*goes off to continue reading ‘Contact’

3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 11:26pm

Add “the ability to decipher Carl Sagan’s scribbled handwriting” to the never-ending list of my useless skills.

3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 11:23pm

Jan. 17, 1970

What is circumcision really about? In Genesis 17 it is the mark of the covenant between God + the descendants of Abraham. What does God do for the [descandants of Abraham]? He promises a multitude of descendants + nations, the land of Canaan, + promises he will remain their God. In return the foreskin of all males is to be removed! Why? The circumcision rite of a Jewish boy is called the “berith,” or “bris”, Hebrew for “covenant”. It’s done on the 8th day. Why 8? On the 6th, God made Man, on the 7th he rested; this is to stress the importance of the covenant.

There are many possible signs of such a covenant - e.g. facial tattooing. Why was circumcision adopted? What God gives in exchange is fertility. Was there any belief that circumcision produces fertility? Does it? Might it produce a less sensitive glans penis, + - longer coitus? Even so, how does this have anything to do with fertility? And how could anyone have known about it?

[Note Muslims, also descendants of Abraham - via Ishmael - explicitly not a part of the Covenant: Gen. 17:20. On this pulling passage wars are to be fought?]

~

Carl Sagan

Note the date…

3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 11:20pm 1 note

everythinginits-right-place:

If you’re wondering about intelligent life outside of this galaxy, I highly recommend this book. It’s a thoughtful and entertaining read.

3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:50pm 115 notes

freshphotons:

Cosmic Inflation Explained.

My science tag never ceases to amaze me. Every now and then I am looking for a particular post and then I find things again…
In this post, I found Edwin Hubble again, who still looks cool as ever…
It’d be awesome if someone name a telescope after me, to be honest, but then I’d have to do something like prove the big bang theory, nothing could be easier, huh…

Georges started it all, but Edwin had the telescope…

via  sagansense  (originally  freshphotons)
3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:49pm 17,209 notes
pennyfornasa:

Just it’s luck - the smallest planet in the Solar System and it’s getting even smaller!
Images captured by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft have provided an illustration of Mercury’s shrinking and wrinkling surface over the past 4 billion years.
While the behavior of Earth’s outermost shell can best be explained through plate tectonics and the shifting of our lithosphere, Mercury has but one solid shell for a crust. As the planet’s molten core has cooled since its formation billions of years ago, the planet itself has contracted causing Mercury’s rocky exterior to crack and shift to accommodate the smaller size, much like the wrinkles that form on the skin of an apple skin as it dries out and shrinks.
"We see the landscape literally crumpling up," said William McKinnon, a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. "Massive slabs of rock are sliding over one another."
As for the change in size, the study found in the journal Nature Geoscience notes that Mercury has seemingly contracted in radius in some locations as far as 7 kilometers, making the modern-day radial measurement of the planet 2,440 kilometers.
Celebrate NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft and these recent findings by writing to Congress to let them know you support doubling funding for NASA!
More on Mercury’s “shrinkage”: HERE, HERE, and HERE.

To repeat my comment from earlier today… “So glad I’m not Mercury…”

pennyfornasa:

Just it’s luck - the smallest planet in the Solar System and it’s getting even smaller!

Images captured by NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft have provided an illustration of Mercury’s shrinking and wrinkling surface over the past 4 billion years.

While the behavior of Earth’s outermost shell can best be explained through plate tectonics and the shifting of our lithosphere, Mercury has but one solid shell for a crust. As the planet’s molten core has cooled since its formation billions of years ago, the planet itself has contracted causing Mercury’s rocky exterior to crack and shift to accommodate the smaller size, much like the wrinkles that form on the skin of an apple skin as it dries out and shrinks.

"We see the landscape literally crumpling up," said William McKinnon, a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. "Massive slabs of rock are sliding over one another."

As for the change in size, the study found in the journal Nature Geoscience notes that Mercury has seemingly contracted in radius in some locations as far as 7 kilometers, making the modern-day radial measurement of the planet 2,440 kilometers.

Celebrate NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft and these recent findings by writing to Congress to let them know you support doubling funding for NASA!

More on Mercury’s “shrinkage”: HERE, HERE, and HERE.

To repeat my comment from earlier today… “So glad I’m not Mercury…”

via  sagansense  (originally  pennyfornasa)
3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:43pm 691 notes
[…] if our intelligence is our distinction, and if there are at least two sides to human nature, shouldn’t we be sure to use that intelligence to encourage the one side and restrain the other? When we reconfigure our social structures — and in the last few centuries we’ve been tinkering with them like mad — isn’t it better and safer to have our best understanding of human nature firmly in mind?
~ Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan asking real questions in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. (via retromantique)
3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:40pm 103 notes

rachelignotofsky:

Another poster in my cellular anatomy series it is the plant cell! Avalible on my etsy at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/169797966/inside-the-plant-cell-anatomy-poster

The parts all have faces! <3

via  sagansense  (originally  rachelignotofsky)
3 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:38pm 1,932 notes
explore-blog:

The folks at Zen Pencils have adapted this rare 1968 interview with Stanley Kubrick on the meaning of life in a lengthy comic. 
Also see Zen Pencils’ comic adaptations of Charles Bukowski on the ideal conditions and myths of creativity and Bill Watterson’s advice, based on his spectacular commencement address on creative integrity.
via  sagansense  (originally  explore-blog)
4 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:37pm 1,000 notes

I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…

When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.

Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.

Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.

…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.

So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.

~

Neil DeGrasse Tyson in response to a question posed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Security and Harvard University President

"What’s up with chicks and science?"

Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.

(via magnius159)

‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ Hahaha, omg… like… no…

Neil explained all this beautifully.

4 hours ago on 23 April 2014 ~ 10:33pm 13,278 notes