A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘science

[NEWS] Five science links: He Jiankui clones, submoons, ayahuasca, planetary nebulas, black holes

  • Chinese scientist He Jiankui, responsible for genetically engineering babies, is along with his team facing serious legal consequences from the Chinese government. SCMP reports.
  • A new paper suggests that submoons, moons of a world that is itself a moon, is not only theoretically possible but imaginable in orbit of known worlds including the Moon, Callisto, and Titan. Where are these?
  • Is ayahuasca becoming a drug of widespread and legitimate mainstream usage? VICE reports.
  • Planetary nebulas, Universe Today reports, are visible for only ten thousand years before their beautiful gases dissipate.
  • The interiors of black holes apparently continue to grow indefinitely. (The physics is complicated, as one might expect.) Nautilus has the article.

[NEWS] Six D-Brief links: Sagittarius A*, GRBs, Saturn, Planet Nine, Earth, starlight

  • Are the radio jets of Sagittarius A* at the heart of our galaxy pointed directly at Earth? D-Brief reports reports.
  • Astronomers might finally have established a firm connection between supernovas and gamma-ray bursts. D-Brief reports reports.
  • The length of a day on Saturn has finally been established, at just over 10 hours and 33 minutes. D-Brief reports reports.
  • The supposed signature of Planet Nine might be a creation not of a ninth planet but rather by a thick distant belt of objects. D-Brief reports reports.
  • Did the collision of protoplanet Theia with the young Earth seen the subsequent world with the materials needed for life? D-Brief reports reports.
  • The very idea of an encyclopedia of galactic starlight is profoundly poetic, to say nothing of its scientific uses. D-Brief reports reports.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 26, 2019 at 9:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait writes about the ephemeral nature and historically recent formation of the rings of Saturn.
  • Centauri Dreams hosts an essay looking at the controversies surrounding the arguments of Avi Loeb around SETI and ‘Oumuamua.
  • D-Brief links to a new analysis of hot Jupiters suggesting that they form close to their stars, suggesting further that they are a separate population from outer-system worlds like our Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Colby King at the Everyday Sociology Blog takes a look at the sociology of the online world, using the critical work of Zeynep Tufekci as a lens.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing makes a great point about the seemingly transparent online world: We might, like a protagonist in a Hawthorne story, confine ourselves falsely that we know everything, so becoming jaded.
  • JSTOR Daily notes how, in the early 20th century, US Park Rangers were actually quite rough and tumble, an irregular police force.
  • Language Hat looks at the overlooked modernist fiction of Dorothy Richardson.
  • Language Log examines the origins of the phrase “Listen up”.
  • The LRB Blog visits a Berlin cemetery to note the annual commemoration there of the lives of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.
  • Marginal Revolution considers the proportion of centenarians on Okinawa, and considers if a carbohydrate-heavy diet featuring sweet potatoes is key.</li<
  • Tim Parks at the NYR Daily engages with the idea of a translation being an accomplishment of its own.
  • Roads and Kingdoms has a fascinating interview with Tanja Fox about the history and development of the Copenhagen enclave of Christiania.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes that early returns from New Horizons suggest Ultima Thule is a typical “future comet”.
  • Strange Company shares the story of the haunting of 18th century Gael Donald Bán.
  • Towleroad shares the account by Nichelle Nichols of how her chance encounter with Martin Luther King helped save Star Trek.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the different quasi-embassies of different Russian republics in Moscow, and their potential import.
  • Arnold Zwicky, looking at penguins around the world, notices the CIBC mascot Percy the Penguin.

[NEWS] Five science links: redwood clones, rhea of Germany, Pescadero Basin, deep biosphere, climate

  • Motherboard looks at how some ecological activists are cloning the stumps of dead redwoods to produce new trees.
  • Rheas imported to the north German plains from South America are thriving, possibly even becoming indigenous. Well done! Deutsche Welle reports.
  • Motherboard reports on the unique oceanic ecologies found in the upside-down lakes of the Pescadero Basin.
  • The sheer mass of the deep biosphere underneath the Earth is immense, greater than that of humanity. Universe Today reports.
  • The Conversation notes how we can use archeology to understand the impact of climate change.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 21, 2019 at 10:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • Dangerous Minds takes note of a robot that grows marijuana.
  • The Dragon’s Tales has a nice links roundup looking at what is happening with robots.
  • Far Outliers notes the differences between the African and Indian experiences in the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles.
  • L.M. Sacasas at The Frailest Thing recovers a Paul Goodman essay from 1969 talking about making technology a domain not of science but of philosophy.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the mid-19th century origins of the United States National Weather Service in the American military.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the extent to which Jared Kushner is not an amazingly good politician.
  • The Map Room Blog notes artist Jake Berman’s maps of vintage transit systems in the United States.
  • The NYR Daily examines The Price of Everything, a documentary about the international trade in artworks.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw wonders how long the centre will hold in a world that seems to be screaming out of control. (I wish to be hopeful, myself.)
  • Drew Rowsome reports on a Toronto production of Hair, 50 years young.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps shows maps depicting the very high levels of air pollution prevailing in parts of London.
  • Window on Eurasia remembers Black January in Baku, a Soviet occupation of the Azerbaijani capital in 1990 that hastened Soviet dissolution.

[NEWS] Five science links: geoengineering, Europa probe, ocean worlds, oxygen, black hole portals

  • The National Observer takes a look at the challenges, both technological and psychological, facing geoengineers as they and us approach our their hour of trial.
  • Evan Gough at Universe Today shares a proposal for a nuclear-fueled robot probe that could tunnel into the possibly life-supporting subsurface oceans of Europa.
  • Meghan Bartels at Scientific American notes a new study suggesting that most worlds with subsurface oceans, like Europa, are probably too geologically inactive to support life.
  • Matt Williams at Universe Today notes a new study demonstrating mechanisms by which exoplanets could develop oxygen-bearing atmospheres without life.
  • Gaurav Khanna writes at The Conversation about how, drawing on research done for the film Interstellar, it does indeed seem as if supermassive black holes like Sagittarius A* might be used as hyperspace portals if they are also slowly rotating.

[URBAN NOTE] Five science links: coffee, CERN, Titan, HCN–0.009–0.044, panspermia

  • Motherboard notes that climate change endangers a majority of the coffee species growing in the wild.
  • Universe Today notes that CERN is planning to build a successor to the LHC, one a hundred kilometres in diameter.
  • A review of data from Cassini, Universe Today reports, suggests the probe saw rain fall in the north polar region of Titan.
  • A new analysis suggests that mysterious object in the heart of the galaxy, HCN–0.009–0.044, is actually a black hole massing 32 thousand suns. Universe Today has it.
  • Universe Today shares an ambitious proposal for future humanity to use interstellar probes to seed life on potentially hospitable but lifeless worlds, a planned panspermia.