The bacteria that turns water into ice Meet Pseudomonas syringae, a bacterium that causes disease in plants and helps make snow machines work. It all has to do with ice nucleation — the process that forms ice crystals in the atmosphere and, thus, snow. You probably know that raindrops and snowflakes form around something. There's always a central nucleus that serves as the backbone of the water molecule structure. Usually, when people talk about this process, they use soot or some other kind of particulate matter as the example of what a nucleus can be. Here's how biologist Mark Martin described the process in the video: In my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound, I like to demonstrate the wild and wonderful and weird microbial world. P. syringae gets this skill from the proteins that cover its surface membrane. Commercial snow machines use the proteins (though not the bacteria itself) to help instigate the creation of snow on ski mountains. Why would bacteria develop this particular ability?
How a 1,500-ton ocean liner turns into a cannibal-rat-infested ghost ship The UK is alarmed—or at least its press is. “A ghost ship carrying nothing but disease-ridden rats could be about to make land on Britain’s shore, experts have warned,” frets The Independent. The boat under discussion—the Lyubov Orlova—hasn’t been heard from since February and March 2013, shortly after the abandoned ship was cut loose from a tug line and went adrift. The headlines reflect guesses that recent storms have sent the Lyubov Orlova reeling toward the UK. How does an unmanned 1,565 ton (1,420 tonne) cruise ship just take off on its own like that? The reasons are pretty simple. In fact, ghost ships like Lyubov Orlova aren’t all that rare. The Lyubov Orlova, in its cruise ship days. As for why the ship’s crew would disappear, the reasons could be anything from piracy to psychiatric breaks to tax fraud (link in Italian)—or just straight-up abandonment. Some crew disappearances remain mysterious, though. Red square indicates estimated location as of Dec. 2013.
Official Center of the World, Felicity, California Felicity, California Time to recalibrate yourself. Drive just west of the border between Arizona and southern California, and stop in the Sonoran Desert -- one of the hottest and driest places in the U.S. Step inside the pyramid. Stand on the metal disk. The Center of the World disk. Jacques-Andre Istel has officially established the Center of the World here, and he has built a town around it to bolster his claim (The Center of the World is also said to be elsewhere, making it easier for those who wish to be centered). Mayor Istel is a gracious, well-mannered man with a vision. Jacques-Andre saw this barren wasteland while serving as a Marine in the Korean War. Mayor greets visitors. First, Jacques-Andre wrote a children's book which helped convince Imperial County, California, to legally recognize a spot on his property as the official Center of the World (it is also recognized as such by the Institut Geographique National of France). The Mayor needed a way to mark his Center.
Researchers Create Quantum Droplet that Exists for 25 Trillionths of a Second : Science Feb 27, 2014 06:09 AM EST The dropleton was created by researchers at the Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany, and Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics at the University of Colorado. The dropleton is actually a combination of positively charged holes and negatively charged electrons. What was already known is that electrons and holes can form pairs called excitons when bombarded by light. According to a statement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the dropleton can have ripples just like water. Previously, researchers have described the existence of quasiparticles such as holons, spinons and orbitons. Researchers created the new quasiparticle by shooting an "ultrafast red laser" at a gallium-arsenide semiconductor. The positively charged holes and negatively charged electrons make a neutral droplet. The particle currently has a lifetime of about 25 trillionths of a second (25 picoseconds). The study is published in the journal Nature.
Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes of Stories The Shapes of Stories by Kurt Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut grained worldwide fame and adoration through the publication of his novels, including Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and more. But is was his rejected master's thesis in anthropology that he called his prettiest contribution to his culture. The basic idea of his thesis was that a story's main character has ups and downs that can be graphed to reveal the story's shape. The shape of a society's stories, he said, is the least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads. Let's have a look. Man in Hole The main character gets into trouble then gets out of it again and ends up better off for the experience. Boy Meets Girl The main character comes across something wonderful, gets it, loses it, then gets it back forever. From Bad to Worse The main character stats off poorly then gets continually worse with no hope for improvement. Which Way Is Up?
College - Experience it Firsthand In September 2013, Berry’s original bald eagle couple was once again seen on the Berry College campus in the vicinity of the nest in a tall pine tree situated between the main entrance and the parking lot of the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center. The couple spent several months repairing and adding to the nest and catching fish and coots in the nearby Berry quarry, Oostanaula River and Garden Lakes in Rome. During the summer, college staff relocated the "approach" video camera to a pole closer to the nest and, with the help of a Georgia Power crew, mounted a "nest cam" in a branch near the eagles’ nest. Berry College’s original bald eagle parents began making the nest in March 2012, an unusual time for nest-building in the life-cycle of eagles. Eagles have been reported in the vicinity of the campus for the past two to three years, but this is the first documented nest in the modern history of Floyd County, according to an article in the Rome News-Tribune.
Information Destruction Through History - Global Data Vault Information Destruction Through History Information the most valuable commodity in the world. All human progress depends on the accumulation and preservation of information. When information is lost, human progress suffers. This infographic displays some of the most significant loses of information human civilization has suffered. Throughout the ages, it has happened again and again. During the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990’s, the 17,000 volumes of the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo were directly targeted, along with the National Museum and National Library. In our estimate the equivalent of 34,524.8GB of information created by humans that we can quantify within reasonable certainty has been destroyed throughout our history. There are many well known accounts of destroyed libraries and houses of information that we were unable to include in this figure due to a lack of reputable sources on the amounts of information destroyed. And the destruction continues.
Free Energy Systems "Q: Then electricity is, in essence, a flow of electrons?A: Yes. Q: You say they are tapped. Where are they tapped from? What is the source of these free electrons? Q: The electrons of the conductor itself are being passed along, and this is the manifestation of the flow of electricity? Q: In what sense am I not correct? Q: Electrical energy will be present in everything. Q: Okay. Q: What qualities does the superconductor have that contributes to this accelerating of flow? Q: What creates a cycling magnetic pulse? Q: How do you create a gravity vacuum? Q: You said that a superconductor separates the electrons, thus exciting the flow. Q: How is that different from a normal electric flow? Q: Is this separation of electrons a key to this process? Q: What additional conditions or qualities contribute to the separating of electrons? Q: (L) What defines a superconductor? Q: So, there is no actual possibility for a true superconductor with absolutely zero resistance? Q: Well it is VERY cold...
Wild dolphins found getting high on pufferfish toxin, redefining the 'puff pass' If you've ever wondered why dolphins always appear to have permanent euphoric smiles stretched across their faces, this could offer an explanation: BBC filmmakers recently caught wild dolphins on camera getting high by chewing on a toxic pufferfish, reports Discover. Each member of the pod of cetacean stoners appeared to gently pass the fish around after each hit, forever redefining the notion of a "puff pass." "After chewing the puffer and gently passing it round, they began acting most peculiarly, hanging around with their noses at the surface as if fascinated by their own reflection," said Rob Pilley, one of the producers of the documentary. "This was a case of young dolphins purposefully experimenting with something we know to be intoxicating." The event was filmed in waters near Mozambique on the southeast coast of Africa. Apparently the dolphins were observed playing with pufferfish for up to half an hour, frequently nudging the fish with their rostrums. Related files on MNN:
Dark Arts 17inShare Jump To Close We’re in a weird time for the way the future looks; somehow House of Cards can slyly introduce a floating text-message interface to their present-day political drama without so much as blinking, but most of our iconic near- and far-future worlds run on tracks laid down well before the ’90s. And it’s not just the recycling of every franchise from Star Trek to RoboCop: Avatar’s and Prometheus’ huge budgets couldn’t hide their indebtedness to the grandiose sci-fi storyboards of the ’70s. It’s an odd misalignment, considering that cyberpunk outran these operatic, alien worlds more than three decades ago. Save for a few exceptions — Neill Blomkamp’s biotech-heavy District 9, the straight-up horrifying Black Mirror — technophilic dystopias kind of fell off around the time of the last Matrix. Moore’s law is partially at fault — anyone who watched that video of Boston Dynamics’ WildCat robot knows what it feels like to realize the present is also the future.
Shepard tone Spectrum view of ascending Shepard tones (linear frequency scale) Construction Figure 1: Shepard tones forming a Shepard scale, illustrated in a sequencer Each square in the figure indicates a tone, any set of squares in vertical alignment together making one Shepard tone. The acoustical illusion can be constructed by creating a series of overlapping ascending or descending scales. The scale as described, with discrete steps between each tone, is known as the discrete Shepard scale. Jean-Claude Risset subsequently created a version of the scale where the tones glide continuously, and it is appropriately called the continuous Risset scale or Shepard–Risset glissando. The tritone paradox Examples See also References External links
How You Might Come to Believe You've Been Abducted by an Alien Unless, you know, you’ve actually been abducted. On a night in October 1957, a 23-year-old Brazilian farmer named Antonio Vilas-Boas, still out plowing the fields, looked up to see a strange red light in the sky. Then he noticed it was getting closer. It looked, he said, egg-shaped, with a spinning top. Three legs emerged from the craft as it descended upon the field where Vilas-Boas worked. He tried to flee by tractor. The engine died shortly thereafter, and Vilas-Boas took off on foot. Aboard the space egg, Vilas-Bolas was stripped naked, covered in gel, and carried through a doorway with strange red symbols written above it, which he later drew for investigators working on his case. According to Vilas-Boas, a female humanoid, much like the others in appearance but with larger blue eyes, long platinum-white hair, and bright-red underarm and pubic hair (no overalls for her!) In the early 1990s, Harvard psychiatrist John E. I have this Google News alert that tracks mentions of “UFO.”
Can a $70 Light Bulb Change Your Life?: Video