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Akinotopsia is a condition where people can neither see nor understand the world in motion. It results from a damage to V5 cortex in the brain (a part of the brain that interprets motion). They can see the objects as stationary. (Video)

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Red Sprite Lightning – Explosions in the Sky by Marko Korosec

These spectacular pictures show the incredible moment a rare natural phenomenon happens in the night sky. Red sprite lightning lasts only a millisecond and takes place high above a tunderstorm cloud.The breathtaking flashes of light are caused by huge electrical discharges of lightning in the sky. Marko Korosec, 32, was lucky enough to catch these sprites on camera after months of trying. Mr Korosec, from Sezana in Slovenia, took the shots whilst he was following storms in Vivaro, Italy.

Photo by Marko Korosec /Solent News/SIPA Press

Via: designyoutrust

“Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that occur high above thunderstorm clouds, or cumulonimbus, giving rise to a quite varied range of visual shapes flickering in the night sky. They are triggered by the discharges of positive lightning between an underlying thundercloud and the ground. Sprites appear as luminous reddish-orange flashes. They often occur in clusters within the altitude range 50–90 km (31–56 mi) above the Earth’s surface. Sporadic visual reports of sprites go back at least to 1886, but they were first photographed on July 6, 1989 by scientists from the University of Minnesota and have subsequently been captured in video recordings many thousands of times. Sprites are sometimes inaccurately called upper-atmospheric lightning. However, sprites are cold plasma phenomena that lack the hot channel temperatures of tropospheric lightning, so they are more akin to fluorescent tube discharges than to lightning discharges”

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"That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there… on a mote of dust suspended… in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast, cosmic arena." - Carl Sagan [x]

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Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)

The Philippine eagle, also known as the monkey-eating eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae endemic to forests in the Philippines. It measures 86 to 102 cm (2.82 to 3.35 ft) in length and weighs 4.7 to 8.0 kilograms (10.4 to 17.6 lb). It is considered the largest of the extant eagles in the world in terms of length. It is critically endangered, mainly due to massive loss of habitat due to deforestation in most of its range. Juveniles in play behavior have been observed gripping knotholes in trees with their talons and, using their tails and wings for balance, inserting their heads into tree cavities. Additionally, they have been known to attack inanimate objects for practice, as well as attempt to hang upside down to work on their balance. The primary prey for the eagles seen in Luzon are monkeys, birds, flying foxes, giant cloud-rats and reptiles such as large snakes and lizards.

photo credits: wiki, wiki, Klaus Nigge, projectnoah

The oldest fossils of turtles were found in Germany and date back 215 million years, during the Triassic period. They are among the oldest fossils of four-legged animals and one of the Earth’s most ancient creatures. These ancestral turtles had completely formed shells and lived on land, in marshes. Turtles appeared before dinosaurs and were present for the evolution of birds from feathered dinosaurs.

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Rapid Evolution in Real Time

On islands off the coast of Florida, scientists uncover swift adaptive changes among Carolina anole populations.

by Sandhya Sekar

For most of its existence, the Carolina anole aka Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) was the only lizard in the Southeastern U.S. It could perch where it wanted, eat what it liked. But in the 1970s, aided by human pet trade, the brown anole (Anolis sagrei)—native to Cuba and the Bahamas—came marching in.

In experiments on islands off the coast of Florida, scientists studying the effects of the species mixing witnessed evolution in action: the Carolina anole started perching higher up in trees, and its toe pads changed to enable better grip—all in a matter of 15 years, or about 20 lizard generations.

In a paper published in Science today (October 23), Yoel Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin, Todd Campbell from the University of Tampa, Florida, and their colleagues discuss what happened when the two species converged upon the same habitats…

(read more: The Scientist)

photograph by R. Colin Blenis

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Huge Solar Flare Erupts from Biggest Sunspot in 24 Years

The biggest sunspot on the face of the sun in more than two decades unleashed a major flare on Friday (Oct. 24), the fourth intense solar storm from the active star in less than a week.

Image 1: This full-disk image of the sun shows the location of the major X3.1 solar flare on Oct. 24, 2014. The solar flare erupted from the largest sunspot on the sun in 24 years. Credit: NSA/SDO

Image 2: A massive X3.1 solar flare erupts from the giant sunspot AR 12192 on Oct. 24, 2014 in this close-up view from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft that constantly watches Earth’s nearest star. Credit: NASA/SDO

The solar flare occurred Friday afternoon, reaching its peak at 5:41 p.m. EDT (2141 GMT), and triggered a strong radio blackout at the time, according to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center. NASA’s sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory captured stunning video of the huge solar flare.

The flare erupted from a giant active sunspot known as AR 12192 and was classified as an X3.1-class solar storm — one of the most powerful types of solar storms on the sun — but it is not the first time the sunspot has made its presence known.

"This is the fourth substantial flare from this active region since Oct. 19," NASA spokesperson Karen Fox wrote in a status update.

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