You Are Here. Or Not.

Uranium Atom’s Tightly Clustered Core Is the Main Source of Atomic Energy
Shown in Boston’s Museum of Science, this model depicts radioactive uranium 235, whose nucleus contains 92 protons and 143 neutrons. Nonfissionable uranium 238 carries three additional neutrons. Both are isotopes, or variants, of Nature’s heaviest element. Balls bunched in the center represent the protons and neutrons, which are mysteriously bound together by atomic energy’s terrific force. Splitting of the nucleus releases energy far greater than that of any chemical reaction. Wire-strung balls swinging like planets around a sun represent uranium’s 92 electrons. Hydrogen, in contrast, has one. True scale would place the outermost electrons 3,000 from the center.

[Image ca. 1954, with caption, found here via here.]

Great Big Blobs

NASA scientists are studying planet magnetic fields and revisited raw data collected by Voyager 2 over three decades ago. They found that

Voyager 2 spotted a massive magnetic bubble pulling gas out of Uranus’ atmosphere.

https://www.space.com/uranus-gas-blob-voyager-2-discovery.html

Such loop-like plasmoids are typically formed as a spinning planet flings bits of its atmosphere to space. “Centrifugal forces take over, and the plasmoid pinches off.”

https://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/news/details.php?article_id=119

Uranus pinches off big blobs and flings them.

Wright Brothers’ Early Spacewalk Test (ca. 1915)

1915-spacewalktest

Using a pressurized helium-vapor suit, Orville and Wilbur Wright sought to solve future problems of space exploration, and their younger step brother “Nottle” volunteered to be the test pilot. Once afloat, the tethers snapped, and he sailed over the horizon. He landed in France and enlisted with the 43rd Balloon Company, serving as a practice target in WWI. Out of eleven volunteers, he was never shot down by the Boche once, and he survived the friendly fire, too.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t a spacewalk test, and maybe it had nothing at all to do with WWI, but maybe it did, depending on how you look at it.

[Original image found here.]

Australia Blackout Dexember 2012

Australia Blackout 2012

(West Poondongwalla, Australia) – Strutts News Services

Only the wealthiest of the wealthy were able to keep their lights on when the entire power grid of Australia failed just days ago, and no one knows why the continent now glows blue. Some locals blame global warming, while others point accusatory fingers at The Mayans for their probably prophetic Calendar of Doom that caused the utility companies of Oz to hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete simultaneously and just for the hell of it.

In any case, the well-to-do panicked wisely and moved inland to avoid the rising seas that subsequently swamped the coastal regions.

[There’s more info here that can’t possibly be true. Related post here.]

The .Gif Friday Post No.255 – Quasicrystals as sums of waves in the plane

[Found here, via here. Updated with enlarged portion.]

[Update 2: Just realized that I made a typo several months ago, and The .Gif Friday Posts were mis-numbered by a factor of 100. The titles and permalinks are fixed now. Lo siento.]

Oh Hi Space Shuttle! Nice To See You!

Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last journey through the streets of Los Angeles 15 October 2012.  Cool time-lapse video of the roadtrip here.

[Image found here.]

Saturday Matinee – Vince Taylor, Shakin’ All Over, The Specials & Rufus Thomas

Guess Who? It’s not Who you think it is. Vince Taylor & The Playboys.

Science declares 4 seconds of shaking removes 70% of the water off a wet dog, and 20% lands on you. Do aquatic mammals, like whales, orcas, dolphins & porpoises, shake off air? NEW STUDY! [Your tax dollars at work. Found here.]

The Specials revived ska in the 70s, and did the dog.

Rufus Thomas knew how to walk the dog decades ago, until his demise in 2001.

Due to some unfortunate happenings in the private sector, we’re going to cut this episode short. Have a great weekend, folks. Be back here tomorrow for more slices of the stupid pie. =)

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