I'll be honest, I bailed on the historic Solstice lunar eclipse last night. I have a good excuse. It was cloudy in Minneapolis when I went to bed, and likely to remain that way. Getting up in the middle of the night to stare at cloud cover is not exactly thrilling. Sure, a winter Solstice lunar eclipse hadn't happened in the Northern Hemisphere since 1638. Ah, well. Come the Singularity, I'll hit the next one.
Speaking of the 1600s, though, check out these beautiful drawings of the phases of the moon. They're thought to be the handiwork of Galileo, himself. And, while they look pretty basic, these pictures actually represent some big, scary risk-taking. According to Thomas Christensen—author of an upcoming book on the 17th-century beginnings of modern science—these simple, detailed sketches were seen as an affront to the Catholic Church.
It was a shock and an affront to suggest that God's heavenly objects were not perfect but pocked and roughened with craters and protuberances like some ordinary rock of the earthly realm. This would all come to a head when Galileo visited the pope in 1616 .
Thanks to cairosam for Submitterating!
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
Dr Gale Ridge is a public entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where an average of 23 people a day call, write or visit; an increasing proportion of them aren’t inquiring about actual insects, they’re suffering from delusional parasitosis, and they’re desperate and even suicidal.
Biologist Nipam Patel and his team at UC Berkeley study how butterflies develop wing shape and color by performing surgery on caterpillars, creating translucent windows in their cocoons.
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]