This tumblr's for all the great men and women of science for whom we owe our current understanding of the natural world; their achievements, their failures, and even their quirks, we celebrate them all.
For Science. For Inquiry. For Humanity.
Saturn in infrared, captured by the Keck Observatory this morning. Just another reminder of how much information lies beyond our senses. The rings, made of icy debris, reflect quite a bit of sunlight in the infrared range. The poles? Not so much.
(via James O’Donoghue)
There is an universal tendency among mankind to conceive all beings like themselves, and to transfer to every object, those qualities, with which they are familiarly acquainted, and of which they are intimately conscious. We find human faces in the moon, armies in the clouds; and by a natural propensity, if not corrected by experience and reflection, ascribe malice or good- will to every thing, that hurts or pleases us. —David Hume
Our brains are made to find faces. In fact, they’re so good at picking out human-like mugs we sometimes see them in a jumble of rocks, a bilious cloud of volcanic ash, or some craters on Moon.
Neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wanted to investigate how the brain decides exactly what is and is not a face. Earlier studies have shown that the fusiform gyrus, located on the brain’s underside, responds to face-like shapes—but how does it sort flesh from rock?
The researchers could conclude that the left side of the brain ranks images on a scale of how face-like they are. The right side makes the categorical distinction between whether or not it’s a human face.
The left side of the fusiform gyrus actually flared up before the right side supporting the hypothesis that the left side does its job first and then passes information on to the right side.
Single Replacement Reaction
A single replacement reaction occurs when two different cations switch places to combine with the same anion. One element forms a compound while another element is released from the compound.
In a single replacement reaction, or single displacement reaction, a single uncombined element replaces another in a compound. Two reactants yield two products. For example when zinc combines with hydrochloric acid, the zinc replaces hydrogen.
Cu (s) + AgNO3 (aq) → Ag(s) + Cu(NO3)2 (aq)
Its a good start to the day when Bill Nye makes you scones
Chris Hadfield wrings out a washcloth in space, proving once again that every single thing you do is 100x cooler in space.
Today I visited the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity at the University of British Columbia, primarily to see their articulated Blue Whale. As it turns out the rest of the museum is spectacular as well, but it’s going to take a few posts just to convey the sheer size of this majestic beast. This is a must see if you’re ever in Vancouver BC, nothing can prepare you for seeing a creature this large.
These are some photos from my friend Milo — I’m so horrendously jealous that he got to visit this magnificent creature today! Did you know that the heart of a blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is roughly the size of a small compact car, and only beats around once a minute? Its arteries are so large that a small person can crawl through them. They are the largest creatures to have ever existed in the history of our planet.
It’s no lie that I love blue whales.
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (Russian: Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва; born 6 March 1937) is a retired Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963.Before being recruited as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile factory assembly worker and an amateur parachutist. After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still revered as a heroine in post-Soviet Russia.……Valentina Tereshkova later became a prominent member of the Soviet government and a well known representative abroad. She was made a member of the World Peace Council in 1966, a member of the Yaroslavl Soviet in 1967, a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in 1966–1970 and 1970–1974, and was elected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1974. She was also the Soviet representative to the UN Conference for the International Women’s Year in Mexico City in 1975. She also led the Soviet delegation to the World Conference on Women in Copenhagen and played a critical role in shaping the socialist women’s global agenda for peace. She attained the rank of deputy to the Supreme Soviet, membership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee, Vice President of the International Woman’s Democratic Federation and President of the Soviet-Algerian Friendship Society. She was decorated with the Hero of the Soviet Union medal, the USSR’s highest award. She was also awarded the Order of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, numerous other medals, and foreign orders including the Karl Marx Order, United Nations Gold Medal of Peace and the Simba International Women’s Movement Award. She was also bestowed a title of the Hero of Socialist Labor of Czechoslovakia, Hero of Labor of Vietnam, and Hero of Mongolia. In 1990 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. Tereshkova crater on the far side of the Moon was named after her.Valentina Tereshkova became the first and still remains to be the only female general officer in both Soviet and Russian armed forces.A full list of Tereshkova’s insane number of awards and medals can be found here.