black science


I got to do these fun little black and grey tattoos on Hannah and Chaucee today. Thanks, ladies! These were so fun! Chickadee + forsythia branch and a sprig of rosemary.

Black Hole Winds Quench Star Formation in Entire Galaxies

By Charles Q. Choi

Giant winds from black holes can blast gas through galaxies at extraordinary speeds, pulling the plug on star formation, researchers say.

This finding reveals how black holes can direct the fates of entire galaxies, scientists added.

The hearts of most and possibly all galaxies harbor supermassive black holes millions to billions of times the mass of the sun. Many are relatively quiet, like the one sitting at the center of the Milky Way. However, others, known as active galactic nuclei, voraciously devour their surroundings, potentially creating black hole winds.

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A Black Hole is an extraordinarily massive, improbably dense knot of spacetime that makes a living swallowing or slinging away any morsel of energy that strays too close to its dark, twisted core. Anyone fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to directly observe one of these beasts in the wild would immediately notice the way its colossal gravitational field warps all of the light from the stars and galaxies behind it, a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

Thanks to the power of supercomputers, a curious observer no longer has to venture into outer space to see such a sight. A team of astronomers has released their first simulated images of the lensing effects of not just one, but two black holes, trapped in orbit by each other’s gravity and ultimately doomed to merge as one.

The Australian Government is actively sustaining cultural violence against Indigenous Australians. The Abbott Government is trying to force 150 Aboriginal Australian communities off their lands in Western Australia. This would displace up to 12,000 Aboriginal Australians, effectively making them refugees in their own ancestral lands. This comes after months of ongoing campaigns to address:

  • The removal of 15,000 Indigenous children: The Grandmothers Against Removals group have been fighting for the return of Aboriginal children who live in so-called “out of home care,” away from their families. This practice goes back to early colonialism, where Indigenous children were removed from their communities and forced to give up their culture.

  • The denial of basic services to remote Indigenous communities: as shown in the Utopia Homelands in the Northern Territory, an Indigenous community that lived without clean water for two months in late 2014.

The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called remote Aboriginal communities a “lifestyle choice” only six months after declaring Australia was "unsettled" prior to British colonialism.

A 2011 DNA study published in Science, headed by Professor Morten Rasmussen, shows that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of the first people to leave Africa up to 75,000 years ago. The study provides genetic evidence that Aboriginal Australians represent the oldest continuous culture on Earth.

Rather than supporting Indigenous culture as a unique national resource, with special insight on everything from cultural resilience, to history, to environmental sustainability, the Abbott Government is instead opting to maintain colonial practices that push our traditional landowners off their country. Aboriginal people made their move to Australia 24,000 years before the first wave of people who would eventually populate Asia and Europe.

The displacement of Indigenous Australians is in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states Indigenous people "have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture." Under this charter, nation states have a responsibility to:

"provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for: Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (and) 

Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.” 

Australia is the only Commonwealth nation in the world not to have a treaty with our Indigenous people.

Join the conversation to support Aboriginal communities here and on Twitter using #SOSBlakAustralia


Image: My Instagram @OtherSociology

HT Professor @marcialangton for Science study; @LukeLPearson on United Nations Charter. Follow @sosblakaust and @IndigenousX on Twitter for updates on protests.

Annie Easley helped make modern spaceflight possible

"Few people are brilliant enough to be a computer programmer or a mathematician. Even fewer can add "rocket scientist for NASA" to their resume. Annie Easley, however, was all three. During her 34-year career, she worked not only on technologies that led to hybrid vehicles, but also on software that enabled great strides in spaceflight and exploration. And if that wasn’t notable enough, Easley also did all of this as one of the first few African-Americans in her field.”

Legend of the Hero - a Zelda-inspired natural history book

A Compendium of the Natural History of Hyrule

• Guide to over 80 common indigenous beings
• Catalog of relics & artifacts of the lands
• Folktales of heroes, beasts & the Demon King
• Index of the many celebrated deities of the land
• Studies of the native peoples & their culture
• A geographic survey of the land over time

Every common enemy’s name is given as a Latin binomial name and in original Hylian. Relics, bosses, races, spirits, etc are all given in Hylian, too.

Now available from Fangamer.
Hardcover version includes a signed gold foil bookplate.

Additional 6” x 9” set of eight boss prints available:
(LoZ, LttP, LA, OoT, MM, WW, TP, SS)

Faux-leather hardback and paperback versions available:

Free US shipping and 1/2 price international shipping until Monday!
Legend of the Hero on

Following up last year’s Field Guide to Kanto, I spent all year making this book (plus a lifetime of playing the series). It’s my natural history-inspired love letter to the series.
Hope you enjoy <3

Merging Galaxies Bursting With Light - NGC 2207 and IC 2163

Just like our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are sprinkled with many star systems known as X-ray binaries, which consist of a star in a tight orbit around either a neutron star or a stellar-mass black hole. The strong gravity of the neutron star or black hole pulls matter from the companion star. As this matter falls toward the neutron star or black hole, it is heated to millions of degrees and generates X-rays. These special objects are in a category of objects known as ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) and have been found using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Space Observatory. This Image is a mix of the optical and X-ray wavelength, with the optical showing the galaxies structure and the bursts of pink and purple representing concentrations of X-rays.

Credit: NASA/Chandra/Cal Tech/Harvard