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Old 05-21-2012, 10:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:00 PM   #1741
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I can agree with that. I just thought it was ironic that to show science and religion can coexist, you chose a person who once told the Pope to about the Big Bang because it might make the church look foolish. A guy who was passionately adamant about the separation of church and science.

Science and religion can certainly coexist. The only time you'll ever hear me protest is when religion is presented as competition to science in regards to explaining the physics of the universe.
I don't believe that science is competing with religion. I tend to mock those who believe so (and I've done plenty of that around here)... at the same time I'm aware that it has also contributed to the scientific zeitgeist.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:05 PM   #1742
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Where did I say I made any contribution to science? I did not. My point is in the history of scientific contribution many religious people have made contributions to science and the list of the church persecuting than the church supporting at the time is a much, much greater list. With every discovery that disagreed with theology there was the church to smack them down.

I do agree that not every christian is a fundamentalist, however, this was not always the case. We're talking about discoveries that conflicted with church in a time where it was entirely unacceptable.

Not really sure why you got all uppity but the fact of the matter is that if you believe that religion has contributed more than hindered science you are seriously wrong.
I believe this position is largely revisionist history. Also, I never said it contributed more or hindered more... I simply said it did not exclusively hinder scientific progress and THAT is what you disagreed with apparently.

Was galileo persecuted for his scientific position, or because he enjoyed mocking the pope? He could have saved himself a lot of problems by not being an asshole.

Also, I think Islam has hindered science FAR more than christianity has. They basically outlawed it and set discovery back centuries... since at the time most of western europe could not even read (reading and writing was spread to western europe by WHOM? The Roman Catholic church.)

I'm not saying religion has not been a hindrance. I'ts a huge problem in modern america. It's also vastly over-stated historically. The search for god was the catalyst for modern science. People need to know that, even if it does seem silly to you or I.

Also, what do you mean by 'uppity?' Do you understand the racist origin of that word?

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #1743
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****ing parasites....

Parasitic Junk in Your Trunk

There is no quicker way to clear a room at a party than to start talking about parasites that live in your skin.

The standard sci-fi trope of alien species under our flesh works because that concept freaks people the heck out. Chest-bursters, head-crabs, burrowing flesh beetles — those imaginary sci-fi creations aren’t that far from real parasites here on Earth. Behold: Strepsiptera.



This entire order of insects has a life history that will curl your toes. Adults are most commonly found in the butt-ends of wasps. Their wasp hosts serve as a full-service dining and public transportation system, as well as a hookup spot. That is generally not the sort of thing you actually want happening in your body unless you are personally involved.

In the photos above, you can see the hind end of adult strepsipterans poking out of wasp abdomens. A female strepsipteran never leaves the body of her host; she only sticks her genital region out to mate. Adult females don’t have functional wings, legs, or even a mouth. One author describes them as a “bag” of eggs and fat cells. Sex? It’s usually politely called “extragenital mating.” Which basically means the male has a stabby cock-dagger that he pokes in any likely-looking spot he can reach on the female.

Once the female is fertilized, she becomes food for her offspring. Her eggs hatch inside her body cavity and circulate around in her blood as they grow, eating her from the inside out. Creepy; but even more creepy when you know that each female produces between 2500 and 7000 eggs.

When the larvae finally emerge, they look like something from War of The Worlds. (The scale on the image below is 50 µm; that converts to 0.05 mm. So at least they are tiny alien invaders.)



The little monsters jump off the adult wasp host, and scamper over to a wasp nest’s nursery. There they use enzymes to dissolve their way into the larval wasps, drop off their legs, and get busy eating. They wrap themselves in an envelope of their own skin, and also make a blanket from their host’s skin tissue. And here is where things get really weird.

As the strepsipteran larvae develop, they also parasitically castrate their wasp host. Amazingly, wasp larvae survive having a largish parasite (or multiple parasites) inside, and are able to complete their metamorphosis to a winged adult wasp. Male wasp larvae that are infected don’t develop testes as adults. Female wasp larvae develop abnormal ovaries as adults, rather than become workers. About 4 to 10 days after a wasp larva turns into an adult wasp and begins to fly, the strepsipteran parasites wriggle out where we can see them between plates on the wasp’s abdomen.

Now the mind control begins, producing “crazy wasps.” Infected female wasps don’t help out at their nests like proper workers, but fly off and gather together at flowers in groups. They are forced by their backseat drivers to chauffeur their parasites to the scene of a floral orgy.

In a new paper out this week, researchers captured the (very short) sex life of a strepsipteran on film. Males are the only strepsipteran adults to have wings and fly. Their odd wing-shape gives strepsipterans the closest thing they have to a common name, “twisted-wing parasites.” This is what it looks like when it’s time for one of the male parasites to emerge:



Males fly around infected wasps at the flower singles-bar and impregnate as many females as possible. The video below shows a strepsipteran hook-up. The typical mating time is 3-5 seconds. Hey, don’t judge. There is no time to be wasted if you only live for 5 hours after you emerge from a wasp derričre.



The new research suggests that females aren’t passive lumps on a wasp. They participate actively in mating by “calling” to males with a chemical pheromone. Once the female is fertilized, the whole (horrifying) story begins again.

Strepsipterans are extremely difficult to study, which makes any new information about this group pretty exciting. Their taxonomy is so unclear strepsipterans are just lumped off in their own evolutionary grab bag. How exactly the larvae get from wasp to wasp, or from wasp to wasp larvae, is not fully understood. How infected wasps “know” where to go to gather together on flowers for the parasitic orgy isn’t established either.

If you’d like to pick a thesis organism, there are 600 species of known Strepsipterans, and lots of work still to be done! You can read more from the authors of this new research here, and you can look at some additional amazing photos of strepsipterans in a bee, rather than a wasp host here (in Czech).

By the way, the term “stabby cock dagger” as a synonym for insect traumatic insemination was first coined by Tom Houslay. It’s such an accurate description I think it needs to be in common usage.

Follow at link at top.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:24 PM   #1744
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Good for him then. Its about ****ing time. 63 million religious channels and yet a science program spends a minute touching on religion, oh noes the humanity of it all. Religion has impeded science throughout time. Putting a note about that in a science program is completely the right thing to do.

PS don't watch if your faith can't handle it.
Really?

REALLY???

REALLY????????????


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Old 03-19-2014, 11:26 PM   #1745
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:32 PM   #1746
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Stabby cock dagger
Stabby cock dagger is quite common you know...

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Old 03-20-2014, 01:36 AM   #1747
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Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
I believe this position is largely revisionist history. Also, I never said it contributed more or hindered more... I simply said it did not exclusively hinder scientific progress and THAT is what you disagreed with apparently.

Was galileo persecuted for his scientific position, or because he enjoyed mocking the pope? He could have saved himself a lot of problems by not being an asshole.

Also, I think Islam has hindered science FAR more than christianity has. They basically outlawed it and set discovery back centuries... since at the time most of western europe could not even read (reading and writing was spread to western europe by WHOM? The Roman Catholic church.)

I'm not saying religion has not been a hindrance. I'ts a huge problem in modern america. It's also vastly over-stated historically. The search for god was the catalyst for modern science. People need to know that, even if it does seem silly to you or I.

Also, what do you mean by 'uppity?' Do you understand the racist origin of that word?
Reading and education was a priveledge given to the wealthy. Another way the church (no matter which) to keep control.

I disagree with your view about science being the catalyst unless you mean that people got sick of the persecution and sought out the fight against it.

Also, by uppity I meant your snooty attitude, there was no racial connotation implied.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:38 AM   #1748
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I've said my peace in this thread concerning science vs religion. I enjoy this thread and feel it has significance in the lounge. At the pace that we are on this will be relegated to DC in a matter of no time. My suggestion is that if there is a desire to take this conversation further we should probably make a DC thread about it.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:12 AM   #1749
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I finally pulled it off the DVR last night and they did a great job of polishing NDT. He's super awkward on talk shows but having a script seems to straighten him out.
I could not disagree more. I think NDT is FASCINATING on talk shows when he is just speaking in a conversational tone and responding to questions. I've often searched for YouTube videos of that and I haven't been disappointed yet. I think the way he reads his lines on Cosmos is what's awkward and disappointing because he is speaking as though his intended audience is a bunch of third graders. Maybe that's fine because maybe that IS the intended audience, but I eventually got bored with it, and that is not what I expected to happen.


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I watched the two first episodes and was sadly disappointed. Dumbed way down. They might make a difference on first graders I suppose but I was guessing they were intended for audiences at a higher level.
This x 1000.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:45 AM   #1750
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I'm not sure what science indoctrination you're speaking of. What do you mean by that? And I'd say a better description is trusting the scientific method. Faith is belief in something with no evidence. Trust is based upon a pattern of evidence.

I don't think science should be looked at as infallible or constant. Not in the slightest. Science is ever changing. And that's not a bad thing at all as long as it's almost always changing for the better. Improving. Change is fine as long as it's in the proper direction. The laws of nature need continuous challenge and reevaluation.
I could literally name hundreds of examples in the past 50 years where "theory" was accepted as "fact" with very little actual evidence. That's the definition of faith. Faith in the news media or our government is still faith. It doesn't suddenly become trust just because it's grounded in secularism.

We have to be able to think critically about science and religion, as they both have a place. Unfettered religion, without science, leads to theocracies and burning witches. Unfettered science, without religion (or similar moral construct) leads to eugenics and arms races. Remember, the founding fathers of the US space program believed in a "science" that put a man on the moon...and 6 million Jews in gas chambers...

And I, like others, don't want this thread relegated to DC, so I will leave it at that.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:58 AM   #1751
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It’s the cosmic event of the year. Right now, telescopes all over the world are turning to our galaxy’s center, where for the first time ever they may have a front-row look at a supermassive black hole consuming a gas cloud.

By observing this galactic snack fest, astronomers should be able to figure out what’s going on in the black hole’s immediate vicinity and potentially even witness some gas disappear into the massive object’s maw. What they see may help scientists solve a decades-old puzzle about why our galaxy’s central black hole is so quiet.

Astronomers are gearing up to watch this show using many different telescopes with different wavelengths of light to capture all the information they can. But they are still unsure what exactly they will see.

“It’s a bit like the moment before a penalty shot in soccer,” said astrophysicist Stefan Gillessen of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, one of the leaders of the observation campaign. Everyone knows a shot is about to be taken, but nobody knows outcome will be. “This is the most tense moment when one player is trying to shoot against someone on the other side.”


Though we think of them as cosmic vacuum cleaners, black holes are actually just like any other massive body, such as a star. This means other objects can safely orbit them, until they get within a particular distance and pass what’s known as the event horizon, after which there is no escaping being sucked in.

The gas cloud currently headed for the central black hole could either continue on its current orbit and slingshot around the black hole or it could run into surrounding gas and dust, which will make it lose speed and start sliding down toward the black hole. The first scenario could give scientists insight into the evolution of galaxies and better understand the history of our Milky Way’s own black hole. In the second case, they might get to watch the black hole consume a sizable dinner.

No matter the outcome, “it will be absolutely stunning to see the physics at work,” said Gillessen.

In 2011, Gillessen and his colleagues made a chance discovery of a small cloud of gas and dust near the galactic center. Dubbing it G2, they soon plotted the cloud’s orbit, which showed that it was headed directly for the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center and would reach it in 2013. With further data refinements, they realized their initial prediction was a bit off and the cloud would be swinging near the black hole this month. Now that G2 is finally starting to make its closest approach, it’s feeling pulled by the black hole’s enormous gravity.

“This gas thing has been shredded into an extremely long spaghetti configuration,” said astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, also of the Max Planck Institute, who helped discover G2.

G2 started as a blob with approximately three times the mass of Earth. It has been falling in almost a perfectly straight line toward the central black hole at speeds exceeding 5 million mph. Because it is a diffuse and elongated object, there is no specific time when G2 is expected to be closest to the black hole (“We can’t say this will happen some Friday afternoon at 5 p.m.,” said Genzel.) You should of course keep in mind that the Milky Way’s center is 26,000 light-years from Earth so all this actually happened 26,000 years ago.


Scene from the computer simulation above showing one possible trajectory for G2 as it passes around the central black hole. Image: ESO/MPE/M. Schartmann/L. Calçada
Some models predict that G2 will slam into an atmosphere of gas and dust that hangs around in a disk around the central black hole, a remnant of previous feeding binges. If so, the cloud could heat up to temperatures greater than 10 million degrees, producing X-rays and other radiation that will be visible to our telescopes. Some of G2’s dust could even start spiraling into the black hole like water circling a drain, which would also heat it up and produce radiation.

But the galactic center is a place of many mysteries and a great deal of weirdness. In addition to the gargantuan black hole – with its mass of four million suns – scientists predict that there could be around 10,000 solar mass black holes in the Milky Way’s central region. These are the leftovers of enormous stars that once blazed in the galactic center but burned through their fuel, exploding as a dramatic supernova and crunching down into black holes. Other dead stellar cores, such as white dwarfs and neutron stars, also litter this area.

“There’s a reasonable chance that one of those might be hit, and that would be absolutely fantastic,” said Gillessen. The event might be detectable by telescopes on Earth and could give astronomers insight into the dynamics of these smaller black holes.

There is also the possibility that the gas and dust surrounding our galactic supermassive black hole is too diffuse for G2 to slam into it. In this case, the gas cloud will drift serenely through this region with little interaction, following a path set by gravity. Its closest approach to the central black hole will bring it only within about 20 light-hours, or about five times the distance between the sun and Neptune, at the edge of our solar system. Thus far, this is what G2 has been doing. Though observations have only begun, astronomers have seen no substantial increase in radiation coming from the central Milky Way region, putting constraints on the amount and density of gas and dust there.

If this is true, and the area around the black hole is relatively empty, it could help explain why our galaxy’s black hole doesn’t produce much radiation. Distant supermassive black holes that we see out in the universe are often spewing copious amounts of energy in the form of radiation jets. These objects, known as quasars, are some of the brightest things ever seen. Scientists don’t yet know how they work but they are thought to be an early stage of galactic evolution, when their central supermassive black hole is consuming huge amounts of material, producing tons of energy. How and why quasars turn off is an ongoing area of research.

Astronomers know that as recently as a few hundred years ago, the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole was producing much more radiation. The reflected X-ray echoes of this era have been observed bouncing off clouds of gas and dust. Why this energetic period stopped is a mystery. With future data from G2’s trajectory, we might find out that our galactic black hole simply ran out of things to eat.

As far as being able to actually witness material slip beyond the black hole’s event horizon and disappear forever, that will have to wait for another day. Because it’s so far away, no current telescope has the resolution to see that well in the galactic center. Astronomers are trying to coordinate different telescopes right now as part of the Event Horizon Telescope project, which could image the area just around the supermassive black hole. But the earliest that this project will be up and running is 2016. Perhaps some blobs from G2 will get torn off and be hurtling right into the black hole at this time?

“If we’re lucky we could see the effects of special and general relativity,” said Genzel, talking about the Event Horizon Telescope. “But probably not with this cloud.”

Testing relativity requires a reliable clock, he added, and G2 doesn’t emit any sort of periodic radiation that would be useful for this.

Video: Computer simulations showing one possible trajectory for G2 as it passes around the central black hole. ESO/MPE/M. Schartmann/L. Calçada


Adam is a Wired Science staff writer. He lives in Oakland, Ca near a lake and enjoys space, physics, and other sciency things.

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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #1752
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Scientists say destructive solar blasts narrowly missed Earth in 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A2I1SV20140320

(Reuters) - Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The bursts would have wreaked havoc on the Earth's magnetic field, matching the severity of the 1859 Carrington event, the largest solar magnetic storm ever reported on the planet. That blast knocked out the telegraph system across the United States, according to University of California, Berkeley research physicist Janet Luhmann.

"Had it hit Earth, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been tremendous," Luhmann said in a statement.

A 2013 study estimated that a solar storm like the Carrington Event could take a $2.6 trillion bite out of the current global economy.

Massive bursts of solar wind and magnetic fields, shot into space on July 23, 2012, would have been aimed directly at Earth if they had happened nine days earlier, Luhmann said.

The bursts from the sun, called coronal mass ejections, carried southward magnetic fields and would have clashed with Earth's northward field, causing a shift in electrical currents that could have caused electrical transformers to burst into flames, Luhmann said. The fields also would have interfered with global positioning system satellites.

The event, detected by NASA's STEREO A spacecraft, is the focus of a paper that was released in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday by Luhmann, China's State Key Laboratory of Space Weather professor Ying Liu and their colleagues.

Although coronal mass ejections can happen several times a day during the sun's most active 11-year cycle, the blasts are usually small or weak compared to the 2012 and 1859 events, she said.

Luhmann said that by studying images captured by the sun-observing spacecraft, scientists can better understand coronal mass ejections and predict solar magnetic storms in the future.

"We have the opportunity to really look closely at one of these events in all of its glory and look at why in this instance was so extreme," Luhmann said.

(This version of the story corrects two words, changing "injections" to "ejections" in paragraphs 8 and 9.)
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #1753
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Originally Posted by Dick Bull View Post
Reading and education was a priveledge given to the wealthy. Another way the church (no matter which) to keep control.

I disagree with your view about science being the catalyst unless you mean that people got sick of the persecution and sought out the fight against it.

Also, by uppity I meant your snooty attitude, there was no racial connotation implied.
You attacked me. Glass houses and stones my friend. I don't see how what I did was any different than what you did. You said I was absolutely wrong, misrepresented my comments, and then insulted me.. and I'm uppity? Yeah, cool man. That makes sense.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:03 PM   #1754
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
At first glance I thought this was another one of Fish's bugs.

And, how in hell do we get any telescope, or army of telescopes, to see what's going on in the center of this galaxy? Aren't we pretty much on a flat plane, with a lot of shit going on and getting in the way between us and that central black hole?

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Old 03-22-2014, 10:24 PM   #1755
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