Category Archives: Science

How to explain your strange subconscious shenanigans to others. A School Of Life short, written and narrated by Alain de Botton. To wit:

We often wake up from a dream with a powerful urge to tell those around us about what happened. But our listeners are also liable to feel restless and bored during our narration of the dream. The issue takes us to the heart of the challenges of communication.

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An extraordinary descent to the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, using actual footage from the Huygens Space Probe, which landed there in 2005. To wit:

The probe sampled Titan’s dense, hazy atmosphere as it slowly rotated beneath its parachutes, analyzing the complex organic chemistry and measuring winds. It also took hundreds of images during the descent, revealing bright, rugged highlands that were crosscut by dark drainage channels and steep ravines. The area where the probe touched down was a dark, granular surface, which resembled a dry lakebed.

MORE: Huygens: ‘Ground Truth’ From an Alien Moon (NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)

Meanwhile…

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By instachaz

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Using old school analogue visual effects like ink dispersing in an aquarium and pinholes in tissue paper to represent stars, Thomas Vanz creates a very impressive and highly plausible representation of a dying sun going supernova. To wit:

Novae is a movie about an astronomical event that occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star’s life, whose dramatic and catastrophic death is marked by one final titanic explosion called supernova. By only using an aquarium, ink and water, this film is also an attempt to represent the giant with the small without any computed generated imagery.

Vanz shows how he did it here and here.

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The Infinite Galaxy Puzzle by design studio Nervous System – a 133-piece jigsaw with an image of galactic central point (taken by the Hubble telescope) on each side.

Based on the principal of the Klein bottle, an impossible 3D shape with mathematically identical inner and outer surfaces, the puzzle can be constructed in a myriad of ways.

Intriguing? Annoying?  Either way, the long winter evenings will just fly by.

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Chernobyl: finally hermetically sealed after three decades.

The European Bank For Reconstruction and Development sez:

Thirty years after the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, the radioactive remains of the power plant’s destroyed reactor 4 have been safely enclosed following one of the world’s most ambitious engineering projects. Chernobyl’s giant New Safe Confinement (NSC) was moved over a distance of 327 metres from its assembly point to its final resting place, completely enclosing a previous makeshift shelter that was hastily assembled immediately after the 1986 accident.

kottke