Here's an awesome animated video of (personal hero) Carl Sagan's reflections on Voyager 1's iconic and humbling picture of Earth, our home, the “Pale Blue Dot.”
These people at Narrative Science have developed a computer program that "transforms data into high-quality editorial content."
Yeah. There it goes. And here I'm spending $40k a year in grad school only to be ousted by a bunch of ones and zeros! Now I know what the abacus felt like.
And the people over at Narrative Science aren't just spouting unfounded beliefs. NPR covered the story. This Hunter S. Watson actually out wrote a college newspaper sports writer, who buried the lede on the historic no-hitter he was covering. Deadspin, the sports blog, challenged the programmers at Narrative Science, skeptical that their program could challenge the work of a living breathing human being.
Deadspin, however skeptical, seems to have been turned.
My favorite part of the article: "Please remember, computer overlords,” one Deadspin staffer writes in response. “When the time comes, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in the silicon mines.”
Via @thedailywhat, The Daily What
Earlier this week, excitement came out of CERN. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC)
From The Daily Geek: "The LHC smashed billions of particles from two beams — a world record-breaking 4.67 x 1032cm-2s-1 to be exact — at the CERN physics lab in Geneva, Switzerland. This wasn’t by accident, either. The scientists at CERN have been upping the power levels of its particle beams for the last two years."
Take the bus or ride your bike. Recycle your cans and your newspaper. PUT DOWN THE AQUA-NET!
It's Earth Day, people! Do your part!
Even Google celebrated the 41st Earth Day with it's awesome, animated "Google Doodle."
For those of you that didn't notice, there was an amazing little meme built in. Circulating the tubes awhile ago was this wonderful video of a baby panda sneezing and scaring its mother. Those pandas there on the left, by the google G are having the same glorious and heartwarming interaction. SAVE THE EARTH AND PROTECT THE SNEEZING PANDAS!
I don't know if it was my early exposure to brutal video games via my older brother, or my love of bad Christopher Pike novels growing up, but I LOVE when there's an amalgamation of zombies and science. Zomb-science? Sci-Zombie? Zombience?
Picture source: National Geographic
Whether it be the creepy-as-hell fungus that creates zombie-ants (RIGHT) or the wasp that transforms cockroaches into mindless zombie drones.... YES, COCKROACHES, the stubborn little insects that will be around forever can also be zombified.
I love a good science/zombie intersection.
(In fact, my friend/classmate Arezu Sarvestani and I want to do an entire video series about zombies in the scientific world.)
My background is marine bio, not oceanography: I studied creatures, not currents.
Still, this new video on Nat Geo caught my attention.
"Scientists use cameras and sonar near the U.S. Virgin Islands to 'see' the sea floor and find out how fish and other sea life use the underwater habitats, which include coral reefs and sea grasses."
I'm going to go ahead and say, with a voice full of child-like wonder, "Neat."
Hooray! New Dinosaurs!
Much like most people my age, I harbor a deep-seeded love affair with dinosaurs thanks to years of wanting to be a paleontologist. This was, obviously, only furthered by the 1993 release of the deeply flawed/nothing like the book/but still a youth staple Jurassic Park.
Still, New Dinosaur!
The word from Slashdot: News for Nerds (and from a study in Science) is thus:
"A New Zealand evolutionary psychologist, Quentin Atkinson, has created a scientific sensation by claiming to have discovered the mother of all mother tongues. 'Dr Atkinson took 504 languages and plotted the number of
phonemes in each (corrected for recent population growth, when significant) against the distance between the place where the language is spoken and 2,500 putative points of origin, scattered across the world (abstract). The relationship that emerges suggests the actual point of origin is in central or southern Africa, and that all modern languages do, indeed, have a common root."
I'm a little skeptical, as was another Slashdot user who pointed to another study from Nature that pointed out that cultural influences may have more of an impact than noted in the Atkinson study.
So it's Science vs. Nature... Literally.
(Sorry for the pun).
Oh God, this comic by Jess Fink!
As described on the "girl-geek" blog TheMarySue.com, Jess Fink runs through the history of a sex drive in Victorian Ladies. Doctors used to prescribe masturbation as a treatment to hysteria, you know? Either way, this comic is fraking HILARIOUS. It does have a comic-style picture of genitalia AND it says "Don't ignore the Clitoris" in giant letters. So, I'll go with semi-NSFW.
The rest of the comic is after the jump. It's worth your time, really.