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27 posts tagged science

Photo Credit: NASA/Reuters. From Time Magazine’s Amazing Photos of the Sun:
A dense cloud of loop-shaped gas erupts from the Sun’s surface. Solar prominences, as this occurrence is called, can loop thousands of miles into space and can persist in the Sun’s corona for several months. The largest known prominence, an extension over 430,000 miles — roughly equivalent to the star’s radius — was observed in 2010.
(Thanks to Raymundo for the link.)

Photo Credit: NASA/Reuters. From Time Magazine’s Amazing Photos of the Sun:

A dense cloud of loop-shaped gas erupts from the Sun’s surface. Solar prominences, as this occurrence is called, can loop thousands of miles into space and can persist in the Sun’s corona for several months. The largest known prominence, an extension over 430,000 miles — roughly equivalent to the star’s radius — was observed in 2010.

(Thanks to Raymundo for the link.)

Source TIME

Why, despite all the evidence to the contrary, do so many people remain adamant in their belief that vaccines are responsible for harming hundreds of thousands of otherwise healthy children? Why was the media so inclined to air their views? Why were so many others so readily convinced? Why, in other words, are we willing to believe things that are, according to all available evidence, false?…

…the granddaddy of all cognitive biases, kicks into action — which is to say, it’s at the precise moment when we should be looking for reasons that we might be wrong that we begin to overvalue any indication that points to our being right. Misapprehensions about medicine are particularly vulnerable to the effects of confirmation bias, because the process by which a given intervention works is so often contra-logical: It makes no intuitive sense that re-breaking a bone would help a fracture to heal or that using chemotherapy to kill living tissue would help a person survive cancer. Now consider vaccines. Injecting a healthy child with a virus in order to protect him from a disease that has all but disappeared just feels somehow wrong. The fact that getting vaccinated is so obviously painful and that infants can’t understand that you want to help and not hurt them only makes matters worse.

What Drives Irrational Rhetoric? The Case of Childhood Vaccinations - The Atlantic (via jayparkinsonmd)

(via jayparkinsonmd)

Reblogged from jayparkinsonmd

Imagine it’s 1995: almost no one but Gordon Gekko and Zack Morris have cellphones, pagers are the norm; dial-up modems screech and scream to connect you an internet without Google, Facebook, or YouTube; Dolly has not yet been cloned; the first Playstation is the cutting edge in gaming technology; the Human Genome Project is creeping along; Mir is still in space; MTV still plays music; Forrest Gump wins an academy award and Pixar releases their first feature film, Toy Story. Now take that mindset and pretend you’re reading the first page of a new sci-fi novel:

The year is 2010. America has been at war for the first decade of the 21st century and is recovering from the largest recession since the Great Depression. Air travel security uses full-body X-rays to detect weapons and bombs. The president, who is African-American, uses a wireless phone, which he keeps in his pocket, to communicate with his aides and cabinet members from anywhere in the world. This smart phone, called a “Blackberry,” allows him to access the world wide web at high speed, take pictures, and send emails.

It’s just after Christmas. The average family’s wish-list includes smart phones like the president’s “Blackberry” as well as other items like touch-screen tablet computers, robotic vacuums, and 3-D televisions. Video games can be controlled with nothing but gestures, voice commands and body movement. In the news, a rogue Australian cyberterrorist is wanted by world’s largest governments and corporations for leaking secret information over the world wide web; spaceflight has been privatized by two major companies, Virgin Galactic and SpaceX; and Time Magazine’s person of the year (and subject of an Oscar-worthy feature film) created a network, “Facebook,” which allows everyone (500 million people) to share their lives online.

The First Decade of the Future is Behind Us, Discover Magazine (via arielwaldman)

(via arielwaldman)

Reblogged from arielwaldman

When considering the prospect of alien life, humankind should prepare for the worst, according to a new study: Either we’re alone, or any aliens out there are acquisitive and resource-hungry, just like us.

These two unpalatable options are pretty much the only possibilities, according to the new study. That’s because evolution is predictable, and alien biospheres should thus produce intelligent creatures much like us, with technological prowess and an ever-increasing need for resources.

Study: If We’re Not Alone, We Should Fear the Aliens

Source The Awl

THE JUNGLE INSIDE A CAVE: A roof collapse ages ago in Hang Son Doong (Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam) let in the light; plants thickly followed. Here, “Sweeny” Sewell climbs to the surface as hikers struggle through the wryly named Garden of Edam. Photo by Carsten Peter.

THE JUNGLE INSIDE A CAVE: A roof collapse ages ago in Hang Son Doong (Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province, Vietnam) let in the light; plants thickly followed. Here, “Sweeny” Sewell climbs to the surface as hikers struggle through the wryly named Garden of Edam. Photo by Carsten Peter.

Source National Geographic

thedailywhat:

Another Unfortunate Incident of the Day: Some 100,000 lifeless drum fish were spotted floating in the Arkansas River near Ozark, Arkansas, some 125 miles west of Beebe, where over 5,000 blackbirds suddenly dropped dead on New Year’s Eve.

Keith Stephens of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says disease is the likely culprit, but admitted the fish kill size was unusual. Investigators were quick to note that there was no connection between the two incidents, but they’re clearly trying to hush something up.

[cnn.]

Reblogged from thedailywhat