"If you’re poor, the only way you’re likely to injure someone is the old traditional way: artisanal violence, we could call it – by hands, by knife, by club, or maybe modern hands-on violence, by gun or by car. But if you’re tremendously wealthy, you can practice industrial-scale violence without any manual labor on your own part. You can, say, build a sweatshop factory that will collapse in Bangladesh and kill more people than any hands-on mass murderer ever did, or you can calculate risk and benefit about putting poisons or unsafe machines into the world, as manufacturers do every day. If you’re the leader of a country, you can declare war and kill by the hundreds of thousands or millions. And the nuclear superpowers – the US and Russia – still hold the option of destroying quite a lot of life on Earth."

- Call Climate Change What It Is: Violence (via mucholderthen)

Here here. Whoever said that…

(via mucholderthen)

Source: commondreams.org


Artist Jason Freeny has made Barbie Anatomy Model, a sculpture that dissects and exposes what might be inside a Barbie doll.


Source: currentsinbiology


Waterbears can go without food or water for more than a decade. They can survive temperatures from zero to above the boiling point of water, pressure six times stronger than the deepest ocean trench, radiation hundreds of times higher than the fatal dose for a human, and the vacuum of space.

Well. Wow.

(via abcstarstuff)

Source: 4gifs


Dingo is a unique species, scientists say

Australia’s largest land predator, introduced to the continent 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, is not a kind of wild dog, study finds
  • from The Guardian
Australia's dingo is a unique species, not a kind of wild dog as previously believed, according to a new study that definitively classifies the country's largest land predator. The research by Australian scientists, published in the Journal of Zoology, resurrected the species name Canis dingo, first adopted in 1793 by Friedrich Meyer, a German naturalist.

"What we’ve done is describe the dingo more scientifically," Mike Letnic of the University of New South Wales told Reuters. The confusion over whether the dingo was a distinct species partly originated from the previous classification, which was based on a simple drawing and description in the 18th century journal of Australia’s first governor, Arthur Phillip, without reference to a physical specimen. "When Phillip got home to England he wrote about his adventures and in that book he wrote one paragraph about the dingo and published a picture and that was, until now, what science knew of the dingo,” Letnic said.

The team found the physical features that define the dingo are a slim build, relatively broad head, long snout, pointy ears and bushy tail, with a weight of 15 to 20kg (33 to 44lbs). To isolate dingoes unlikely to have cross-bred with domestic dogs, the team tracked 69 skull and skin specimens pre-dating 1900 in museums and archaeological sites in Europe, Australia and America to create a benchmark description. 

"What we did was say this is what dingoes look like before 1900 and that’s what a dingo looks like because there were not very many dogs around," Letnic said. "That’s where the benchmark comes in." Dingoes were introduced to Australia around 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, with genetic evidence suggesting they originated from East Asian domestic dogs. They bred in isolation until the arrival of dogs accompanying European settlers from 1788" (read more).

***Cue thejunglenook for verification

(Source: Guardian; image: Penn State University)


Source: theolduvaigorge


Song from π!


Putting the “pi” in “piano”

Check out this awesome piano melody created from the digits of pi! By transposing the numbers 0-9 onto an A minor scale, the irrational melody is played with the right hand and notes are added with the left. It’s pretty mathemagical.

Also, try singing this along with the melody, either out loud or in your head (it totally works):

"I am listening to a sonnnnng about piiiiiii, maaaaking a melody as the numbers fly byyyyy"

Bonus: Check out Daniel Starr-Tambor’s “Mandala”, a melody created from the orbits of the planets placed onto a musical scale. At 62 viginitillion notes (I didn’t even know that was a number), it’s the longest palindrome ever created.

A song from pi. Brilliant!

Source: jtotheizzoe


Testing Cancer Treatments With Artificial Human Tissue

Building personalized treatments has long been a goal of cancer treatments, but testing them can be difficult. By using bio-fabricated 3D tissue, researchers are able to test which customized treatments work best.

via Live Science Videos.


Source: youtube.com


The Fireworks Galaxy

Image Credit: Behyar Bakhshandeh

Source: astronomy.com
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A Hitch logic bomb for any climate change skeptics.

An environmental archaeologist professor I had once paraphrased a palaeoclimatologist and I’m paraphrasing my prof: “The climate is a gigantic, scary and unpredictable monster that looms over us whose behaviour is known to be erratic and violent, and who, as a whole, we know not nearly enough about. And we’re poking it with a sharp stick.”

Yes. Hmmm

Source: astrogasmic



1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know Earth Orbits The Sun. Yes, Really.
by Ian O’Neill

Dear Science Communication Professionals: We have a problem.

Earlier this month, the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham creationism “debate” received a disproportionate amount of press coverage. Considering that there really is no debate to be had when it comes to the science of evolution, for bad or for worse, Nye faced a hostile audience at the Creationist Museum in Kentucky. He hoped to score some scientific points against Ham’s literal translation of the Bible and his absurd assertion that the world was created in 6 days and that the universe is 6,000 years old.

In my opinion, (an opinion shared by other science communicators), the Nye vs. Ham debate did little for science outreach. It was all about who sounded more convincing and only gave creationists some free advertising.


And then, today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) delivered news of a pretty shocking poll result: around one in four Americans (yes, that’s 25 percent) are unaware that the Earth orbits the sun. Let’s repeat that: One in four Americans — that represents one quarter of the population — when asked probably the most basic question in science (except, perhaps, “Is the Earth flat?” Hint: No.), got the answer incorrect. Suddenly I realized why the Nye vs. Ham debate was so popular.

But wait! I hear you cry, perhaps the NSF poll was flawed? Perhaps the poll sample was too small? Sadly not. The NSF poll, which is used to gauge U.S. scientific literacy every year, surveyed 2,200 people who were asked 10 questions about physical and biological sciences. On average, the score was 6.5 out of 10 — barely a passing grade. But for me personally, the fact that 26 percent of the respondents were unaware the Earth revolves around the sun shocked me to the core.


Perhaps I’m expecting too much of the U.S. education system? Perhaps this is just an anomaly; a statistical blip? But then, like the endless deluge of snow that is currently choking the East Coast, another outcome of the same poll appeared on the foggy horizon of scientific illiteracy: The majority of young Americans think astrology is a science.

What the what? Have I been transported back to the Dark Ages? Astrology, of course, is not a science; it is a spiritual belief system at best and at worst a pseudoscience driven by charlatans and the tabloid press. The positions of the stars and planets in the sky do not affect my mood and my horoscope has little bearing on the kind of person I am. Even in China, one of the birthplaces of astrology, 92 percent of the people know that astrology is bunk. Really America, get your act together.


Unfortunately, if we are to use the “Is astrology a science?” as a litmus test for scientific literacy, things are looking grim. In 2004, 66 percent of the American public said astrology was bunk. Every year since then, that majority has slipped. By 2012, only 55 percent of Americans considered astrology “not at all scientific.” Probably of most concern is the fact that only 42 percent of young respondents aged between 18-24 said astrology is “not at all scientific.”

But there is a small glimmer of hope. According to the same NSF poll, the vast majority of Americans seem to love science. Although they returned woeful test results, it seems America is hungry to learn about science and think that science funding is essential for the well-being of the nation. But I’m now concerned about what America thinks science really is, especially in light of that astrology result. Also, just because the U.S. public wants to learn, can they find the institutions that will actually teach real science?

imageSchools across the nation are currently facing the unthinkable notion of teaching creationism alongside evolution in science classrooms. The fact that religion is given the same standing as science is not only absurd, it’s a fundamental institutional failing where children (who may be excited to learn about science) will grow up with a second-rate education, neglecting decades of scientific knowledge in favor of pseudo-scientific religious agendas.

For a nation that prides itself on science and discovery, it will be a tragedy on a national scale if fundamental science is undercut by superstition and the bad policies it inspires.

You can read detailed results of the NSF poll here (PDF).

Source: DNews
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
…….so. There’s this. However, we do have much working in our (humanity’s) favor: the very technology we depend on for information and communication is being used by humanity to evaluate, compare, and verify through a self-correcting process called science.

I know this report is extremely grim, but my fellow curious human family…this is precisely why we delight in sharing information, educating others, communicating across these artificial boundaries set up before us, and encouraging alternative means to pay it forward for the next generation. We’re in the midst of a grand transition regarding how we inspire, create, and contribute to the world.

If there were any time in our society where a massive transition from long-held beliefs, superstitions, and traditions was needed, now is that time. Let’s keep doing what we’re doing with as much patience as possible. We have resources and access to information on a scale never before witnessed or applied to any society throughout history. Not even the Library of Alexandria could compete with the amount of knowledge we have and the means by which we can communicate it to others.

Let’s get to work.

Oh… Dear me.

Source: news.discovery.com
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