Shomer Shabbos

featured artist
                    via ArtistADay

            Gale Antokal
                                                                      The Messengers

Gale Antokal’s collection The Messengers, like much of her previous work, is a gracious presentation, at once poetic and ghostly, of everyday subjects. While this presentation amounts to a fairly dramatic, if also hushed, formal innovation, it is always clear that form is not an end in itself, but rather Antokal’s means of gently coaxing mysterious and affecting 
essences from “ordinary” images that matter to her. Among other things, her works remind us of, and give back, what was lost in the photographs that served as their inspirations — what is always lost when we see with a merely physical eye.


Body Invaders! Zombie Caterpillars! Killer Wasps!
via National Geographic


Anthropology in a world of Katy Perry:

California Gurls: An Anthropological Study
by David Henne

California was in unprecedented danger. Within the first several weeks of summer, the Golden Coast was crippled by the highest levels of freaking on record. Worse, the California Gurls responsible had spread throughout the region, compromising the entire state. As anthropologists, there was no choice but to act.

In our field, we are presented with a thesaurus of adjectives to describe our indigenous subjects. And yet, upon our arrival at a beachfront party, we found only two words that could classify these California Gurls: unforgettable and undeniable. (A coupling formerly believed to be impossible by the natural sciences.)

We maneuvered through the Daisy-Duke and bikini-clad masses undetected, careful not to displace a California Gurl's Jeep or stiletto. As soon as we located the pack leader, the only gurl who possessed both a Jeep and stilettos, we directed our attention exclusively to her... 
[read on...]
[...]We implore that no one visit California until this summer of freaking subsides. At current, the area is completely unstable. Furthermore, do not attempt to even observe a party alongside the gurls. For, even as you fall victim to their poison charms, you can feel yourself falling in love. Most of all, do not disrupt the nature of these California Gurls, because they have it on lock.

My God, they have it on lock.


Is Gravity Just an Illusion?
via Sagan's Brain

Check out this New York Times article on a debate over the nature of gravity. It's pretty wild stuff.

What's this all about, anyway? Why does it matter how we think about gravity? We understand it perfectly well in our everyday experience, whether we're talking about an apple falling from a tree or a spacecraft going to Saturn. Newton's way of thinking about itwas ultimately replaced by Einstein's way of thinking about it, but what difference does it make to us whether we think of gravity as a distortion of spacetime? That doesn't change the way I fall down and scrape my knee.

But scientists are in pursuit of a 
theory of everything -- one unifying theory that will combine all the known forces (electromagneticweakstrong and gravitational) into one super theory. The problem is, our understanding of the very small (quantum mechanics) and the very large (general relativity) are pretty good on their own, but they're a devil to combine. This is where all that weird stuff like string theory and 26 dimensions comes into play. Most of us just glaze over.

[read on...]


TMS Presents:
The Celebrity Photo Archive

Cher, Sonny, and Bob Dylan
Michael Kane and Nancy Sinatra

Pablo Picasso

Marilyn Monroe
Kurt Cobain
Salvador Dali
Stanley Kubrick
Star Wars crew
Paul McCartney
Jane Seymour and Freddie Mercury
Alfred Hitchcock & his kids
Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep
Michael and Kirk Douglas
Eric Clapton and his grandmother
Christopher Walken
Bob Marley
Goldie Hawn
Bonnie & Clyde
George Harrison & John Lennon
Many more of these photos can be found by clicking HERE!

That is all.




via XKCD






The Final Frontier

Giant squid (Architeuthis),
found by Japanese researchers in 2006.

Into the depths of sea and space we go to-day!

Leafy Sea Dragon, Phycodurus eques

Explore the Secret Lives of Seahorses at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
                       |--------------------> click here

Cuddlefish, Sepiida
Sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus

Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas

Jellyfish medusa, Medusozoa or Cnidaria

Southern Biscuit star, Tosia australis

Soft coral cave, Fiji

Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus

Orca whales, Orcinus orca

Lionfish, Pterois

see these and many more high-quality underwater photographs here


The Seahorse of the Large Magellanic Cloud

It may look like a grazing seahorse, but the dark object toward the image right is actually a pillar of smoky dust about 20 light years long. The curiously-shaped dust structure occurs in our neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud, in a star forming region very near the expansive Tarantula Nebula. The energetic nebula is creating a star cluster, NGC 2074, whose center is visible just off the top of the image in the direction of the neck of the seahorse. The representative color image was taken last year by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 in honor of Hubble's 100,000th trip around the Earth. As young stars in the cluster form, their light and winds will slowly erode the dust pillars away over the next million years.


JAXA Confirms Solar Sail is Working!

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has confirmed that the solar sail spacecraft IKAROS is indeed being accelerated by photons emitted from the Sun, which means the solar sail really works!


 Symphony of Science goes to the Moon!


Powers of Ten


To infinity, and beyond!


Summer Shandy

Avast, me hearties! It is too long ere I painted the internet with me thoughts and musings. I am finding meself longing to sail again upon the raging sea of cyberspace. Argh! Let all scallawags and pilfering urchins hear the cry of the Dread Captain Wild Coyote!


Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
           - Dr. Seuss

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
         - Umberto Eco

As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
         - Ernest Hemingway


Artist Spotlight:
         via ArtistADay

Joshua Bronaugh

About the Artist:

     Originally from Bavaria, Joshua has lived and traveled all over the world. He studied art in Rome and Florence and taught art in the Ukraine. His work is influenced by phenomenology, the study of what and how we perceive and interpret the world.


from the news:

Federal Judge in Boston Rules Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Unconstitutional
                     via AmericanAsylum

U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro ruled in favor of gay couples’ rights in two separate challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, a 1996 law that the Obama administration has argued for repealing. The rulings apply to Massachusetts but could have broader implications if they’re upheld on appeal.

Judge Vaughn Walker's Opinion
                                   via The New Yorker
Judge Vaughn Walker, who on Wednesday brought the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger to a close by declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional, made it clear from the start that he wanted evidence, and lots of it. If the proponents of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriages, said that they undermined traditional marriages, he wanted to know how. 
And in the end, Judge Walker wrote an opinion that drove home just how unimpressed he was with the factual case the anti-gay-marriage lawyers had mounted. Their “evidentiary presentation was dwarfed” by the one presented for the plaintiffs by the lawyers David Boies and Ted Olson, Walker wrote in his 138-page opinion (pdf); with their two dubious expert witnesses, they simply “failed to build a credible factual record to support their claim that Proposition 8 served a legitimate government interest. ”

Walker held that the ban on same-sex marriage did not pass even the most minimal scrutiny under equal protection law, because it denied a fundamental right—the right to marry the person one chose—without a “legitimate (much less compelling) reason.” Tradition alone would not suffice; marriage had changed in all sorts of ways, and there were plenty of traditions that had outworn their welcome. The notion that the state was helping to protect marriage between people of the opposite sex would not do, since, Judge Walker noted, the lawyers for Prop. 8 had “presented no reliable evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry will have any negative effects on society or on the institution of marriage.”
The will of the voters “demands our respect,” Walker wrote, but when it is challenged, it has to 
find at least some support in evidence.… Conjecture, speculation, and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that share that view.
Judge Walker’s ruling is only the beginning; Prop. 8’s defenders will appeal, and the case will likely make it the Supreme Court. But one thing this case will carry with it all the way up is an evidentiary record that is a lot stronger on one side than on the other.

Senate Panel Works to Block Obama's Human Spaceflight Proposal
                       via Sagan's Brain

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is working on a bill to block much of President Obama's proposed plan for the future of human spaceflight at NASA. The bill is expected to restore the Orion capsule to its original specifications, authorize the construction of a heavy-lift rocketstarting immediately, and will call for one additional shuttle flight, to be flown in the middle of next year. The panel hopes to garner bipartisan support for the bill (as there has been some bipartisan opposition to the President's plan).


I'll be there.

The Oatmeal's FuneralTHE PLAN.

via XKCD


Check it out! They're digging up Icthyosaurs!

check out the website (linked above) to see all four live field cams

The Natural History Museum in Oslo, led by Dr. Jørn Hurum, is uncovering the past at Konusen north of Longyearbyen. The team is excavating three skeletons of Ichthyosaurs, giant marine reptiles that lived in the Svalbard waters 140-150 million years ago. These live, ongoing dinosaur digs and the information uncovered, will form the basis of a new documentary coming soon to the National Geographic Channel.

find out more about Icthyosauria and Paleontology here!

and last, but not least, Miss Janelle Monáe.


I think that's quite enough for today.