Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fafa and Mario: The Evolution of The Hipster

Posted by Youtube user: gloveandboots

From this week's Compendium:

With every generation there comes a new group of pretentious and annoying human beings that we all soon learn to love to hate. This time around, we’re calling theme hipsters.

To learn more about the newest unwashed, self-important group of Ironically-anti-conformist-over privileged-white-pseudo-hippie-douche-bags to hit the scene, join Fafa and Mario from Glove and Boots as they explain; “The Evolution of The Hipster”.

On a personal note: I realize that some of you will find my description of this particular sub-culture as dismissive and offensive, which is an excellent indication that you too may BE a hipster. So on this point I’d just like to say:

Yes it is, and I’m not sorry.


Posted by Youtube user: gloveandboots

Lantern Shark Glows to Become Invisible

While the description may at first sound counter-intuitive, like many deep dwelling sea creatures the Splendid Lantern shark, a rare type of dogfish shark found mostly in the East China Sea and off the coasts of Taiwan and Japan, has evolved bioluminescence as a means of defense from predators.Like the bobtail squid, this small variety of shark, which only grows to around 30 Cm (11.8 inches), uses this ability to replicate the light shining down from the oceans surface on the underside of it’s body, effectively rendering it’s silhouette invisible to predators below.But unlike the bobtail squid, which produces it’s light through a symbiotic relationship with a particular species of bacteria. The splendid lantern shark seems to control it’s photosphores, the organ responsible for producing the light, using nerves and hormones, as well as pigments moving within the organ’s cells.


Source: Discovery News

Image Credit:Jérôme Mallefet

Friday, August 19, 2011

Shaun/Fuzz/Pilgrim Poster by, Alex Pardee

An unbelievably awesome poster by Artist Alex Pardee for an event at the Castro Movie Palace in San Francisco. Where writer/director Edgar Wright will be appearing for a showing of all three films, as well as Q &a and various other goodies.

Prints of the poster will also be sold at the event, and via Pardee’s web store Zerofriends , assuming there are any left over, which I wouldn’t.


Source: VIA: GGB on Tumblr

Image credit: Alex Pardee

Thursday, August 18, 2011

NASA Finds Possible Proof of liquid Water on Mars

Earlier this month, NASA sent out a press release along with a series of images taken by the HRISE camera on board the Mars Reconnaissance orbiter showing a series of dark trails radiating down from the edges of steep slopes of Mars' Newton Basin crater, located on the planet's southern hemisphere. These trails first begin to appear and grow throughout the warmer months on the planet, and then recede as temperatures drop in the winter. Because the temperature in this particular area is too warm to allow for the creation of carbon dioxide frost, researchers concluded that the the most likely candidate behind the unusual markings were deposits of salt water, either on or just beneath the planet's surface, thawing and draining down the slopes with the changing of the seasons.

While it is generally accepted that Mars once had liquid water, possibly even an ocean flowing on it's surface, and the existence of water ice just beneath the planet's soil has been confirmed in various regions. These strange dark trails in the martian sand represent the best evidence to date that liquid water could in fact still exist on the red planet. Which would of course greatly increase the odds that Mars is also potentially host to at least microbial life.

However, while the images are compelling. The argument they make as proof of flowing water, is little more than circumstantial. As the water itself has yet to be directly observed or detected, and an attempt to confirm it's presence using the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars on board the MRO, was unsuccessful. Which could either mean that the water isn't there, it evaporates too quickly to detect, or that there simply isn't enough of it present in the atmosphere for it to be detected at all. Only time and further observation will tell for sure.



You can also view this post on: GGB on Tumblr

check out today's video for a look at the region of Mars in question. As narrated by Alfred McEwen, principal investigator for HiRISE and lead author of a report about the recurring flows published in Thursday's edition of the journal Science,

Posted by Youtube user: SpaceRip

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cannibal Corpse Meets The Reverend Jesse Jackson, No Really

Posted by Youtube user: MetalBladeRecords

Okay, so how's this for random and strange. The Death Metal band Cannibal Corpse just happens upon the Reverend Jesse Jackson while in Belgium. Photo session ensues.



A Pitcher Plant Catches a Bird

I have a rather predictable affinity for carnivorous plants, and not just because I'm morbid and strange, which I am. But because they are without question some of the most unique organisms on the planet, and I happen to think they're pretty. What? I said I was strange.

Though they do not necessarily require animal proteins to stay alive. Carnivorous plants, like the pitcher plants seen above, have evolved a number of methods for trapping insects and other small animals, which they then breakdown using digestive enzymes, in order to supplement their diets to make up for the lack of nutrients present in the soil in which they typically grow. While they usually only manage to catch smaller creatures like insects and frogs. Pitcher plants, which tend to grow larger than other varieties of carnivorous plants, have been known to catch larger animals like mice, and even rats.

The above photo is believed to be only the second ever documented case of a pitcher plant eating a bird, which presumably became trapped while trying to pull out insects floating in the liquid inside the plant.


Source: BBC News

You can also view this post on GGB on Tumblr, and Compendium oF Strange

I actually used to have some Carnivorous plants of my own, but they're pretty hard to keep, so sadly, they're long gone now. But I do plan to try again someday.

Some of The Building Blocks of DNA May Have Come From Space

Artist concept credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith

By grinding up and analyzing samples of twelve carbon-rich meteorites, nine of which were recovered from Antarctica, a research group from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md, found both adenine and guanine; two of the primary nucleobases contained within our DNA, as well as hypoxanthine and xanthine; neither of which are used in the construction of DNA, but are utilized by other biological processes.

In two of the meteorites, the team also discovered for the first time, trace amounts of three molecules related to nucleobases (nucleobase analogues), purine, 2,6-diaminopurine, and 6,8-diaminopurine; two of which rarely appear in biology. According to Dr. Michael Callahan, lead author of a paper on the discovery appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America;

"You would not expect to see these nucleobase analogs if contamination from terrestrial life was the source, because they're not used in biology, aside from one report of 2,6-diaminopurinecyanophage S-2L,"

While the presence of molecules not known to commonly appear in biology was a strong indication that the findings were not the result of contamination. Callahan's group further confirmed this fact by analyzing a sample of ice taken from Antarctica, where most of the meteorites in the study were found. The result showed much smaller concentrations of the nucleobases, as well as xanthine and hypoxanthine, all of which appeared in parts per trillion in the ice sample, as oppose to the parts per billion generally found within the samples taken from the meteorites. None of the Nucleobase analogues were discovered in the sample. Analysis of the soil taken from the surrounding area where one of the meteorites used in study fell in Austraila, also failed to detect those analogs.

In one final experiment designed to rule out terrestrial contamination and confirm the extraterrestrial origin of the molecules. Callahan's team was able to successfully generate all of the nucleobases and analogues found within the meteorite samples in a completely non-biological chemical reaction in the lab, using hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, and water. Showing not only that the find was almost certainly not the result of contamination, but more importantly, that chemical processes taking place within certain types of asteroids could potentially produce all of the molecules detected in the study.

If confirmed by further research, the findings of Callahan and his team could be a major step towards understanding the true origins of life on Earth. Particularly when considered along with previous research conducted by the team which detected amino acids, the molecules responsible for building proteins, within similar samples; as well samples taken from the Comet Wild 2 during NASA's stardust mission. All of which, adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the theory that the chemistry taking place within comets and asteroids is capable of generating the basic building blocks of essential biological molecules, and that life may owe it's existence, at least in part, to materials delivered from space via meteorite and comet impacts.


Source: NASA
Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith

For a deeper explanation of the Nucleobases and nucleobase analogues, as well as the findings of his research, check out the following video from NASA, featuring Dr. Callahan.

Posted by Youtube user:http: NASAexplorer