Tag Archives: Creative Commons

06Apr/23

Life: modern physics can’t explain it – but our new theory, which says time is fundamental, might

Sara Imari Walker, Arizona State University

Over the short span of just 300 years, since the invention of modern physics, we have gained a deeper understanding of how our universe works on both small and large scales. Yet, physics is still very young and when it comes to using it to explain life, physicists struggle.

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04Apr/23

Kanye West and Wyndham Lewis: how ‘cancellation’ affected two artists, a century apart

Nathan Waddell, University of Birmingham

It may seem like the modernist painter and writer Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) and Kanye West (the rapper and onetime presidential hopeful now known as Ye) have little in common. But their stories are connected: both are known for making controversial statements about the Nazis.

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04Apr/23

The Pope Francis puffer coat was fake – here’s a history of real papal fashion

Carol Richardson, The University of Edinburgh

Before news of his hospitalisation for a respiratory infection this week, a fake image of Pope Francis wearing a Balenciaga-style white puffer jacket was posted to Reddit and Twitter. The image – created through AI programme Midjourney – had many viewers fooled into believing that the head of the Catholic church had dramatically updated his style.

As an art historian and an ecclesiastical historian, the image has fascinated me, not least in thinking about the rich history of papal fashion.

First of all, it caught my eye because it looks like shot silk (fabric made of silk woven from two or more colours producing an iridescent appearance). Intentionally or not, it’s a nice nod to the fascia, a sash worn by clerics over their cassocks.

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03Apr/23

AI will soon become impossible for humans to comprehend – the story of neural networks tells us why

David Beer, University of York

In 1956, during a year-long trip to London and in his early 20s, the mathematician and theoretical biologist Jack D. Cowan visited Wilfred Taylor and his strange new “learning machine”. On his arrival he was baffled by the “huge bank of apparatus” that confronted him. Cowan could only stand by and watch “the machine doing its thing”. The thing it appeared to be doing was performing an “associative memory scheme” – it seemed to be able to learn how to find connections and retrieve data.

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28Mar/23

ChatGPT struggles with Wordle puzzles, which says a lot about how it works

Michael G. Madden, University of Galway

The AI chatbot known as ChatGPT, developed by the company OpenAI, has caught the public’s attention and imagination. Some applications of the technology are truly impressive, such as its ability to summarise complex topics or to engage in long conversations.

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27Mar/23

How Black children in England’s schools are made to feel like the way they speak is wrong

Ian Cushing, Edge Hill University

Whiteness is an invention of the modern, colonial age. It refers to the racialisation of white people and the disproportionate privilege – social, linguistic, economic, political – that comes with this. Crucially, as an invention, whiteness is not innate – it is taught.

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24Mar/23

Women only gained access to the London Stock Exchange in 1973 – why did it take so long?

James Taylor, Lancaster University

On March 26 1973, the London Stock Exchange admitted its first female members. This followed years of resistance, with London trailing behind other smaller exchanges around the UK.

That women had been excluded for so long was not only due to institutional misogyny. Research has shown how finance was imagined in sexist terms for centuries. And despite the extraordinary accomplishments of prominent female figures over the past 50 years, these biased beliefs persist to this day.

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23Mar/23

Management lessons from Ted Lasso: the importance of clear goals and positive feedback

Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, University of Kent

Apple TV’s wildly successful comedy, Ted Lasso, has returned for a third series. The show’s well-meaning, if bumbling, American coach of fictional English football team AFC Richmond is known for his motivational speeches. Take this example from the first series:

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22Mar/23

Casey review: key steps the Met police must take to address its institutional racism and sexism

John Fox, University of Portsmouth

Baroness Louise Casey has found that London’s Metropolitan police force is institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. We heard similar 24 years ago when, after the incompetent investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Sir William MacPherson reported that the Met was institutionally racist.

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21Mar/23

Why are we so scared of clowns? Here’s what we’ve discovered

Sophie Scorey, University of South Wales; James Greville, University of South Wales; Philip Tyson, University of South Wales, and Shakiela Davies, University of South Wales

Are you scared of clowns? You are not alone. Coulrophobia, or the fear of clowns, is a widely acknowledged phenomenon. Studies indicate this fear is present among both adults and children in many different cultures. Yet it is not well understood due to a lack of focused research.

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