Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 10:03 am
(For our week dedicated to Robert Schumann, pianist Jonathan Biss defends this misunderstood composer in the first of three essays. Click the audio link above to hear him play Schumann and discuss the composer with Performance Today host Fred Child.)
This nighttime photograph taken from the International Space Station shows much of the Atlantic coast of the United States. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost can also be seen in the frame.
For all their variety and variation, cities are, at their root, physical systems. That means, at some fundamental level, they are also expressions of the laws of physics. In physics size matters (or "scale" as we call it). Physicists learn different things about an object by looking at it from different scales. In our first exploration of physics and cities we stayed at the street level. At that scale we saw cities as machines: cars and elevators, pipes and plumbing. Then we went up to the roof. At that scale we saw cities as engines, vast systems for turning energy into work.
In China's Anhui province, a worker unloads steel bars at a factory. A slowdown in China and other major nations threatens to pull the global economy into recession, the International Monetary Fund warns.
Saying that the global economic recovery "has suffered new setbacks, and uncertainty weighs heavily on the outlook," the International Monetary Fund today warned that the probability of "recession in advanced economies and a serious slowdown in emerging market and developing economies" next year have gone up.
The fund said its research indicates the risk of those things occurring in 2013 "has risen to about 17 percent, up from about 4 percent in April 2012."