December 7, 2023

Deep Space Signals, the Far Side of the Moon, and More—In the News 1/8/19

Author: The Great Courses
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In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand the full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories for the week of January 8, 2019, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Deep Space Signals
Mysterious radio signals emanating from a distant galaxy were picked up by a telescope in Canada. So far, scientists have detected about 60 single, fast radio bursts and two that repeat. Dive into the history of radio astronomy, the study of radio waves that allow us to see beyond the interstellar dust that limits our vision, opening our “eyes” to a universe we had never imagined.

Government Shutdown Affects Credit
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who are not receiving paychecks, another concern of the ongoing government shutdown came as Fitch warned that the US credit rating may be downgraded for only the 2nd time in history. Take a close look at the inner workings of credit analysis.

The Facebook Cult
Ex-employees of the social-media giant Facebook recently revealed the environment at the company is more of a cult than a culture. Complaints range from “required” socializing to mandatory happy attitudes. You can create an organically happy environment with just a few simple changes. Find out how to build an environment of psychological safety, curiosity, and creativity, which will inspire all employees to learn, grow, and thrive.

Cracking Cold Cases
DNA and genetic genealogy helped make 2018 the year for cracking cold cases, with unsolved mysteries dating back to 1986 finding resolution. The motives behind crimes haven’t changed, but the methods and technologies used to solve them have. Look at the history of three essential tools of forensic science that have revolutionized our ability to analyze and compare evidence and help bring criminals to well-deserved justice.

The Dark Side of the Moon
China lunar rover touches down on far side of the moon, a huge milestone for the nation as it attempts to position itself as a leading space power. Dig into existing knowledge about our Moon, a heavily-cratered world with extensive lava-filled basins on the Earth-facing side and yet few such features on the far side—which is not perpetually dark.

Most In-Demand Skills of 2019
LinkedIn put out a list of the most in-demand skills on job postings for 2019 and topping that list is “Creativity.” What, exactly, is creativity? Take a closer look at what makes a creative person as you explore ancient ideas about creativity (including the muses of the ancient Greeks); debunk common myths about the sources of creativity; and examine how play, passion, practice, and purpose can enhance your own creative thinking.

New Information About Alzheimer’s
A recent study revealed a biological clue that could help explain why African-Americans appear to be more vulnerable than white Americans to Alzheimer’s disease. Delve into the history, symptoms, and palliative treatments, as well as the current state of Alzheimer’s research.

Truth Through Teeth
A rare blue pigment found in medieval woman’s teeth rewrites history, suggesting the woman was painting with a rare and expensive pigment, which challenges several common concepts we have about women of this time. Long marginalized by political and military history, women’s history is one of the fastest growing fields in medieval studies. Look at what we’ve come to learn and believe so far.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.

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