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The Universe, Creativity and You (August 3rd seminar)

This photo shows a three colour composite of the well-known Crab Nebula (also known as Messier 1), as observed with the FORS2 instrument in imaging mode in the morning of November 10, 1999. It is the remnant of a supernova explosion at a distance of about 6,000 light-years, observed almost 1,000 years ago, in the year 1054. It contains a neutron star near its centre that spins 30 times per second around its axis (see below). In this picture, the green light is predominantly produced by hydrogen emission from material ejected by the star that exploded. The blue light is predominantly emitted by very high-energy ("relativistic") electrons that spiral in a large-scale magnetic field (so-called synchrotron emission). It is believed that these electrons are continuously accelerated and ejected by the rapidly spinning neutron star at the centre of the nebula and which is the remnant core of the exploded star. This pulsar has been identified with the lower/right of the two close stars near the geometric centre of the nebula, immediately left of the small arc-like feature, best seen in ESO Press Photo eso9948. Technical information: ESO Press Photo eso9948 is based on a composite of three images taken through three different optical filters: B (429 nm; FWHM 88 nm; 5 min; here rendered as blue), R (657 nm; FWHM 150 nm; 1 min; green) and S II (673 nm; FWHM 6 nm; 5 min; red) during periods of 0.65 arcsec (R, S II) and 0.80 (B) seeing, respectively. The field shown measures 6.8 x 6.8 arcminutes and the images were recorded in frames of 2048 x 2048 pixels, each measuring 0.2 arcseconds. North is up; East is left.   #L

Do we live in a world of scarcity and limits? Or do we live in a world of creative potential? Is humanity a closed system or an open system?

This question has animated the thinking of scientists and philosophers for thousands of years and strikes at the very heart of the nature of humanity and the essential character of the Universe our species was born into.

During the symposium held on August 3rd at Montreal’s Concordia University, several presentations were given to provide thought provoking information designed to kindle the flames of philosophical thought, and scientific wonder for all ages.

Rising Tide Foundation co-founder Matthew Ehret presents the opening remarks on the theme of a seminar held at Montreal’s Concordia University on August 3, 2019 titled “The Universe, Creativity and You”.
In this first presentation at the Rising Tide Foundation’s Aug. 3rd Symposium “The Universe, Creativity and You”, Rising Tide director Cynthia Chung posed the question “is there a necessity- both moral, creative and physical for humanity’s search for meaning and causality in the stars?” Cynthia guided the viewers through an investigation of the incredible advances of Chinese astronomy which recorded the appearance of the Crab Nebula in the 12th century, whose light photons finally made their appearance on Earth after a 6000 year journey and forever changed our conception of space and time. The role of Chinese space science today is guiding the world into a new paradigm and this appreciation of the deeper currents of it’s history are very much worth discovering.
In this 2nd presentation featured at the Rising Tide Foundation event “The Universe, Creativity and You”, Matthew Ehret discusses the importance of cultural optimism which can best be inspired by the exploration of space as initiated by John F. Kennedy’s Apollo program. We review the collapse of that pro-science paradigm with the death of JFK and his space program and the conversion of society into a consumer society now sitting atop a global derivatives bubble. We also explore the revival of that lost paradigm led by China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the new embrace of a long term space strategy with NASA’s Artemis project, as well as initiatives driven by Russia, India and China.
Presentation 3: The role of the atom. If human activity moves into plantary bodies, the distances are daunting and challenges manifold. What type of energy sources will be needed to support a species capable of making journies to Mars or beyond? What sort of energy sources would open up new avenues of creativity on earth at the same time? Chemical fuel and gas/oil won’t cut it for the long haul, but what about the atom? Why are people so afraid of atomic power (fission and fusion)?

Biography of the lecturers

Cuautemoc Reale-Hernandez

Cuatemoc Reale-Hernandez is a nuclear engineer working on a lead-cooled SMR (small modular reactor) that is intended to be deployed in the canadian arctic ( He is currently pursuing his Phd at McMaster University and holds a Bachelors in engineering physics at école polytechnique

Matthew Ehret

Matthew is a journalist and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation. He has published scientific articles with 21st Century Science and Technology, and is a regular author on several political/cultural websites including Los Angeles Review of Books: China Channel, Strategic Culture, and Oriental Review. He has also authored three books from the series the Untold History of Canada.

Cynthia Chung

Cynthia is a lecturer, writer and co-founder of the Rising Tide Foundation. She has lectured on the topics of Schiller’s aesthetics, Shakespeare’s tragedies, Renaissance architecture and more. She is a classically trained pianist who has experience in leading choral works. Cynthia holds a BSc in Molecular Genetics.


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