Archive for May, 2012


Astronomers have found the best evidence yet that the dormant gravitational monster that lies at the centre of the Milky Way — a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A* — recently emitted a pair of γ-ray jets.

As they feed on stars and clouds of gas that stray too close, black holes at the centres of other galaxies create bright jets that can be seen across cosmic distances. But the Milky Way’s black hole shows no signs of such activity. Now, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has picked up some faint γ-ray signals that suggest that Sagittarius A* has not always been so tranquil. The black hole could even have been active as recently as 20,000 years ago, after gulping down a gas cloud with a mass about 100 times that of the Sun, says Douglas Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“If these features truly are γ-ray jets from Sagittarius A*, it would tell us that our Galactic supermassive black hole has not always been as feeble as we currently observe it to be,” says Fred Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. And that would solve an enduring puzzle, he notes. Sagittarius A* is growing about 1,000 times too slowly for it to have reached its current mass of about four million solar masses since the Galaxy formed about 13.2 billion years ago. “If confirmed, the existence of γ-ray jets would provide the strongest evidence to date for the existence of higher activity in the past,” he says.

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WELTANSCHAUUNG

[theory]

German: composed of Welt (‘world’) and Anschauung (‘view’ or ‘outlook’). It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. In English it is known as comprehensive world view (or worldview), re; the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point-of-view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it.

Delightful Paper Pop Ups by Jenny Chen pop ups paper illustration design animation

Delightful Paper Pop Ups by Jenny Chen pop ups paper illustration design animation

Delightful Paper Pop Ups by Jenny Chen pop ups paper illustration design animation

Delightful Paper Pop Ups by Jenny Chen pop ups paper illustration design animation

Delightful Paper Pop Ups by Jenny Chen pop ups paper illustration design animation

Friendly Reminder…

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

Cherokee Proverb 

Photo by: Dunno. You know? Lemme know!

In Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica published in 1687, the man many consider the most brilliant mathematician of all time used a mathematical formula to describe the path taken by an object when it is thrown through the air from one point to the next, i.e. an arc based on several factors such as the angle it is thrown at, velocity, etc. At the time, Newton explained that to get it completely right though, air resistance would need to be taken into account, though he could not figure out himself how to factor that in. Now, it appears a 16 year old immigrant to Germany has done just that, and to top off his work, he’s also apparently come up with an equation that describes the motion of an object when it strikes an immobile surface such as a wall, and bounces back.

 

Shouryya Ray, a modest student who just four years ago was living in Calcuta, has been on an accelerated learning course and is taking his Abitur exams two years early. His math equations won him first place in a state science competition and second place in the national Math and IT section at finals. He’s told the press that figuring out how to come up with his formulas was more due to school-boy naivety than genius, which the German press has been suggesting.Ray moved with his family to Germany when his father landed a job as a research assistant at the Technical University of Freiburg. He has apparently shown great aptitude for math from an early age, learning calculus from his dad when he was still just six years old. He’s told the press that he got the idea of trying to develop the two formulas after visiting Dresden University on a field trip where he was told that no one had been able to come up with equations to describe the two dynamics theories.Ray’s story has generated a lot of press around the world, highlighting the young lad’s ability to come up with a math formula that not even the great Isaac Newton could find, despite the fact that no one other than a few local people have seen the formulas he’s created; thus, in the math and physics world there remains a great deal of skepticism regarding what he’s actually accomplished and most are holding off judgment until the formulas are published and reviewed.

At a quick glance these colorful photographs by photographed Jack Long might pass as some kind of strange exotic flowers, but a squint of the eyes later reveals they are actually high speed photographs of colored water, captured in a way to mimic the shape of blooms, leaves, and even pots.

High Speed Liquid Flowers Photographed by Jack Long water photography flowers

High Speed Liquid Flowers Photographed by Jack Long water photography flowers

High Speed Liquid Flowers Photographed by Jack Long water photography flowers

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YIN AND YANG

[concept]

in Asian philosophy and Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin yang (simplified Chinese: 阴阳; traditional Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīnyáng), which is often referred to in the West as “yin and yang”, literally meaning “dark and light”, is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other. The concept lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine, and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise, such as baguazhang, taijiquan (t’ai chi), and qigong (Chi Kung) and of I Ching divination. Many natural dualities – e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, earth and air – are thought of as manifestations of yin and yang (respectively).

Yin yang are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary opposites, unseen (hidden, feminine) and seen (manifest, masculine), that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects as light cannot exist without darkness and vice-versa, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time. The concept of yin and yang is often symbolised by various forms of the Taijitu symbol, for which it is probably best known in western cultures.

There is a perception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to evil and good. However, Taoist philosophy generally discounts good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments, in preference to the idea of balance. Confucianism (most notably the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu, c. the 2nd century BCE) did attach a moral dimension to the idea of yin and yang, but the modern sense of the term largely stems from Buddhist adaptations of Taoist philosophy.

Database of Techniques

Simple Zen—at least ten minutes: Sit in a position with your spine vertical and straight (a chair will do nicely). Allow your breathing to become relaxed and natural. Let it set its own rhythm and depth, however it is comfortable. Focus your attention on your breathing, on the movements of your chest and abdomen rather than on your nose and mouth. Keep your attention focused on your breathing. For some people an additional level of concentration may be helpful. You might add a simple counting rhythm, spoken in your head as you breathe: “One” on the inhale, “Two” on the ex- hale, and repeat. Or you might visualize your breath as a swinging door, swinging in on the inhale and out on the exhale.

Ajna Monkey—at  least one hour, days if you can manage it: The following method was suggested by Aleister Crowley in Magick in Theory and Practice. One imagines that all your perceptions and thoughts go to or arise from the Ajna chakra, the “third eye” located above the bridge of the nose, between the eyes. Begin by breathing deeply and fully, imagining that you send the breath to the Ajna, not to the lungs. Walk slowly and observe the movements of your legs. Reflect that the legs work because they are guided by nerve impulses from the brain, controlled by the Ajna. “The legs are automatic, like those of a wooden monkey: the power in Ajna is that which does the work, is that which walks. This is not hard to realize, and should be grasped firmly, ignoring all other walking sensations. Apply this method to every other muscular movement … Transfer all bodily sensations to the Ajna, e.g., ‘I am cold’ should mean ‘I feel cold,’ or better still, ‘I am aware of a sensation of cold’—transfer this to the Ajna, ‘the Ajna is aware,’ etc. … Finally, strive hard to drive anger and other obsessing thoughts into the Ajna. Develop a tendency to think hard of Ajna when these thoughts attack the mind, and let Ajna conquer them. Beware of think- ing of ‘My Ajna.’ In these meditations and practices, Ajna does not belong to you; Ajna is the master and worker, you are the wooden monkey.”—Aleister Crowley

Chasing the Tail—at least ten minutes: Chasing the Tail is a simple meditation of self- observation. Sit quietly and pay attention to where your thoughts arise. When you think something—anything—the thoughts appear to come from a particular location in space, usually somewhere in your head or somewhere in your body, although occasionally a thought may seem to arise outside the physical body. Just note where the thought arises and let all other thoughts fall from your mind. As each new thought arises, just note where it comes from. If you have thoughts about the practice itself, note where they come from. If you have thoughts about noting where a thought came from, note where that thought came from. Got it? Like a cat chasing its own tail, you turn your consciousness back on itself.

The Betty Erickson Self-Hypnosis Method— at least five minutes: Sitting comfortably, with eyes open or closed, list (to yourself) three things that you can see, then three things you can hear, then three things you can feel. (For example, “I see the color of the wall, I see the person opposite me, I see the color of her hair, I hear the sounds outside the room, I hear people moving about, I hear my own breathing, I feel the cushion underneath me, I feel the air on my skin, I feel my hands on my lap … ”). Then narrow it down to a list of two things in each sensory mode, then one thing in each mode. Tell yourself,  “As I count from ten down to one, I can go into a deep, comfortable trance.” Then count breaths backwards from ten to one and enjoy the trance that you are drifting into. This works most powerfully when the verbal listing within your head is timed in a rhythm with your breathing.

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Mao Sugiyama 550x411 SHOCKING: Tokyo Illustrator Has Genitals Removed, Cooks and Serves Them at Public Banquet

This chef’s got balls.

Mao Sugiyama, a self-described “asexual” from Tokyo, cooked up, seasoned and served his own genitalia to five diners at a swanky banquet in Japan last month,Calorie Lab reported.

In most cases, “asexual” is a word used to describe a person who is non-sexual. Sugiyama, however, embraces it as a way to show that he does not affiliate with either gender.

Sugiyama sparked a firestorm of interest on April 8 with one tweet:

“[Please retweet] I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen …Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location.”

Just days after Sugiyama’s 22nd birthday, the artist underwent elective genital-removal surgery, divvied up the severed penis shaft, testicles, and scrotal skin between five people, and garnished it with button mushrooms and Italian parsley.

On April 13, five of six diners who signed up for the $250-a-plate feast, sat down to dinner. The sixth person was a no-show.

The next day, an organizer posted a blog – subsequently deleted — containing pictures of the event. Images showed dozens of people who attended the event just to catch a glimpse of the rare treat.

The extra diners were served crocodile-based dishes while Sugiyama cooked up the exclusive meal.

The story went viral in Japan. Some showed even more interest, while others complained. But Calorie Lab called Japanese authorities, who deemed the banquet legal because there is no law against cannibalism in the country.

Photographer Gavin Hammond has managed to capture the beauty of London’s architecture and people reflected in puddles.

London in Puddles photography London

London in Puddles photography London

London in Puddles photography London

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Expect the unexpected!

“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”

  Haruki Murakami

Art by: Dunno. You know? Lemme know!

Rain: A Glass Raindrop Installation by Stacee Kalmanovsky rain installation art

Rain: A Glass Raindrop Installation by Stacee Kalmanovsky rain installation art

Rain: A Glass Raindrop Installation by Stacee Kalmanovsky rain installation art

Art by: Paul Bailey

Everyone is a magician!

The only difference between a magician and the so-called non-magician is that the magician has admitted the case to be what it is and accepted responsibility for their natural effect upon reality, others, and themselves.

Coincidence?

Top: The connections between computers in a map of the internet.

Bottom: The connections between neurons in a map of the brain.

Cat Vs. Mantis photography insects cats

Fantastic capture by photographer Brooke Pennington. I love how brave the little mantis looks in the face of the pending kitty smack down. There’s a lesson to be learned here, surely. Mantis are insanely surreal creatures and if you wanna see more Mantis action, you can visit old posts, here, here, here and here!

E = mc²

In the far, far future, essentially all matter will have returned to energy. But because of the enormous expansion of space, this energy will be spread so thinly that it will hardly ever convert back to even the lightest particles of matter. Instead, a faint mist of light will fall for eternity through an ever colder and quieter cosmos.

The guiding hand of Einstein’s E = mc² will have finally come to rest.

Brian Greene

Scientist say they have managed to turn patients’ own skin cells into healthy heart muscle in the lab. Ultimately they hope this stem cell therapy could be used to treat heart failure patients. As the transplanted cells are from the individual patient this could avoid the problem of tissue rejection, they told the European Heart Journal. Early tests in animals proved promising but the experimental treatment is still years from being used in people.

Experts have increasingly been using stem cells to treat a variety of heart problems and other conditions like diabetes, Parkinsons disease or Alzheimer’s. Stem cells are important because they have the ability to become different cell types, and scientists are working on developing ways to get them to repair or regenerate damaged organs or tissues. More than 750,000 people in the UK have heart failure. It means the heart is not pumping blood around the body as well as it used to.

Researchers are looking at ways of fixing the damaged heart muscle. In the latest study, the team in Israel took skin cells from two men with heart failure and mixed the cells up with a cocktail of genes and chemicals in the lab to create the stem cell treatment. The cells that they created were identical to healthy heart muscle cells. When these beating cells were transplanted into a rat, they started to make connections with the surrounding heart tissue.

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The technique uses two proteins adapted from viruses to “flip” the DNA bits.

Though it is at an early stage, the advance could help pave the way for computing and memory storage within biological systems.

A team reporting in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say the tiny information storehouses may also be used to study cancer and aging.

The team, from Stanford University’s bioengineering department, has been trying for three years to fine-tune the biological recipe they use to change the bits’ value.

The bits comprise short sections of DNA that can, under the influence of two different proteins, be made to point in one of two directions within the chromosomes of the bacterium E. coli.

The data are then “read out” as the sections were designed to glow green or red when under illumination, depending on their orientation.

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