Sunday, October 22, 2017

Life in the slow lane :)

Going at the speed of light is going really slow when thinking galactic. Check out this stellar video to see why. :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kilonova ...

Video: This artist’s view shows the moments before and the nine days following a kilonova. Two neutron stars spiral inward, creating gravitational waves (pale arcs). After the merger, a jet produces gamma rays (magenta), while expanding radioactive debris makes ultraviolet (violet), optical (blue-white) and infrared (red) light.

Awesome video save that there is no sound in space. :)

Artist’s rendering of the neutron-star merger depicting a gamma-ray burst and ejected material swirling around the merging stars.


Before August, the only other gravity waves detected by LIGO were generated by colliding black holes. But black holes let no light escape, so astronomers could see nothing.

Gravitational wave from black hole collision 1.8 billion light-years away sensed in U.S. and Italy
This time there was plenty to see, measure and analyze: matter, light, and other radiation. The Hubble Space Telescope even got a snapshot of the afterglow.

"The completeness of this picture from the beginning to the end is unprecedented," said Columbia University physics professor Szabolcs Marka. "There are many, many extraordinary discoveries within the discovery."

The colliding stars spewed bright blue, super-hot debris that was dense and unstable. Some of it coalesced into heavy elements, like gold, platinum and uranium. Scientists had suspected neutron star collisions had enough power to create heavier elements, but weren't certain until they witnessed it.

"We see the gold being formed," said Syracuse's Brown.

How cool is that?

Skyline Overview

NYC & Chicago skylines, awesome says it all.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

An Ominious Beauty

Years ago, yours truly went to Yellowstone and was stunned at how truly beautiful the national park was with boiling lakes containing the colors of the rainbow combined with blue sky that almost hurts the eyes to look at. At the time, there was no sense of fear that the underlying cause of all this beauty could wake up and transform 1/2 of the US into an ash pile 2500 times greater than the Mt. St Helen's eruption or incinerate goodly parts of Wyoming, Utah and Montana in a NY minute until now.

Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once — 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

Yellowstone’s last supereruption occurred 631,000 years ago. And it’s not the planet’s only buried supervolcano. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every 100,000 years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event.

To answer that question, scientists are seeking lessons from Yellowstone’s past. And the results have been surprising. They show that the forces that drive these rare and violent events can move much more rapidly than volcanologists previously anticipated.

Mt St. Helens' crater  after the eruption

Seen below is the size of the Yellowstone super volcano.

An ominous beauty indeed.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Circular reasoning :)

Dusk in AK

Harvest Moon

Edge Line

Fire on the Mountain

Here's looking @ you :)

Keeping a tiny jumping spider from jumping to get this awesome portrait is something pretty awesome without question. :)

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Bait & Switch/Phase I & II :)

Phase II

Form follows (mis)function

When seeing a dashboard layout like this, one is struck by not only sensory overload, created by the displays in question, but also on just how poorly laid out this design set truly is. Adding fuel to the fire is the use of the smart phone as texting and talking device while driving, a deadly combination resulting in traffic deaths rising more than 13% in 2016 alone. 

This is insane. BRT has talked about this problem before but car manufacturers just keep mindlessly loading up tech in a device that requires 100% concentration if one doesn't want to die or get injured going from point A to point B when some numbnuts forgets to realize why the 100% rule applies to driving 24/7.

The smart phone vendors are beginning to wise up by turning off phones when one gets in a car. What can be done about onboard tech poses a design problem of little complexity because all they have to do is turn said tech off when the car is in motion as this will save lives and money for all of us rubes involved with "happy motoring" 24/7.

According to the AAA, the solution could be to shut down elements of these systems entirely while people are driving–meaning you couldn’t tweet and drive, even if you wanted to. Doney says that car infotainment systems should be about as mentally draining as listening to the radio or an audiobook–and halting drivers’ tendency to multitask on the road would make cars safer. The designers of these systems also have the responsibility of ensuring that the interactions they’re building aren’t going to result in accidents. More research is needed to ensure carmakers aren’t cramming technology into cars without thinking through the consequences.