You can read all about it HERE, and it’s as awesome as it looks and sounds.

From the article:

Made With Code is a new Google initiative to motivate future female programmers. Only 18% of computer science degrees are earned by women, and Google is spending $50 million over the next three years to change those numbers.

More than 150 high school girls turned out for the event, including local chapters of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Black Girls Code and Girls Who Code. Kaling, a writer and actress, emceed the premiere, which brought in Google X Vice President Megan Smith, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, iLuminate creator Miral Kotb, Pixar Director of Photography Danielle Feinberg and UNICEF Innovation cofounder Erica Kochi.

Source: Mashable


Top 5 misconceptions about evolution: A guide to demystify the foundation of modern biology.

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From Superbubbles to Galactic Fountains

Nebula NGC 1929 contains just the kind of superbubble that Astrophysicists think could cause a Galactic Fountain. Even though this nebula is not causing a fountain, it is theorized that similar nebula are causing Galactic Fountains within our Milky way galaxy. The illustration bellow shows how massive Galactic Fountains spew hot ionized gas away from our galactic disk to form Galactic Corona:

Supernova explosions within the galactic disc drive hot gas out of the disc, creating so-called galactic fountains that contribute to the formation of a halo of hot gas around the Milky Way. As the gas rises above and below the disc, reaching heights of a few kiloparsecs (more than 6,000 light-years!), it emits radiation and thus becomes cooler, condensing into clouds which then fall back into the disc, in a fashion that resembles a fountain.

Credit: ESO VLT/ESA/Fountains and Pumps

The Anatomy of a Constellation

In a cave system at Lascaux, southern France, Paleolithic paintings span the walls, dating back 17,300. Within the rocky tapestry, a picture of two bulls is adorned with clusters of dots—Orion’s belt, Taurus, the Pleiades and the Hyades clusters… What is thought to be the first recorded representation of the stars. For as long as we’ve walked this Earth, humans have been looking up to the sky and finding meaning in the randomness. Nearly every culture on Earth created patterns in the stars and attributed their own mythical stories to them, giving birth to what we know as constellations. Though they look like neighbours from our vantage point, in reality the stars that make up constellations might be thousands of light years apart. They’re just a matter of perspective, but they serve an important purpose: helping us navigate our way across the vast sky. On a dark night you can see over a thousand stars, so by recognising patterns we can break the sky down and move among the stars more easily. Constellations become mnemonics. Because of the relative movements of the Earth and Sun, constellations are divided into two groups: circumpolar constellations, which are always in the sky, and seasonal constellations, which rise and set according to season. Constellations change groups depending on your latitude, hence why the different hemispheres see different stars. In the past, farmers would have known which constellations signalled the comings of certain seasons, and so knew when to plant and when to harvest. Sailors and explorers have also long since been dependent on stars for navigation, and different cultures have all had different uses for their own stars. But in 1929, the International Astronomical Union consolidated them, officially setting out “modern” constellation boundaries and defining the 88 ones we know today, pictured above.

We are breaking a new record in the U.S., and it is not one we want to break: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles cases are at a 20-year high. As of May 23, more than 288 cases have been reported this year. To put that in perspective, only 37 cases were reported in all of 2004. In 2002, measles had been declared eliminated in the Americas.

A reminder to all who haven’t heard: THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS WILL RIDE AGAIN…FUELED BY NETFLIX…IN 2016.

You read that right. Through Netflix’s acquisition of Scholastic, a 26-episode series will kick off in 2016, called The Magic School Bus 360°.

From the announcement via Mashable:

Netflix and Scholastic Media announced in a press statement that the new series will use CGI animation to feature a “modernized Ms. Frizzle” and an “inventive high-tech bus — so it looks like the companies are not afraid to take chances and make mistakes (and probably get messy in the process). The very 21st-century show will also focus on modern tech innovations, including robotics and wearables.

The all-new episodes also leverage advancements in animation, science and technology in a way that will delight a new generation of young viewers, and like its predecessor, will help kids around the world discover the magic and value of exploration and innovation, a press statement reads.

Listen to the original Magic School Bus theme music

The Magic School Bus is the longest-running kids’ science series in history, first airing on PBS in 1994 and continuing in syndication for 18 consecutive years. It has even earned an Emmy Award. (Undoubtedly for Liz the Lizard’s acting.)

Magic School Bus, the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer told The New York Times. It teaches science in a way that transcends generations.

Scholastic Media has not yet announced if the original Ms. Frizzle, Lily Tomlin, will return to voice the character.

And from a similar announcement via CNN:

To do an animated show that has actually encouraged young people to pursue careers in the sciences or teaching makes us very, very happy.

– Forte, President, Scholastic Media

2016. The Magic School Bus. The original ship of the imagination.

Truth is sought for its own sake … Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough. For the truths are plunged in obscurity … God, however, has not preserved the scientist from error and has not safeguarded science from shortcomings and faults. If this had been the case, scientists would not have disagreed upon any point of science…

Therefore, the seeker after the truth is not one who studies the writings of the ancients and, following his natural disposition, puts his trust in them, but rather the one who suspects his faith in them and questions what he gathers from them, the one who submits to argument and demonstration, and not to the sayings of a human being whose nature is fraught with all kinds of imperfection and deficiency.

Thus the duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if learning the truth is his goal, is to make himself an enemy of all that he reads, and, applying his mind to the core and margins of its content, attack it from every side. He should also suspect himself as he performs his critical examination of it, so that he may avoid falling into either prejudice or leniency.


Ibn al-Haytham, Father of the Scientific Method - ‘Doubts on Ptolemy’

Ibn al-Haytham was a devout Muslim, and his theology influenced his outlook on science. He believed that God made the world difficult to understand and that skepticism and critical analysis were the only way to illuminate God’s creation. He is thus an excellent counterexample to the idea that religious belief necessarily stifles scientific thought.

There are no dumb questions on this blog, my friend! I’ll bet a bunch of people are currently reading this thinking MAN I’D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW THAT TOO.

So, let’s talk CHEMISTRY. When onions are grown, they absorb sulfur from the earth, which creates a kind of volatile, organic molecule called amino acid sulfoxides. These form sulfenic acids in the onion cells, and they’re kept separate from enzymes (complex proteins that cause chemical changes). By cutting an onion, you’re actually breaking its cells–so enzymes are now free to mix with the acids. Together they form a sulfur gas called propanethiol S-oxide, and this wafts right up towards your eyes without mercy.

When it reaches them, the gas reacts with the water in your eyes and forms a mild sulfuric acid, which is what causes the REALLY irritating pain. As a defence mechanism, you reflexively tear up to wash the irritant away.

So when you cry, it’s not due to being emotional about cooking, it’s because you have SULFURIC ACID IN YOUR EYES.

That’s pretty badass.


Everyone changes in high school – though not quite as drastically as you might if a mysterious illness were to kill all living adults, leaving teenagers to rule the island of Manhattan. Welcome to The Young World – a new YA sci-fi trilogy from Oscar-nominated writer/director Chris Weitz.

Follow here for more adventures in #TheYoungWorld. Start reading here.

"Meat. They're made out of meat."


“There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars?”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in that sector and they’re made out of meat.”

“Maybe they’re like the orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage.”

“Nope. They’re born meat and they die meat.”

Read the entirety of Terry Bisson’s short story “They’re Made Out Of Meat,” originally published in Omni magazine (1990)

anonymous asked:

Can we talk about the double slit experiment?


Essentially, the double slit experiment shows that light exhibits dual wave/particle behaviour. It was first offered up by Thomas Young in the late nineteenth century, which is why it’s called the Young’s Double Slit Experiment.

Here’s how it goes down: A monochromatic (single colour/wavelength) light is shone towards a blank screen, and placed between them is a screen with two parallel slits cut into it. If light is just a particle, then it would simply shine through the slits and hit the blank screen in two lines, kind of how spray paint can follows the shape of a stencil. But it doesn’t. It shines on the screen as parallel bands, or fringes.

(Image Credit)

This is because in this instance, light is acting like a wave, so when it passes through the slits, it diffracts—i.e., it spreads out after passing through a narrow opening. This happens from both openings, so  instead of two straight beams of particles, the light becomes two diffracting waves, like this:

(Image Credit)

As they both hit the screen, at some points the waves will meet crest-to-crest, which increases the intensity of the wave (constructive interference), and at other points they’ll meet crest-to-trough, which decreases the intensity of the wave because they cancel each other out (destructive interference). On the screen, the bright lines correspond to the maximum intensities, and the dark lines correspond to the minimum intensities. The combination of these is called an interference pattern.

This experiment is important because it shows that photons can also act as waves, since particles don’t diffract, thus demonstrating the principle of wave-particle duality!

New Structures found in the Milky Way - A Black Hole’s Eruption

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy.

“What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center,” said Doug Finkbeiner, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who first recognized the feature. “We don’t fully understand their nature or origin.”

The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus, and it may be millions of years old. A paper about the findings has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

Finkbeiner and his team discovered the bubbles by processing publicly available data from Fermi’s Large Area Telescope (LAT). The LAT is the most sensitive and highest-resolution gamma-ray detector ever launched. Gamma rays are the highest-energy form of light.

External image

From end to end, the newly discovered gamma-ray bubbles extend 50,000 light-years, or roughly half of the Milky Way’s diameter, as shown in this illustration. Hints of the bubbles’ edges were first observed in X-rays (blue) by ROSAT, a Germany-led mission operating in the 1990s. The gamma rays mapped by Fermi (magenta) extend much farther from the galaxy’s plane.

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

There’s a growing anti-intellectual strain that is growing in this country. It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy. In a free society, you can and should think whatever you want. If you want to think the Earth is flat, go right ahead. But if you think the Earth is flat and you have influence over others, as would successful rappers or even presidential candidates, then being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry.

Neil deGrasse Tyson responding to rapper B.o.B. regarding his Flat Earth, conspiracy-theory propaganda rant via Twitter (see it via the Daily Show here)

Originally posted by blunt-science
80% Of Americans Support Mandatory Labels On Foods Containing DNA. DNA!

“WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.”

Scientific Literacy

Can you tell me why stem cells are so important, or why the moon has phases, or how old the universe is? Can you explain what carbon dating is, or the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, or why it’s hotter in summer than it is in winter? If you can’t, then you might not be scientifically literate. This is problematic, because science is not only really damn awesome, it’s also important. Today, tomorrow, or next week, you’re going to see a news headline about an advance in stem cell research or a warning about climate change, and even if you don’t understand what it means, it’s definitely going to affect your life. Science clearly isn’t being taught or communicated as effectively as it should be—sometimes even scientists themselves are scientifically illiterate outside of their specific field of study, which is ABSURD. Our world is becoming more and more technological and scientific every day, so everyone needs to have fundamental background knowledge in order to understand and be actively involved in scientific issues. This doesn’t mean you need to do what a scientist does—like, you don’t have to build a robot to appreciate the Mars rovers any more than you have to build a plane to appreciate flying. But the Mars rovers exist, and they impact your world, and they’ll impact the world of your children too. Becoming scientifically literate should be like learning how to read: everyone should be taught basic scientific facts, concepts, vocabulary, history and philosophy. Like reading, it’ll open your eyes and enrich your life, because science is exciting—our universe is beautiful and extraordinary and exquisite, and everyone should learn about it. For starters, check out Tumblr’s #science tag, my links page, and the #sci-lit tag, which I’m aiming to take over and use to build up a database of core concepts of science. Go forth and seek knowledge!


The Astronomical Machines of the Desert

Deep in the Atacama desert of northern Chile, where there is little life, metal machines gaze endlessly into the universe. These great machines work together seamlessly to give humanity a better understanding of the cosmos. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (known as ALMA) is an astronomical interferometer of radio telescopes in the Atacama desert of northern Chile.

These telescopes are not the kind that you can easily look into, they are radio telescopes. This means that they are able to see light past the visible spectrum and probe into a rare part of space that we could not usually see.

But why, you may ask, are we placing radio telescopes on earth? One reason is that they are not effected by our atmosphere. These specialized telescopes allow for the observation of energetic objects such as pulsars and quasars.

After the telescopes gather data, it must be stored. This is done with a super computer known as the ALMA correlator, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The full system has four identical quadrants, with over 134 million processors, performing up to 17 quadrillion operations per second.

All of this advanced technology allows ALMA to produce images such as these:

Credit: ESO/Berkley/ALMA

“Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”

Jane Goodall (primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, UN Messenger of Peace, and overall beautiful ambassador of life on this planet)