*”tulips are the only flowers that continue to grow, up to an inch or more, after they’re cut.”
i find it fascinating that they refuse to surrender so easily
even defiantly growing longer
*Tulip stems do continue to lengthen once they’re snipped. That’s because the cells in their stems are particularly responsive to the plant hormone auxin, which causes them to elongate. Auxin also influences phototropism — the tendency of plants to grow toward light. – google
art credit: watercolor by vadim
The humble spider has always been well represented in the musical world, from Ziggy Stardust to the Who and Wilco. For too long, though, we’ve refused to let them relate their experiences to us more directly. That’s now changed, thanks to the work of scientists who are turning spiders’ vibration-based perceptions into music.
Vice recently profiled the work of MIT engineering professor Markus Buehler, who leads a team that’s working to translate web vibrations into sounds we can actually hear. The project uses “the physics of spiderwebs to assign audible tones to a given string’s unique tension and vibration” through a process called data sonification.
The resulting models can be explored through virtual reality software or listened to via examples recorded by Buehler and his collaborator Tomas Saraceno. The music created by manipulating the models is incredible—an eerie approximation of how spiders understand their environments.
Buehler says that the project’s goal is both to “expand how we generate sound in music and how we compose music” and to practically demonstrate how “for something like a spider, there’s a whole different way of experiencing the world.”
“Researchers say the project could eventually be used to reverse engineer spiders’ reality and communicate with the arachnids,” Vice explains, somewhat ominously. Buehler elaborates, saying that he’s planning to play AI-generated spider sounds to the creatures and “gauge [their] reactions.”
For more on Markus Buehler And The Spiders From Earth, read the full article.
“is there anything more beautiful and protective than the simple complexity of a spider’s web?”
-e.b. white, Charlotte’s Web
source credits: Reid McCarter, Michelle Bender, Vice
genetics explained with gummy bears.
“i have all these great genes, but they’re recessive. that’s the problem here.”
-Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
image credit: Rogue NASA
a collection of treasured magic crystals found a frosty playground
“every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal,
a moment of time is related to the whole,
and partakes of the perfection of the whole.”
-ralph waldo emerson
what child wouldn’t put this on their holiday wish list?
“it is the weight, not numbers of experiments that is to be regarded.”
credits: Rogue NASA, Weird History
World Science Day for Peace and Development
Celebrated every November 10th, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.
By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.
In 2020, the Day will be devoted to the theme of Science for and with society.
“ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:
it is those who know little, and not those who know much,
who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
Building peace in the minds of men and women
“we are our choices.”
image credit: new yorker cartoons – roz chast
Grains of stardust – particles left behind by star explosions – in an Australian meteorite are now the oldest known material on Earth. A new study suggests this stardust came to be long before our sun ever existed.
As the saying goes, we are all made of stardust. It’s true. The elements in our bodies – oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, calcium and so on – are made in the thermonuclear furnaces of stars. When scientists speak of stardust, or cosmic dust, they’re speaking of the leftover tiny particles from dead stars that exploded as supernovae. This stardust later goes into forming new stars, planets and moons, including those in our own solar system. It goes into the solar system’s debris, the asteroids and comets, and ultimately meteorites, or rocks from space that find their way to Earth’s surface. Now scientists at the Field Museum in Chicago have found the oldest known samples of stardust in a meteorite that landed in Australia. The meteorite is estimated to be 5 to 7 billion years old. The stardust samples are the oldest material ever discovered on Earth. This dust is even older than our solar system.
The new peer-reviewed study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 13, 2020.
credits: SPACE – Paul Scott Anderson, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Earth Sky, Chicago Field Museum, Phillip Heck
kinder always find a way to make their own rainbows.
“a rainbow is the product of physics working for your appreciation of beauty.”