What has happened on 2013-05-22 in this circle?
Check out the day before 2013-05-21
Circle has 220
members -- published 2013-05-22 with 104 participants and 367 postings
Statistics for 2013-05-22 -- 974 comments 611 reshares and 3763 +1's
Summer Milky Way and Reflection
For those of us in the Northern Hemipshere the bright, complex center of our Milky Way Galaxy rises highest in the night sky in the weeks close to the Summer solstice on June 22. Here's a shot from early July, captures high in the Ansel Adams Wilderness at an elevation of 10,000 feet.
The image was captured in July 2010 on a Canon 5D Mark II, on a moonless night.
Mono Lake Sunrise
I was shooting a time-lapse on this morning when the card filled (I had forgotten to format it). I changed the card but that created a small glitch in the timelapse.
Then the battery died! I changed that. To get the battery out I also had to take my Canon off of the tripod head using a Manfrotto quick release plate. It doesn't necessarily snap exactly back into place, so you also typically get a sudden jump in some direction of a few pixels.
Both happened during the peak sunrise color, so I couldn't simply make a video from before or after the glitch, I had the best light interrupted twice!
I did keep shooting though, so I have lots of still pictures from the morning, and this is how we learn. I'm a lot less likely to make those same mistakes now when I shoot.
Elementary Demonstrates the Right Way to Update a Classic Hero
I was genuinely surprised at how much I've enjoyed the entire first season of Elementary. I loved the BBC Sherlock, of course, and Elementary had the unfortunate luck to be released at roughly the same time.
If you've never tried watching it, give it a try.
Warning, this article is almost all spoilers, so only read it if you've already completed the first season.
Geek Question of the Day: I generally avoid politics and especially politicians, but even in fantasy and scifi it's hard to dodge them. That being said, fictional leaders are often way more inspirational than the ones in real life. Therefore tonights question is; What leader from science fiction or fantasy would you most like to see running your city or country? Why? #gqotd
A new study in Psychological Science examines what kinds of people tend to reject evidence for global warming.
Mythbusters help Chris Hadfield cook in space
How did find the time to fit this much awesome into his time in space? In addition to music videos, science and interviews, he did a cooking show - of sorts - with Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters.
Here's a tasty burrito you can make in space.
Inspired by this weekend's macro course, I brought my long lens back to Busey Woods and had another go at the local carpenter bees. I took about 400 photographs over 2 hours to net this shot.
Male bees- like this one- hover near females' nests waiting for an opportunity to mate. Kind of creepy, from a human perspective, but it makes carpenter bees one of the easier insects to photograph on the wing.
Today is Victoria Day aka the end of the May 2-4 weekend, so named because it occurs around May 24, and because here in Canada we call a case of beer a 2-4 (24 cans or bottles in a case).
We won't have a #MysteryMonday tonight because we're celebrating with family and friends, but I didn't forget all the MM g+niuses - I made you all some brownies!! Much more tasty than a rusty pole or dried mud (although perhaps that depends on your gustatory preferences and whether you have an iron deficiency....).
If enough people are interested, I'm happy to add in the recipe - but only if you like extremely rich, delicious, slightly gooey brownies. If you like the super dry, cakey ones, these are not for you.
Happy May 2-4 everyone!
Recipe - adapted from Alice Medrich, Bittersweet via Epicurious.com
preheat oven to 325 deg F
line an 8 in x 8 in baking dish with parchment paper
in a large microwave proof bowl, mix
10 T unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks) - cut into small pieces
1 1/4 C granulated sugar
3/4 C + 2 T high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
micowave 1.5-2 minutes, stirring every 30 s, until melted and well mixed - mixture should be hot - let cool until just warm (not hot)
stir in 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
stir in 2 large eggs, one at a time
mixture should be smooth and shiny now
add 1/2 C all-purpose flour, stir until completely incorporated, and then stir vigorously for 40 more strokes.
add nuts if desired (my kids are purists, so we don't add nuts, but you could throw 2/3 C walnut or pecan pieces if you are a nutty person)
spread mixture evenly into lined baking dish
cook in the middle of the oven for 30-35 minutes (tester should be mostly clean when it comes out, but with a bit of wonderful gooeyness; NB I use a glass baking dish - it may go faster if you use a thin metal dish)
let cool on rack
lift out of pan and put on cutting board. Cut as desired (NB: we cut them pretty small bcs these brownies are incredibly rich) and enjoy!!
FREE HOT SEX
With the new cramped text on G+, that's about the best way I can think of to tell you all that I've just re-released my old traditionally published backlist FOR FREE. And it has sex in it.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/318173 has all major ebook formats, including for Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, PDF, HTML, and plain text.
This is a full-length novel that has been through the publishing gatekeeper. It is professionally edited, and my editor and I just went over it again for extra brushing-up (although if you've read it before, nothing substantial has changed). It is a love story in a fantasy setting (no magic), told in first-person. More information can be found here: http://kimberlychapman.com/writing/soa.html I will also be updating Goodreads, which currently only lists the out-of-print version here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/355012.Sorrows_Of_Adoration and have posted some lovely reviews there.
Hopefully over the next several weeks it'll propagate out from Smashwords to other stores, although probably not Amazon. Amazon does not allow free ebooks other than for a few days per year if a book is otherwise enrolled in their KDP Select program, which requires exclusivity.
Unwilling to remain just another poor, country barmaid, Aenna leaves her life behind to save the life of a Prince she's never seen. But she finds more adventure than she bargained for as forbidden love pits her against powerful adversaries and exposes her to intrigues and dangers. Will love be enough to conquer the demons of jealousy, addiction, temptation, prejudice, and violence? Or will Aenna succumb to the increasing spiral of depression that threatens to steal her sanity?
This is one woman's honest portrayal of the sweetest and the darkest times of her life. Aenna reveals her deepest emotions, most private thoughts, and bold confessions as she tells the story of how she learns that romance isn't a fairy tale, but a heart-rending lesson of the sorrows of adoration.
If you like it and wish you could have paid me for it, feel free to buy a copy of "Finding Gaia". Multiple stores including Smashwords, Amazon, B&N, and more listed at http://findinggaia.com .
If you want a print version, speak up. With "Finding Gaia" there are hassles to a print version because of the lyrics permissions. With this, I'd just have to have enough folks who want to buy it to make it worth my time to pay my editor to format it for CreateSpace or Lulu or something. But if a few people say they're definitely interested, I'll do it.
TL;DR: WRITER HULK SMASH TROPES, MAKE FOR HOT SEX, YOU GO READ NOW, IT FREE.
#free #freeebook #freekindle #freenook #freebacklist
Here's Jack Owicki looking as happy as a cave spider at our last Belize insect course. That's a Paraphrynus tailless whip scorpion on his head- an impressive but harmless animal common in the local caves.
If you'd like to join us on our next insect nerd-cation, we still have a handful of spaces left for the September 22-29 course: http://bugshot.net/events/
Light Me Up
One of the properties of atoms and molecules is that they interact with light in an interesting way. If you heat up atoms or molecules in a gas, they will give off light. But they only give off light at specific wavelengths (colors).
The particular colors they emit depends on the type of atom or molecule it is. So one type of atom might give off red, orange and blue, while another might give off yellow and green. We can look at the full range of colors a particular atom emits, which is known as an emission spectrum. You can see an example of such a spectrum in the figure below (http://goo.gl/SCu5D).
If you put a cool gas in front of a light source you get what’s known as an absorption spectrum. Basically this looks like a full rainbow of colors with dark lines at particular wavelengths where the gas absorbs that color. The colors a cool gas absorbs are the same colors a hot gas emits.
Each type of atom or molecule as a specific emission spectrum. It’s kind of a chemical fingerprint that allows us to identify the type of atom or molecule makes it. This is particularly useful in astronomy, because when we observe a particular pattern in starlight we know a particular atom or molecule is in the star’s atmosphere. The spectra are also affected by things like temperature and magnetic fields, so we can learn lots of things about a star by looking at its spectra. The closest star to us is our Sun, so we can make very detailed observations of its spectra. One of the tales these spectra tell is a bit of a mystery.
The Sun’s atmosphere can be divided into the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. The photosphere is the layer where light is emitted from the sun. Within the photosphere we see an absorption spectrum This makes sense because we would expect the atmosphere of the Sun to get cooler at higher levels. The absorption spectrum means the upper layer of the photosphere is cooler than the lower layer.
One would expect the chromosphere to be cooler still, but within the chromosphere we see emission spectra. This means the chromosphere is actually hotter than the photosphere. At its lowest region the chromosphere is about 4,500 K, but at its upper region it is about 25,000 K. The corona is very diffuse, but its temperature is even higher, on the order of a few million Kelvin.
So what’s going on? Why is the upper region of the Sun’s atmosphere so much hotter than the lower region? We aren’t entirely sure, but we have a few ideas. A driving factor is that the solar atmosphere is a plasma. This means it interacts strongly with magnetic fields. The magnetic field lines of the Sun can be twisted by the motion of the plasma up to a point, but eventually snaps back into place, releasing energy. (I wrote about this in a post earlier this week: http://goo.gl/OFnSC). Another factor is that the chromosphere is very active with solar flares, prominences, etc., and the energy from these tends to heat the chromosphere.
What we aren’t entirely sure of is what mechanism causes the corona to become so extraordinarily hot. Plasma physics is complex, and we’re still figuring it out.
#sun #astrophysics #spectrum
We ant fanatics from North America are used to thinking of Monomorium as being small, drab, and generally unremarkable little insects. See, for example: http://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Taxonomic-List-of-Ant-Genera/Monomorium/9272009_Kzb89t#!i=619427321&k=kScnGZb
So we're always pleasantly surprised to discover that Monomorium elsewhere in the world can be downright gaudy. Here is the lovely Monomorium rubriceps from Australia.
Puzzle: what's the significance of the number
(It's easy to look this up online if you get stuck.)
The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry. Come see what I really think about SUSY, and why it's time to start hammering those nails into the coffin.
A humbling map of real-time wind patterns in Tornado Alley
"Wind Map" is a stunning interactive datavisualization that presents wind patterns across the continental U.S. in real time. Picture above is what it looked like last night at 10:59 CDT, in the aftermath of yesterday's devastating Oklahoma tornado."
Read more here from io9: http://goo.gl/L3VBM
Another capture from the carpenter bee photo session yesterday at Busey Woods. I love how Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 II lens blurs a forest backdrop into a soft, surreal scene.
More photos here: http://www.alexanderwild.com/Insects/Bees-Wasps-and-Sawflies/4230200_rM6tm2#!i=2525543699&k=SvkWnPM
Cannonball. Vat of mercury.
I mean, why wouldn't you drop the cannonball in?
The end of the world - Australia
These are the Nullabor Cliffs that stretch between Western and South Australia. Makes up most of the Great Australian Bight
A rather unexpected find while out mountain biking this past weekend (when all I had on me was my iPhone ... of course)!
A turtle (Trichemys scripta) that should not have been where it was ... RES ... not native to this area.
But very cute ... I have a soft spot for the turtles so few wouldn't give a second thought to.
Candace M Hansen
We've all had dumb jobs like that. It's de rigeur for the teen class. After all, teens are good for anything else are they? (It's actually been suggested to me that you are less of a person if you haven't worked one of these crappy low-wage jobs, as if wasting your talent and allowing yourself to be exploited should be a badge of honour.)
The Taklamakan Desert, surrounded by mountains to the north and south, is really quite amazingly deep. You can see it nicely in this image made by the CALIPSO satellite. There's almost a 4-kilometer drop when you descend from the Kunlun Shan mountains into this desert... and quite a rise to the north, too, when you hit the Tian Shan mountains.
CALIPSO stands for Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations. It's a French/American project to study clouds, dust and the like by shining a laser beam down to the Earth and measuring the amount that gets scattered back.
This technique is called lidar. The word 'lidar' was originally created by combining the words 'light' and 'radar'. However, everyone tends to assume this word is an acronym. So, people often spell it LIDAR - and then they had to come up with some words that this could be the acronym of! Since RADAR is an acronym for 'RAdio Detection And Ranging', some people say LIDAR is an acronym for 'LIght Detection And Ranging'... or 'Laser Imaging, Detection And Ranging'.
Hey, but nobody writes 'RADAR' in all capitals anymore: like 'laser', it's become an ordinary word! People are so confusing.
I got this picture from an article about how the Taklamakan Desert may affect the world's weather:
My plans for visiting the eastern edge of the Taklamakan Desert this August are firming up... more about that later!
OMG this is so cute- from a private share, I have to post public! look at it play!!!
Fantastic weather for a 3 hr flight around Denali Ina Cessna 206. Closest ill probably ever get to the summit.
Just wanted to pipe up and say I'll be getting there Thursday sometime (coming up from DC). If anyone has suggests on the best way from the Capitol to the con... all ears.
Is there some epic battle going on in the spam wars that I don't know about? In recent months, the volume of spam comments coming to my blog has increased dramatically, to the point where it is no longer possible to sift through it in case there is a genuine comment lurking there. That's annoying, but not strange in any way. But in the last week or two someone somewhere has worked out a way of getting past the usually excellent Akismet filter, and also past my own defences (that is, identifying a string that occurs in almost all the messages and blocking it). A typical message consists of jumbles of letters that don't even make words, and not enough links to fail to be published. But even that is not what I find odd, though it is very irritating to come back to my blog and find that all visible comments (which are usually replies to comments on old posts -- I could close the comments on those posts but would rather not unless forced) are nonsense. What is odd is that the volume of comments in my spam folder has gone from order of magnitude 100 a day down to pretty well zero. Also, the spam messages that get through come in short bursts rather than a steady trickle. It's this that gives me the impression that there is a battle of wits going on between the spammers and Akismet, but I haven't found anything about it on the web. Or do spammers take a holiday round this time of year?
>It was only a matter of time before President Obama and/or the government was blamed for the devastating tornado that ripped through Oklahoma.
Odonata a Day 1/365 (Second year!)
I thought I'd start out this new year with my accomplice and a damselfly. That's David, my son, studying a blue-ringed dancer damselfly (Argia sedula) at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Gilbert, Arizona.
#OdonataPoker ( )
#OdeADay ( )
Ok; I think this is a very clever idea - especially if solar or wind energy is used to recharge the "battery."
"Energy Storage On The Bottom Of The Ocean — New Pumped Hydroelectric Power Storage Design" http://feedly.com/k/17ZzXP5
It's hell in the girlfriend-zone!
#friendzoned #friendzone #friendzoneforever #niceguy
My TED video (cartoon w/ my voice-over) about my rain-tread hypothesis for why we get pruney fingers.
M13, the globular cluster in Hercules
Taken with a DLSR bolted onto a Baader Hyperion 36mm Aspheric lens on a Skywatcher 250px Dobsonian.
The image is 10 seconds at ISO 6400 and converted to black and white. It was taken before the end of twilight so the sky was very blue.
The comet tails on the stars are probably coma, a defect common in Newtonian telescopes. They could just be poor focusing by me. I'm not sure if I want to bother with getting a coma corrector. If I were serious about #astrophotography I wouldn't be using a dobsonian in the first place.
I am happy to see that my impulsively purchased and planted Clematis is flowering!! and twining nicely around the fence... I may need to buy more!
my father has amazing clematis gardens.
(Tue01) Curiosity drilling second rock target
This pair of images from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity shows the rock target "Cumberland" before and after Curiosity drilled into it to collect a sample for analysis. The diameter of the drilled hole is about 0.6 inch (1.6 centimeters). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland." more details - http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-168
#scienceeveryday #curiosity #mars
An artist honours the people and science of the CMS collaboration
"There’s a new splash of color at Point Five, the home of CMS detector on the Large Hadron Collider. Five vivid banners drape the gray walls of the complex, lending the warehouse a cathedral-like atmosphere. Arranged in a line, they pull the viewer’s gaze from panel to panel to land on a true-to-scale photo of the detector itself, magnificently displayed on the back…"
Read more: http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/may-2013/a-banner-day-at-the-lhc
(Tue03) Needs quotes from Hudson
Very creative 60 sec animation
NO FREAKING WAY.
Some thoughts on what Google is doing and where they are headed.
Not that I'm the biggest Apple fan in the world, but it's strange to me that Congress -- or, indeed, anyone -- would resent Apple for not deliberately paying more taxes than they must under the law. Who does?
If Congress really didn't like that behavior, they could write laws with fewer loopholes. But let's not kid ourselves: the loopholes are there on purpose, exactly so that rich companies can avoid paying taxes. More likely, the real cause of the outrage is that Apple didn't pay its
protection lobbying money, or something.
I'll believe Congress is serious about this when they make all companies pay their fair share. Until then, this story smells of BS.
"Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can’t even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that — that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth."
"When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago" -Nietzche
a random quote found today-I'll have to find the context. But anyways- I am tired. mentally, physically tired.
I wrote this!
Space will be made by you and me...
Star Trek Into Darkness: The Spoiler FAQ. "Look, you’re getting very upset, and this is just the first scene of the movie." http://io9.com/star-trek-into-darkness-the-spoiler-faq-508927844
Worth taking the time to read.
Here's a baby Tasmanian Devil
And although Tasmanian Devils have been dying from a very strange contagious cancer called "devil facial tumor disease" there's hope for this little one. A vaccine could be on the way. It's a fascinating story and breakthrough, and a recommended read especially if you are interested in immunology. Read more here:
I used to believe the human brain was limitless and incredibly amazing - but now I think it's just a mixed up jumble of wires that barely works.
meh.... still cool though
I think this finally puts to rest alternative explanations of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election: it was the final phase of a rolling coup by the clerical government, which is now exercising near-total control over the parallel and now-powerless civilian government.
This is the last phase of a trend which began in the 1980s. If we put Montazeri, Rafsanjani, and Khatami on a continuum, the trend is relatively clear:
By 1989, Montazeri -- who was a genuine moderate, and Khomeini original successor -- was outside the Guardian Council's acceptable range of political competition. He was singled out for public ridicule and lived out the rest of his life under house arrest.
By 2005, it was clear that neither Khatami nor any of his political affiliates would be permitted to stand for office. By the standards of the late 1980s, Khatami wasn't particularly moderate at all. But he was nonetheless banned.
Today, Rafsanjani was banned from the election. It's difficult to explain just how radical a move that is.
Rafsanjani was really never much of a moderate. He came up through the Revolutionary Guard, and -- although a pragmatist -- his power base is actually inside the clerical government. In the aftermath of the 2009 election, though, his family was targeted by the regime on trumped-up charges. Both his grandson and his daughter have served essentially-discretionary sentences for their support of opposition candidates.
As Ahamdinejad's designated successor has also been banned from the election, this pretty much rules out legitimate political competition -- the Iranian electorate has a choice between handpicked clerical candidates or uprising.
Keep telling myself, it will look wonderful when it's finished
Opportunity is very much on the move now, routinely covering about 100 meters per drive. At this rate, it won't be long before she becomes the most-traveled extraterrestrial land vehicle in history. I estimate roughly two or three weeks, so be thinking about what food you're going to have at your party.
It is humbling to reflect that we're only now breaking those 40-year-old records, though, set by the likes of the Apollo rovers and the Soviet moon rover Lunokhod 2 -- records that were already 30 years old when we started the process of breaking them. Still, I'll take "late" over "never."
RNA was a key ingredient in primordial soup that led to life
According to scientists, after billions of years during the Earth’s formation, the first living molecule formed in the newly cooled oceans between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago. Today, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology are going back to the Archean Eon to discover the key ingredients that allowed life to form.
The team of researchers re-created predicted conditions on Earth that took place 3 billion years ago in effort to discover if RNA and iron were the perfect concoction to be the makers of life.
Today RNA, the sister molecule of DNA, is most known for being the messenger of genetic code. On the other hand, since the discovery of ribozymes in the 1980s—a RNA molecule capable of preforming actions similar to protein enzymes—scientists have been speculating if the molecule has been just strictly a messenger throughout Earth’s history. After the discovery of ribozymes, scientists, began to theorize whether or not Earth’s oxygen-free composition, mixed with the overabundance of iron may have been the perfect combination for RNA to spark life.
Now with a world flowing with oxygen, magnesium ions help fulfill the role of providing an essential element to life. However, when the researchers re-created Earth’s oxygen-free environment, they were not able to get a reaction while using a select set of RNA molecules and magnesium ions. When they used the same set of RNA molecules and iron ions an electron was transferred.
“Our study shows that when RNA teams up with iron in an oxygen-free environment, RNA displays the powerful ability to catalyze single electron transfer, a process involved in the most sophisticated biochemistry, yet previously uncharacterized for RNA,” said Loren Williams, a Georgia Tech biochemist.
Billions of years ago, the oceans were swarming with the abundance of iron and other metals. About 2.7 billion years ago, the chemistry in the oceans began to change as cyanobacteria began to product oxygen through photosynthesis. The iron began to percolate out of the oceans; evidence of this event can be found in the metallic rock formations known as “banded rock.” The changes in oxygen may have caused the fold in RNA and from iron to magnesium, as the element became more toxic with the increased oxygen levels. According to Robert Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, this time period was a mile-maker in evolution because it alludes to the idea that RNA was at the core of biology to be replaced by proteins.
The information found in this recent study may lead to a stream of knowledge regarding how life develops on other planets in the universe. Next, the Georgia team plans on exploring RNA’s potential abilities with iron including more research on electron transfer and oxygen-reduction reactions.
What's a word for "definitive piece of evidence" other than the painfully cliche "smoking gun?"
Here's something many non-scientists don't get: the climate is non-linear.
Consider this passage: "Arctic sea ice is melting much, much faster than even the best climate models had projected. The reason is most likely unmodeled amplifying feedbacks."
Those "unmodeled amplifying feedbacks" are the system-wide feedback loops. We need to develop better qualitative systems models before we code them up as quantitative mathematical models. So long as we don't account for those feedback loops - that are all multipliers - climate models will underestimate the impact of #climatechange.
3D Stand Mixer Cookies
Look at what hath wrought!
Also: she's certifiably insane with Toby. I heart Jasmin so much!
This ties in with my bent cookies from earlier this week (https://plus.google.com/u/0/108316670838828910396/posts/RpER3mJH71Q) insofar as some of you were asking about making 3D cookie works in there. Clearly there's something funky in the Austin water for the creative food blogger/baker types...and I like it!
Because laminar flow is non-chaotic (unlike turbulent flow), when the flow is reversed, the initial conditions are re-established. Pretty cool.
More info and video here: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/08/born-to-be-viral-how-to-unmix-a-mixed-fluid.html
Paul T Morrison
So, what is this "auto-awesome" thing and how do I do it?
still trying to get motivated.... I did try
5 minutes at a time.....
I still would have preferred virtue, but I guess this will do - for now.
The Copyright Cartel has sent fraudulent takedown notices to Google, in what appears to be an attempt to stop you from finding a brilliant film about the movie studios' often-slimy campaign against the Pirate Bay. Here's my small effort to help everyone find what they want to hide.
I rarely ask you to do this, but I'd appreciate it if you'd share this widely.
For more on the cartel's tactics, here's a short explainer from BoingBoing: http://boingboing.net/2013/05/20/movie-studios-send-fraudulent.html
"Some Predictions about computers that didn't come true"
I'm currently going through "Computer Science Illuminated" by Dale and Lewis and it's a really nice book (echo "Blog about book" >> todolist). At the very beginning there's a collection of quotes about computers that are pretty cool (some of which I'd seen before, others were new to me):
- "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chair of IBM, 1943
- "Where.. the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and weigh only 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
- "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year" - The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
- "But what... is it good for?" - Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems division of IBM, commenting on the microchip, 1968
- "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olsen, president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
- "$100 million is way too much to pay for Microsoft." - IBM, 1982
- "I predict the Internet ... will go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." - Bob Metcalfe, 3Com founder and inventor, 1995
- "Folks, the Mac platform is through - totally" - John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine, 1998
Analysis of fire ant digging behavior may one day help build a better subterranean search-and-rescue robot.
[+] Webb Space Telescope in Motion [+]
So I took a lot of photos of the model of the while at #sxsw2013 a few months back. Now with the new ability to use Motion with photos, I'm uploading a lot of the random photos I had in order to make some really neat animations from my time there!
The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space telescope, and is slated to launch in 2018. This full-scale model is 4 stories tall and has the area of a tennis court. It'll be collecting light in the infrared, which is why the hexagonal mirrors will have an extremely thin coating of gold, which is highly reflective of infrared light. This amazing telescope will be positioned at the Lagrangian 2 point in space, far further than we'll be able to send any astronauts to do repairs on it. For this reason, so much strenuous testing is being done on the telescope before its launch!
#ScienceEveryday #WebbTelescope #JWST #SXSW #MotionPhoto #NASA #STScI
All the people now going up on Everest have created traffic jams and trash problems.
Oh well, maybe some future archaeologists will find a primitive climber wrapped in elastic plastic someday. They sure ain't gonna git him from an ice sheet! ;D
"Trudging nose to butt up the ropes that had been fixed to the steep slope, Panuru and I were wedged between strangers above us and below us. The day before, at Camp III, our team had been part of a small group. But when we woke up this morning, we were stunned to see an endless line of climbers passing near our tents."
"Now, bumper to bumper at 27,000 feet, we were forced to move at exactly the same speed as everyone else, regardless of strength or ability. In the swirling darkness before midnight, I gazed up at the string of lights, climbers’ headlamps, rising into the black sky. Above me were more than a hundred slow-moving climbers. In one rocky section at least 20 people were attached to a single ratty rope anchored by a single badly bent picket pounded into the ice. If the picket popped, the rope or carabiner would instantly snap from the weight of two dozen falling climbers, and they would all cartwheel down the face to their death..."
Extreme Solar Storm Could Cause Widespread Disruptions on Earth
If an extreme solar storm aimed at the Earth hits in just the right way, it could put interconnected electrical grids around the world at serious risk, experts say.
In addition to creating beautiful auroras, extreme solar storms could knock out a wide range of electric utilities needed to keep life in the United States and around the world functioning normally, according to presenters here at the fourth annual Electrical Infrastructure Security Summit.
Read more : http://urlc.fr/gWKSJv
A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT.
Pretty sure I could eliminate all human disagreement by freely re-defining words.
Did you see the new Space Hustle movie? http://amultiverse.com/2013/05/20/space-hustle-into-darkness/
The Organ Fountains from the Fishponds at Villa d’Este
You know how creationists pretend evolution conflicts with the Second Law of Thermodynamics? This has got to be the most definitive slam-dunk response to that hoary old notion ever.
Not that they'll read it, of course -- or understand it even if they did. But I love knowing it's there.
A few birds have been visiting- I am so glad the catbirds are back- they are so silly! and the bluejays are getting bolder- they love the peanuts that fall from the peanut feeder.
New theory offers clues to vital 'repair and maintenance' role of sleep
the biological function of sleep is to allow for vital 'repair and maintenance' of the cells in our brain, so called neurons.
Eddie Braben has died. This sketch what he wrote still makes me laugh. Morecambe and Wise with Andre
I can never get enough of Murkin and his foster kittens!
(Tue02)Not to be outdone by Detroit's RoboCop statue
Wolverine is arguably the most famous Albertan around the world and this statue would be a major boon for tourism in the city.
What started as a joke has gained some momentum. Would you go see a 1000 foot tall homage to The Wolverine? I wonder if would cut the ribbon.
#glass #paranoia .
\\Haters be hating.
>No, the biggest obstacle is the smugness of people who wear Glass—and the deep discomfort of everyone who doesn't.
>For a year now Google employees and celebrities have been allowed to wear Glass. But when I ran into a Google employee wearing it in public and had a conversation with her, the interaction was screamingly uncomfortable.
>There she was, wearing this creepy-looking, faux-futuristic forehead band—with a built-in video camera pointed at my face. For all I knew, it was recording me. (A little “recording” light is supposed to come on when Glass is recording. But this Googler was wearing an engineering sample, not the finished product. Besides, it'll probably take about a day for someone to come up with a recording app that doesn't activate the light.)
NASA is funding a 3D food printer, and it'll start with pizza
NASA is funding research into 3D-printed food. As Quartz reveals, Mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor received a $125,000 grant from the agency to build a prototype 3D printer with the aim of automating food creation. It's hoped the system could provide astronauts food during long-distance space travel, but its creator has the loftier aim of solving the increasing food shortages around the world by cutting down on waste. The software for the printer will be open-source, while the hardware is based on the open-source RepRap Mendel 3D printer.
I'm looking for a Google Voice ninja who can answer some questions.
Primarily I'm wondering about a situation where one has a phone that isn't on any calling or data plan, but can do wifi and access the internet through a web browser when connected. Would it be possible to use GVoice in that case, and what would be the possibilities and limitations? Obviously phone calls wouldn't be possible, but what about using it as a "texting" service? Could someone send you a text to your GVoice #, and then you see your messages when you login via web browser? And could you respond with text that same way? Or, what if the phone were a smartphone, but again no phone calling or data plan, only being used on wifi but now has the potential to use the GVoice app, GMail, etc., when connected to wifi. Anyone using GVoice in a manner like this?
Also wondering about the possibilities with the new G+/Gmail "hangouts" app just released a few days ago - What are the possibilities/limitations?
Yes, We Give SNS Tours!
image: ORNL News
Here is another image of ballet dancer Elena Tsikitikou in designs by Tara Byakko.
More of my portfolio can be seen here:
#fashion #fashionphotography #model #female #tarabyakko #couture #couturefashion #balletdancer
Tracing the roots of human morality in animals
WHERE does morality come from?
Your Bleeding Heart
A musical interlude
Marc Broussard - Bleeding Heart
You're my affliction
You say to leave you alone
You're a contradiction
A flower growing in stone
Your pressure seems so high
I'm starting to wonder why it is
Listen, now is it so hard
to let a little bit go
Trying to hide the battle scars
but they're starting to show
Beating me like a drum
making me wanna run from you
But your bleeding heart
is gonna hurt you
Your bleeding heart
is gonna wear you down
You better say goodbye
or stop the madness
of your bleeding heart
Oh, of your bleeding heart
Can you slow down
Take a second to breathe
You wanna burn it to the ground
but you're burnin' me
Do you like to feel the pain
cause you think I'm always taking aim at you
But your bleeding heart
is gonna hurt you
Your bleeding heart
is gonna wear you down
You better say goodbye
or stop the madness
of your bleeding heart
Oh, of your bleeding heart
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Now let me be straight with you
You look cute when you're mad
But I'm gettin' black and blue
Haven't been that bad
It don't have to be this way
Do I always have to pay for everything
But your bleeding heart
is gonna hurt you
Your bleeding heart
is gonna wear you down
You better say goodbye
or stop the madness
of your bleeding heart
Oh, of your bleeding heart
#RaceAgainstTheMachine #TechnologicalUnemployment .#Watson.
>According to IBM, close to two-thirds of the 135 billion unresolved calls each year could have been resolved with better access to information, the search for which consumes six to eight minutes per call, on average. At each of the companies testing out Watson, the computer will be fed loads of product information from closely held databases such as catalogs, training manuals, product disclosures, terms and conditions, emails, customer forums, and call center logs, as well as publicly available feeds and reviews from places like Amazon, Yelp, Trip Advisor and technical support communities. In IBM’s tests using its own call centers and proprietary data, Watson delivered a 40% reduction in search time for information. “Watson pulls up stuff that an agent wouldn’t because it is looking for semantic links, not just doing text-matching based on keywords,” says Manoj Saxena, general manager of IBM Watson Solutions.
Biomarker trio predicts near-term heart risk
Cardiologists have identified a trio of biomarkers that may predict which patients with heart disease have a high risk of heart attack or death in the next two years.
The three biomarkers are:
CRP (C-reactive protein), an indicator of inflammation
HSP70 (heat shock protein 70), an indicator of cellular stress
FDP (fibrin degradation products), an indicator of blood clotting activity
"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent. "
Officially Entering “And Then They Fight” Phase of #OpenAccess
A toddler wearing Google Glass. This is pretty cute, although when a kid wanders into your room at 5am it probably would not be good if your reaction is on video.
(Tue05) What are you doing Thursday? Cassini is just going to try and catch some waves on Titan
Are there waves on Titan’s lakes and seas? Our best chance of answering this question is with the May 23 flyby of Titan, when the Cassini spacecraft passes over the northern sea named Ligeia Mare. The altimetry data that will be collected by the radar instrument could show whether the surface of that sea is thick like molasses or as thin as liquid water on earth.
In addition, radar will look for changes in small northern lakes last observed in the T-16 and T-19 flybys.
flyby page - http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/flybys/titan20130523/
Cassini has revealed that Titan's surface is shaped by rivers and lakes of liquid ethane and methane (the main component of natural gas), which forms clouds and occasionally rains from the sky as water does on Earth. Winds sculpt vast regions of dark, hydrocarbon-rich dunes that girdle the moon's equator and low latitudes. Volcanism may occur as well, but with liquid water as the lava.
more on Titan - http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/index.cfm?SciencePageID=73
#scienceeveryday #cassini #titan
50,000 Subs Today!
I've had my YouTube channel for 7 years now and it's been a real ride. Today it passed a milestone: 50,000 subscribers. It's very humbling. Thank you all!
It can be pretty surprising when you calculate something real valued and you get almost but not quite an integer. One of the best examples is Ramanujan's constant, exp(pi*sqrt(163)) .
I came across another one today.
It's well know that the harmonic series 1+1/2+1/3+1/4+1/5+... doesn't converge .
You can show that the alternating series 1-1/2+1/3-1/4+1/5+... does converge.
What happens if we pick the sign before each term at random with a 0.5 chance of picking plus or minus?
Then the series converges with probability 1 and there is a probability distribution function (PDF) for the sum. At values 2 and -2 the PDF takes a value that is almost but not quite 1/8: 0.124999999999999999999999999999999999999999764…
This is closely related to the Borwein integrals  which give another nice example of something almost but not quite equalling a well known constant. (There's a great story about that integral but I've no room to write it here...)
"Modeling self-sustained activity cascades in socio-technical networks" The latest by
One of the most popular MOOCs from the other side (the instructor.)
Enrichment therapy effective among children with autism
Children with autism showed significant improvement after six months of simple sensory exercises at home using everyday items such as scents, spoons and sponges, according to UC Irvine neurobiologists.
Northern hemisphere losing last dry snow region
A new study shows summer melt events on the Greenland Ice Sheet are increasing in frequency due to rising temperatures.
Last July, something unprecedented in the 34-year satellite record happened: 98 percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet's surface melted, compared to roughly 50 percent during an average summer. Snow that usually stays frozen and dry turned wet with melt water. Research led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences now shows last summer's extreme melt could soon be the new normal.
"Greenland is warming rapidly, and such ice-sheet-wide, surface-melt events will occur more frequently over the next couple of decades," said Dan McGrath, a University of Colorado Boulder doctoral student who works at CIRES. McGrath is lead author of a paper published online May 20 in Geophysical Research Letters and which reports a significant warming trend on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
McGrath and his coauthors calculate that by 2025 ice-sheet-wide melt events will have a 50 percent chance of occurring each year. That would signal the loss of the last major dry-snow zone—regions where the snow stays almost perpetually frozen—in the Northern Hemisphere, McGrath said.
In the study, the researchers used air and snow temperature data from meteorological stations and boreholes to generate a 60-year record of air temperatures at the Summit research station, the highest and coldest station on the ice sheet.
From 1982 to 2011, near-surface temperatures increased by an average of 0.16 degrees Fahrenheit every year. "This is six times faster than the global average," McGrath said.
The warming at Summit is also accelerating. From 1950 to 2011, the average rate of warming was 0.04 degrees F per year. But from 1992 to 2011, that number jumped to 0.22 degrees F per year.
The warming has had a dramatic effect on the ice sheet's structure, the scientists report. The ice sheet's ablation zone—the lower parts that lose more snow and ice each year than they accumulate—is expanding up the ice sheet by about 145 feet per year.
"This increases the area over which the ice sheet sheds mass while shrinking the zone that gains mass," McGrath said. "That will have an obvious impact on the ice sheet's mass balance."
Additionally, the dry-snow line—above which the snow doesn't melt—is migrating up the ice sheet by about 115 feet per year. "These zones are indicators of the health of the ice sheet," McGrath said. "And the changes we are observing are an early but important sign that the ice sheet is in transition."
The changes could increase the amount of solar radiation the ice sheet absorbs—since wet snow reflects less sunlight than dry snow—increasing the melt rate as well. It also could potentially speed up the ice sheet's flow, though more work needs to be done to untangle these impacts.
These findings are supported by results from other researchers who have found that the ice sheet is losing more than 275 billion tons of ice per year—equivalent to the weight of 750,000 Empire State Buildings. "This imbalance is making a significant contribution to sea-level rise," McGrath said.
The summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet has experienced surface melt in the past, McGrath says. But the melt events in the past were rare, happening once every century or two —in fact, only eight times in the last 1,500 years—the exception rather than the norm. Now the norm is shifting toward a new, slushy set point.
"Progressive increases in surface melt have occurred throughout the satellite record, but the last decade has been exceptional," McGrath said. "If each of these events keeps being so far above the average, the average will change to reflect that."
The scientists' findings come at a time when Arctic sea ice extent is also at record lows. "Ice-sheet-wide melting coupled with the loss of Arctic sea ice points to profound changes occurring to the Arctic climate system," McGrath said. "These are not small, insignificant events we're witnessing."
Auto Backup Problems
Having no luck at all with the auto backup feature on my Moto Droid2Global. It has been acting up for at least the past 2 months. About 1 in 10 of my pics/vids are getting backed up; the rest ignored. I've even tried the "back up now" feature to force it, but it still doesn't upload the photos in my "camera" folder on my phone. I've checked all the settings 3-4 times: sync is on, auto backup is on, photo size is set, settings for wifi/mobile data connection set for both pics and vids, charging only setting adjusted, etc. etc. Nothing works! Managed to get a few of my vids uploaded yesterday by the "back up now" feature, but only ~10 out of ~170 pics/vids made it. Tried it again this morning with a smaller set of the pics, and nothing.
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