"Mathematics is like oxygen. If it is there, you do not notice it. If it would not be there, you realize that you cannot do without."
Lex Schrijver (via curiosamathematica)

jtotheizzoe:

griseus:

The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.

The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping.  One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.

Like I always say, a fish with a hand is better than two in the bush

skunkbear:

The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.

Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

zerostatereflex:

Squishy Robots

"A new phase-changing material built from wax and foam developed by researchers at MIT is capable of switching between hard and soft states."

MIT researchers are trying to change the paradigm of your typical robot by mimicking organic substances. The idea is that the robot should be soft to conform to a particular environment, and interact with humans, though rigid enough to actually do a procedure. They can achieve this by applying heat at particular points to deform the object, then applying coolness to make the object rigid again. 

"Robots built from this material would be able to operate more like biological systems with applications ranging from difficult search and rescue operations, squeezing through rubble looking for survivors, to deformable surgical robots that could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way."

The last gif is a example of bendable articulation. :D 

pennyfornasa:

While today may belong to the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, it’s important not to forget another important anniversary for NASA - the landing of the Viking 1 spacecraft on Mars!On July 20th, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia, a flat lowland region in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Immediately following touchdown, the lander made history by taking and transmitting the first complete photograph taken from the surface of Mars. The image (http://goo.gl/6C5L6m) was of the Viking 1 lander’s foot as an indication of how far it had sunk into the Martian surface. Between itself and its companion, Viking 2, this historic photograph was just the first of more than 50,000 images taken from the Martian surface, as well as from orbit, and transmitted back to Earth.What makes Viking 1 especially worth noting is that it was not only the first attempt by the United States at landing on Mars, but it was also the first spacecraft to successfully do so and perform its mission. While the Soviet Mars 3 mission was the first to achieve a soft landing of a spacecraft on Mars it stopped transmitting data 15 seconds after landing. During those few seconds of transmission, it sent the first partial photograph taken from the surface of Mars although nothing was identifiable in it.During its operation on the Martian surface, Viking 1 became the record holder for longest Mars surface mission at 2307 days, until Mars Rover Opportunity took the record in 2010.To read more about Viking 1:http://goo.gl/NOxjpMhttp://goo.gl/iKPlJ6http://goo.gl/6klaq9

pennyfornasa:

While today may belong to the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, it’s important not to forget another important anniversary for NASA - the landing of the Viking 1 spacecraft on Mars!

On July 20th, 1976, the Viking 1 lander separated from the orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia, a flat lowland region in the northern hemisphere of Mars. Immediately following touchdown, the lander made history by taking and transmitting the first complete photograph taken from the surface of Mars. The image (http://goo.gl/6C5L6m) was of the Viking 1 lander’s foot as an indication of how far it had sunk into the Martian surface. Between itself and its companion, Viking 2, this historic photograph was just the first of more than 50,000 images taken from the Martian surface, as well as from orbit, and transmitted back to Earth.

What makes Viking 1 especially worth noting is that it was not only the first attempt by the United States at landing on Mars, but it was also the first spacecraft to successfully do so and perform its mission. While the Soviet Mars 3 mission was the first to achieve a soft landing of a spacecraft on Mars it stopped transmitting data 15 seconds after landing. During those few seconds of transmission, it sent the first partial photograph taken from the surface of Mars although nothing was identifiable in it.

During its operation on the Martian surface, Viking 1 became the record holder for longest Mars surface mission at 2307 days, until Mars Rover Opportunity took the record in 2010.

To read more about Viking 1:
http://goo.gl/NOxjpM
http://goo.gl/iKPlJ6
http://goo.gl/6klaq9

"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."
Albert Einstein (via engineeringofjose)
rhamphotheca:

Brain Evolution by Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham
(via: Scientific American magazine)

rhamphotheca:

Brain Evolution by Dwayne Godwin and Jorge Cham

(via: Scientific American magazine)

"As the force of gravity slowly draws matter together, it can eventually cause it to collapse to form galaxies and stars, which can lead to planets and, on at least one occasion, people."
Stephen Hawking (via whats-out-there)

futurist-foresight:

Today we remember the first moonwalk on July 20 1969.

todaysdocument:

Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin make the first moonwalk, on July 20, 1969.

In these clips they can been seen planting the U.S. Flag on the lunar surface and experimenting with various types of movement in the Moon’s lower gravity, including loping strides and kangaroo hops.

Moonwalk One, ca. 1970

From the series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981. Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006

via Media Matters » Stepping Stones to the Moon

pennyfornasa:

"A scientific colleague tells me about a recent trip to the New Guinea highlands where she visited a stone age culture hardly contacted by Western civilization. They were ignorant of wristwatches, soft drinks, and frozen food. But they knew about Apollo 11. They knew that humans had walked on the moon. They knew the names of Armstrong and Aldrin and Collins. They wanted to know who was visiting the moon these days." - Carl SaganAfter traveling four days and more than 238,900 miles, the Lunar Module Eagle began its descent to the surface of the Moon. Very early on, however, it became clear to Aldrin and Armstrong that their telemetry was incorrect as they recognized lunar landmarks were being passed too early. At approximately 6,000 miles above the surface, numerous guidance computer program alarms distracted the crew as they communicated with flight controllers. Mission Control engineers soon reassured the Eagle to continue with the descent as it was determined that their system was being overloaded with extra tasks not necessary to land on the Moon. After looking out of the window a few moments later, Armstrong was forced to take semi-manual control as he noticed that the navigational systems were guiding them towards an area comprised of boulders and an uneven landing surface. This manual override would require Aldrin to call out velocity and altitude data before landing fuel ran out. After a somewhat frantic period, the Lunar Module safely landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969 — with about 25 seconds of fuel remaining.As an estimated 600 million people watched, Neil Armstrong became the first ambassador of the planet Earth to walk on another world. For over 2.5 hours, he and Buzz Aldrin captured the imagination of our species as they performed various scientific and geological experiments. Along with planting an American flag, a commemorative plaque marking this monumental human achievement was mounted to the Apollo 11 Lunar Module — and remains as a relic of humanity’s first journey on the Moon.“We came in peace for all mankind. That statement really to me was a very symbolic one — not just of our mission, but of the entire Apollo effort.” - Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module PilotApollo 11 was arguably our most exciting adventure, and over the span of three years, NASA sent a total of 12 astronauts to explore the Moon. However, not since 1972 have human beings been beyond low-Earth orbit. Please watch our video, The Spirit of Apollo, and consider what raising the NASA budget will once again do for our society.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G6jhUznonU

pennyfornasa:

"A scientific colleague tells me about a recent trip to the New Guinea highlands where she visited a stone age culture hardly contacted by Western civilization. They were ignorant of wristwatches, soft drinks, and frozen food. But they knew about Apollo 11. They knew that humans had walked on the moon. They knew the names of Armstrong and Aldrin and Collins. They wanted to know who was visiting the moon these days." - Carl Sagan

After traveling four days and more than 238,900 miles, the Lunar Module Eagle began its descent to the surface of the Moon. Very early on, however, it became clear to Aldrin and Armstrong that their telemetry was incorrect as they recognized lunar landmarks were being passed too early. At approximately 6,000 miles above the surface, numerous guidance computer program alarms distracted the crew as they communicated with flight controllers. Mission Control engineers soon reassured the Eagle to continue with the descent as it was determined that their system was being overloaded with extra tasks not necessary to land on the Moon. After looking out of the window a few moments later, Armstrong was forced to take semi-manual control as he noticed that the navigational systems were guiding them towards an area comprised of boulders and an uneven landing surface. This manual override would require Aldrin to call out velocity and altitude data before landing fuel ran out. After a somewhat frantic period, the Lunar Module safely landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969 — with about 25 seconds of fuel remaining.

As an estimated 600 million people watched, Neil Armstrong became the first ambassador of the planet Earth to walk on another world. For over 2.5 hours, he and Buzz Aldrin captured the imagination of our species as they performed various scientific and geological experiments. Along with planting an American flag, a commemorative plaque marking this monumental human achievement was mounted to the Apollo 11 Lunar Module — and remains as a relic of humanity’s first journey on the Moon.

“We came in peace for all mankind. That statement really to me was a very symbolic one — not just of our mission, but of the entire Apollo effort.” - Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot

Apollo 11 was arguably our most exciting adventure, and over the span of three years, NASA sent a total of 12 astronauts to explore the Moon. However, not since 1972 have human beings been beyond low-Earth orbit. Please watch our video, The Spirit of Apollo, and consider what raising the NASA budget will once again do for our society.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G6jhUznonU

Secret Lives of Flower Hat Jellyfish Revealed

For decades, flower hat jellyfish managed to keep their early lives a secret.

In adulthood, the jellyfish are striking, with a nest of fluorescent tentacles that look like party streamers, but pack a nasty sting. In infancy, well, scientists didn’t know. Aquarists tried, unsuccessfully, to raise the animals in tanks to understand what happens before the jellyfish are fully grown.

"They just aren’t like other jellies," said Wyatt Patry, senior aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Now, Patry and colleagues report they’ve finally raised the jellyfish in captivity. In a new paper, the researchers describe the elusive species’ life cycle, from egg to larva to single-tentacled polyp to juvenile to adult.

Scientists at the aquarium first bought a group of flower hat jellies back from Japan in 2002 for an exhibit on jellyfish. At the time, aquarists tried to mate and culture the species (scientifically named Olindias formosus), but they just couldn’t seem to get the jellies to release any sperm or eggs.

Patry said the researchers tried performing in vitro fertilization and exposing the jellies to stresses that might make them release sex cells. The creatures produced some larvae, but they didn’t grow much larger than that stage. Ultimately, it seemed that the scientists were missing some cue the jellyfish needed for reproduction.

When it came time for another jellyfish show in 2012, the team tried again. They kept groups of flower hat jellies in small tanks with mesh netting to keep the creatures off the bottom, where detritus and rotting pieces of half-eaten fish settled. The scientists don’t exactly know what they did right the second time around, but during routine maintenance, they discovered fluorescent jellyfish polyps attached to the wire mesh and glowing under a blue light.

Jellyfish larvae attach themselves to a solid surface and become stalklike polyps, which then bud into juvenile “medusae” — what jellyfish are called when they reach their most recognizable, umbrella-shaped form. Jellyfish polyps persist for an unknown amount of time. The polyps of flower hat jellies were unusual in that they had a single, highly active tentacle.

"They just look like little sea anemones," Patry told Live Science. "They seem to use the tentacle to sweep around their position to capture food."

Patry hopes the new information might help scientists and wildlife managers look for the species in the wild — and predict when and where “blooms” of the jellyfish could affect beachgoers.

Flower hat jellies kill and eat entire fish, and their venom is powerful enough to inflict a painful rash on humans. The mark looks like a burn, said Patry. (Take it from him. He said he usually gets stung a couple of times a year.) A 2007 review of jellyfish incidents recorded around the world found one death associated with flower hat jellies, in Japan in the 1970s.

The findings on young flower hat jellies were published in June in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

mucholderthen:

Destination Moon: The 350-Year History of Lunar Exploration
Infographic by Karl Tate
July 16, 2014  ||  Space.com

"Many people object to “wasting money in space” yet have no idea how much is actually spent on space exploration. The CSA’s budget, for instance, is less than the amount Canadians spend on Halloween candy every year, and most of it goes toward things like developing telecommunications satellites and radar systems to provide data for weather and air quality forecasts, environmental monitoring and climate change studies. Similarly, NASA’s budget is not spent in space but right here on Earth, where it’s invested in American businesses and universities, and where it also pays dividends, creating new jobs, new technologies and even whole new industries."
Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth (via femscinerd)
kqedscience:

To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami
“Scientists and engineers at NASA are using origami techniques to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.”
Learn more from NPR. 

kqedscience:

To Make A Spacecraft That Folds And Unfolds, Try Origami

Scientists and engineers at NASA are using origami techniques to help solve a fundamental dilemma facing spacecraft designers: How do you take a big object, pack it into a small container for rocket launch, and then unpack it again once it arrives in space — making sure nothing breaks in the process.”

Learn more from NPR. 

compoundchem:

Today’s graphic looks at the compounds behind the characteristic smell of the seaside.
Read more about where these compounds come from here: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-nf

compoundchem:

Today’s graphic looks at the compounds behind the characteristic smell of the seaside.

Read more about where these compounds come from here: http://wp.me/p4aPLT-nf