Archives for posts with tag: sciencenews

The meteor visuals are oversaturatingly awesome— in a tsunami, wrath-of-God sense.

But the best for me still are the sounds— the main report and the lonnnnnng rolling thunder after. The first time I heard it, I thought stuff must be exploding near the videographer. It’s been all the videos I’ve seen since; I think the individual chunks of airburst must be popping off like corn.

I haven’t seen any great stills of 2012 DA14 yet, but here’s a pretty nice video from amateur Italian astronomers:

This looks like heavy sustained flood— almost Bretz-style. Look at how big the chunks are! Subangular! But thick.

Mindlessly scrolling the BBC News page, I noticed this little gem of a headline mere pixels above the page’s distant lower end:

Earth-sized planets ‘very common’

Here’s an article on Wired’s Science blog about it. I hope everybody kept their Drake equations in pencil.

Did you know that they’ve directly imaged exoplanets already?

55 Astronomical Units is farther out than Pluto— and 70 parsecs is about half the distance from here to the North Star. Lame analogy on the distance, I know, but I came up empty trawling the Internet for a better one and got far too distracted when I found this website with a table of “50 exoplanetary systems within 65 light years (20 parsecs):”

Meanwhile, back on Original Style Earth, Sam’s new phone just made a foreign sound that filled her with terror. I hope she didn’t let slip a “Code zero zero zero. Destruct. Zero.”

I just saw Sam’s video from below and obnoxiously au courant-adly thought of the German satellites making their intricate orbital maneuvers to use radars to capture a “most detailed ever 3D map” of the Earth’s topography. I did some back of the envelope calculations and think the close distances these satellites are approaching each other— within 200 meters at an orbit 514 kilometers up— is equivalent to a precision of 1 in 217000 at that orbit. Did I mention they were launched 3 years apart?

Dr. Manfred Zink is a project manager (for the TanDEM-X side). This, obviously, is Manfred Mann:

This was the top comment when I saw that page today:

great song by a proper band i.e. people who could play instruments and perform live not like the manufactured crap of today (i guess i’m getting old a ) still who cares we all get old sometime i suppose
I hope that guy didn’t realize that for the first time during his YouTube comment.

Sam and I tuned in to about thirty-five seconds of Fox Radio News online today and heard, I believe, the Tennessee “home burns down because of unpaid fine” story spun into a “that’s what happens when you have government-run fire departments! If that was a private corporation, they’d have done it— and just left you a bill!”

I can’t wait until they spin the “dinosaurs emerged from the Permian-Triassic extinction!” story into a pro-climate change talking point. “They were the dominant lifeforms for over 150 million years! If humanity can survive the crucible of catastrophic ecological upheaval, the planet is ours for eons! It’s our trial by fire.”

Maybe these new earliest dinosaurs— from only two years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event (“informally known as the Great Dying”)— were also the cause of the big Snuff It party. What if those little hands developed a monkey-like curiosity for the Carboniferous material just scarcely buried yet? We think we’re so creative and cutting edge with our fossilfuel-icide but we’re just the latest technological society eager for a quick energy intensive fix…

At least we’ll leave a beguiling thin smear of plastic.

Being the (mostly) positive person that I am, I was elated when introduced to a news source by a friend of mine. Happy News is my kind of place. When I need to catch up on the what’s happening and am not feeling like I can brave the usual mega-news sites I just go to Happy New and pick a few stories. I call it ‘selective positive news consumption’ and I am not at all ashamed.

It even has science news.


Here’s my other source of news.

A quick note in treehugger news— a coworker said something about genetically engineered salmon this morning, and I just looked it up. Sure enough, the FDA is holding hearings on both the permissibility of and potential labeling for genetically engineered salmon.

I went looking for some more and found this:

Unlike ordinary salmon, AquaBounty’s genetically modified fish grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. That’s accomplished by inserting part of a gene from an eel-like creature called the ocean pout into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon, then injecting the blended genetic material into the fertilized eggs of a North Atlantic salmon.

Here’s an ocean pout for reference.