Imagine if the series had ended right after this moment.

Congratulations on finally obtaining your Doctorate!

Thanks! :D

I am a doctor now :D




I’ve never read Ayn Rand.

I hear so much flagrant shit about her books. The gist I got was she hates poor people and blames poor people for being poor or something?

But there’s gotta be more to it than that. I remember Borders having…


60 Minutes story the clips came from

Basically, the military isn’t in much of a rush to keep the ICBM sites upgraded to modern systems because it’s really fucking expensive, few if any groups manufacture parts for stuff like the doors and the old computer systems are ridiculously secure against cyberattacks because of their age.

That might be the military’s reasoning, but it is horrible reasoning. Security through obsolescence is almost as bad an idea as security through obscurity; it just increases the chances of an eventual situation where you encounter a failure you cannot recover from or a use case you cannot implement, both of which are hardly unheard of in obsolete governmental systems. As for the lack of availability of door parts, the moral of the Last Week Tonight piece was if we can’t manage these far-too-numerous installations properly, whatever the reason that we can’t, then we shouldn’t have such a huge number at all, and I really can’t disagree with that. When you encounter the situation “the parts for the security door of the nuclear installation cannot be easily and inexpensively obtained” the response “let’s juryrig a cheaper, less effective solution” is not an acceptable one by any sensible metric.

(Also this gifset doesn’t cover the part where the vice-admiral in charge of our nuclear arsenal was caught at a casino with counterfeit chips, or the part where the personnel at one of the sites were caught texting around the answers to the qualification exams, or the part where one of the facilities was reported as not locked up properly by a food deliveryman called onto the grounds, or the other examples I’m leaving out for the sake of brevity.)


History of Peru in relation to the rest of Civilization, created for @atomattacks and his South American travel journal, found here


History of Peru in relation to the rest of Civilization, created for @atomattacks and his South American travel journal, found here


“Fire Rainbows” are neither fire, nor rainbows, but are so called because of their brilliant pastel colors and flame like appearance. Technically they are known as circumhorizontal arc - an ice halo formed by hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds. The halo is so large that the arc appears parallel to the horizon, hence the name.


Stereoscopic View of the Lunar Surface

Apollo 11 carried a number of cameras for collecting data and recording various aspects of the mission, including a 35-mm surface close-up stereoscopic camera. It was designed for the highest possible resolution of a 3-inch square area with a flash illumination and fixed distance. Photography was accomplished by holding the camera on a walking stick against the object to be photographed. The camera was powered by four nickel-cadmium batteries that operated the motor-drive mechanism and an electronic flash strobe light.

There are many details seen in these pictures that were not known previously or that could not be seen with similar definition by astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin in their careful inspection of the lunar surface. The photographs taken on the mission with the close-up stereoscopic camera are of outstanding quality and show in detail the nature of the lunar surface material. From the photographs, information can be derived about the small-scale lunar surface geologic features and about processes occurring on the surface.

Image Credit: John Lloyd/NASA



Okay but Never Gonna Give You Up (better known as Rickroll) is actually a really really horrible song for many reasons, which I will better explain under the cut. 

Brace yourselves, this is pretty long.

Read More →

Wow I actually never thought I’d even care about such an old song but jeez
You’re right


Pictured above is the world’s largest indoor farm illuminated by LEDs, which opened this month in Japan. Inside, 18 cultivation racks reach 15 levels high, and are outfitted with 17,500 GE LED light fixtures developed specifically for this facility. The indoor farm can grow lettuce two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm, and is already producing 10,000 heads of it per day. Read more about this breakthrough in modern farming at GE Reports.   


octopuses are really awesome okay!?

(And before you correct me, I googled it and octopi has no etymological basis other than its (mis)use in English)

They are! And it’s true, though octopodes is a fun and linguistically valid “fancy” plural for the word :D


Exobiotanica by Japanese artist Azuma Makoto

For these two pieces he launched a flower arrangement and a bonsai tree into space.


Tokamaks: the future of fusion energy

Fusion is the energy that powers our Sun and other stars.  It has been a goal of scientists around the world to harness this process by which the stars “burn” hydrogen into helium (i.e. nuclear fusion) for energy production on Earth since it was discovered in the 1940′s.

Nuclear fusion is the process by which light nuclei fuse together to create a single, heavier nucleus and release energy.  Given the correct conditions (such as those found in plasma), nuclei of light elements can smash into each other with enough energy to undergo fusion. The “easiest” (most energetically favorable) fusion reaction occurs between the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium.  When the nucleus of a deuterium atom crashes into the nucleus of a tritium atom with sufficient energy, a fusion reaction occurs and a huge amount of energy is released, 17.6 million electron volts to be exact. 

Why fusion? To put this in terms of energy that we all experience; fusion generates more energy per reaction than any other energy source.  A single gram of deuterium/tritium fusion fuel can generate 350 million kJ of energy, nearly 10 million times more energy than from the same amount of fossil fuel!

Fusion power has the potential to provide sufficient energy to satisfy mounting demand, and to do so sustainably, with a relatively small impact on the environment. Nuclear fusion has many potential attractions. Firstly, its hydrogen isotope fuels are relatively abundant – one of the necessary isotopes, deuterium, can be extracted from seawater, while the other fuel, tritium, would be bred from a lithium blanket using neutrons produced in the fusion reaction itself. Furthermore, a fusion reactor would produce virtually no CO2 or atmospheric pollutants, and its other radioactive waste products would be very short-lived compared to those produced by conventional nuclear reactors.

Fusion reactions require so much energy that they must occur with the hydrogen isotopes in this plasma state. Plasma makes up all of the stars, and is the most common form of matter in the visible universe. Since plasmas are made of charged particles every particle can interact with every other particle, even over very long distances. The fact that 99% of the universe is made of plasmas makes studying them very important if we are to understand how the universe works.

How do we create fusion in a laboratory? This is where tokamaks come in. In order for nuclear fusion to occur, the nuclei inside of the plasma must first be extremely hot, like in a star. Unfortunately, no material on Earth can withstand these temperatures so in order to contain a plasma with such high temperatures, we have to be creative. One clever solution is to create a magnetic “bottle” using large magnet coils to capture the plasma and suspend it away from the container’s surfaces. The plasma follows along the magnetic field, suspended away from the walls. This complex combination of magnets used to confine the plasma and the chamber where the plasma is held is known as a tokamak. Tokamaks have a toroidal shape (i.e. they are shaped like a donut) so they have no open ends for plasma to escape. Tokamaks, like the ASDEX Upgrade (pictured above), create and contain the hottest materials in the solar system. The aim of ASDEX Upgrade, the “Axially Symmetric Divertor Experiment”, is to prepare the physics base for ITER.

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and Latin for “the way” or “the road”) is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering project, which is currently building the world’s largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor. The ITER project aims to make the long-awaited transition from experimental studies of plasma physics to full-scale electricity-producing fusion power plants.

Further readings: