15 Things Every Coffee Drinker Should Know
15 Things Every Coffee Drinker Should Know
flaming slow motion tennis
here you go: physics porn
This is how the Fire Nation plays tennis.
According to chemistry, alcohol IS a solution.
Actually alcohol is an organic compound with a hydroxyl group.
Sheldon would be so proud.
Who says Physics can’t be romantic? This is what I’ve made for my Physics lab partner (also known as my boyfriend of seven months) this Valentine’s Day.
Perspective Is Everything
Nature has provided man with artistic inspiration from the first cave paintings to the most contemporary abstractions.
Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield is daily assembling his own gallery of artistic inspirations, armed with a camera in his seat aboard the International Space Station. Col. Hadfield’s Tumblr and Twitter feed are a simply stunning collection of Earth as art, and I highly recommend losing yourself in them for as long as you can. Very few people will ever get to see Earth from that perspective, but I was curious how scenes of Earth from orbit might overlap with terrestrial art. Are these a sign of inspirations yet to come, as we gain more appreciation for our planet from above it?
- Boston at night vs. bursting fireworks
- Dripping reds and blues of the Australian outback vs. Reflections by my friend Kiah Denson
- The Etosha Pan of Africa vs. Jackson Pollock’s Gothic 1944
I doubt we’ll ever replicate the full splendor of nature in any medium. Even the most talented human hands still make little more than drugstore postcards attempting to capture the true beauty of a salty seaside sunset. But perhaps by altering our perspective on that which we are trying to capture, we can come ever closer.
Nudibranchs David Doubilet
A nudibranch is a member of Nudibranchia, a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod mollusks which shed their shell after their larval stage. They are noted for their often extraordinary colors and striking forms. There are more than 3,000 described species of nudibranchs. The word “nudibranch” comes from the Latin nudus, naked, and the Greek βραγχια, brankhia, gills. [via]
37 years ago today, the world lost one of its greatest minds.
Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist, Nobel Laureate (1932) and total badass. Along with Max Born and Pascual Jordan, he developed the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925 - one of the most important advancements in the history of physics. However, in 1927 he published an equally, if not more, influential concept - the uncertainty principle, which asserts that there is a fundamental limit to the precision with certain pairs of physical properties of any given particle may be known, most famously momentum and position. Essentially, the more precisely one of the pairs is known - the less so for the other.
But Heisenberg’s genius didn’t stop here, he also made influential contributions to the theories of the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism and was a key member of the development of the first West German nuclear reactor. Following his controversial nuclear research during World War II, he was appointed director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, which was soon thereafter renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics.
“Natural science, does not simply describe and explain nature; it is part of the interplay between nature and ourselves.” - Werner Heisenberg
HOW CAN I PUT THIS ON MY IPOD?!?!?!?!
I’M DONE WITH THE INTERNET
THIS SONG IS MUSE
THIS SONG IS BY MUSE GUYS THIS SONG IS BY MUSE
I’LL FIND IT. I HAVE IT. I OWN IT.
by Adam Cole
English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare “that his drama is the mirror of life.” Now the Bard’s words have been translated into life’s most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.
It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from theEuropean Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.
Their institute manages a huge database of genetic information: thousands and thousands of genes from humans and corn and pufferfish. That data — and all the hard drives and the electricity used to power them — is getting pretty expensive.
“The data we’re being asked to be guardians of is growing exponentially,” Goldman says. “But our budgets are not growing exponentially.”
It’s a problem faced by many large companies with expanding archives. Luckily, the solution was right in front of the researchers — they worked with it every day.
“We realized that DNA itself is a really efficient way of storing information,” Goldman says.
DNA is nature’s hard drive, a permanent record of genetic information written in a chemical language. There are just four letters in DNA’s alphabet — the four nucleotides commonly abbreviated as A, C, G and T.
When these letters are arranged in different ways, they spell out different instructions for our cells. Some 3 billion of those letters make up the human genome — the entire instruction manual for our existence. And all that information is stuffed into each cell in our bodies. DNA is millions of times more compact than the hard drive in your computer.
The challenge before Goldman and his colleagues was to make DNA store a digital file instead of genetic information.
“So over a second beer, we started to write on napkins and sketch out some details of how that might be made to work,” Goldman says.
They started with a text file of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. In the computer’s most basic language, it existed as a series of zeroes and ones. With a simple cipher, the scientists translated these zeroes and ones into the letters of DNA.
And then they did the same for the rest of Shakespeare’s sonnets, an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and a picture of their office. They sent that code off to Agilent Technologies, a biotech company. Agilent synthesized the DNA and mailed it back to Goldman.
“My first reaction was that they hadn’t done it properly, because they sent me these little tiny test tubes that were quite clearly empty,” Goldman says.
But the DNA was there — tiny specks at the bottom of the tubes. To read the sonnets, they simply sequenced the DNA and ran their cipher backward. All the files were 100 percent intact and accurate.
They published their results in the journal Nature, joining other groups who have experimented with DNA storage. George Church, a geneticist at Harvard who helped start the Human Genome Project, encoded an HTML file of his latest book into DNA earlier this year.
Goldman and Birney’s method included greater redundancies and overlapping stretches of DNA to prevent against errors. They say the process would be easy to scale up.
If you took everything human beings have ever written — an estimated 50 billion megabytes of text — and stored it in DNA, that DNA would still weigh less than a granola bar.
“There’s no problem with holding a lot of information in DNA,” Goldman says. “The problem is paying for doing that.”
Agilent waived the cost of DNA synthesis for this project, but the researchers estimate it would normally cost about $12,400 per megabyte.
“It’s an unthinkably large amount of money … at the moment,” Goldman says.
Goldman and other scientists who are dabbling in DNA storage know that DNA synthesis costs are dropping rapidly. In a decade or so, they say it may be more cost effective for large companies to keep a DNA archive than to maintain and update a roomful of hard drives.
This is the coolest thing I’ve ever read.
Billions and Billions
Click this link and you’ll be taken to a 24,000 x 14,000 pixel zoomable image of a central region of the Milky Way galaxy. I’m guessing it probably won’t work if you’re reading this on your phone. It was put together by Stéphane Guisard at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.
Within this image, should you zoom down (as I have done in the photos above), you will find millions of stars. Millions. Not to mention clouds of nebular gas, dark and light. And all of this from an area of the sky about the same size as two outstretched hands. That leaves a lot of stars unseen, here a mere fraction of the infinite gleam.
When you’re done examining this particular region of the Milky Way, check out ESO’s Gigagalaxy Zoom for more interstellar mind travel. While you’re out journeying on your cosmic imagination quest, squinting against the starshine of these hundreds of billions of points of light that make up our galactic neighborhood, remember not to feel small. Feel tall, because we are the ones who built the tools to capture them all.
(via Bad Astronomy)
What happens to boiling water in freezing air?
Actually it’s not evaporating. It’s deposing into a solid. The hot water becomes a solid as soon as it hits the freezing air and forms a shower of tiny ice crystals. Source.
CSA video of bizarre motion of my wristwatch, on of the first things that struck me when I got to orbit. Like it was alive on my wrist.
So weird looking. I love it.
Follow Chris Hadfield’s blog! It’s super cool.