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.
Wow I actually never thought I’d even care about such an old song but jeez
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.
When you gaze into the eye of a giant octopus, don’t underestimate what’s going on inside that big, squishy head.
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
For these two pieces he launched a flower arrangement and a bonsai tree into space.
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.
The Anniversary of a Dream
There may come a day when a father carries his child outside to look at the Moon.
Perhaps this child’s imagination will come aflame with wild fantasies of Martians and of adventurers lost amidst an alien world, searching for home.
Catching the spark in his child’s eyes this father may tell a story of three great heroes who, long ago rode a pillar of white fire to tread foot on heaven’s pearl.
Noticing the endless glimmers of starlight the child may ask, “but what about the other places up there?”
The father may well tell that they did or that they didn’t go to the other places. He may have tales of derring-do, stories of romance, bravery and sacrifice. He may tell of a different group, men and women, all different creeds and colors working together in love and camaraderie, tales of tragedy and sacrifice.
He may tell a tale of a world where those three heroes come home because the world took their pillar of fire and extinguished it. He may tell a tale of a world where, appeased by the glory of the three heroes, they became lethargic and turned their eyes to easier, more pleasant things.
He may tell a tale of a world that had forgotten the worth of the heavens.
Perhaps that child has been waiting 45 years to hear the end of the story.
45 years ago today those three great heroes rode that pillar of white flame. One day we will perhaps return to the sky when we ride again pillars of fire into heaven. May we then recall those three men and these words:
"There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
-President John F. Kennedy
As children we all grew up wanting to hear the end of the story. As children though we were never told that we are that story. It’s entirely up to us to light the fire again and ride to our dreams.
This is big in the Grinder community. Most people start off by implanting magnets in their fingertips, which gives you the ability to feel magnetic fields. Your fingertips have lots of nerve endings jammed into one area and they are really sensitive to stimuli. Magnets twitch or move in the presence of magnetic fields, and when you implant one in your finger you can really start to feel different magnetic fields around you. So it is like a sixth sense. At first you will be waving your hand around appliances, probing fields like someone looking for a light switch in the dark. After a few days or weeks you will almost forget you have the implant because your brain has fully incorporated the sense into your normal world experience. When you sleep you will notice that even your dreams have changed to include the sense. You can now perceive an otherwise invisible world.
This makes many curious about all of the other things happening around them that they can’t see and they want more. So let’s expand on the magnet thing. We can buy all kinds of different sensors to detect heat, radiation, radio signals, wifi, whatever you want. If we wrap a wire around our implanted finger and attach that wire to our new sensor, we find that the wire creates a small magnetic field to the beat of the sensor. This of course makes our magnet twitch, and now we can feel heat from a distance, feel wifi, or whatever.
Why limit ourselves to feeling these sensations? We have other senses we can induce synesthesia in. I got some media attention in June of 2013 after I implanted headphones in my tragus to do just that. I had some practical reasons for doing this in addition to my thirst for exploration. A few years earlier I suddenly became legally blind in one eye. Lenses cannot correct it and my original eye doctor informed me that the other eye was likely to follow, at which point I would be legally blind, lose my job, etc. With this inevitability in mind I decided to be proactive. Ultrasonic rangefinders are devices used to determine how far away an object is. I knew that most blind people find acoustic variations help them identify the proximity of objects, so I figured I might be able to amplify this by converting rangefinder data into audio I could send wirelessly to my headphone implants. It turned out to be much more complicated than I thought, but that is a part of Grinding that I have come to appreciate. My setbacks lead me deeper into the rabbit hole of audiology where I discovered knowledge that has unlocked a thousand more possibilities.
I’d say that 25% of the people I talk to about sensory enhancement think it’s really cool and some go get implants themselves. The other 75% will nod their head and hope the conversation ends or they laugh and ask “why would anyone want to feel magnetic fields?” I get asked that question so much, and I still find it hard to articulate. They usually point out that “you don’t need it,” to which I counter “what if you lost the ability to taste? You don’t really need it to survive.” Ask anyone with an implant how they would feel if they lost the implant, and almost all of them will tell you they would miss it. A small bit of richness would be missing from their life experience.
Visible light is but a tiny portion of the greater magnetic spectrum that we cannot see. If we modeled the entire spectrum as a road stretching from LA to New York, the amount of visible light that humans can see would equal a few nanometers. Humans, from our allegorical caves, have nonetheless managed to form and test theories about things at the edges of perception but these discoveries took thousands of years. Where would humans be now technologically if we never developed sight? How long would it take us to theorize the existence of the aurora borealis or to hypothesize about the existence of stars? This reduction of input obviously cripples the rate of input.
So is the opposite true? Would expanding our senses accelerate our advancement? My answer is yes. Some Grinder friends of mine formed a team called Science for the Masses to discover if they could biologically push human perception of visible light into the near-infrared spectrum. This is a small increase, around 6% above our current abilities. The impact is dramatic. The new light allows you to see through fog and haze, tinted windows, and some clothing. Stars can be seen during day hours. Subtle changes in blood flow can be seen under the skin, allowing anyone to detect circulation problems and find clots. Seeing blood flow takes some of the guesswork out of determining what mood your date is in and lying becomes nearly impossible. Imagine how this awareness would have altered human history, politics, art, courtship, and relationships. Does human psychology benefit in a world where sincerity and emotional context can be seen with the naked eye rather than hypothesized or conjured? The new layers of info I’ve detailed above are actually just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic of sensory expansion comes from finding deviations and surprises that don’t fit within our scientific understanding because it makes us reconcile our mental models of the world with reality.
Zoltan Istvan interviews Rich Lee, http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/istvan20140708 (via grinderbot)
I would like this so very much.
In case anyone thinks this is fake or worldbuilding: it’s not. Grindhousewetware is an actual community of transhumanists- Grinders- that are working on self-creating cybernetic implants and pushing the boundaries of human experience.
I just read a couple of their blog posts from different members regarding the implantation of their magnets and how they adjust to them. I’d be terrified of fucking my laptop and other stuff up (not that Grinders have had issue with it) but they relate that they’re becoming capable of doing things like sensing when their computer is switching certain processes on and off.
Rich Lee actually does have the tragus implants detailed here and if he is able to implement a kind of sonar device that would replace sight, it would be a major breakthrough for visually impaired people. I’d be all over that, christ.(via hauntedtesty)
Stardust the Super Wizard is terrifying.
yes do not kill people who are referred to as the heads of anything or he will turn you into just a head and give you to the hugest giant in the universe who has no head and will put your head on himself but then stardust will make him absorb the head which was you
alright you guys have posted some pretty bad jokes on here but not one comes close to this doozy
so there’s a far-off place that consists of a perfectly triangular lake surrounded by land, with three kingdoms on the three sides of the lake. the first kingdom is rich and powerful, filled with wealthy, prosperous people. the second kingdom is more humble, but has its fair share of wealth and power, too. the third kingdom is struggling and poor, and barely has an army.
the kingdoms eventually go to war over control of the lake, as it’s a valuable resource to have. the first kingdom sends 100 of their finest knights, clad in the best armor and each with their own personal squire. the second kingdom sends 50 of their knights, with fine leather armor and a few dozen squires of their own. the third kingdom sends their one and only knight, an elderly warrior who has long since passed his prime, with his own personal squire.
the night before the big battle, the knights in the first kingdom drink and make merry, partying into the late hours of the night. the knights in the second kingdom aren’t as well off, but have their own supply of grog and also drink late into the night.
in the third camp, the faithful squire gets a rope and slings it over the branch of a tall tree, making a noose, and hangs a pot from it. he fills the pot with stew and has a humble dinner with the old knight.
the next morning, the knights in the first two kingdoms are hung over and unable to fight, while the knight in the third kingdom is old and weary, unable to get up. in place of the knights, the squires from all three kingdoms go and fight. the battle lasts long into the night, but by the time the dust settled, only one squire was left standing - the squire from the third kingdom.
and it just goes to show you that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides
Waves of rock
This image was taken looking down on a beach in Okinawa. The rocks are interbedded sandstones (white layers) and shales (blue layers)
The layers here are almost flat. The wavy patterns are the result of erosion; as the ocean crashes in, rocks erode in at different points in a complicated pattern. A viewer looking down on that pattern will then see a complex figure like this one created out of even flat-lying layers.
Shales typically are colored due to a combination of the minerals present and the amount of organic material in them. Okinawa is made up mostly of sedimentary rocks that vary in age from the Mesozoic (up to 250 million years old) to the present. These rocks have been squeezed and thrusted upwards as well in order to reach the surface. The color in these rocks could be a result of some interesting combination of organic materials and minerals, or perhaps more likely it could be a result of some metamorphism. When rocks are metamorphosed in island-arc conditions, one of the terms for a phase assemblage produced is actually blueschist. Just guessing; these could be blueschist grade rocks.
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/okinawa-soba/11019278586/
Inside the book is a full desktop computer, completely self-contained without any external wires or hardware. In the above photo, the embedded screen isn’t just showing a still photo or a video: it’s running a full copy of real Myst PC edition. On board is a copy of all the Myst games. It’s fast enough it plays all of them smoothly (even End of Ages at ~30fps). You play the games by touching the touch-screen.