Oh hai! The awesome world of science just got a whole lot cuter. Biologist and blogger Sofía Gabriela recently shared this outrageously cute photo of a newly discovered species of velvet worm that scientists have named Eoperipatus totoro because of its delightful resemblance to the Catbus in My Neighbor Totoro

Photo by Nicky Bay.

[via Super Punch]

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Over the next twenty years the earth is predicted to add another two billion people. Having nearly exhausted nature’s ability to feed the planet, we now need to discover a new food system. The global climate will continue to change. To save our coastlines, and maintain acceptable living conditions for more than a billion people, we need to discover new science, engineering, design, and architectural methods, and pioneer economic models that sustain their implementation and maintenance. Microbiological threats will increase as our traditional techniques of anti-microbial defense lead to greater and greater resistances, and to thwart these we must discover new approaches to medical treatment, which we can afford, and implement in ways that incite compliance and good health. The many rich and varied human cultures of the earth will continue to mix, more rapidly than they ever have, through mass population movements and unprecedented information exchange, and to preserve social harmony we need to discover new cultural referents, practices, and environments of cultural exchange. In such conditions the futures of law, medicine, philosophy, engineering, and agriculture – with just about every other field – are to be rediscovered. Americans need to learn how to discover.

monsterinthegirlmask said:

It's not art related, but I was wondering your opinion of this. I was at a zoo recently and I couldn't help but notice that nearly every non-western animal was "discovered" by a white male explorer. Uhm, so, no one ever saw any of these animals until white people did? Even though in the case of a few of them Chinese people domesticated them? Good thing white people showed up to discover animals so POC could finally be told that zebras and kangaroos are in fact not plants or hallucinations.

First of all, I laughed a bitter laugh at the last line, and second of all, you’ve underestimated my ability to make everything about art history.

Almost every “discovery” narrative you come across isn’t even internally consistent. I mean, have a gander at what is oft referred to as The Beowulf Manuscript, dating from c. 1075 in England. It also contains a manuscript called “Marvels of the East”, which is about people, landmarks, plants, and animals of the world. It’s also illuminated:

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See? People, camels, some other stuff. Here’s a lizard:

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Anyhow, what I’m getting at here is that the whole “discovery” narrative is silly, because it hinges on the idea of a totally isolated, racially and culturally
"pure" Europe that supposedly existed in "the past", as in "before discovery!11!!!", and that’s just not true.

I know a lot of joke articles make their way around about the laughable inaccuracy of Medieval European illuminations of “Exotic Animals”, but it has more to do with the art style and cultural factors than “ha ha this person never even saw an animal before”.

I mean, here’s a Medieval (c. 1250s) English Illumination of some people riding an elephant:

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And here’s a Japanese painting from c. 1550s of some Europeans riding an elephant:

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Basically the point I’m making is, 1. the “Discovery” narrative doesn’t work because the people who lived in the same places as these supposedly “exotic” animals obviously already knew what they were, and 2. the “Discovery” narrative doesn’t work because centuries ago, Europeans often knew what those animals were, too.

Astronomers have found a planet that rains glass sideways.

Researchers found that one of the closest planets to our solar system also shares the Earth’s blue coloring, according to recent observations from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

But the mutual blue hue is about all the two planets have in common. This planet, HD 189733b, is about 63 light years away from Earth, and is about the same size as Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Its “turbulent alien world” has temperatures that approach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime, roaring winds of up to 4,500 mph and glass that rains sideways, according to a NASA statement.

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Two Tangled Galaxies

The Antennae Galaxies, also known as NGC 4038/NGC 4039, are a pair of interacting galaxies in the constellation Corvus. They are currently going through a starburst phase, in which the collision of clouds of gas and dust, with entangled magnetic fields, causes rapid star formation. The collision has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The most massive of these young stars have already exploded as supernovas. They were discovered by William Herschel in 1785.

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The toy-like aspect of [the vocoder] makes us laugh. We often forget the importance of the playful and humorous side to our music.
—  Guy-Man, March 2001, after being asked about DP’s “extreme” use of the vocoder (x)