Landart Trigram by Otik Skalicky
|7:47:54 PM, Tuesday, January 04, 2011|
Astronomers Find First Evidence Of Other Universes
|2:06:53 PM, Tuesday, January 04, 2011|
“Our cosmos was "bruised" in collisions with other universes. Now astronomers have found the first evidence of these impacts in the cosmic microwave background.
There's something exciting afoot in the world of cosmology. Last month, Roger Penrose at the University of Oxford and Vahe Gurzadyan at Yerevan State University in Armenia announced that they had found patterns of concentric circles in the cosmic microwave background, the echo of the Big Bang.This, they say, is exactly what you'd expect if the universe were eternally cyclical. By that, they mean that each cycle ends with a big bang that starts the next cycle. In this model, the universe is a kind of cosmic Russian Doll, with all previous universes contained within the current one.
That's an extraordinary discovery: evidence of something that occurred before the (conventional) Big Bang.
Today, another group says they've found something else in the echo of the Big Bang. These guys start with a different model of the universe called eternal inflation. In this way of thinking, the universe we see is merely a bubble in a much larger cosmos. This cosmos is filled with other bubbles, all of which are other universes where the laws of physics may be dramatically different to ours.
These bubbles probably had a violent past, jostling together and leaving "cosmic bruises" where they touched. If so, these bruises ought to be visible today in the cosmic microwave background…”
An Example of Truly Impressive Engineering: Highest HP 4g63 Engine
|12:06:56 AM, Tuesday, January 04, 2011|
-- I do not usually post build threads like this, but this is definitely worth a look if you are at all into cars. This ridiculousness is an example of unlimited budget! The crank alone was ~$31,000.
Bumble Bees In U.S. Suffer Sharp Decline, Joining Countless Other Species Disappearing Worldwide
|8:55:48 PM, Monday, January 03, 2011|
"North American bees are disappearing at a rapid rate, signaling a dire threat to the production of countless food sources. The Guardian reports that four common species of U.S. bumble bees have declined 96 percent in recent decades, and scientists allege that disease and inbreeding are responsible.
Honey bees have long been known to be in decline, suffering from the enigmatic colony collapse disorder, and the latest research on U.S. bumble bees only exacerbates concerns over future food production, as bees are responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the world's commercial plants, from fruits and vegetables to coffee and cotton.
While a correlation between the Nosema bombi fungus infection and the declining bumble bee populations was discovered, the culprit isn't clearly defined. One of the study's researchers told LiveScience that the data doesn't necessarily verify that the disease is driving the decline, and other factors -- like reduced adaptability to environmental changes as a result of inbreeding -- are likely at play.
The bees join other pollinating insects that have been suffering increasing declines since the end of the 20th century, including moths and hoverflies, and the U.S. findings mirror similar studies examining bee declines around the world, with everything from increasing city development to pesticide use suggested as contributing causes..."
Our Brains Are Shrinking. Are We Getting Dumber?
|8:19:36 PM, Monday, January 03, 2011|
“When it comes to brain size, bigger doesn't always mean better. As humans continue to evolve, scientists say our brains are actually getting smaller.
The downsizing of human brains is an evolutionary fact that took science writer Kathleen McAuliffe by surprise.
"I said, 'What? I thought it was getting bigger!'" she tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. That was the story up to 20,000 years ago, she learned. Then, the brains of our ancestors reversed course and started getting smaller — and they've been shrinking ever since.
Cro-Magnon man, who lived in Europe 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, had the biggest brains of any human species. In comparison, today's human brain is about 10 percent smaller. It's a chunk of brain matter "roughly equivalent to a tennis ball in size," McAuliffe says.
The experts aren't sure about the implications of this evolutionary trend. Some think it might be a dumbing-down process. One cognitive scientist, David Geary, argues that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don't need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce.
But not all researchers are so pessimistic. Brian Hare, an anthropologist at the Duke University Institute for Brain Sciences, thinks the decrease in brain size is actually an evolutionary advantage…”
Image by Mateu Velasco
SUVs May be Banned in Paris
|7:42:56 PM, Monday, January 03, 2011|
“By late 2011 or early 2012 the city of Paris will begin testing restrictions on vehicles that emit a certain amount of CO2, meaning large, polluting vehicles such as SUVs. An environmental official with the mayor’s office said, “I’m sorry, but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense. Sell it and buy a vehicle that’s compatible with city life.” (Source: Detroit Free Press) Or, even better, sell it and ride Le Metro, or ride a bike.
Due to the current high levels of congestion and air pollution, similar restrictions will be tested at the same time in other French cities such as Lyon, Grenoble, and Aix-en-Provence. The cities where the large car ban will be tested will be called Priority Zones for Action against Air Pollution.
SUVs and other large vehicles will probably still be allowed to drive freely in the urban areas around the city of Paris, but not allowed inside. The population of the city is a little over two million, but the population of the Paris metro area is over ten million. The Paris Metro (subway) carries over four million passengers a day, so you can imagine potentially how many cars could be on the roads at the same time.
Bertrand Delanoë, the mayor of Paris, has been a longtime green campaigner and pledged to reduce traffic congestion by 40 percent by 2020. One of the ideas he has supported is a bike rental program which now provides 20,000 bikes in the city for residents and tourists to move around without having to use cars. With the program, called Vélib, a bike can be rented for a week for about nine dollars. The city also has about 230 miles of bike lanes…”
-- What if I do have those 10 kids I drive around in my Suburban?!
The Big Picture: A New Year Rolls In
|7:26:20 PM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
-- Photos of New Year celebrations around the world. I want that bear mask/costume the kids in Romania got!!!
Assembling the Leica M9
|6:51:11 PM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
-- Interesting to see this beauty get assembled, even if the price for one is out of this world.
Photos of Chinese 5th-Generation Stealth Fighter Jet Revealed
|10:07:56 AM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
“TAIPEI - China's fifth-generation stealth fighter program took a noticeable step forward this week when the first high-resolution photographs appeared on Chinese non-governmental websites of a prototype of the Chengdu J-20 fighter being built for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).
In the photos, the J-20 appears to be conducting a high-speed taxi test. There have been suggestions the photographs are fake, including questions over the unusually large Chinese red star painted on the tail. PLAAF red star insignias are normally smaller with parallel adjacent red bands.
In the past, due largely to grainy photos taken by cell phones, the existence of the J-20 was treated with some skepticism by many observers.
However, the newest photos are "the real deal," said Richard Fisher, an Asia military affairs analyst at the Washington-based International Assessment and Strategy Center.
The photos reveal the J-20 has a canard-delta twin-engine configuration, diverter-less supersonic intakes, and a shaped nose consistent with the use of an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.
The J-20 design is similar to the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and the Sukhoi T-50 fighters. Sources indicate the twin-engine J-20 prototype could be using the Russian-built Saturn 117S (AL-41F1A) engine, the same being used in the T-50 and Su-35 prototypes. China has expressed interest in procuring large quantities of the Saturn 117S from Russia and rumors at the recent Zhuhai Airshow in China indicate a J-20 prototype had been outfitted with the 117S.
There is also the possibility the prototype is being outfitted with the Chinese-built Shenyang WS-10 or WS-15 engine.
"At first glance this fighter has the potential to be competitive with the F-22 and to be an efficient F-35 killer," Fisher said. Fisher is the author of the new book, "China's Military Modernization…””
-- Hmm... China seems to be covering all bases these days. From fastest super computers, to huge leaps in space technology, to fighter jets...
Oh, and that thing is HUGE! Check out more photos under the "See Here" link.
Rob Roy - Carmencita
|5:43:18 AM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
Somewhere Only We Know by Viktoria Haack
|1:59:48 AM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
Anyone Fancy to Own an Aircraft Carrier? Sale by Tender - HMS Invincible
|1:56:16 AM, Sunday, January 02, 2011|
"HMS Invincible is for sale by tender. Laid down in 1973 at Vickers Shipbuilding, Barrow-in-Furness, she was completed in 1980..."
-- I love how they have the "Add to Cart" option.
Drunk Octopus Wants to Fight You
|11:59:03 PM, Saturday, January 01, 2011|
Cassius, I Love You So by WE ARE FROM L.A
|7:30:58 PM, Saturday, January 01, 2011|
- © Ed Banger Records.
Zeitgeist 2010: What the World Searched for on Google in 2010
|5:57:53 PM, Saturday, January 01, 2011|
"2010 was a year of new gadgets, hilarious Internet memes and revolutionary forms of entertainment across the board."
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