Rotational CT Scan of Skull
Robotic recreation of the Kangaroo form put together by Festo to demonstrate energy-efficient movement (this was initially announced on April the 1st, but turns out to be real) - video embedded below:
With the BionicKangaroo, Festo has technologically reproduced the unique way a kangaroo moves. Like its natural model, it can recover the energy when jumping, store it and efficiently use it for the next jump.
On the artificial kangaroo, Festo intelligently combines pneumatic and electrical drive technology to produce a highly dynamic system. The stable jump kinematics plus the precise control technology ensure stability when jumping and landing. The consistent lightweight construction facilitates the unique jumping behaviour. The system is controlled by gestures.
Magnifying the distant universe
Galaxy clusters are some of the most massive structures that can be found in the Universe — large groups of galaxies bound together by gravity. This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals one of these clusters, known as MACS J0454.1-0300. Each of the bright spots seen here is a galaxy, and each is home to many millions, or even billions, of stars.
Astronomers have determined the mass of MACS J0454.1-0300 to be around 180 trillion times the mass of the Sun. Clusters like this are so massive that their gravity can even change the behaviour of space around them, bending the path of light as it travels through them, sometimes amplifying it and acting like a cosmic magnifying glass. Thanks to this effect, it is possible to see objects that are so far away from us that they would otherwise be too faint to be detected.
In this case, several objects appear to be dramatically elongated and are seen as sweeping arcs to the left of this image. These are galaxies located at vast distances behind the cluster — their image has been amplified, but also distorted, as their light passes through MACS J0454.1-0300. This process, known as gravitational lensing, is an extremely valuable tool for astronomers as they peer at very distant objects.
This effect will be put to good use with the start of Hubble’s Frontier Fields program over the next few years, which aims to explore very distant objects located behind lensing clusters, similar to MACS J0454.1-0300, to investigate how stars and galaxies formed and evolved in the early Universe.
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Nick Rose
Humans — who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals — have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and ‘animals’ is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them — without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward other animals, to contend that only humans can suffer. The behavior of other animals renders such pretensions specious. They are just too much like us.
Clouds Detected on Alien Planet —New Hubble Discovery | TheDailyGalaxy
Weather forecasters on exoplanet GJ 1214b would have an easy job. Today’s forecast: cloudy. Tomorrow: overcast. Extended outlook: more clouds. A team of scientists led by researchers in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago report they have definitively characterized the atmosphere of a super-Earth class planet orbiting another star for the first time.Source photo 1: [Tyrogthekreeper]
Study Serves Huge Blow to ‘Any Remaining Climate Change Deniers’
By Hannah Osborne April 14, 2014 International Business Times
Climate change deniers have been dealt a huge blow following the release of a study that says the natural warming hypothesis can be ruled out with 99% accuracy.
Scientists at McGill University, Montreal, have said they can say with overwhelming confidence that climate change is the result of man-made emissions. Published in the journal Climate Dynamics, the researchers analysed temperature data since 1500. Their findings almost completely rule out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is a natural fluctuation in the planet’s climate.
IMAGE: Scientists are seen during a study of Arctic sea ice in July 2011 Reuters/NASA
The Astro Alphabet
By Ethan Siege
A is for Aurora, the Earth’s polar lights,
as the Sun’s hot electrons help color our nights.
B is for Black Hole, a star’s collapsed heart,
if you cross its horizon, you’ll never depart.
C is for Comet, with tails, ice, and dust,
a trip near the Sun makes skywatching a must!
D is for Dark Matter, the great cosmic glue
that holds clusters together, but not me and you!
E is for Eclipse, where the Moon, Earth and Sun
cast light-blocking shadows that can’t be outrun.
F is for Fusion, that powers the stars,
as nuclei join, their released light is ours!
G is for Galaxies, in groups and alone,
house billions of planets with lifeforms unknown.
H is for Hubble, for whom Earth’s no place;
a telescope like this belongs up in space.
I is for Ions, making nebulae glow;
as they find electrons, we capture the show.
J is for Jets, from a galaxy’s core,
if you feed them right, they’ll be active once more!
K is for Kepler, whose great laws of motion
keep planets on course in the great cosmic ocean.
L is for Libration, which makes our Moon rock,
it’s a trick of the orbit; it’s tidally locked!
M is for Meteors, which come in a shower,
if skies are just right, you’ll see hundreds an hour!
N is for Nebula, what forms when stars die,
this recycled fuel makes cosmic apple pie.
O is for Opaque, why the Milky Way’s dark,
these cosmic dust lanes make starlight appear stark!
P is for Pulsar, a spinning neutron star,
as the orbits tick by, we know just when we are.
Q is for Quasar, a great radio source,
accelerating matter with little remorse.
R is for Rings, all gas giants possess them,
even one found in another sun’s system!
S is for Spacetime, which curves due to matter,
this Universe-fabric can bend but won’t shatter!
T is for Tides, caused by gravity’s tune,
our oceans bulge out from the Sun and the Moon.
U is the Universe, our goal’s understanding,
with billions of galaxies, as spacetime’s expanding!
V is for Virgo, our nearest great cluster,
with thousands of galaxies, it’s a gut-buster!
W is for Wavelength, the energies of light,
that tell us what atoms are in stars just from sight!
X is for X-rays, high-energy light,
where bursts of new stars show an ionized might.
Y is the Year, where we orbit our Sun,
each planet’s is different; the Earth’s is just one.
Z is for Zenith, so gaze up at the sky!
The Universe is here; let’s learn what, how and why.
Indiegogo campaign to fund production of a simple stripped-down handheld console which is designed to easily create your own games (and can connect to upto 128 other devices) - video embedded below:
Gamebuino is a retro portable game console project based on Arduino. It allows you to make your own games, and even more.
It is designed so you can easily get started with your game, yet it is capable enough to make fully-featured 8-bit games and other badass projects. The library allows you to start programming your game in minutes, and the console is shipped ready to run, yet customizable thanks to the extension ports which allow you to add modules (like an accelerometer or wireless communication), or to connect several Gamebuino consoles to play in multiplayer with your mates.
Giant liposomes of pulmonary surfactant (40x)
(via Giant liposomes of pulmonary surfactant | 2-photon | Nikon Small World)
Major characteristics of the 10 classes of necrophiles
I. Roleplayers: do not want to have sex with a dead person. Enjoy sex with a living person pretending to be dead.
II. Romantic necrophiles: bereaved people, who would mummify a part of the body of their recently departed loved ones, and keep it with them in order to get a psychosexual stimulation. Would not show a similar interest in any other dead body, i.e. body of a person with whom they were not romantically involved in life.
III. Necrophilic fantasizers: fantasize intercourse with the dead. May visit cemeteries and funeral parlors and may masturbate in the presence of the dead.
IV. Tactile necrophiles: interest in dead bodies increases to the level of touching them. Like to stroke erotic parts of a dead body, such as breasts. May manipulate sexual organs of the dead in order to get an orgasm.
V. Fetishistic necrophiles: cut up parts of a dead body, mummify it, and keep it in their possession to use it as a fetish for their necrophilic activities. Differ from Class II necrophiles in the sense that they (Class V) do it with the bodies of strangers with whom they held no romantic relationship in life. Thus they do not merely fill a psychosexual vacuum left by the death of their loved ones.
VI. Necromutilomaniacs: interest in dead bodies is more than merely touching them. Necrophilic pleasure comes from mutilating a dead body.
VII. Opportunistic necrophiles: actual sexual activity with the dead starts from this class. Normally, these necrophiles would be content to have sexual intercouse with the living, but if an opportunity arose, would not refrain from having sexual intercourse with the dead. Necrophilic mortuary attendants belong to this class.
VIII. Regular necrophiles: the so-called “classic” necrophiles. They do not enjoy sexual intercourse with the living and prefer dead bodies for intercourse. They can however have sex with both living and dead persons. In this sense they differ from Class X necrophiles, who can have sex only with dead persons.
IX. Homicidal necrophiles: this penultimate category is the most dangerous of all, in the sense that they would kill a person in order to have intercourse with him or her. They are however capable of having sexual intercourse with the living, but the need for sexual intercourse with the dead is so great that they must kill human beings in order to have sexual intercourse with their dead bodies.
X. Exclusive necrophiles: sexual intercourse is possible only with the dead, with the complete exclusion of living partners.
After attending a lecture on “out of body experiences,” a 24-year-old student from the University of Ottawa approached her professor saying, “I thought everybody could do that.” She can apparently do this at will — making her the first person with this condition to be studied.
The resulting paper, which now appears in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, describes the condition as something of an illusion, where a person’s ability to track their body’s position in space and time has somehow become externalized. In this extraordinary case, the university student claims she can do this whenever she wants — to induce the feeling that she can experience her body moving outside the boundaries of her physical body, while remaining aware of her unmoving physical body.
So, if you’re a neuroscientist studying this particular person, what do you do? You put her in a brain scanner, of course. Writing in ABC News, Gillian Mohney explains more:
[Claude] Messier and his co-author interviewed the student and had her undergo an MRI to see if her brain activity might shed light on her unusual ability.
Messier said the girl first noticed her ability when she was a child and had a hard time going to sleep during naps. To pass the time she would “float” above her body.
"I feel myself moving, or, more accurately, can make myself feel as if I am moving. I know perfectly well that I am not actually moving," the student told the researchers. "In fact, I am hyper-sensitive to my body at that point, because I am concentrating so hard on the sensation of moving…For example, if I ‘spin’ for long enough, I get dizzy."
Messier said at some point the student’s brain showed similar activity to that of a high-level athlete who can vividly imagine themselves winning a competition. One difference, however, was that her brain activity was focused on one side, and the athletes usually show activity on both brain hemispheres.
Messier said more study was needed, but he said that this discovery could mean many more people have this ability but find it “unremarkable.” The discovery could be similar to how synesthesia, a mix of multiple senses, was discovered in a wider population.
Alternately, the ability could be something that everyone is able to do as an infant or child, but lose as they get older.
Wild stuff. Typically, this condition happens as the result of an injury, psychological illness, lesions on the brain, or from a drug that induces the illusion. The researchers speculate that this ability might be present in infancy but that it’s lost without regular practice. They also hypothesize that it’s more prevalent in young people… and that it’s a skill that might be developed.