charles darwin: “Your Argument is Weak at Best”
On July 19, 2013, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will be turned to image Saturn and its entire ring system during a total eclipse of the sun, as it has done twice before during its previous 9 years in orbit. But this time will be very different. This time, the images to be collected will capture, in natural color, a glimpse of our own planet next to Saturn and its rings on a day that will be the first time Earthlings know in advance their picture will be taken from a billion miles away. A full end-to-end mosaic of images of the ring system will be acquired over 4 hours on July 19. The Earth will be captured in a series of images taken between 21:27 to 21:42 UTC on that day, or 14:27 and 14:42 Pacific Daylight Time.
It will be a day for people all over the globe to celebrate together the extraordinary achievements that have made such an interplanetary photo session possible. And it will be a day to celebrate life on the Pale Blue Dot. Read the press release via CICLOPS.ORG.
The graphics shown below illustrate the position of our planet relative to Saturn, and the portion of Earth that will be illuminated at the time its pictures are captured.
Illuminated View: This graphic shows the view of Earth and the portion of its surface that will be illuminated during the Earth imaging event on July 19, 2013.
Taking Earth’s Picture from Nearly 900 Million Miles Away: This simulated view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on July 19, 2013, shows the expected positions of Saturn and Earth around the time Cassini is taking Earth’s picture.
Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life? | TED
Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco studies and interprets the photos from the Cassini-Huygens mission, orbiting Saturn and its largest moon, Titan. She and a team of scientists from NASA and the European Space Agency have been analyzing the images that Cassini has been sending back since it left Earth in 1999. They’ve found many new rings and four new moons (so far). And they’ve produced breathtaking images and animations of the stormy face of Saturn, its busy rings, and its jumble of moons and moonlets.
Back in the mid-1980s, while still working on her doctorate, Porco was drafted onto a team at JPL that was crunching the mountains of data coming back from the Voyager fly-by of Saturn. Her work on the planet’s “ringlets,” and on a spoke pattern noticed in the rings, made an important connection between Saturn’s rings and its magnetic field — and cemented her connection with Saturn.
Her ongoing work at the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations (CICLOPs) has two goals: to process and interpret the Cassini images for other scientists, and to make sure the images — in all their breathtaking poetry and mystery and sheer Save-Image-As-Desktop awesomeness — connect with the general public. She is an advocate for the exploration and understanding of planetary space, and her frequent talks (as well as her “Captain’s Log” memos on the CICLOPS website) speak to everyone, scientist and nonscientist alike.
Still Curious? Watch Carolyn again, this time, LEGO-fied! and watch a conversation with Carolyn, as she discusses the Saturn and Cassini Mission with astrophysicist and curator, Mike Shara of the American Museum of Natural History during the 217th American Astronomical Society meeting in Seattle, Washington
“Imagine the day when we might journey to the Saturnine system, and visit the Enceladus interplanetary geyser park, just because we can.”
I love this woman.
“Emotions are alien to me. I’m a scientist.”
Spock, This Side Of Paradise, Stardate 3417.3, Episode 25
The flashes result from atmospheric refraction when the Sun is low in the sky.
Photography by Oliver Stiehler
Summary by Oliver Stiehler; Jim Foster
But the refraction must be sufficiently strong, through atmospheric temperature gradients, that a mirage occurs. When this happens there’s a marked vertical magnification of the images for parts of the mirage.
Then, and only then, will color separation produced by differential refraction be visible to the eye or camera. Of course, always use extreme caution when looking toward the Sun.
|—||Samuel Beckett (via ludimagister)|
This is the clearest lake in the world. And a very fine lake it is. Klaus Thymann captured this and other stunning photos of New Zealand’s Blue Lake, 95% as clear as distilled water. Its source is filtered by mountain rocks and it’s above the treeline, so it misses out on most runoff.
Via The Guardian
Can Everyday Hassles Make You Depressed?Do you sweat the small stuff?
When it comes to pinpointing the source of our woes, we tend not to think too much about the little hassles of everyday life; after all they’re just little hassles, nothing compared to the big stuff.
You’re late for a meeting, you run out of biscuits or you get a parking ticket; irritating certainly, but nothing really serious, or anything like it.
Instead, we tend to blame the big events in life: divorce, disease and bereavement. And, when looking for what puts people over the edge, that’s exactly where psychological researchers have concentrated their attention: on the big stuff.
But many are waking up to the fact that although the little hassles in life are smaller, they’re also more numerous, so they can really add up over time. And, whether stressful events are big or small, it matters a lot how we deal with them.
In new research published in Psychological Science, Charles et al. (2013) looked at people’s reactions to everyday stressors and how this played out a decade later. Participants were asked about their daily stressors over eight days and generally how they felt. People reported having all the usual sorts of stressors like having arguments, a fridge breaking down or being late for an appointment.
Then, 10 years later, they were revisited and asked whether they had been treated for anxiety, depression or any other emotional problems in the last year.
What the results showed was that how people reacted to the little stressors of everyday life predicted whether they developed psychological problems a decade later (incidentally, the number who did report a disorder was almost one in five).
This fits in with other recent studies which have also shown that people’s reactions to ordinary stressors predict depressive symptoms (e.g. Parrish et al., 2011).
Whether problems are big or small, what matters is how we react to them. People who tend to do worst are those that have the strongest emotional reaction to both big and small events.
We tend to think that depression is always a reaction to some really bad thing happening and sometimes it is; but sometimes it’s all those little things piled on top of one another that can get you down.
Image credit: Stephen Poff
Jayne Mansfield photographed by Milton Greene, 1955
Most Elaborate Hoax of the Day: Unbelievably Good Hoaxer Fools Entire Internet Into Thinking That Megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen Has “Rejected Christ” Due To “Lack of Hard Evidence”
It may take a leap of faith to fall for a news article claiming that powerful megachurch pastor Joel Osteen has resigned his post citing a “lack of faith,” but more than a few True Believers were willing to give a prankster the benefit of the doubt when they stumbled upon a fake letter of resignation supposedly penned by Osteen himself.
But the fake article, which was posted on a hoax website (compare with the original), which was linked to by a parody Twitter account, which was promoted by a bogus YouTube video was apparently realistic enough to briefly make “joel osteen” a trending topic on Twiter as thousands searched for confirmation that Lakewood Church leader had truly “converted” to atheism.
Perhaps there was something about the “special message from Pastor Joel” that just seemed true enough to enough people:
As many of you may know, and may have heard in the news recently, many of my sermons have deviated from traditional Christian doctrine. I have been accused of altering the ‘message’ to fit my own doctrine and dogma. Others have accused me of preaching ‘feel good Christianity’. I have also been accused of profiting greatly from my ministry, with my books and television deals. Many of their criticisms are legitimate. […]
No God worth believing in is going to send you to Hell for not believing in him. Not even the worst sinner and scum of the Earth deserves eternal torment in Hell. In fact, God is more likely to congratulate you upon entering Heaven for doubting, questioning and not believing the religionists and their flimsy facts, demands of blind faith and lack of hard evidence.
No wonder RumorFix called this hoax “the most elaborate one we’ve ever seen.”
Though the real Pastor Joel has yet to issue a formal denial of the claims made by the hoaxer/s, a church representative told the Houston Chronicle that Lakewood officials were aware of the “false rumor.”
But has the damage (if one can call it that) been done? It seems the veracity of the “good news” is still being debated among Osteen’s followers.
“I took the Joel Osteen tweet down because I don’t know if it is true or false,” wrote Twitter user @TruthSeekuh. “BUT if you are a fan of his, watch him closely.”
[screengrab via Joel Osteen Ministries]
A few months old but it’s still funny.
Clearly, if they believe in a deity they’ll believe anything.
|—||Albert Camus (via sinkingtraveller)|
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” 1984 by George Orwell
|—||Richard Feynman (via astrodidact)|