Reblogged from astrotastic
If the moon were only 1 pixel on your screen, how big would the rest of the solar system be?
Just click this link, I beg you, and prepare to have your mind blown.
Absolutely amazing. Fantastic work by designer Josh Worth.
For a a different look at the problem of cosmic distance, check out my video “How Big is the Solar System?”:
And for lots more fun ways to look at the scale of the universe maybe watch this one called (naturally) "The Scale of the Universe":
Things I have to do right now:
1. Read for Jewish Composers (on Wagner being an anti-Semitic ass)
2. Quantum homework (perturbation theory problems)
Things I want to do right now:
1. My math homework that’s not due until late next week (on noncommutative algebra, which I spent all of last summer learning about)
2. Exercise, which I’m trying to tell myself to wait to do until after I finish homework
Reblogged from chroniclesofachemist
Metamaterials Twist Sound
A Chinese-U.S. research team is exploring the use of metamaterials — artificial materials engineered to have exotic properties not found in nature — to create devices that manipulate sound in versatile and unprecedented ways.
In the journal Applied Physics Letters, which is produced by AIP Publishing, the team reports a simple design for a device, called an acoustic field rotator, which can twist wave fronts inside it so that they appear to be propagating from another direction.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/metamaterials-twist-sound
Reblogged from eternalacademic
Conference proceedings removed from subscription databases after scientist reveals that they were computer-generated.
- by Richard Van Noorden
“The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense. Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.
Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. (The conference website says that all manuscripts are “reviewed for merits and contents”.) The authors of the paper, entitled ‘TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce’, write in the abstract that they “concentrate our efforts on disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact”. (Nature News has attempted to contact the conference organizers and named authors of the paper but received no reply*; however at least some of the names belong to real people. The IEEE has now removed the paper).
*Update: One of the named authors replied to Nature News on 25 February. He said that he first learned of the article when conference organizers notified his university in December 2013; and that he does not know why he was a listed co-author on the paper. “The matter is being looked into by the related investigators,” he said.
How to create a nonsense paper
Labbé developed a way to automatically detect manuscripts composed by a piece of software called SCIgen, which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer-science papers. SCIgen was invented in 2005 by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to prove that conferences would accept meaningless papers — and, as they put it, “to maximize amusement” (see ‘Computer conference welcomes gobbledegook paper’). A related program generates random physics manuscript titles on the satirical website arXiv vs. snarXiv. SCIgen is free to download and use, and it is unclear how many people have done so, or for what purposes. SCIgen’s output has occasionally popped up at conferences, when researchers have submitted nonsense papers and then revealed the trick” (read more).
E-mails I’ve recently received from my Physics Department.
Reblogged from xanthocomically
I think the worst hurt in the entire world is when you learn a thing and it is super cool and you just want to tell everyone because it is such an awesome, wonderful, amazing thing
but instead someone tells you that your fact is silly and trivial and doesn’t matter
This makes me really angry. When you come home you should tell me the fact! Science makes me really happy, regardless of the field.
Reblogged from jtotheizzoe
Time in Tens
Today I learned: During the 18th and 19th centuries there were passionate efforts to institute decimal time, a day divided into 10 hours, each consisting of 100 minutes, which would be further divided into 100 decimal seconds.
Just like gunpowder, paper money, and countless other things, decimal time was developed long ago in China, as far back as 2,000 years ago, only to be eliminated in the 1600’s by those pesky European Jesuit missionaries and the oh-so-logical dozenal (12-based) time system that we all know and love.
The French Revolution saw the most recent push for decimal time, with democratic reformers insisting on a base-10 calendar, and even manufacturing base-10/base-12 combo clocks like the one above (via Wikipedia). As recently as 1893, smart guy extraordinaire Henry Poincaré was pushing for a standard decimal time. But since so much of the world, from maritime navigation to daily appointment-keeping, had been built on the time that we still use today (and since making everyone buy a new clock is just mean), decimal time never caught on.
Nice to know that the U.S. and its failure to adopt the metric system isn’t the only decimal failure in modern history!
Reblogged from chroniclesofachemist
Nerium oleander (Gentianales - Apocynaceae) is an evergreen shrub that grows to approximately 6 m. The flowers are tubular with five lobes, red or pink in the wild, but in addition may be white, cream, yellow or purple in cultivars, and double forms have also been selected.
It is a highly toxic plant that has been cultivated as an decorative plant since ancient times.
Native to the Mediterranean region, Iran, the Indian subcontinent and southern China.
Hiiiiiighly toxic. Like… deadly toxic.
Reblogged from explore-blog
Alain de Botton, who knows a thing or two about doing what you love, quoted by Megan McArdle, author of The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success.
Pair with Debbie Millman’s indispensable Fail Safe.