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.
This incredible interactive map from the University of Maryland (made with 645,178 Landsat images) shows changes in global forest cover between 2000 and 2012. Green areas are forested; blue areas gained forest cover; red areas lost forest cover; and pink areas experienced both gain and loss. The zoom range is quite impressive - you can see the individual tracks of tornadoes through the American southeast!
The engineers at NASA have standards. – via imgur
That one time that the Curiosity rover looked up and captured two of Mars’ moons in one shot. Phobos and Deimos, like two ships passing in the Martian night.
Good lookin’ out, Curiosity. Full video at NASA’s internet HQ.
Inflating a set of cat lungs
Lungs are by most accounts mundane. Everybody has them, few give it much thought. But sequestered within darkness of the chest cavity, enveloping the fluttering heart, there’s a incredible wonder to this oddly inflatable organ.
Dissection is a destructive process. Rudely excised from membranous mooring and nourishing vessels, the deflated lungs appear little more than bloodied meat; amorphous and exposed…….until a breath of air unfurls its secret glory.
Here, a set of cat lungs is inflated with a straw. Comprised of hundreds of millions of microscopic air sacks called aveoli, Mammalian lungs harbor air capacity that is difficult to believe unless seen. The color of the entire organ lightens into a soft pink, as each microscopic sac fills with air.
A debt of gratitude is owed to cyborgraptor for her assistance in creating these gifs, as well as the students that help me film this demo.
Émilie du Châtelet 1706- 1749
Émilie du Châtelet was a French mathematician and physicist. She showed an aptitude for language and math early in life and pursued her studies in an atypical way for women. She quickly mastered four languages and did a substantial amount of work in mathematics. She translated Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, which is still the standard French translation. The work includes her commentary.
Émilie was married at nineteen and had children with her husband. She also had several lovers, including Voltaire. Her affair with the man would last for the rest of her life. Their mental compatibility was the fuel of their relationship. In a letter to a friend Voltaire describes Émilie as “a great man whose only fault was being a woman.” He appreciated and loved Émilie so much, he stayed her close companion even when she became pregnant by another lover. It was after this pregnancy that Émilie would die at the young age of forty-three.
The Evolution of Life
In its 4540 million (4.54 billion) years circling the sun, Earth has provided a home for life that has become more and more complex. [The timeline can be seen here in more detail.]
- for the last 3600 million years, simple cells (prokaryotes);
- for the last 3400 million years, photosynthetic cyanobacteria
- for the last 2000 million years, complex cells (eukaryotes);
- for the last 1000 million years, multicellular life;
- for the last 600 million years, simple animals;
- for the last 550 million years, bilaterians,
animals with a front end and a back end,
as well as an upside and a downside;
- for the last 500 million years, fish and proto-amphibians;
- for the last 475 million years, land plants;
- for the last 400 million years, insects and plants with seeds;
- for the last 360 million years, amphibians;
- for the last 300 million years, reptiles;
- for the last 200 million years, mammals;
- for the last 150 million years, birds;
- for the last 130 million years, flowers;
- for the last 60 million years, the primates,
- for the last 20 million years, the family Hominidae (great apes);
- for the last 2.5 million years, the genus Homo (human predecessors);
- for the last 200,000 years, anatomically modern humans.
Image retrieved here [source unknown]
Bill Nye The Science Guy, “Atoms” (1997).