Stars are Huge Nuclear Explosions that are so large their own gravity keeps it in place.
Some of you are reblogging because you think its funny that programmers would talk to ducks. I’m reblogging because I think its funny picturing a programmer explaining their code, realizing what they did when they explain the bad code, then grabbing the strangling the duck while yelling “WHY WAS THE FIX THAT SIMPLE!? AM I GOING BLIND!”
AS A PROGRAMMER I CAN TELL YOU THAT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU FUCKING DO WE HAD TO BAN THE DUCKS FROM MY CLASSES BECAUSE EVERYONE WOULD FLIP THE DUCK OR THROW IT AT A WALL OR SOMETHING WHEN THEY FIGURED OUT THE PROBLEM IN THEIR CODE
Cassini Spacecraft Reveals 101 Geysers and More on Icy Saturn Moon
Scientists using mission data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft have identified 101 distinct geysers erupting on Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus. Their analysis suggests it is possible for liquid water to reach from the moon’s underground sea all the way to its surface.
Over a period of almost seven years, Cassini’s cameras surveyed the south polar terrain of the small moon, a unique geological basin renowned for its four prominent “tiger stripe” fractures and the geysers of tiny icy particles and water vapor first sighted there nearly 10 years ago. The result of the survey is a map of 101 geysers, each erupting from one of the tiger stripe fractures, and the discovery that individual geysers are coincident with small hot spots. These relationships pointed the way to the geysers’ origin.
Thanks to recent analysis of Cassini gravity data, the researchers concluded the only plausible source of the material forming the geysers is the sea now known to exist beneath the ice shell. They also found that narrow pathways through the ice shell can remain open from the sea all the way to the surface, if filled with liquid water.
The fact that Enceladus’ sea is salty, laced with organic compounds, spouting into space, and maybe even rising up to the surface has raised this particular Saturnian moon as a major target for future exploration.
Cross-section of Ice Shell (Artist rendering)
Credit: NASA JPL
People like to say that we cannot witness evolution because it occurs over timescales immensely greater than our lifetime. That’s incorrect. We can witness evolution all we want, in our lifetime, by watching other things that change and morph freely – for example the evolution of sports, or the evolution of technology. Evolution in technology is the same as the evolution of a biological species. The ‘organism’ in this case is the human-and-machine species. Machines do not happen by themselves; they are created by humans, because of human needs, and it is humans that add the abilities of their creations to their own in order to improve them – to make their bodies move more easily, or more economically, more safely, or further over the earth. More technology tends towards more and better life. Evolution is about facilitating flow, the movement of one thing over or past another. Flow systems, the designs created by this evolutionary process, change freely over time. As such, evolution is a physical phenomenon, not just a biological one. The changing organisational structures that facilitate greater and better flow are physical objects, whether animate or inanimate.
How did our legends really begin?
A new theory suggests that the similarities shared by many myths means that they have a common origin, passed down across thousands of generations. So, how did our stories really begin? Steve Connor reports
In the great mythological narrative of Homer’s Odyssey, the hero lands on the island of Sicily, the home of a race of one-eyed monsters, the Cyclopes. Finding a cave filled with a flock of sheep, the hero and his men feast on one of the animals until they are rudely interrupted by the cave’s furious owner. The Cyclops Polyphemus vents his anger by eating a couple of the intruders before blocking the cave’s entrance with a giant boulder. When Polyphemus returns to eat more of Odysseus’s men, the Greek hero manages to spear the eye of the Cyclops. Blinded, Polyphemus attempts to keep the men captive in the cave by feeling the backs of his sheep as they emerge each morning to graze. But Odysseus and his men hide beneath the bellies of the animals and so escape the monster’s grasp. Although Homer wrote the Odyssey in the 8th century BC, this particular part of his epic poem has a surprising resonance with other folklore and oral traditions spoken in the Swiss Valais of Central Europe, in the Basque country of northern Spain, in Russia, among the Saami of northern Scandinavia and the Apaches and other Native American tribes. They all speak of a fearsome master of animals, a hero who loses his way and is held captive but who escapes by hiding under the master’s own animals. The similarity of the narratives could be just coincidence. Each culture might just have devised its own folklore independently of the other, coming to surprisingly similar storylines. But many myths seem to share similar incidents, characters or narrative structures, whether they derive from classical Greece or the ancient mythologies of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Japan or India. (via How did our legends really begin? - Features - Books - The Independent)
Manufacturing Begins For Fusion Reactor Parts
by Michael Keller
The first components of what will become the world’s largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor are now being manufactured around the world. Once it starts operating in 2020, the multinational ITER demonstration power plant will help scientists understand how to fuse hydrogen nuclei together to make energy, the same phenomenon that powers the sun.
At the heart of the project is the 25,400-ton tokamak, a machine that uses magnetic fields to confine a plasma that burns at 150 million degrees Celsius. The giant magnets used to corral the plasma are now being manufactured at a facility in La Spezia, Italy, as seen in the gifs above and video below.
I feel this…