’ Tom Grundy/Shutterstock.com

What to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers? Look to the French

Cover: Leftovers, as one French chef put it, ‘can be as good as, if not better than, the first time they are served.’ Tom Grundy/Shutterstock.com What to do with those Thanksgiving leftovers? Look to the French Leftovers, as one French chef put it, ‘can be as good as, if not better than, the first time …

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Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images

The fast track to a life well lived is feeling grateful

Cover: Photo by David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Images For the Ancient Greeks, virtue wasn’t a goal in and of itself, but rather a route to a life well lived. By being honest and generous, embodying diligence and fortitude, showing restraint and kindness, a person would flourish – coming to live a life filled with meaning …

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Being and drunkenness: how to party like an existentialist

Cover: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris, June 1977. Photo by STF/AFP/Getty Images Existentialism has a reputation for being angst-ridden and gloomy mostly because of its emphasis on pondering the meaninglessness of existence, but two of the best-known existentialists knew how to have fun in the face of absurdity. Simone de Beauvoir and …

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How Leonardo da Vinci made a living from killing machines

How Leonardo da Vinci made a living from killing machines Leonardo da Vinci, Study of Two Warriors Heads for the Battle of Anghiari, c. 1504-5. Black chalk or charcoal, some traces of red chalk on paper. Google Art Project. Wikimedia Commons. Susan Broomhall, University of Western Australia and Joy Damousi, University of Melbourne On the …

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What’s so special about the Mona Lisa?

What’s so special about the Mona Lisa? Mona Lisa, Musée du Louvre, Paris, April 2019. Susan Broomhall Susan Broomhall, University of Western Australia and Charles Green, University of Melbourne Every day, thousands of people from around the world crowd into a stark, beige room at Paris’s Louvre Museum to view its single mounted artwork, Leonardo …

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Four ways in which Leonardo da Vinci was ahead of his time

Four ways in which Leonardo da Vinci was ahead of his time Leonardo da Vinci had a seemingly inexhaustible imagination for innovation. Hywel Jones, Sheffield Hallam University; Alessandro Soranzo, Sheffield Hallam University; Jeff Waldock, Sheffield Hallam University, and Rebecca Sharpe, Sheffield Hallam University Leonardo da Vinci is generally recognised as one of the great figures …

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How artificial intelligence systems could threaten democracy

How artificial intelligence systems could threaten democracy Steven Feldstein, Boise State University U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities. Two U.S. senators publicly condemned the partnership, but what the National Defense Technology University of China wants …

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Existence precedes ‘Likes’: how online behaviour defines us

One of the hallmarks of existentialism is its particular emphasis on the concept of ‘anguish’, understood as the feeling we experience when we grasp our radical responsibility in defining who we are – individually and as a species. If human beings have no predetermined essence written in the heavens, as existentialists argue, and we can …

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How much can we afford to forget, if we train machines to remember?

Cover: Richard Feynman’s high school calculus notebook: ‘That was a way to try to get it into my head this time, instead of forgetting it. So I had learned calculus.’ Courtesy Physics Central/Niels Bohr Library and Archive When I was a student, in the distant past when most computers were still huge mainframes, I had …

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