Category Archives: science

Pillars of Creation: Womb of Stars

NASA has released an image this week to commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 100,000 orbit. This nebula, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on August 10, is about 170,000 light-years away.

“The image reveals dramatic ridges and valleys of dust, serpent-head ‘pillars of creation,’ and gaseous filaments glowing fiercely under torrential ultraviolet radiation. The region is on the edge of a dark molecular cloud that is an incubator for the birth of new stars. The high-energy radiation blazing out from clusters of hot young stars is sculpting the wall of the nebula by slowly eroding it away. Another young cluster may be hidden beneath a circle of brilliant blue gas. In this approximately 100-light-year-wide fantasy-like landscape, dark towers of dust rise above a glowing wall of gases on the surface of the molecular cloud. The seahorse-shaped pillar at lower, right is approximately 20 light-years long, roughly four times the distance between our sun and the nearest star, Alpha Centauri. The region is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite of our Milky Way galaxy. It is a fascinating laboratory for observing star-formation regions and their evolution. Dwarf galaxies like the Large Magellanic Cloud are considered to be the primitive building blocks of larger galaxies.”

You might also want to check out the The First Universe of Galaxies Map.

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Read, Read and Read

So it’s summer time and for those who rather stay in air-conditioned homes, here are some reading suggestions. They are not new so chances are you might have already read them, that’s why I’m listing out books that are good for re-reading. If you haven’t read them, you should. If you have, you would most likely agree on the fact that they are those who worth the time to be re-read.


Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan: You are probably wondering; “Wait, isn’t that a movie shown on Channel 4 starring Anna Maxwell Martin (Doctor Who, Becoming Jane) and Naomie Harris (28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean, Miami Vice) from the producers of The Last King of Scotland ? Yes, and if you liked this laid-back fun TV movie directed by Benjamin Ross, chances are you are going to like the original more-in-depth novel. As the Guardian put it; “Catch-22 meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…an electrifying debut…surreal, raucous, infuriating and very funny.”

Author preferred text version of American Gods by Neil Gaiman: I don’t think I need to say much about this one. It’s good, it’s grand and you’ve probably read it. Winner of the HUGO, NEBULA, BRAM STOKER, SFX and LOCUS awards, has written this novel of large themes with rich imagination. If you fell in loved with the novel, you might want to try the author’s preferred text. This version of American Gods is about twelve thousand words longer than the on that won all the awards, and it’s the version of which Gaiman is the most proud. Indulge yourself with this untrimmed version of American Gods this summer with a glass of long island iced tea!

Dead Baby Penguins on Rio de Janeiro’s Beaches

Can you imagine what’s it like to go to the beach and find hundreds of dead baby penguins washed up on the beach? Well the beach go-ers of Rio de Janeiro beach know. At last count, more than 400 penguins, swept from the shores of Patagonia and Antarctica, have been found dead on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches according to Michael Astor from Associated Press. So what are the causes?

Some say over-fishing; “Thiago Muniz, a veterinarian at the Niteroi Zoo, said he believed overfishing has forced the penguins to swim further from shore to find fish to eat “and that leaves them more vulnerable to getting caught up in the strong ocean currents.” Others say pollution, but scholars has pointed out it’s not likely. Instead, they suggested global warming; “I don’t think the levels of pollution are high enough to affect the birds so quickly. I think instead we’re seeing more young and sick penguins because of global warming, which affects ocean currents and creates more cyclones, making the seas rougher,” biologist Erli Costa said.

Mars Soil for Asparagus but not Strawberries

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander discovered that a sample of Martian dirt contained several soluble minerals, including potassium, magnesium and chloride. This means the soil in Mars may have enough nutrients to grow plants. Asparagus would grow happily in it, scientists say.

BBC reports: “We basically have found what appears to be the requirements for nutrients to support life,” said Phoenix’s wet chemistry lab lead, Sam Kounaves of Tufts University. “This is the type of soil you’d probably have in your backyard. You might be able to grow asparagus pretty well, but probably not strawberries.”

Jellyfish Outbreak= Nature Out of Balance

So we’re seeing more Jellyfish around, but what does it mean?  Experts say that driven by overfishing and climate change, this is a sure sign of ecosystems out of kilter.

“Jellyfish are an excellent bellwether for the environment,” explains Jacqueline Goy, of the Oceanographic Institute of Paris. “The more jellyfish, the stronger the signal that something has changed.”

“Jellyfish both compete with fish for plankton food, and predate directly on fish,” explains Andrew Brierley from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. “It is hard, therefore, to see a way back for fish once jellyfish have become established, even if commercial fishing is reduced.”

Read the full article here

jellyfish

Unicorn Spotted in Italy!

unicorn italy

A little baby unicorn has been discovered in Tuscay, Italy! It is actually a 10-month-old deer with a horn in the middle of its head. He lives in a nature preserve near Prato with his family.

“This is a demonstration that the fabled unicorn, which we all know from icons and legends, probably was not just a fantasy.”

So for those who dream of fairyland and unicorns, here’s your dream come true.

Read the full article at Telegraph UK

Christian Dior Cell Phones

christian dior phone

It’s official, these $5000 phones manufactured in partnership with ModeLabs feature a touchscreen display, camera and mini-phone extender called My Dior. About the size of a USB key, My Dior is linked to the main one by Bluetooth technology and allows you to take/make calls. It is meant to clip onto the outside of your handbag (tsk tsk to those women who put their cell phones into their Gucci bags full of make-up).

Remember how the Japanese and Korean make crystals on phones popular? The Dior phone also embeds Swarovski crystals, so it says something to the Swarovski lovers out there too.

christian dior phone