1. krakenqueen:


    This Bald Eagle was chasing the Great Blue Heron away from the eggs in her nest. It wasn’t trying to kill the Heron or she would have done so long before this once in a lifetime shot was captured by Owen Deutsch

    The artist in me loves the fact that we have two nearly similarly sized birds in the same pose for a detailed comparison between the anatomical differences. It’s like, I’m having an art boner right now.

    (Source: wildography.co.uk, via jess-curious)

  3. spaceplasma:

    Henrietta Swan Leavitt

    The parallax method used to measure the distances to nearby stars, pioneered by Bessel and others could only be used on stars closer than 100 light years away.  But most stars and other galaxies are far beyond that distance. The key for finding the distance to stars much further away was discovered by Henrietta Swan Leavitt who worked at Harvard College Observatory as a “computer,” one of several women paid 25 to 30 cents per hour to extract data from thousands of photographic plates.

    Unfortunately stars are not the same intrinsic brightness (or luminosity), so it is impossible to tell if a star appears dim because it’s far away, or because it doesn’t put out much light. The key for finding the distance to stars was discovered by Henrietta Swan Leavitt who worked at Harvard College Observatory as a “computer,” one of several women paid 25 to 30 cents per hour to take data from thousands of photographic plates.

    Leavitt’s assignment was to identify variable stars, which are stars that change in brightness over a few hours, days, or weeks. To do this she would compare two photos of a star field taken a few days or weeks apart. She used an instrument called a blink comparator that flips back and forth quickly between the two images so that a variable star shows up as a flashing spot. With this method she found more than 2,400 variable stars.

    Leavitt became curious about whether there might be a relationship between the brightness of a variable star and the length of its period (how long it takes for the star to get brighter, dimmer, then brighter again). That was difficult because she did not know the intrinsic brightness of any given variable. She solved the problem by restricting her search to a particular kind of variable star known as Cepheid variables that reside in the Small Magellanic Cloud—a distant star cluster. She reasoned that all stars in the cluster must be approximately the same distance from Earth.

    Her hunch paid off. Leavitt discovered 25 Cepheid variables in the cluster and created a graph showing the maximum brightness of each star and the length of its period. As she suspected, there was a clear relationship. Brighter stars had longer periods. All that was needed to find actual distances was to find the distance to just one nearby Cepheid variable. A few years later a team of astronomers did just that, making it possible to measure the distance to any Cepheid.

    Image Credit: Dana Berry/NASA

    (via theuniverseatlarge)


  4. the-oncoming-glowcloud:




    hail hydra? no. all hail the glow cloud.

    And is an active member of the school board.

    i also bring the nicest scones, unlike some people

    (Source: finncollinsss, via jess-curious)

  5. Spending Friday night trying to get a gosh darn camera to take gosh darn pictures of the gosh darn sky. Well, at the moment I’d settle for the computer to actually know it’s connected to the camera, but whatever.


  6. "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 worlds 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 are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items 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."
    — Tropes vs Women in Video Games, Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 (via femfreq)

    (via agovernmentman)


  7. Interestingly, the ratio of the classical proton radius (0.8768 fm) to the bohr radius (53 pm) is roughly the same order as the ratio of the solar radius (700,000 km) to the radius of the heliopause (maybe 121 AU). See here. I really expected there to be much more room in the atom.


  8. "Do you comprehend the crime, the unpardonable crime?… Victor abandons his own creature, horrified by what he has done. Popular opinion has got it right, because it has rightly given his name to the monster, who didn’t have one in the novel. Frankenstein, all stitched together, full of hubris and remorse, hideous to behold. The monster is none other than Victor himself."
    — Norbert H, in Bruno Latour’s Aramis, or the Love of Technology

  9. "Existing at the fringes of Victorian science’s understanding of electricity, femininity, and spirituality, the medium occupied a strategic political and intellectuals space that allowed her to intervene in the public sphere through a combination of supernatural and technological discourses, a model legitimated by the equally incredible yet incontrovertible evidence of the telegraph"

    Now Sconce is discussing how women, often considered ideal as mediums because of the classic feminine attributes of, you know, sensitivity, passivity, impressionability, nonetheless managed to carve out a domain and their own authority within Spiritualism. And Spiritualists were often associated with abolitionism, women’s rights, dress reform, free love movements, amongst others.

    And then there’s the materialized spirit Katie King, who, in dark, dimly-lit seances, beckoned to various members of the audience, whispering to, embracing, and, according to some accounts, very audibly kissing them. Most remarkably, men and women received attention in equal measure from this manifested spirit. To quote Molly McGarry in “Spectral Sexualities”, “Both propriety and traditional gender dichotomies dissolved in the dark, as spirits bestowed their “singular touches” on willing men and women alike.” 

    This was 1868! Spiritualist seances inspired in part by electromagnetic technology provided something maybe akin to a queer space in the Victorian era? How did I not know any of this?


  10. And Sconce is making the connection between Spiritualists contacting the dead through electromagnetism and Tipler and his “theology is a branch of physics” business with the Omega Point and everybody being resurrected at the end of the time as the universe collapses to provide infinite computational power (although that’s actually Teilhard’s idea but what’s the difference [the difference is probably important but I’ll be studying that later this semester]).

    Yes, yes, good. Good on you, Sconce.


  11. "When Samuel Morse and Kate Fox opened contact with Baltimore and the Beyond in the 1840s, they did so at a time when there were few distinctions made btween what would shortly become the antithetical domains of physics and metaphysics. Lacking this modern distinction, the Spiritualist’ initial conceptualization of “celestial telegraphy” was not so much a misapplication of technological discourse as a logical elaboration of the technology’s already “supernatural” characteristics."

    Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television, by Jeffree Sconce

    knew I made the right choice taking this course. Seriously, part of the reading for this week is how the electromagnetic telegraph helped inspire the Modern Spiritualist movement.

    So cool.

  12. korranation:

    Hey Korra Nation, BIG NEWS!!!


    So what’re you waiting for? Let’s do this!!!

    (via smallercliffs)

  13. f-yeahlegendofkorra:


    Parallels | Tenzin and Lin refusing to give Korra up to the season’s antagonists.

    request from literallykorra


    (via theboredboi)

  14. (Source: overtheunderpass, via vurn)