You didn't waste this year...

This year, I guarantee that you’ve done at least a few of the following:

  • Learned something new
  • Participated in a hobby
  • Gotten better at something
  • Kept friendships alive
  • Changed someone’s life (you may not think you have, but trust me, 100%, you have)
  • Done something good for your community
  • Helped spread awareness for an issue
  • Donated to a charitable organization
  • Helped talk a friend out of a bad mood
  • Changed someone’s point of view
  • Made someone’s day
  • Fixed a problem either you or someone else was having
  • Introduced someone to something they now love to death

You didn’t waste this year.  There are so many small, everyday things you do that make a huge impact.

This city is playing tricks on you

This is Nördlingen, a city in Germany famous for its location in the center of an impact crater. After all, you can tell just by looking at it right?

Actually this city is playing a trick on you. The crater that holds the city influences the circular shape of the city, but the crater is far, far bigger than this tiny area. The city itself is about 1 kilometer across; the Reis crater has a diameter of 26 kilometers, and Nördlingen is about 6 kilometers away from the center.

The city walls define the circular pattern of the city. If you look at images of the city and surrounding area from above, its clear that the crater influenced the region’s development: the circular pattern is reflected both in the location of the city’s walls and in the boundaries between fields surrounding the city. 

These circular patterns may reflect various geologic processes such as faulting and filling of the crater by lakes after it formed, all of which would work together to create subtle circular patterns throughout the area that were partially recognized as the city was built. Before it was understood that the Earth does host large impact craters, it was thought that this area could be a volcanic crater.

Nördlingen and the Ries impact structure were made famous in part by scientist Gene Shoemaker, who helped recognize the presence of rocks generated by the impact of an asteroid in this spot about 15 million years ago. The tall church at the center of town is now famous as having been constructed of suevite –a rock consisting of shattered chunks of rock and glass produced by the energy of the impact. During the 1960s, astronauts training for the Apollo missions to the moon even visited Nördlingen to see the structures generated by impacts in person before walking on the moon.

-JBB

Image credit:
http://imgur.com/bxaYsxy http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/nordlingen-crater-town_n_6081956.html

Read more:
http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~obrien/Nordlingen2011/
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8554
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a14/a14ries.html

The impact of long duration spaceflights on brain function

Philadelphia PA (SPX) Dec 03, 2014

Space is one of the most demanding and unforgiving environments. Human exploration of space requires astronauts to maintain consistently high levels of cognitive performance to ensure mission safety and success, and prevent potential errors and accidents. Despite the importance of cognitive performance for mission success, little is known about how cognition is affected by prolonged spaceflight,
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Chandra Identifies Impact of Cosmic Chaos on Star Birth

Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2014

The same phenomenon that causes a bumpy airplane ride, turbulence, may be the solution to a long-standing mystery about stars’ birth, or the absence of it, according to a new study using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the universe, held together by gravity. These behemoths contain hundreds or thousands of individual galaxies that are
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It’s 10:14 at night and
I’ve picked up a pen and paper to tell about how I got my heart broke by a boy who was never could be tamed in the first place
When he broke that first promise I should have left
When he kissed that other girl I should have left
When he didn’t talk to me for a half a dozen days I should have known to leave
Love was like a train barreling towards me at night
The lights blinded me and I couldn’t see how to get off the tracks
All I knew was how bright it looked until I felt the impact
The cold, hard hit in my chest knocking all the breath out of my lungs
My body was crushed under the weight and the pain
And now it’s 10:16 and I can still feel the impact of that train in my chest
—  Impact