1. orthoplex:

    On a scale from the winter soldier


    to ronan


    how intense is your eyeliner

    (via drunkedjohnlock)

  2. plutopostcards:

    Remember the New Horizons picture of Pluto and Charon I posted earlier?  We got some more!  Here’s a video of Pluto and Charon, made by my colleague Con Tsang.  These images were taken with LORRI (LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager) as part of our 8th annual checkup and cover one Pluto day.  Pluto appears to wobble because the center of mass between Pluto and Charon is outside of Pluto.


  3. "…These games also tend to frame misogyny and sexual exploitation as an everlasting fact of life, as something unescapable and unchangeable. This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality, but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction.

    It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that: if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game world would feel too unrealistic or not historically accurate.

    What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics, and no one bats an eye, when dragons, ogres, and magic are inserted into historically-influenced settings without objection? We’re perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration, and the ability to carry dozens of weapons in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow, the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange, and too bizarre, to be believable."

    Women as Background Decoration (Part 2), on Feminist Frequency.

    Anita Sarkeesian is so great. Too bad she didn’t feel safe sleeping at her own house last night after being physically threatened for saying nothing more inflammatory than what you just read, above.

    (via timoni)
  4. ryanandmath:

    Imagine you wanted to measure the coastline of Great Britain. You might remember from calculus that straight lines can make a pretty good approximation of curves, so you decide that you’re going to estimate the length of the coast using straight lines of the length of 100km (not a very good estimate, but it’s a start). You finish, and you come up with a total costal length of 2800km. And you’re pretty happy. Now, you have a friend who also for some reason wants to measure the length of the coast of Great Britain. And she goes out and measures, but this time using straight lines of the length 50km and comes up with a total costal length of 3400km. Hold up! How can she have gotten such a dramatically different number?

    It turns out that due to the fractal-like nature of the coast of Great Britain, the smaller the measurement that is used, the larger the coastline length will be become. Empirically, if we started to make the measurements smaller and smaller, the coastal length will increase without limit. This is a problem! And this problem is known as the coastline paradox.

    By how fractals are defined, straight lines actually do not provide as much information about them as they do with other “nicer” curves. What is interesting though is that while the length of the curve may be impossible to measure, the area it encloses does converge to some value, as demonstrated by the Sierpinski curve, pictured above. For this reason, while it is a difficult reason to talk about how long the coastline of a country may be, it is still possible to get a good estimate of the total land mass that the country occupies. This phenomena was studied in detail by Benoit Mandelbrot in his paper “How Long is the Coast of Britain" and motivated many of connections between nature and fractals in his later work.

    (via geologicadept)

  5. sagansense:

    Into Deepest Space: The Birth of the ALMA Observatory is an independent documentary about the hardships and eventual achievements of all those involved with ALMA from conception to implementation.

    It’s so far beyond any [existing] capability in the millimeter domain," said astronomer Ethan Schreier, president of Associated Universities Inc., which oversaw North America’s contribution to ALMA. "There’s nothing that will compete with this for a very long time. When you introduce a totally new capability, you always discover new things that you don’t predict." [source]

    A decade in the making, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array was built atop the Chajnantor plateau (16,570 feet (5,050 meters) above sea level) in order to provide the clearest window to the universe. ALMA will reveal early galaxy formation and peer beyond the interstellar/planetary dust clouds hiding planetary formation in action. A product of North America, Europe, and East Asia with the cooperation of Chile, this is what happens when you collaborate effectively across artificial borders for the sake of exploration and discovery. The dishes themselves weigh around 100 tons each, comprised of ultra-stable CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) for the reflector base, possessing reflecting panels of rhodium-coated nickel.

    imageALMA Now a Full-Fledged Observatory (Universe Today)

    ALMA will observe in millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths (submillimeter light has slightly shorter wavelengths than millimeter light, whose wavelengths are measured in millimeters). These ranges fall along the boundary between the radio and microwave bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, with longer wavelengths than optical light. This band of light allows astronomers to probe into the dark cores of gas clouds to study star and planet formation, and to collect distant light that’s been shifted toward the red end of the spectrum.

    imageALMA turns its eyes to Centaurus A (NRAO)

    imageFormalhaut: Earth-Sized Planets Only 25 Light Years Away? (science2.0)

    The electronic detector or, “front end” that amplifies/converts the radio waves collected per each antenna must be stabilized at 4 degrees Kelvin (- 452 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 269 degrees Celsius) for prevention of introducing noise to the signal. It’s a pristine engineering feat. Costing $1.4 billion (split across North America, Europe, and East Asia), whereby $500 million was contributed by U.S. taxpayers. [source]

    imageSentinel in the cosmic darkness (Pesquisa)

    ALMA is also featured in the IMAX film Hidden Universe 3D and continuously heralded as a catalyst for the field of astrochemistry. Watch ALMA at work and browse my archive of related posts

    The acronym ALMA was provided due to the Spanish meaning of the Italian word Alma, meaning “soul.” The Atacama Millimeter/submillimeter Array was designated its name because the astronomers/astrophysicists state the observatory will peer into stars’ souls.

    Every single field you can think of, from our solar system to star formation of all masses in our galaxy and nearby galaxies, to even detecting light from the first stars that formed…I don’t think there’s any field of astronomy that will remain untouched by the advent of ALMA.
    — Dr. Crystal Brogan, Astronomer, National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

    imageMore on ALMA here…

    (via theuniverseatlarge)

  6. It is good to be back home, if only for a little while. Also, Colorado cantaloupe is so delicious.

  7. thisiswhiteculture:




    When #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Happens in Print: 

    Section from the Rolling Stone profile of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings vs section from the New York Times profile of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. 

    H/T to @daviddtss 



    No, just white people

    (via theboredboi)

  8. ananthymous:


    The Aftershocks

    I was asked to create a .gif of a house interior during an earthquake. The article chronicles the controversial aftermath of the devastating quake that happened in L’Aquila, Italy in 2009. I wanted to capture the movement of the “tremors” before the full-on earthquake, although this tremor is infinite, never resolving.
    This image and the all the animation was made in Photoshop. thanks AD Erich Nagler!

    Rebecca is amazing!

    (via barn-megaparsec)

  9. climateadaptation:

    Guys, seriously. Come meet Jenny Frankel-Reed, Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist with USAID’s Global Climate Change Office.

    She. Is. AWESOME!!!

    I co-manage a climate adaptation contract with her office, and I can say she is one of the best people I’ve worked with in a long time. She manages a technical project called SERVIR with NASA, USAID, and several partners around the world.

    SERVIR—the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System—helps government officials, managers, scientists, researchers, students, and the general public make decisions by providing Earth observations and predictive models based on data from orbiting satellites.

    The SERVIR system helps nations in Mesoamerica, Africa, and the Himalayan regions cope with eight areas of societal benefit identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO): disasters, ecosystems, biodiversity, weather, water, climate, health, and agriculture. Via

    I think she’s a great inspiration for young women professionals in science!! You HAVE TO COME SEE HER!

    • Do you want to hear about what it’s like to work at USAID?
    • Are you interested in how the U.S. government promotes climate adaptation around the world??! Of course you do!
    • Interested in making connections in the climate change field?
    • Come meet Jenny for a chat and some drinks August 28th. I’ll be there, too!


    A Chat with USAID/GCC Jenny Frankely-Reed.

    BAR LOUIE (CHINATOWN METRO) Washington, DC AUG 28 7 P.M.


    August 28: 7 p.m. – Bar Louie, 701 7th St. NW, Washington DC. (IMPORTANT! Bar Louie is in the mall next to the Chinatown Metro. Go through the white doors on the northwest entrance off 7th Street, by the food carts.)

    There will be a place to store bags while envirorunners are on the fun run. Meet inside the event room (Upon entering, turn left and then turn right when you see the back bar. We will be through the big, wooden door along the back wall.)  7 p.m.

    Photo op: We welcome you to wear your best enviro shirt + swag and share #envirorun photos on Twitter (@envirorun) and Facebook (Envirorun). Prizes go to the top tweeters!

    Speaker bio: Jenny Frankel-Reed is a Senior Climate Change Specialist and Coordinator of the SERVIR Program with USAID’s Climate Change Office, where she has provided technical support to programs in 20 countries and regions across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and coordinated USAID’s flagship science and technology partnership with NASA (SERVIR).

    Ms. Frankel-Reed has worked on the vulnerability and adaptation dimensions of climate change for more than 10 years, including vulnerability assessment, remote sensing applications, climate services, monitoring and evaluation, international climate financing, and training.

    Prior to joining USAID in 2010, she served as Technical Advisor for a German International Cooperation (GIZ) project based in India, was an Adaptation Advisor with the Environment and Energy Group of the United Nations Development Program, and worked as a Climate Change Consultant to the Global Environment Facility. Ms. Frankel-Reed has forest and human ecology research experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Pacific Northwest of the U.S., and holds a Masters from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University.

    If you’re in DC August 28, please please come see her speak on USAID’s climate programs across dozens of countries.

    She’s a young professional operating at a very high-level under Obama’s government. Come see her August 28th. It’s a small crowd, intimate setting, and the atmosphere is very casual! 

  10. Goodbye Baltimore! You’re a pretty swell city.


  11. climateadaptation:

    It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization:

    1. “Try not to cough on one another.” More humans have died from epidemics than from all famines and wars. Disease precipitated the fall of Greece, Rome, and the civilizations of the Americas. People used to bunch up around the infected, which pushed local disease into universal plague. Now we can head that off with Net telepresence, telemedicine, and medical alert networks. All businesses should develop a work-from-home capability for their workforce.

    2. “Don’t lose things.” As proved by the destruction of the Alexandria Library and of the literature of Mayans and Minoans, “knowledge is hard won but easily lost.” Plumbing disappeared for a thousand years when Rome fell. Inoculation was invented in China and India 700 years before Europeans rediscovered it. These days Michelangelo’s David has been safely digitized in detail. Eagleman has direct access to all the literature he needs via PubMed, JSTOR, and Google Books. “Distribute, don’t reinvent.”

    3. “Tell each other faster.” Don’t let natural disasters cascade. The Minoans perished for lack of the kind of tsunami alert system we now have. Countless Haitians in the recent earthquake were saved by Ushahidi.com, which aggregated cellphone field reports in real time.

    4. “Mitigate tyranny.” The USSR’s collapse was made inevitable by state-controlled media and state-mandated mistakes such as Lysenkoism, which forced a wrong theory of wheat farming on 13 time zones, and starved millions. Now crowd-sourced cellphone users can sleuth out vote tampering. We should reward companies that stand up against censorship, as Google has done in China.

    5. “Get more brains involved in solving problems.” Undertapping human capital endangers the future. Open courseware from colleges is making higher education universally accessible. Crowd-sourced problem solving is being advanced by sites such as PatientsLikeMe, Foldit (protein folding), and Cstart (moon exploration). Perhaps the next step is “society sourcing.”

    6. “Try not to run out of energy.” When energy expenditure outweighs energy return, collapse ensues. Email saves trees and trucking. Online shopping is a net energy gain, with UPS optimizing delivery routes and never turning left. We need to expand the ability to hold meetings and conferences online.

    See the webinar explaining these things, here.

    These hard to dispute maxims were developed by the flashy neuroscientist, David Eagleman. He presented them to the Long Now Foundation, an institute that makes a boat load of money selling guru-esque science, technology, and economics books and seminars. Like TED Talks, the Long Now Foundation presents new thinking in a compelling way, salesy way. 

    Yes, I’m skeptical of TED and Long Now, mostly because they present information with a tone of all-knowing infallibility. One also has to be particularly “alpha” in order to make a presentation with either of these organizations - a disposition that the vast majority of researchers do not have. This method of presentation only supports a certain type of researcher, while thousands of others are left behind.

    So, on the one hand, these organizations vacuum-up large sums of cash from an easily-entertained, science hungry public. On the other hand, ‘science-as-entertainment’ might be the best way to communicate heavy and complex ideas to wider audiences. Is “sci-tainment" sustainable? How long until the public becomes jaded from watching TED Talks and Long Now? How long will these organizations last? What are the long term effects of these things on various fields of scientific research?

    Has anyone quantified the social impacts or value of TED Talks and the Long Now Foundation?

    What do you think? Am I being too harsh on these venues?


  12. "

    White supremacy is the “ethnic” section of the hair aisle. It’s the “African-American” section of the bookstore that’s mostly romance novels for some reason. It’s the prison-industrial complex. It’s Angelina Jolie as Cleopatra.

    It’s the fact that most of the wealth and power in the western world sits squarely in the hands of white people. It’s any part of society that treats white as the default and everything else as “other.”

    White supremacy is a holdover from the days of colonialism and slavery, but it’s been largely upheld by people who either pretend it’s not there, consciously sustain it, or reinforce it to survive. Respectability politics falls in the latter category.


  13. coral-fangs:



    how do boys look good without makeup

    Because society hasn’t told boys they look bad without it

    shots fired

    (via theboredboi)

  14. mapsontheweb:

    Earth’s ice and vegetation cycle over a year

    (Source: uxblog.idvsolutions.com, via nagisahaazukii)


  15. chiakexe said: I'm curious, what song did you submit to Welcome to Night Vale?



    Tagged #oh goodness