Earth-sized planet found in star’s habitable zone_

For the first time, an Earth-sized planet has been found in the habitable zone of a star — the right distance away to host liquid water and possibly life.

Kepler-186f has a radius just 10 per cent larger than that of the Earth, researchers reported in a paper published online in the journal Science on Thursday. That means that it is likely to have a solid, rocky surface, like Earth.

Planets can’t become that much bigger than Earth before they start to resemble gas giants like Neptune or Jupiter rather than Earth.

The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that Earth-size planets exist in the habitable zone of other stars and signals a significant step closer to finding a world similar to Earth, as depicted in this image, researchers say.

Previously, Earth-sized planets and planets in the habitable zones of stars have been found, but none has met both criteria at the same time.

The new planet, discovered by the Kepler space telescope, is about 500 light years (about 4,700 trillion kilometres) away from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. It is the outermost of five planets orbiting a small, cool red dwarf star, and it completes its orbit every 130 days, reported researchers led by planetary scientist Elisa Quintana at the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center.

Because red dwarfs are quite different from our sun, which is a bigger, hotter kind of star called a yellow dwarf, Quintana considers the new planet to be a “cousin” of Earth, rather than a “twin,” she told The Associated Press.

The star has half the mass of the sun, and the planet receives just a third of the heat that Earth receives from the sun. That puts it on the outer edge of the “habitable zone” warm enough for liquid water to exist.

“However, it is also slightly larger than the Earth, and so the hope would be that this would result in a thicker atmosphere that would provide extra insulation,” Stephen Kane, a San Francisco State University astronomer who co-authored the paper, said in a statement.

Kane added that smaller stars live much longer than bigger stars, providing more time for biological evolution to take place on planets orbiting them.

The researchers cautioned, however, that just because a planet is in the habitable zone of a star doesn’t mean it’s habitable.

More than 1,700 confirmed planets have been discovered outside our solar system so far, including 961 by the Kepler telescope. The telescope, launched in 2009, found planets by watching for small changes in the brightness of stars caused by planets passing in front of them. The telescope was retired from planet hunting last year, after the system that allows it to point steadily at a given star broke down. However, many new planets are still being found in the data it collected before that.

The planets of the inner solar system are compared to the five-planet system of Kepler-186, an M1 dwarf measuring half the size and mass of the sun.

(Link)

Posted in Culture, Current Events, Nature, Science, Space | Leave a comment

Häagen-Dazs Concerto Timer App_

The Häagen-Dazs® brand announced today the introduction of the Häagen-Dazs Concerto Timer app, the first iOS mobile app to integrate detailed 3D Kinect technology and video data that delivers a cutting edge augmented reality experience especially for ice cream enthusiasts.

The Concerto Timer app features two-minute-long music concertos that help consumers understand the exact amount of time needed to prepare their Häagen-Dazs ice cream in order to get the full, rich consistency and allow all the flavors to fully bloom. Allowing the ice cream to soften slightly – also called tempering – for two minutes enhances the texture and exposes fans to the craftsmanship of premium ingredients that is characteristic of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, gelato, sorbet and frozen yogurt.

Waiting is not an easy task for ice cream lovers, but the process is transformed when users point their iPhone with the Concerto Timer app at one to two Häagen-Dazs cartons. The augmented reality feature showcases a perfectly timed, two-minute concert of Bach Inventions No. 14 performed by a violinist and cellist – all while users wait for the ice cream to temper. By the end of the concerto, the ice cream will have softened to a perfect consistency.

Posted in Food, Technology, Video | Leave a comment

Current Status:


Slipping off the Universe’s axis, one thought at time_

(13thFloor)

Posted in Animation, Art, gifT, Nature | Leave a comment

‘Party Monster’ Michael Alig to Be Released From Jail_

Club Kids co-founder Michael Alig soon will be a free man again after serving 17 years for the murder and dismemberment of drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez on March 17,1996.

Still known as the “Party Monster” despite not actually having been to a party in almost two decades, Alig, 47, has been eligible for parole since 2007 but been denied up until now. He is expected to be released May 5.

Alig, who was moved around between numerous New York City penitentiaries, was most recently at Elmira Correctional Facility, 240 miles from Manhattan where he made his name as “the king of drug-addled club kids” in the ’90s.

Macaulay Culkin played Alig in the 2003 film Party Monster, which marked the former child star’s first adult role since Richie Rich and Home Alone. The club-themed biopic told the story of Alig’s spiral into drug addiction, which ended in Melendez’s murder following an argument over a drug debt.

In 1997 — after Melendez’s dismembered torso was pulled out of the water near Staten Island — Alig and his accomplice Robert Riggs pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.

(Link)

Posted in Culture, Current Events, Information, Social | Leave a comment

Scientists Are 3D Printing Whole Cancer Tumors From Scratch_

It’s becoming more and more common to use 3D printers to print “sheets” of cells in the lab, including cancerous ones. These 2D panels can be used to test new therapies, but they aren’t perfect: A tumor is a whole other animal, with its own architecture and peculiarities, which can make it tough to predict how the real thing will react to treatment.

So, why not print the tumors themselves? That’s exactly what the Drexel team describes in a paper in Biofabrication. Using a syringe mounted to a specialized 3D cell printer, they printed a mixture of HeLa cells and hydrogel to recreate a cervical cancer tumor. (If you recognize that word, it’s because HeLa cells are named for their progenitor, Henrietta Lacks, whose cancerous cells were taken in the 1950s to create some of the first “immortal” line of research cells).

The result was a synthetic cervical tumor designed to help them understand a real cervical tumor:

The results also reveal that the printed 3D models have more simulated tumor characteristics compared with the 2D planar cell culture models. Those 3D biological characteristics from the printed tumor models in vitro as well as the novel 3D cell printing technology may help the study of 3D tumor biology.

In the future, 3D printing might be a crucial tool in diagnosing and recommending therapy for cancer patients. We’re still far off from that reality—but as this paper proves, we’re getting closer very quickly.

(Link)

Posted in 3D Printing, Health, Information, Science | Leave a comment

Florida Man Named Edward Cocaine Is Arrested for Drug Possession_

He’s just a man. A man with a dream. A dream of not getting pulled over all the time because of the name he inherited. Also, a dream of allegedly doing some drugs, which, you know, irony!

Seriously, just watch the video Here_

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel tells the story of Ed Cocaine, the man the authorities came to blame:

“What?” uttered a stunned County Judge John “Jay” Hurley.

“My last name is Cocaine,” proudly stated the man at the podium. His name was indeed legal and inscribed on his driver’s license.

“You know, I’d thought I’d seen it all,” Hurley laughed, shaking his head. “How many times have the police told you to step out of the car during your life?”

“Just about every time I get pulled over,” a chuckling Cocaine admitted.

The 34-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, arrested Tuesday in Pembroke Pines, explained how he got his name. “My great-grandparents came over here from Greece and they changed it,” he said. “That was like in the 1920s.”

Cocaine, by the way, was arrested for possession of… Xanax. Didn’t see that coming, did you.

But let’s not laugh at him. His story is the story of America! Of high hopes and new beginnings.

(Link)

Posted in Comedy, Culture | Leave a comment

Guy Attempting to Take a Selfie in Front of a Speeding Train Gets Kicked in Head by Conductor:

A guy attempting to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train has learned an important lesson. That lesson is: maybe don’t attempt to take a selfie in front of an oncoming train.
He’s got his serious selfie face all ready when all of a sudden the train’s conductor lets out a yell and then sticks out his leg, kicking the guy square in the head.

This would-be selfie-taker, Jared Michael, posted a video of these action-packed 10 seconds on YouTube, explaining, “I tried to take a selfie while a train passed a ‘safe’ distance behind. I guess I was still too close and got kicked in the head. I messed up.”

“Messed up.” Yes, that about sums it up.

Posted in Comedy, gifT, Health, Information | Leave a comment

Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment_

Neutrinos are electrically neutral subatomic particles that mostly pass right through matter without interacting with it. They are one of the fundamental building blocks that make up our universe. Yet because they rarely interact with other things, they are not well understood and the subject of intense scientific interest.

An international group of researchers have been using a facility in southern China called the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment to learn about the elusive particle. There, researchers are specifically trying to understand a phenomenon displayed by neutrinos in which they oscillate between three different forms: electron, muon and tau.
Buried in the hills near a nuclear reactor that supplies a steady stream of antineutrinos (the antimatter twin of neutrinos that switch between the three identical forms), the detectors above wait to register the energy release of the occasional antineutrino hitting atomic nuclei at their core.

Six reactors are shielded from cosmic rays that could confuse results by the earth above. They are placed in pools of ultrapure water to keep out radioactive decay from the surrounding rocks.

(Link)

Posted in Culture, Education, Science | Leave a comment

Myna Bird Speaks Japanese While Trying to Answer the Phone_

Abe-chan the pet myna bird displays a remarkable ability to speak Japanese in this 2012 video uploaded by his human. The bird converses carries on a brief conversation after his owner attempts unsuccessfully to get him to answer the phone. Abe is a Common Hill Myna, a species renowned for vocal mimicry akin to that of the African Grey Parrot. For those curious about what the bird is is saying, Reddit users have taken it upon themselves to translate the conversation.

Bird:” ‘Uhm Hello, this is the Ono family.”

Bird: “What’s wrong?”

Owner: “Abe-chan, you’re a little too early. Once the phone’s picked up, then properly say hello.”

Bird: “Okay, understood.”

There are a number of other videos of Abe-chan in action over on the bird’s YouTube account.

Posted in Animals, Japanese, Language | Leave a comment

Hippocampus_

Named after its resemblance to the seahorse [genus Hippocampus],
from the Greek hippos (“horse”) and kampos (“sea monster”). Illustration: Laszlo Seress’ preparation of a human hippocampus alongside a sea horse,

(Link)

Posted in Animals, Art, Health, Information, Science, Social | Leave a comment