spaceplasma:

As Seen by STEREO-A: The Carrington-Class CME of 2012

STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) is a solar observation mission, it consists of two space-based observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit (STEREO-A), the other trailing behind (STEREO-B). The two nearly identical spacecraft were launched in 2006 into orbits around the Sun that cause them to respectively pull farther ahead of and fall gradually behind the Earth. This enables stereoscopic imaging of the Sun and solar phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections.

STEREO-A, at a position along Earth’s orbit where it has an unobstructed view of the far side of the Sun, could clearly observe possibly the most powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) of solar cyle 24 on July 23, 2012. The flare erupted in the lower right quadrant of the solar disk from a large active region. The material launched into space in a direction towards STEREO-A. This created the ring-like ‘halo’ CME visible in the STEREO-A coronagraph, COR-2 (blue circular image). As the CME expanded beyond the field of view of the COR-2 imager, the high energy particles reached STEREO-A, and caused the snow-like noise in the image. Researchers have been analyzing the data ever since, and they have concluded that the storm was one of the strongest in recorded history. It might have been stronger than the Carrington Event itself.

The solar storm of 1859, also known as the Carrington Event, was a powerful geomagnetic solar storm in 1859 during solar cycle 10. A solar flare or coronal mass ejection hit Earth’s magnetosphere and induced the largest known solar storm, which was observed and recorded by Richard C. Carrington. The intense geomagnetic storm caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices and disabling the ‘Victorian Internet.” A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect on modern power grids and telecommunication networks.

Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

"We’re not just us by ourselves but a combination of us and them, And that makes us very much more a part of our environment as opposed to something freestanding and separate from our environment. Those are very radical changes in the way we see self-identity."

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It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing.

The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder.

This, it seems to me, is pretty much where we stand today with respect to our microbiomes — our teeming, quasi-wilderness. We don’t know a lot, but we probably know enough to begin taking better care of it. We have a pretty good idea of what it likes to eat, and what strong chemicals do to it. We know all we need to know, in other words, to begin, with modesty, to tend the unruly garden within.

"

I’ve been thinking about doing a series of sketches of thick/big women in sun dresses but I’d prefer it to be from some of the women I interact with on here. Maybe have some ya’ll submit a pic of yourself in a sundress outside, pose of your choice. I tried doing something similar before but didn’t get as much submissions to make it an actual series. If I get enough submissions this time I’ll do it.

IC5070 Pelican Nebula ‘The Bird’ by Reinhold

IC5070 Pelican Nebula ‘The Bird’ by Reinhold

"It is simply a lie that Israel’s slaughter in Gaza is a response to an “unprovoked attack” by Hamas. Not only is it a lie, it is a transparent, brazen lie, whose falsehood is glaringly apparent to anyone who had given even a cursory look at coverage of the Israeli government’s response to the murder of three Israeli teenagers in June."

NPR Science: Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

  • ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:
  • If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON: I'm able to do things I've never done before. I feel everything and I can control the elements around me.
  • UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That's amazing.
  • WESTERVELT: You've probably heard this idea before. Most people only use 10% of their brains. The other 90% of the basically dormant. Well, in the movie "Lucy," Morgan Freeman gives us this what-if scenario?
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")
  • MORGAN FREEMAN: What if there was a way of accessing 100% of our brain? What might we be capable of?
  • DAVID EAGLEMAN: We would be capable of exactly what we're doing now, which is to say, we do use a hundred percent of our brain.
  • WESTERVELT: That is David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: I'm a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine.
  • WESTERVELT: And he says, basically, all of us are like Lucy. We use all of our brains, all of time.
  • EAGLEMAN: Even when you're just sitting around doing nothing your brain is screaming with activity all the time, around the clock; even when you're asleep it's screaming with activity.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, this is a total myth. Very wrong, but still very popular. Take this clip from an Ellen DeGeneres stand-up special.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF STAND-UP SPECIAL)
  • ELLEN DEGENERES: It's true, they say we use ten percent of our brain. Ten percent of our brain. And I think, imagine what we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent? Do you know what I'm saying?
  • AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER).
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • DAVID SPADE: Let's say the average person uses ten percent of their brain.
  • WESTERVELT: It's even in the movie "Tommy Boy."
  • (SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TOMMY BOY")
  • SPADE: How much do you use? One and a half percent. The rest is clogged with malted hops and bong residue.
  • WESTERVELT: Ariana Anderson is a researcher at UCLA. She looks at brain scans all day long. And she says, if someone were actually using just ten percent of their brain capacity...
  • ARIANA ANDERSON: Well, they would probably be declared brain-dead.
  • WESTERVELT: Sorry, "Tommy Boy." No one knows exactly where this myth came from but it's been around since at least the early 1900's. So why is this wrong idea still so popular?
  • ANDERSON: Probably gives us some sort of hope that if we are doing things we shouldn't do, such as watching too much TV, alcohol abuse, well, it might be damaging our brain but it's probably damaging the 90 percent that we don't use. And that's not true. Whenever you're doing something that damages your brain, it's damaging something that's being used, and it's going to leave some sort of deficit behind.
  • EAGLEMAN: For a long time I've wondered, why is this such a sticky myth?
  • WESTERVELT: Again, David Eagleman.
  • EAGLEMAN: And I think it's because it gives us a sense that there's something there to be unlocked, that we could be so much better than we could. And really, this has the same appeal as any fairytale or superhero story. I mean, it's the neural equivalent to Peter Parker becoming Spiderman.
  • WESTERVELT: In other words, it's an idea that belongs in Hollywood.

Most of what we know — or think we know — about how kids learn comes from classroom practice and behavioral psychology. Now, neuroscientists are adding to and qualifying that store of knowledge by studying the brain itself. The latest example: new research in the journal suggests a famous phenomenon known as the “fourth-grade shift” isn’t so clear-cut.

"The theory of the fourth-grade shift had been based on behavioral data," says the lead author of the study, Donna Coch. She heads the Reading Brains Lab at Dartmouth College.

The assumption teachers make: “In a nutshell,” Coch says, “by fourth grade you stop learning to read and start reading to learn. We’re done teaching the basic skills in third grade, and you go use them starting in the fourth.”

But, Coch’s team found, that assumption may not be true. The study involved 96 participants, divided among third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders as well as college students. All average readers, the subjects wore noninvasive electrode caps that could swiftly pick up electrical activity in the brain.

They were shown strings of letters/symbols that fell into four different categories: words (“bed”); pseudo-words (“bem”); strings of letters (“mbe”) and finally, strings of meaningless symbols (@#*). The researchers then observed the subjects’ brains as they reacted, within milliseconds, to each kind of stimulus.

The children in the study handled the first three categories roughly as well as the college students, meaning their brains responded at a speed that suggested their word processing was automatic. The difference came with the fourth category, meaningless symbols. As late as fifth grade, children needed to use their conscious minds to decide whether the symbols were a word.

The study suggests there is nothing so neat as a fourth-grade shift. It found that third-graders exhibit some signs of automatic word processing while fifth-graders are still processing words differently from adults.

Why is this important? “From my perspective, this concept of automaticity is key to learning to read,” says Coch. “If you’re not automatic, you’re using a lot of effort to decode and understand individual words, meaning you have fewer resources for comprehension.”

Coch’s team also administered a written test, covering the same set of real words, fake words, and symbol strings. This task was designed to test the participants’ conscious word processing, a much slower procedure.

Interestingly, most of the 96 participants got a nearly perfect score on the written test, showing that their conscious brains knew the difference between words and non-words. Future research will no doubt try to pinpoint when that process becomes automatic … research that could change the way we teach reading in the higher grades.

gandwarf:

i love grandmas so much

from Teta, Alf Marra directed by Mahmoud Kaabour

night-catches-us:


onehalfhipster:

One of my absolute favorite Malcolm X quotes

The Malcom X they don’t show you. 

night-catches-us:

onehalfhipster:

One of my absolute favorite Malcolm X quotes

The Malcom X they don’t show you. 

Double Towers Double Crescents by Bernd Proschold


  Conjunction of young crescent Moon and Venus in dusk. The pairing in this image also shows Venus as a small crescent.
  
  When Venus is near to the orbital position between the Earth and Sun it appears as a crescent, large enough to resolve with a mid-sized binocular or a small telescope or to image with a telephoto lens.

Double Towers Double Crescents by Bernd Proschold

Conjunction of young crescent Moon and Venus in dusk. The pairing in this image also shows Venus as a small crescent.

When Venus is near to the orbital position between the Earth and Sun it appears as a crescent, large enough to resolve with a mid-sized binocular or a small telescope or to image with a telephoto lens.