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September 27, 2009

Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking: "A Glorious Dawn"

Posted on classmate Les' interesting and contentious blog, "Stupid Evil Bastard." Auto-tune the cosmologists! Stupid Evil Bastard: Carl Sagan in “A Glorious Dawn.”

September 09, 2009

Photo Gallery: New Hubble images

Gallery - Upgraded Hubble telescope snaps dazzling new images - Image 2 - New Scientist

Heteropoda davidbowie, Phialella zappai and other Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature

My favorite entry on Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature: Phialella zappai,...

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September 03, 2009

Have you met my friend, Jenny Haniver?

From the Stacks: California Academy of Sciences
Meet an early depiction of what is known as a Jenny Haniver: a ray or skate that has been cut and shaped by hand, and then dried in order to fabricate another creature altogether. They make several appearances in natural history texts from the 16th and 17th centuries; indeed, they appear in some of the earliest zoology books. I first saw this plate several years ago, when I was looking through some early herpetology publications; Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Serpentum et Draconum…, published posthumously in 1640, is one of the older ones in the Academy Library collections. It’s a fascinating work, filled with descriptions and illustrations of various snakes, as well as crowned serpents, winged dragons, and…that thing up there. I didn’t think much of this particular plate, figuring that it depicted yet another imaginary beast.

How Many Solar Panels Would It Take to Power The Entire World?

How Many Solar Panels Would It Take to Power The Entire World? - Power - Gizmodo Just 496,905 square kilometers. That's really nothing compared to the total world area: Less than the surface of Spain (504,030 square kilometers) covered with solar panels, distributed across deserts and areas with almost 24/7 sun, all year around.

September 02, 2009

The Kopp-Etchells effect

TYWKIWDBI: The Kopp-Etchells effect
When helicopters pass through dust storms, contact of the particles with the rotating blades produces either sparks or static electricity. The phenomenon has been observed during combat operations in Afghanistan; Michael Yon has documented the effect, and has named it after two U.K. soldiers who died there.

We all have 100-200 mutations from our parents

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | We are all mutants say scientists
Each of us has at least 100 new mutations in our DNA, according to research published in the journal Current Biology. Scientists have been trying to get an accurate estimate of the mutation rate for over 70 years. However, only now has it been possible to get a reliable estimate, thanks to "next generation" technology for genetic sequencing. The findings may lead to new treatments and insights into our evolution.

September 01, 2009

Photo Gallery: Jellyfish of the Arctic

BBC - Earth News - In pictures: Icy jellies This is clearly a Metroid!

August 28, 2009

The London Shard is the future of architecture

Inhabitat -- The Shard: Vertical City Will Tower Over London We have hit the age of the arcology.
Construction has begun on the Shard, a skyscraper that will be the tallest building in Western Europe and will provide amazing views of London. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop (who was also responsible for the California Academy of Sciences), the Shard was inspired by towering church spires and the masts of ships that once anchored on the Thames. The new mixed-use development is located in the heart of London Bridge Quarter and will sit adjacent to the London Bridge Station, one of the busiest train stations in London. The 72-storey building in the London Bridge Quarter will contain premium office space, a world-class hotel, luxury residences, a spa, restaurants & cafes, retail space and a 15-storey public viewing gallery. On the ground level, public piazza, restaurants and cafes will be open to the public with places to rest and changing art installations. Access to public transportation via bus line, train and underground will be directly on site. Previously at that location was the 1970’s Southwark Tower building on Bridge Street, which has already been demolished to begin construction on the new tower. Renzo envisioned The Shard as a ‘Vertical City‘ - a mixed-use and dense development open and accessible to the public and yet luxurious , exclusive, and central enough to be a highly desirable address for companies and residents. The Shangri-La hotel group has already claimed the hotel space from floors 34-52. The office spaces were first devised by Renzo Piano for his Aurora Place skyscraper in Sydney, Australia. Each floor is multifunctional and contains 2 winter garden, which are naturally ventilated break-out and meeting areas surround in glass for stunning views and natural lighting.

August 26, 2009

Science Finally Builds the Better Bowie Song

Scientist writes 'ideal' David Bowie Song - Odd News...

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