There is literally no downside to renewable energy

Posted: 8 months ago.

Posted: 8 months ago.

(Source: yeah-yougotme, via ghostsandstrangers)

Vsauce - Why Are Things Creepy?


Sculptures by Quentin Garel

About the work:

Paris based sculptor Quentin Garel’s bronze sculptures constantly encourage questions. Are they actual fossils? Are they wood? Intricate details and textures on Garel’s sculptures intrigue viewers who are often surprised to learn that they are, in fact, bronze sculptures. Garel first begins with a drawing, then makes a carving in wood. From there he makes the mold to cast the bronze sculpture. The result is a beautifully realistic shining skull of a bird, dolphin or gorilla. Others, originally sculpted in Styrofoam, appear to be real bone. They too are bronze. Quentin’s unique sculptures, or “trophies” as he calls them, seem organic in material and origin but unlike real wood or bone, these works of art will stand the test of time.

At fist glance I was looking at this for sciency things then they tell me it’s art and i just threw my computer at the ground.

(Source:, via scientificillustration)

Oh you have a one man band? This guy is a one man string quartet!

Posted: 10 months ago.

Vsauce - Why bad words are bad?

Turns out this pope is more liberal than 90% of the church’s followers!

Posted: 10 months ago.

can’t believe I’m at a debate tournament i’d rather be watching college football man D:

Posted: 11 months ago.

Stumbled across this, it made me quite sad.



Just in time for Halloween, our scientists are engineering one of the most intense phobias around.

Strictly speaking, the incredible bounce of water in these gifs above doesn’t have to do with being scared—last we checked, water was still pretty stoic—but the phenomenon is called hydrophobicity, literally a fear of water. Nanoscale cone structures across the material repel water with extreme prejudice, preventing any absorption and sending the little molecules on their merry way.

The slower droplets—captured here with a camera capable of shooting at 30,000 frames per second—bounce along the superhydrophobic (!) surface unimpeded, but the faster ones break apart in that gravity-defying dance. Moving this technology into car and aircraft windshields might ramp up visibility and also help self-clean by carrying along dirt particles.

While not quite as magical as the Impervius Charm, just consider that the scientists actually used a self-assembly fabrication process. You know, because billionths-of-a-meter structures just work better when they can build themselves.

Well then. That’s amazing, science. Thank you.

Can I have a jacket made of it?

How fast can this be put to practical use? Forget planes, and cars, I WANT MY DAMN SHOES TO STAY DRY!


Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage
“After eight years spent studying a 1.8 million-year-old skull uncovered in the republic of Georgia, scientists have made a discovery that may rewrite the evolutionary history of our human genus Homo.
It would be a simpler story with fewer ancestral species. Early, diverse fossils — those currently recognized as coming from distinct species like Homo habilis, Homo erectus and others — may actually represent variation among members of a single, evolving lineage. In other words: just as people look different from one another today, so did early hominids look different from one another, and the dissimilarity of the bones they left behind may have fooled scientists into thinking they came from different species.”
Read more at The New York Times.

NASA is back. After 16 days of radio silence due to the just-ended U.S. federal government shutdown, NASA is back in action, and the space agency’s devoted online followers couldn’t be happier.
Last night, when it was announced that furloughed employees would be heading back to work this week, a rep for NASA wasted no time in getting out the good news, tweeting this from the main twitter account: “We’re back and in the process of turning things back on! and #NASA TV will be up as soon as possible!”
Many NASA employees are thanking the Twitter community for keeping conversations about the agency’s work going during the furlough by using the hashtag #ThingsNASAMightTweet. While this is obviously great news, the fight is far from over. Just how much damage was done?
Well, earlier today, Phil Plait tweeted the following: "Keep this in mind: The shutdown cost the US as much money as NASA gets in a year, with two more Curiosity rovers thrown in."
So while, again, it is great that NASA is back, we now need a stronger fight than ever to get them the budget that they rightfully deserve.
Take action:
Read more:
via pennyfournasa

How to Give Prosthetic Hands Touch Sense
Although prosthetic hands give amputees a way to grasp objects, they do not offer a sense of touch. That means the person has to watch his or her robotic hand as it reaches to push or pick up an item.
Now researchers at the University of Chicago might have found a way to add touch to prosthetic limbs. The research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is funded in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and it’s not hard to see why the military would be interested. Beyond dreams of cyborg warriors, there’s the more prosaic matter of helping injured veterans.
The study, led by Sliman Bensmaia, assistant professor in biology and anatomy, identified patterns of neural activity that occur when monkeys manipulate objects and then induced these patterns artificially.
First he and his team connected electrodes to areas of a monkey’s brain that corresponded to each of its finger. The idea was to find out what kind of brain activity occurred when monkeys pick up or touch something.
Next, the researchers touched the animals’ fingers, using a device that applied a specific amount of pressure. The monkeys were rewarded if they correctly identified which finger was touched — the monkey just had to look in the right direction. Next, the researchers repeated the same action, but in reverse, sending an artificial signal through the electrode to the monkey’s brain, which caused the monkey to act the same way it would had it’s fingers been touched by the device — identifying fingers as touched even when they weren’t.
The next step was the sense of pressure. They trained the monkeys to identify whether the pressure on their fingers was smaller or larger. In this case, Bensmaia’s group wrote a computer program to generate the same kind of electrical current that gave rise to pressure sensations. Once again, the animals reacted the same way as if they had actually touched something.
Finally, the scientists examined the brain signals that occurred when there was a “contact event.” When the monkey’s hand was initially touched or pressure released, their brains showed a spike in activity. This spike is in addition to the signals for pressure and the individual fingers — it’s what tells the brain that there’s something in the hand to begin with before the signal settles down. The scientists duplicated that brain activity spike with artificial signals as well.
That implies that by programming those signals into an artificial limb, it’s possible to duplicate the sensation of touch. Just as natural limbs send signals to the brain, the artificial one would do so, too, except it wold be through electrodes linked to the relevant parts of the brain rather than nerve cells. An amputee would actually feel the object they are touching with such a prosthetic.
The setup hasn’t been tested in humans yet. But the monkey results are promising, and it could solve not only the problem of touch sense, but that of sensing limb position and possibly even help a person balance on his or her artificial legs.
Article via Dnews

Pioneer Venus Artwork 

Artist’s concept of Pioneer Venus mission approaching the planet.
During a 14-year orbit of Venus, Pioneer Venus 1 used radar to map the surface at a resolution of 75 km (47 miles). It found the planet to be generally smoother than Earth, though with a mountain higher than Mt. Everest and a chasm deeper than the Grand Canyon. The orbiter also found Venus to be more spherical than Earth, consistent with the planet’s much slower rotation rate (one Venus day equals 243 Earth days). It confirmed that Venus has little, if any, magnetic field and found the clouds to consist mainly of sulfuric acid. Measurements of this chemical’s decline in the atmosphere over the course of the mission suggested that the spacecraft arrived soon after a large volcanic eruption, which may also account for the prodigious lightning it observed.
After a course correction on 16 August 1978, Pioneer Venus 2 released the 1.5-m diameter large probe on 16 November 1978, at about 11.1 million km from the planet. Four days later, the bus released the three small probes while 9.3 million km from Venus. All five components reached the Venusian atmosphere on 9 December 1978, with the large probe entering first.
Data from the probes indicated that between 10 and 50 km, there is almost no convection in the Venusian atmosphere. Below a haze layer at 30 km, the atmosphere appears to be relatively clear. Amazingly, two of three probes survived the hard impact. The so-called Day Probe transmitted data from the surface for 67.5 minutes before succumbing to the high temperatures and power depletion.

Credit: NASA/Rick Guidice

via spaceplasma