Hickson 91 in Piscis Austrinus : Scanning the skies for galaxies, Canadian astronomer Paul Hickson and colleagues identified some 100 compact groups of galaxies, now appropriately called Hickson Compact Groups . This sharp telescopic image captures one such galaxy group, HCG 91, in beautiful detail. The groups three colorful spiral galaxies at the center of the field of view are locked in a gravitational tug of war, their interactions producing faint but visible tidal tails over 100,000 light-years long. Their close encounters trigger furious star formation. On a cosmic timescale the result will be a merger into a large single galaxy, a process now understood to be a normal part of the evolution of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. HCG 91 lies about 320 million light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. But the impressively deep image also catches evidence of fainter tidal tails and galaxy interactions close to 2 billion light-years distant. via NASA


Has LIGO already discovered evidence for quantum gravity?

“According to Einstein, a black hole’s event horizon should have specific properties, determined by its mass, charge and angular momentum. In most ideas of what quantum gravity would look like, that event horizon would be no different. Some models, however, predict notably different event horizons, and it’s those departure models that offer a glimmer of hope for quantum gravity. If we see a difference from what Einstein’s theory predicts, perhaps we can uncover not only that gravity must be a quantum theory, but what properties quantum gravity actually has.”

In 2015, LIGO collected data from a total of three candidate gravitational wave events, all of which were announced and released in 2016. These events verified the great prediction of Einstein: that decaying orbits should emit gravitational radiation with specific magnitudes and frequencies that distort spacetime in a particular, measurable way. But some quantum gravitational ideas modify the event horizon and the space just outside of it, creating the possibility that merging black holes will exhibit “echoes” superimposed atop the Einsteinian signal. For the first time, a team of theorists dove into the LIGO data to test this, and may have just uncovered the first evidence for quantum gravity in our Universe.

With the next run of LIGO already underway, be prepared to find out that gravity may be inherently quantum after all!

me: isn’t it funny how all the characters i gravitate towards have tragic backstories or traumatic pasts???? what a coincidence

me to me: you relate to traumatized characters bc you are also traumatized and cope with it through a fictional character’s story and emotions

Spotlight on IC 3583

This delicate blue group of stars — actually an irregular galaxy named IC 3583 — sits some 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin).

It may seem to have no discernable structure, but IC 3583 has been found to have a bar of stars running through its centre. These structures are common throughout the Universe, and are found within the majority of spiral, many irregular, and some lenticular galaxies. Two of our closest cosmic neighbours, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are barred, indicating that they may have once been barred spiral galaxies that were disrupted or torn apart by the gravitational pull of the Milky Way.

Something similar might be happening with IC 3583. This small galaxy is thought to be gravitationally interacting with one of its neighbours, the spiral Messier 90. Together, the duo form a pairing known as Arp 76. It’s still unclear whether these flirtations are the cause of IC 3583’s irregular appearance — but whatever the cause, the galaxy makes for a strikingly delicate sight in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, glimmering in the blackness of space.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

In a stubborn effort to find something about YoI to keep me more amused than increasingly disappointed until the end of the season, I’ve been looking through all of the different pairings trying to find one that actually interests me.

I’ve settled on Yuri P and JJ.

I tend to gravitate toward the characters with the most obvious flaws, so on their own I find them both to be the most intriguing characters in the show anyway.  An incredibly hardworking teen with an attitude problem and a lot of frustration and anger who’s been supporting his family for his entire competitive career vs. an arrogant toerag with what looks like a shit ton of natural talent who’s probably had everything handed to him on a silver plate for all of his nineteen years on Earth.  The contrast interests me, as does the friction between them.  I feel like they could learn a lot from one another without either of them losing their spark.

I don’t care if they wouldn’t be “perfect” together.  I’m not here to ship perfection.  I’m not here for something immediate and easy.  I don’t want googly eyes.  I don’t want two people falling into each other’s arms through fairytale circumstances.  I want two people to build something over the years.  I want some arguments and challenges that require communication and compromise to overcome.  I want dislike that turns into grudging respect that turns into something supportive and meaningful.

So yeah.  I can see that as a possibility with them.  Count me in.

Special Issue CFP: Tumblr and Fandom (May 1, 2017; June 15 2018)

Over the past five years, more and more English language transformative fandoms have gravitated to the social networking site Tumblr, moving from online communities such as LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, and Yahoo! Groups. Thus many fan communities have shifted organization structures to adapt to Tumblr’s multiple points of entry and seemingly anti-hierarchical framework. Some fans describe Tumblr as a fandom free-for-all without clear rules for engagement. Others describe this uncertain multiplicity as one of the platform’s strengths. Still others have pointed to Tumblr’s comparatively more visual interface as enabling greater global participation in heretofore monolingual fandom spaces. All of which is to say, Tumblr means many things to many people, encompassing a diversity of fandom experiences.

This special issue of TWC seeks to explore Tumblr as a (not infrequently contested) fandom platform, in which cultures of age, gender, sexuality, race, dis/ability, class, nationality, religion, language, and so on connect and sometimes clash in the contact zones of fandoms. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tumblr’s influence on the production and consumption of fan fiction
  • Transcultural and/or transnational fan practices and interactions on Tumblr
  • Convergence of fandom and social justice concerns on Tumblr
  • Tumblr fandom as a site for media literacy 
  • Tumblr fandom and non-normative/socially marginalized identity and community
  • Marketing, media producers, and Tumblr fans
  • Media discourse surrounding Tumblr fandom
  • Developing aesthetics of fan work on Tumblr
  • Tumblr’s role within transmedia fandom flow across platforms 
  • Tumblr’s cultural/discursive positioning as a youth/millennial fandom platform
  • History and politics of transitioning from fandom communities (e.g. LiveJournal) to Tumblr
  • How Tumblr’s interface has impacted and/or driven inter-fandom interactions and transfandom (e.g. Superwholock)

Submission guidelines

Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC, is an international peer-reviewed online Gold Open Access publication of the nonprofit Organization for Transformative Works copyrighted under a Creative Commons License. TWC aims to provide a publishing outlet that welcomes fan-related topics and to promote dialogue between the academic community and the fan community. TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing.

Theory: Conceptual essays. Peer review, 6,000–8,000 words.

Praxis: Case study essays. Peer review, 5,000–7,000 words.

Symposium: Short commentary. Editorial review, 1,500–2,500 words.

Please visit TWC’s Web site ( for complete submission guidelines, or e-mail the TWC Editor (editor AT


Contact guest editors Lori Morimoto, Louisa Stein, and Allison McCracken with any questions or inquiries (tumblrfandomtwc AT

Due date

May 1, 2017, for estimated June 2018 publication.

anonymous asked:

Why do you ship steve and tony together. I love them together but I'd really like to know your reasons and thoughts on why you ship them?

First and foremost, it is probably very shallow of me, but I find both CE and RDJ to be attractive.  This is a rare thing for me. I almost never find people attractive.  Chris Hemsworth?  Nothing.  Tom Hiddleston?  Literally zero interest. Idris Elba?  Nope. So…having two actors playing characters I can ship who I happen to find attractive is a big part of it.  That pretty much never happens for me.

Beyond that very superficial reason, I just really like the intensity of their relationship.  The drama and passion.  The way they gravitate towards each other.  How hard they make it for each, but how much they make the other better when they finally get there.  They are, for me, the strongest characters. They both have this deep well of unstoppable strength. True equals.  But, for all their individual strengths, they need the balance the other offers so very much.  

These are obviously fictional characters, so I don’t mind shipping a couple who brings all that delicious angst and pining to the table.  In real life, probably not healthy, but this is the wonderful world of my mind where I get to find all of that entertaining and romantic.  It makes for great storytelling.  

It also just happened that shipping them hit me at a time when I think I needed that.  A distraction or whatever.  My mom was just diagnosed with breast cancer and I think I was looking for something to give me an outlet.  I happened to stumble my way into this.  

Thanks for the ask!

'Post-truth' vs Scientific Socialism

In modern democracies, the truth is under attack from two masked assailants.

Both liberal mainstream ideology and far-right nationalism rely on prescriptive solutions to perceived problems which have only glancing relation to their basis in economic and social reality. Neoliberal governments headed by David Cameron and Theresa May in the UK can claim that ‘improving’ underfunded public services means auctioning them off to profit-motivate private companies; Trump can say in all seriousness that responding to the decline of working-class standards of living means promising restrictions on immigration.

These solutions have failed, and will continue to fail, since they are based on a heady combination of class interest, mythology and prejudice. Sadly, much of the academic and scientific establishment is equally complicit in this propagation of non-fact politics, providing obfuscatory, incomplete or selective scientific justifications. Their success is ultimately rooted in the economic patronage of state and private financial elites - and hence, their conclusions cannot escape the gravitic pull of the foundational interest of those elites.

Putting the scientific method back into politics works - because it gives cogent, convincing analysis alongside effective solutions. Scientific socialism emerged in a society not at all different from our own: in the middle of the 19th-century, ordinary people were appealing to a bewildering array of moral, romantic and conspiratorial ideas to explain the turmoil which surrounded them. This is the whole project of Marxism, in a nutshell: to analyse capitalism from a skeptical point of view, rooted in material reality.

Most crucially for our own times, Marxism doesn’t confine itself to top-down analyses of society from the point of view of elites seeking to impose solutions upon the world: it’s thoroughly skeptical of authority, and those who would claim to know what’s best for you. It’s a living, participative science which seeks to explain and solve the conflicts every one of us face on a daily basis. Scientific socialism is the antidote we need to the ‘post-truth’ society.

((SCOUT 2399 Noriaki Kakyoin was a formidable member of the human fleet. The only recurring issue was his consistent need to be solitary. Noriaki is known to be usually passive, getting aggressive only when confronted or being told what to do by anyone, regardless of rank or status. He operated strictly solo missions to high-risk low-survival rate locations. Generally, his success rate was high despite the chances.

One particular instance left him missing.))

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

do you find yourself attracted to the same type of mbti type always? Like, every time I like or fancy someone, they always turn out to be the same type. Am I the only one? None of my friends experience this, maybe I'm biased.

Oh, yes, absolutely. I tend to be attracted mostly to INTJs. They have this thing. But I also feel very attracted to NTs generally (except for ENTPs because while they’re so interesting, they’re just as scatterbrained as I am and that wouldn’t work at all). F types are usually big friends of mine, but where attractiveness is concerned, I love Ts.
As for my fellow INTJ, she tends to gravitate toward ENTPs. And viceversa.


Not many people understand me when I say I do judge books by their cover but I want the author to put thought into their work as a whole and getting the cover right isn’t even that hard in first place.
Also if you were randomly strolling through a book shop you’d always end up gravitating towards books that look pleasing to you- the aesthetics already tell you a lot about the story and it should go well together.
+ I don’t want to hold something ugly for multiple hours in my hand ?!

“A task for you, Rudy,” I said.  “I need you to go to this address.  Check the coast is clear, that you can go there without any fuss.  We’re going to start gravitating in that direction over time.  If there are any problems, then, hm…”

Rudy waited patiently.

I got my bag, rummaged in it, and got chalk.

“Big, bold, white letters on an easy to see surface.  Write ‘I love rabbits.‘”

“Rabbits?” Possum asked.

“Absolutely.  Then just hang out around there.  The rabbit will find you.  Tell him what’s going on, and he’ll let everyone important know, myself included.”

Rudy gave me a long, critical look.

“The rabbit is real,” I said.  “I promise.”

“Okay,” he said.

“But don’t call him a rabbit.  I mean, he’s clearly a rabbit, but don’t call him a rabbit.”

—  Twig

@kitscaboodle tagged me which was a lovely surprise (and also a bewildering one because these days I try to fly under the radar but thank you anyway!)

Rules: Tag nine people you would like to know better.

Relationship Status: I’ve been married to the deliciously incredible @stormqueen for 3 years and we’ve been together for about 7.  She’s really the best thing I’ve ever found on the internet.  ;)

Favorite color: Funny, really: I was always a black and brown person.  Maybe blue if I really wanted to push the boat out.  Over the last few years, I’ve gravitated towards orange and pink as my colour of choice.  Make of THAT emotional flag flying what you will, heh.

Last song I listened to: I won’t lie, I probably listen to “Chandelier” at least once a day.  I’m obsessed with the Lynn Gunn version and go between that and my new favourite version by Saara Aalto.  But the last song before writing this was “Angel” by Massive Attack, combined with “Good Is Bad” by Headrillaz.  I’m having a bit of a Party Monster kind of day today.

Favorite TV show: That’s so hard to answer because there are lots of favourites for lots of reasons.  I love medical dramas (obvs) and procedurals but if I was strongarmed into choosing, I’d have to say *probably* ST: DS9 or Smallville, because Clark Kent and Lois Lane have been my relationship template since I was a teeny wee one.  I also watch (and force my wife to watch) more reality tv than is possibly healthy.  Or advisable.  Trash is, in fact, my life.

First Fandom: BtVS, although I was fangirling long before I knew what it was or before the internet existed.

Hobbies: I love writing and it’s become a bit of a therapy thing for me, I suppose.  I also enjoy downloading as many different dance remixes of trashy pop songs as I can, giving dramatic performances of anything and everything, taunting my cats and making my wife laugh.  Sometimes I’m also super-British just for shits and gigs.

Books I’m currently reading: I just finished a book about Mary Kay Letourneau which has really stuck in my head because I used to be a schoolteacher and the entire scenario is simply unconscionable to me.  I’m currently reading “Fairest” by Marissa Meyer, which is the fourth book in The Lunar Chronicles.  It’s one of the best YA series rewriting fairy tales that I’ve ever read and I can highly recommend them.

I know I’m supposed to tag people but I’m totally pants at that sort of thing.  These are fairly fun questions though so you should probably all weigh in and have a go.  :)


Bonus comic!

Yahoo! Einstein was right again! :D We now have our first detection of gravitational waves!