Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013
The anisotropy, or directional asymmetry, of epidote causes the stone to appear different colors from different directions. The crystal structure bends light differently depending on the path, appearing to you as a color change.
This picture shows a bluish-green for the crystals on the left, and a more yellow-green on the right.
…is a smaller species of oceanic sunfish found in tropical and temperate seas worldwide. Like its more well known relativeM. mola the slender sunfish is pelagic and roams the vast oceans feeding on jellyfish. Also like most molids the slender sunfish will recruit other animals like cleaner fish and seabirds to pick parasites off of them. Molids will usually go to the surface and lay on their sides to signify they want to be cleaned, which makes it look like they are sunbathing, hence the name.
GRIST.ORG: Just stick this portable outlet to your window to start using solar power
by Sarah Laskow
We have seen a lot of solar chargers in our day. And among of all of them, this is the first one we’ve seen that we will definitely run out and buy as soon as it’s made available in the U.S. It’s a portable socket that gets its power from the sun rather than the grid. You plug into a window instead of into the wall. It’s easy.
That was the whole point, according to the designers, Kyohu Song and Boa Oh: “We tried to design a portable socket, so that user can use it intuitively without special training,” they write.
It is really simple. The portable socket attaches to a window like a leech to human skin. On its underside, it has solar panels. The solar panels suck energy from the sun. The charger converts that energy into electricity. You plug in to the charger.
Even better, the charger stores that energy. After 5-8 hours of charging, the socket provides 10 hours of use. You can pop it off the window, stick it in your bag, and use it to charge up your phone with solar energy, even if you’re sitting in a dark room.
(photos: Kyohu Song and Boa Oh)
1) magma chamber, 2) bedrock, 3) conduit (pipe), 4) base, 5) sill, 6) branch pipe, 7) layers of ash, 8 ) flank, 9) layers of lava, 10) throat, 11) parasitic cone, 12) lava flow, 13) vent, 14) crater, 15) ash cloud. ( via )
Friday, April 26, 2013
Hawaii approves permit for world’s largest telescope
Pacific Business News: A permit for the $1.3 billion Thirty Meter Telescope was approved by the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday.
The telescope will be built on the summit of the volcano Mauna Kea by a group of research universities primarily from California and Canada.
Researchers believe the telescope will produce images three times sharper than those produced by optical telescopes today.
Read more: http://bit.ly/112KHWk
This koala looks rather sad. But who can blame him?
According to Australia’s Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), the sub-adult male koala was recently discovered sitting atop the remnants of what was once his home in Vittoria State Forest, New South Wales. Although the logging operation was approved by the forestry service, judging by the koala’s confused expression, not everyone got the memo.
“Koalas would have been moved out of their homes in preparation for planned logging activities,” says WIRES general manager, Leanne Taylor.
“It is common for koalas to roam back to their home range afterwards and become confused to find nothing there. A worker noticed a koala had been sitting stationary in broad daylight on top of wood piles for over an hour.”
The perplexed marsupial, found to have an injury on its eye, was transfered to a local vet before being relocated once again back into a different patch of forest. Forestry workers found three other koalas at the clearcut site and they were transfered as well.
Wiwaxia was one of the bizarre animals found in the 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale Formation of British Columbia, Canada.
Squashed flat in the rocks, these 5cm (2”) spiny creatures were difficult to analyze and reconstruct, and what exactly they were is still being debated. For many years they were tentatively considered to be distant relatives of polychaete or annelid worms, but more recent studies and better microscopic imaging techniques have found a primitive radula-like structure in their mouths — suggesting that they might actually be closer related to molluscs.
The armour coat of scale-like sclerites and the long asymmetrical rows of spines were probably a defense against predators. I’ve given it a splash of some sea-slug warning colors here just for fun.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Historical depictions of the Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) are supposedly some of the strangest and most varied of any animal. The Swedish writer Olaus Magnus is largely to blame for this, having produced these five. Of course, context is everything; it was the 16th Century and there were no previous models to work from, no formal science, few remains and lots of garbled anecdotes. There was really no reason to think there wasn’t an armada of tusked monsters lurking in the mysterious Arctic.