Posts from the ‘cool’ Category

quantumaniac:

Happy Birthday NASA! 

Today, July 29th, marks the 54th anniversary of the passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act – which established NASA. Since February 2006, NASA’s mission statement has been to ”pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.” NASA replaced its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

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Equilbrioception is also how we can sense acceleration and gravity. We also have chronoception, an inner sense of timing, which explains how you know it’s about 2:30 without checking. 

Other animals can sense water currents and pressure, as well as electric and magnetic fields, among other things. We too can sense magnetic fields to a degree – if you’re willing to get magnets placed in your fingertips.

Nature is amazing in the breadth of things for which it can adapt, and the way it does so.

Ask XKCD’s Randall Munroe “What would happen if…” and he’ll give you a detailed answer, complete with illustrations. Just started, only two are answered, but definitely worth checking out every few days.
This means that the odds of acing the SAT by guessing are worse than the odds of every living ex-President and every member of the main cast of Firefly all being independently struck by lightning … on the same day

I can’t stress how awesome XKCD’s new What If section is

The Mimic Ladybug Spider, found in eastern Asia, disguises itself as a ladybug (or ladybird). 

While we generally consider ladybirds (not technically bugs) harmless, there’s a reason why they can safely be such bright colors. Through a mechanism known as “reflex bleeding,” they release a noxious alkaloid mixture that gives its predators a very bad taste. 

Batesian mimicry is the term for when animals copy a design or color scheme of another, more inedible animal in order to avoid being eaten. Considering most ladybirds aren’t predatory like the spider, it could very well serve a double purpose.

Some pure titanium, and the TiO2 (“titanium rust”) is such a nice color. Also if you kinda squint it looks like a T-Rex is formed by the blue.

A visualization of wildfires worldwide in just the last 24 hours. I know the scale is different, but Africa makes our Colorado fires look inadequate.

Commonplace in North America, the golden tortoise beetle is able to change the transparency of its shell from jewel-like to clear with the use of microscopic valves that control moisture under the shell. It can usually be found on morning glories, its favorite food.