Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Dyche Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas has this almost hidden little room in the basement where you can go in, close a curtain, flip on a blacklight and watch as a collection of seemingly ordinary rocks light up with a fluorescent glow. This series of images, taken by photographer Louise Murray, reminds me of how much I like that room at the Dyche. Only, instead of rocks, Murray snaps photos of coral, fish and other sea creatures, using a portable blue light.
Fluorescent colors are produced by cells responding to certain wavelengths of light hitting them - causing the cell to emit its own light on a different wavelength, which creates a different color. Traffic cones and highlighter pens are just two everyday examples of fluorescing objects that humans can detect without any equipment. Above ground people can usually pick up other fluorescing objects using ultra violet lights.
The air archive maintained by CSIRO started in 1978, and contains samples of clean air from a station at Cape Grim, Tasmania. It’s the oldest such archive in the world. Now with Allport’s tank, last used in 1970, the record has been extended further.
The air contained traces of propellants, refrigerants and emissions form aluminium smelters. Paul Fraser, who leads CSIRO’s greenhouse gas research team says that the scuba tank is going to be really useful: “If tanks were filled in a clean coastal environment their usefulness in measuring greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chloro-flurocarbons (CFCs) is much broader,” he says.
The royal heir trades palace linens for a patch of concrete in a cold London alley.
A U.S. commander justifies a new policy calling for penalties for troops who get pregnant.
Testers pick their favorites among top choices great for gift giving or simply for eating.
The Republicans are going to block every single thing the Democrats attempt to do. They are single-mindedly focused on taking back control of the Congress, and blocking Obama's agenda to better help a Republican take the White House in 2012. This should not surprise anyone. The real question is what effect will this have on the Obama administration's and the Democratic Congress' approach on climate change. Will they still try to work out a bipartisan deal with members of Congress who has already said they want to block this deal?
This is setting us up for a repeat of the health care debate. It's all going to come down to 60 votes, and 60 Democrats and Independents. The White House needs to launch a campaign, now, to get this legislation passed, to build public support, and ultimately pressure recalcitrant Democrats and Indies to support the legislation - if you can build enough support with the public, you can sometimes pressure members of Congress to do the right thing. But as we found with health care reform, if you don't build enough support, members of both parties start to go rogue.
The President needs to get over his aversion to controversy, and the White House needs to start campaigning hard, now, for the best deal. Let's all work together and do this. For real this time.
Image via NASA's Earth Observatory
NASA's Earth Observatory has released this incredible photo of the snow storm that hit the east coast over the weekend. To see such an enormous patch of land completely covered in white is impressive. Covering 300 miles lengthwise, the satellite image shows the Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers from the Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.
Webdesigner depot has 60 beautiful satellite photos of Earth.
"The Dasht-e Kevir, or valley of desert, is the largest desert in Iran. It is a primarily uninhabited wasteland, composed of mud and salt marshes covered with crusts of salt that protect the meager moisture from completely evaporating."
A bird-like dinosaur that prowled an ancient forest 125 million years ago used venom to subdue its prey, a new theory says.
Young sailor Dekker flies back to the Netherlands
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Bergen, Hordaland, Norway
Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
Moncalieri, Piemonte, Italy
Espoo, Southern Finland, Finland
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Athens, Attiki, Greece
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Sion, Valais, Switzerland
as well as Serbia, and the United States
If you don't have any creative or artistic friends, it's time to get acquainted with some.
Place an ad in the paper, join a creative group or sign up for an art class at your local college.
At the moment, you do your best work when you have a collaborative partner and it would be a shame to let your talents go to waste.
Ask your friends and relatives about their hobbies and artistic skills.
Their answers may very well surprise you, but in a very good way.
Creative or artistic friends - that's an understatement!