norwegian scientist

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That Close Call Back in 1995 — The Norwegian Black Brant Incident,

In the past 60 years there have actually been several incidents where the world was almost plunged into a nuclear holocaust.  Many of these incidents were purely accidental, caused by things like radar blips resulting from flocks of geese or faulty early warning detection satellites. One of the most interesting close calls occurred in Norway, and is unique in that the incident happened in 1995, after the end of the Cold War.

On January 25th, 1995 a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched the Black Brant VII rocket from the Andøya Space Center in Norway. The purpose of the rocket was to collect scientific data on the aurora borealis over the Arctic Ocean. The rocket reached an altitude of 903 miles and eventually splashed down in the ocean off the coast of Svalbard. At the time most of the world believed the rocket launch was a routine test that occurred without incident. However, little did anyone know, the Russians nearly shit their pants over it.

The rocket traveled over an air corridor that stretches from minuteman III rocket sites in North Dakota. The scientists notified 30 countries, including Russia, of the launch, however the Russian government failed to pass on news of the launch to the Russian President and to the military. Russian early warning radar systems in Murmansk detected the object, which had a similar speed and flight pattern to that of a US Navy Trident missile. Immediately Russian High Command went on full alert, fearing the United States was launching a nuclear missile. While a single missile launch may not seem much of a threat compared to thousands of missiles in an all out nuclear strike, one possible scenario that the Russians feared was that of a high altitude nuclear detonation used as a prelude to all out nuclear war. A nuclear warhead would be detonated high in the atmosphere over Russia, and the resulting electromagnetic pulse would knock out the electrical grid, communications grid, and radar over a large portion of the country, leaving Russia completely vulnerable to an all out attack.

The full alert initiated by the rocket launch went all the way up to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The Russian nuclear briefcase containing command codes was opened, the only time in history a nation’s nuclear briefcase was ever opened. This was especially scary because Boris Yeltsin had a reputation for being a hard drinker. Yeltsin’s alcohol problems were so bad that he was often drunk in public, at one point allegedly being found wandering the streets of Washington D.C. half naked after a particularly hard bender during a diplomatic visit.

As luck would have it, Boris Yeltsin was perfectly sober on January 25th, 1995, and thus he made a very wise decision to not retaliate but take a wait and see approach. Soon, it was realized that the rocket was traveling away from, not towards Russia, and thus was not a ballistic missile being fired at Russia. 24 minutes after launch, the rocket returned to Earth harmlessly. Disaster had been averted once again.

What is especially disturbing about the Norwegian rocket incident was that it occurred in the 1990′s at a time when Russian - American relations were at a peak. This wasn’t the middle of the Cold War, this wasn’t the Cuban Missile Crises with Nikita Khrushchev shouting “we will bury you!” while slamming his shoe on a podium. This was at at time when there was absolutely no reason to go to nuclear war. It just goes to show that in the modern nuclear age, even at the best of times civilization hangs on a very fine thread. 

Can you imagine being one of the ONLY Norwegian scientists who ever made an impact on the world or even Norway itself, to discover revolutionary understanding of the Northern Lights, to lay the foundation of the company Hydro, one of the biggest Norwegian companies ever, only to get swapped for a fucKING COD EXACTLY 100 YEARS AFTER YOUR DEATH

you wanna know what drives me up the heckin wall? the new norwegian money bills. they have always been decorated with influential norwegian scientists and artists, but they decided it was time to make new ones and I don’t know if I should laugh or cry because

Peter Kristian Asbjørnsen: one of the guys who wrote down all the fairy tales he could find, so they wouldn’t be forgotten. I owe this guy my entire childhood

“who’s worthy to take his place on the 50kr bill?”
I’ll tell you who:

a fuckin lighthouse. just a regular lighthouse

then there’s this opera singer called Kirsten

idk who she really is but I know she worked harder to be on there than 

this boat from an unflattering angle

then there’s Kristian Birkeland: this guy is like the biggest physicist. was nominated for the nobel price seven times. Pretty much founded the scientific field in this small ass country

who better take his place than:

this picture of a clearly depressed fish?

ever heard about Edvard Munch?

you may know him as the guy who painted this: 

yeah he’s a wave now

Norwegian scientists: //Finds new organism on the bottom of the ocean
Norwegian scientist: this thing is amazing. revolutionary! A missing link!
Norwegian Scientists: What do we name it?
Norwegian Scientists: …….
Norwegian Scientists: well… it is weird and hard to understand.
Norwegian Scientists: And we found it next to the Volcano ‘Loki’s Castle’
Norwegian Scientists: so….
Norwegian Scientists: Loki?

How Are You Feeling? This App Tells You

If you’ve ever been confused about how you’re feeling, and it happened to be the 1970s, you could always count on the mood ring. The jewelry fad claimed to read wearers’ levels of anxiety or ebullience by measuring body temperature.

Today there’s a more reliable—but equally far-out—app that performs a similar function: the clmtrackr, a new emotion-analysis tool created by a Norwegian computer scientist named Audun Øygard.

You turn on your webcam, stare into your screen, and the program will tell you what emotions you’re experiencing, and in what proportions, from anger to sadness to joy.

Read more.

Nobel Prize: How English beat German as language of science

Two Norwegian scientists have won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine - for work published in the English language. Historian of science Michael Gordin explains why they wrote in the language of Dickens and Twain rather than Ibsen and Hamsun.

Permafrost, oxygen, hydrogen - it all looks like science to me.

But these terms actually have origins in Russian, Greek and French.

Today, though, if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it’s most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English.

Look no further than the Nobel Prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English.

This was not always so.

“If you look around the world in 1900, and someone told you, ‘Guess what the universal language of science will be in the year 2000’, you would first of all laugh at them. It was obvious that no one language would be the language of science, but a mixture of French, German and English would be the right answer,” says Princeton University’s Rosengarten professor of modern and contemporary history Michael Gordin.

Continue Reading.

let your heart be light

I think everyone will agree that fluff is the only medication for what we had to go through last night. I started working on this over a month ago (hence why part of it takes place over Thanksgiving) but college is the devil and I just now had time and motivation to finish it. Enjoy!

Holiday bookstore co-workers au with a huge side of fluffiness 

ff.net


Emma was hanging up another stocking on the bookstore’s mantel when she heard the door open. Finally, someone else was here to help her put up the Christmas decorations that were much more trouble than necessary when she had to open on a Monday morning. “It’s about time,” she called over her shoulder as she slowly eased her way down the ladder she’d been using to hang decorations on the wall.

“Are you implying that you missed me, Swan?”

She stopped halfway down the ladder and groaned to herself at the sound of the familiar accent. It would be him. Of course she’d forgotten it was Elsa’s day off, and she’d be working today’s shift with Killian Jones, the man she’d been butting heads with constantly since he began working at the store with Emma two months ago.  “Get over yourself, Jones. The only thing I’ve been missing is someone else to help me put all this junk up.” Even though Halloween had just been celebrated a week ago, Regina, the owner of Storybrooke Reads was convinced that the holidays would be their most profitable time of the year and insisted that Christmas items should be up before the store opened that day. It wasn’t that Emma didn’t like Christmas, but the holidays were a time that retail employees never exactly looked forward to. She’d been dreading the thought of decorating all weekend.

Emma stepped off the ladder and began to look over her work so far as Killian came out from putting his coat away in the back office. “You’ve done a nice job, love.” She rolled her eyes and shoved the next box of lights and garland towards him, trying to ignore the way he looked in his black button-down shirt and tight jeans. (They may not have gotten along, but she couldn’t deny the fact that he was too attractive for his own good). “I’m not your love. Now do your job for once and decorate the front desk before it’s time to open.”

“As you wish, love.” She scowled at him before going to work on the window display, not thinking at all about just how blue his eyes were when he smirked at her.

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