The vertiginous video also offers an opportunity to consider theories posited by two of the giants of science
While on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station over Mexico, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik captured this spectacular, vertiginous video with a GoPro camera.
I spotted it in a NASA Tweet yesterday, and when I watched it, I really did have the sensation that this would be as close as I’ll ever come to experiencing free-falling around the Earth. (Sh ...read more
An animation of satellite images reveals the stunning pall of dust and pollution that recently choked Beijing. (Images: NASA Worldview. Animation: Tom Yulsman)
About a week ago, dust sweeping north from the Sahara blanketed parts of Eastern Europe, turning snow-covered ski slopes a strange shade of orange.
Now, another far-ranging pall of dust — exacerbated by nasty air pollution — is in the news, this time in northeast Asia.
Starting on March 26th, China’s nort ...read more
How do blind people experience psychedelic drugs? This is the topic of an interesting, but unusual, paper just out in Consciousness and Cognition.
The paper’s authors are University of Bath researchers Sara Dell’Erba, David J.Brown, and Michael J.Proulx. However, the real star contributor is a man referred to only as “Mr Blue Pentagon”.
Blue Pentagon (“BP”) is the pseudonym for a 70 year old blind man who reports taking large quantities of LSD and other drugs ...read more
The GOES-16 weather satellite captured the image data used in this animation showing the evolution of a classic comma-shaped storm off the East Coast. The animation starts on March 25 as the storm is blowing out into the Atlantic and ends on March 27. Note: after clicking on the image you will be taken to another web page and may have to hit the play button to start the animation. (Source: RAMMB/CIRA/SLIDER)
I first spotted a still image of this striking comma-shaped storm on Twitter. Captured ...read more
Some things may just be unknowable. How does the mind really work? Is there life elsewhere in the universe? What’s really going on with the stock market?
While we may never truly learn all the answers, we’ve at least got a little more to go on with that last question, thanks to a paper out this week in Physical Review Letters that finds a surprising “real life” model for financial markets. And, happily, it’s one that scientists have used and ...read more
Crack! (Credit: Kay_MoTec/Shutterstock)
Love it or hate it, knuckles crack.
For some the noise signals a welcome release, while others cringe at the thought of joints shifting about in their sockets. The sound itself, though, is still a bit of a mystery.
Snap, Crackle, Why?
Researchers have debated the source of the sharp pops for over a century now, and actually thought they had it cracked in the 1970s. The event was simply the sound of bubbles in the sinovial fluid between our ...read more
If you see this animal, don’t anger it. A hagfish under attack releases thick, clear slime in astonishing quantities. Now scientists have learned that this mucus is a precious resource for a hagfish. After sliming a predator, the fish can take nearly a month to refill its slime glands.
Hagfish live on the ocean bottom, where they’re opportunistic scavengers and hunters. The fish’s potential predators back off quickly after getting a faceful of slime, which ...read more
(Credit: YouTube/Movieclips Trailers)
The movies Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim Uprising are chock full of robot-versus-monster fights. Inside those massive bots are humans controlling every step, punch and kick — these are incredibly outdated assumptions about the future of ass-kicking robots.
It is assumed that as a robot gets bigger it gets harder to control, so more operators are needed.But science shows that’s not really how it works, argues Robin R. Murphy, the Raytheon Prof ...read more
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