(Reblogged from thescienceofreality)
(Reblogged from kenobi-wan-obi)

kqedscience:

Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA Teaches ‘Big Bang’ Theory With Rhyme At University of Toronto

If you’re looking for an education in science (that’s mixed with pure amazing), then you absolutely need to take in this course taught by the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA.

GZA recently gave a lecture on “Consciousness, Creativity and Music” at the University of Toronto where he also previewed some of his upcoming album “Dark Matter.”

(via Huffington Post)

(Reblogged from thescienceofreality)

npr:

Remember that statistic? We published it a few weeks ago. 

Now NPR’s Tell Me More is taking a hard look at African-Americans in the tech field. Throughout December, the show is inviting African-American tech leaders and entrepreneurs to talk about what a day in their life is like.

We are asking you to help us identify the 5 questions we’ll pose to them on Twitter as part of “A Day in the Life.” This is a chance to help shape the conversations and answer any burning questions you may have about working in the tech and entrepreneur sectors.

Share your questions and thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #NPRBlacksinTech or email tellmemore@npr.org. 

(Reblogged from scinerds)
(Reblogged from thescienceofreality)

Robert P. Moses - The Algebra Project, Theory and Practice (by nyusteinhardt)

Political moment

Labeling the violent acts of those Muslim Others as “terrorism” - but never our own - is a key weapon used to propagate this worldview. The same is true of the tactic that depicts their violence against us as senseless, primitive, savage and without rational cause, while glorifying our own violence against them as noble, high-minded, benevolent and civilized (we slaughter them with shiny, high-tech drones, cluster bombs, jet fighters and cruise missiles, while they use meat cleavers and razor blades). These are the core propagandistic premises used to sustain the central narrative on which the War on Terror has depended from the start (and, by the way, have been the core premises of imperialism for centuries). That is why those most invested in defending and glorifying this War on Terror become so enraged when those premises are challenged, and it’s why they feel a need to use any smears and distortions (he’s justifying terrorism!) to discredit those who do.

(Reblogged from sonofbaldwin)
we-are-star-stuff:

Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it would taste vaguely of raspberries.
The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life.
Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules.
In the latest survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy. While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavour of raspberries.
“It does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries,” Arnaud Belloche, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, told the Guardian.
Curiously, ethyl formate has another distinguishing characteristic: it also smells of rum.
The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyse electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star.
Radiation from the star is absorbed by molecules floating around in the gas cloud, which is then re-emitted at different energies depending on the type of molecule.
While scouring their data, the team also found evidence for the lethal chemical propyl cyanide in the same cloud. The two molecules are the largest yet discovered in deep space.
Dr Belloche and his colleague Robin Garrod at Cornell University in New York have collected nearly 4,000 distinct signals from the cloud but have only analysed around half of these.
“So far we have identified around 50 molecules in our survey, and two of those had not been seen before,” said Belloche.
Last year, the team came tantalisingly close to finding amino acids in space with the discovery of a molecule that can be used to make them, called amino acetonitrile.
The latest discoveries have boosted the researchers’ morale because the molecules are as large as the simplest amino acid, glycine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are widely seen as being critical for complex life to exist anywhere in the universe.
“The difficulty in searching for complex molecules is that the best astronomical sources contain so many different molecules that their ‘fingerprints’ overlap and are difficult to disentangle,” Belloche said.
The molecules are thought to form when chemicals that already exist on some dust grains, such as ethanol, link together to make more complex chains.
“There is no apparent limit to the size of molecules that can be formed by this process, so there’s good reason to expect even more complex organic molecules to be there,” said Garrod.

we-are-star-stuff:

Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it would taste vaguely of raspberries.

The unanticipated discovery follows years of work by astronomers who trained their 30m radio telescope on the enormous ball of dust and gas in the hope of spotting complex molecules that are vital for life.

Finding amino acids in interstellar space is a Holy Grail for astrobiologists, as this would raise the possibility of life emerging on other planets after being seeded with the molecules.

In the latest survey, astronomers sifted through thousands of signals from Sagittarius B2, a vast dust cloud at the centre of our galaxy. While they failed to find evidence for amino acids, they did find a substance called ethyl formate, the chemical responsible for the flavour of raspberries.

“It does happen to give raspberries their flavour, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries,” Arnaud Belloche, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, told the Guardian.

Curiously, ethyl formate has another distinguishing characteristic: it also smells of rum.

The astronomers used the IRAM telescope in Spain to analyse electromagnetic radiation emitted by a hot and dense region of Sagittarius B2 that surrounds a newborn star.

Radiation from the star is absorbed by molecules floating around in the gas cloud, which is then re-emitted at different energies depending on the type of molecule.

While scouring their data, the team also found evidence for the lethal chemical propyl cyanide in the same cloud. The two molecules are the largest yet discovered in deep space.

Dr Belloche and his colleague Robin Garrod at Cornell University in New York have collected nearly 4,000 distinct signals from the cloud but have only analysed around half of these.

“So far we have identified around 50 molecules in our survey, and two of those had not been seen before,” said Belloche.

Last year, the team came tantalisingly close to finding amino acids in space with the discovery of a molecule that can be used to make them, called amino acetonitrile.

The latest discoveries have boosted the researchers’ morale because the molecules are as large as the simplest amino acid, glycine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are widely seen as being critical for complex life to exist anywhere in the universe.

“The difficulty in searching for complex molecules is that the best astronomical sources contain so many different molecules that their ‘fingerprints’ overlap and are difficult to disentangle,” Belloche said.

The molecules are thought to form when chemicals that already exist on some dust grains, such as ethanol, link together to make more complex chains.

“There is no apparent limit to the size of molecules that can be formed by this process, so there’s good reason to expect even more complex organic molecules to be there,” said Garrod.

(Reblogged from thescienceofreality)

mohandasgandhi:

saveplanetearth:

“These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change.” ––James Hansen, NASA Climate Scientist

This quote is from Hansen’s must-read op-ed piece in the Washington Post: Climate change is here — and worse than we thought:

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988, I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

The deadly European heat wave of 2003, the fiery Russian heat wave of 2010 and catastrophic droughts in Texas and Oklahoma last year can each be attributed to climate change. And once the data are gathered in a few weeks’ time, it’s likely that the same will be true for the extremely hot summer the United States is suffering through right now.

These weather events are not simply an example of what climate change could bring. They are caused by climate change. The odds that natural variability created these extremes are minuscule, vanishingly small. To count on those odds would be like quitting your job and playing the lottery every morning to pay the bills.

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of “climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don’t let that fool you.

Our new peer-reviewed study, published by the National Academy of Sciences, makes clear that while average global temperature has been steadily rising due to a warming climate (up about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century), the extremes are actually becoming much more frequent and more intense worldwide.

When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Such events used to be exceedingly rare. Extremely hot temperatures covered about 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of the globe in the base period of our study, from 1951 to 1980. In the last three decades, while the average temperature has slowly risen, the extremes have soared and now cover about 10 percent of the globe.

This is the world we have changed, and now we have to live in it — the world that caused the 2003 heat wave in Europe that killed more than 50,000 people and the 2011 drought in Texas that caused more than $5 billion in damage. Such events, our data show, will become even more frequent and more severe.

There is still time to act and avoid a worsening climate, but we are wasting precious time. We can solve the challenge of climate change with a gradually rising fee on carbon collected from fossil-fuel companies, with 100 percent of the money rebated to all legal residents on a per capita basis. This would stimulate innovations and create a robust clean-energy economy with millions of new jobs. It is a simple, honest and effective solution.

The future is now. And it is hot.

You can read Hansen’s study “Perception of climate change” from the National Academy of Sciences by clicking here. Hansen and his co-authors argue that seasonal-mean temperature anomalies have shifted dramatically to a higher, that is, a hotter, norm caused by anthropogenic (man-made) global warming. Furthermore, related to what we’re seeing today, warmer seasons start sooner, end later, and are hotter than “normal.” This increases the frequency of weather-related natural disasters and their intensity, meaning, we’ll have a lot more natural disasters like tornadoes, droughts, hurricanes, etc., and they’ll be more powerful. The authors add:

It is not uncommon for meteorologists to reject global warming
as a cause of these extreme events, offering instead a meteorological
explanation. For example, it is said that the Moscow heat
wave was caused by an extreme atmospheric “blocking” situation,
or the Texas heat wave was caused by La Niña ocean temperature
patterns. Certainly the locations of extreme anomalies in any
given case depend on specific weather patterns. However, blocking
patterns and La Niñas have always been common, yet the
large areas of extreme warming have come into existence only
with large global warming. Today’s extreme anomalies occur as a result of simultaneous contributions of specific weather patterns
and global warming.

(Reblogged from scinerds)
neildegrassetyson:

tuckthis:

Google result for “Carl Sagan”

That people also search for section is glorious. 

neildegrassetyson:

tuckthis:

Google result for “Carl Sagan”

That people also search for section is glorious. 

(Source: tuggywuggy)

(Reblogged from neildegrassetyson-deactivated20)