Carbon Inspiration

spaceplasma:

Fundamental Studies in Droplet Combustion and FLame EXtinguishment in Microgravity (FLEX-2)

The Flame Extinguishment - 2 (FLEX-2) experiment is the second experiment to fly on the ISS which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special spherical characteristics of burning fuel droplets in space. The FLEX-2 experiment studies how quickly fuel burns, the conditions required for soot to form, and how mixtures of fuels evaporate before burning. Understanding how fuels burn in microgravity could improve the efficiency of fuel mixtures used for interplanetary missions by reducing cost and weight. It could also lead to improved safety measures for manned spacecraft.

  • More information: here

Credit: Reid Wiseman/NASA

(Source: youtube.com)

neuroticthought:

skunkbear:

As Virginia Hughes noted in a recent piece for National Geographic’s Phenomena blog, the most common depiction of a synapse (that communicating junction between two neurons) is pretty simple:

Signal molecules leave one neuron from that bulby thing, float across a gap, and are picked up by receptors on the other neuron. In this way, information is transmitted from cell to cell … and thinking is possible.

But thanks to a bunch of German scientists - we now have a much more complete and accurate picture. They’ve created the first scientifically accurate 3D model of a synaptic bouton (that bulby bit) complete with every protein and cytoskeletal element.

This effort has been made possible only by a collaboration of specialists in electron microscopy, super-resolution light microscopy (STED), mass spectrometry, and quantitative biochemistry.

says the press release. The model reveals a whole world of neuroscience waiting to be explored. Exciting stuff!

You can access the full video of their 3D model here.

Credit: Benjamin G. Wilhelm, Sunit Mandad, Sven Truckenbrodt, Katharina Kröhnert, Christina Schäfer, Burkhard Rammner, Seong Joo Koo, Gala A. Claßen, Michael Krauss, Volker Haucke, Henning Urlaub, Silvio O. Rizzoli

In case you all missed it.

(via mindblowingscience)

cracked:

Hey so Chris Hadfield wrote us an article (!) involving pooping and peeing (!!!!!!!).
6 Ways Movies Get Space Wrong (by Astronaut Chris Hadfield)

#5. Going to the Bathroom in Space Is Awesome
For the solid waste, air sucks it into storage, where it’s exposed to the vacuum of space, which kills off any bacteria and neutralizes the smell. We have to brace ourselves in order to keep the digested remnants of our freeze-dried ice cream from floating off into the station, but other than a bit of an upward draft, it’s rather comfortable. The waste is packed onto returning supply ships, which burn up when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere (so if you saw a shooting star in early 2013, you might have had me to thank, although I wouldn’t recommend wishing upon it).
For urine, men use a funnel and women use a cup. These attach to a tube that sucks the urine into storage, where it’s later converted into drinking water. It’s expensive and impractical to bring water up to the station, so every drop of refinable liquid counts. And you can pee upside down, which I did, just for fun. Wouldn’t you?

Read More

cracked:

Hey so Chris Hadfield wrote us an article (!) involving pooping and peeing (!!!!!!!).

6 Ways Movies Get Space Wrong (by Astronaut Chris Hadfield)

#5. Going to the Bathroom in Space Is Awesome

For the solid waste, air sucks it into storage, where it’s exposed to the vacuum of space, which kills off any bacteria and neutralizes the smell. We have to brace ourselves in order to keep the digested remnants of our freeze-dried ice cream from floating off into the station, but other than a bit of an upward draft, it’s rather comfortable. The waste is packed onto returning supply ships, which burn up when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere (so if you saw a shooting star in early 2013, you might have had me to thank, although I wouldn’t recommend wishing upon it).

For urine, men use a funnel and women use a cup. These attach to a tube that sucks the urine into storage, where it’s later converted into drinking water. It’s expensive and impractical to bring water up to the station, so every drop of refinable liquid counts. And you can pee upside down, which I did, just for fun. Wouldn’t you?

Read More

(via we-are-star-stuff)

suricattus:

kyuubijrr:

pitchblackglow:

foxgrl:

gokusgirl:

funkycops:

imperfectwriting:

I went to the mall, and a little girl called me a terrorist. 

My name is Ela.  I am seventeen years old.  I am not Muslim, but my friend told me about her friend being discriminated against for wearing a hijab.  So I decided to see the discrimination firsthand to get a better understanding of what Muslim women go through. 

My friend and I pinned scarves around our heads, and then we went to the mall.  Normally, vendors try to get us to buy things and ask us to sample a snack.  Clerks usually ask us if we need help, tell us about sales, and smile at us.  Not today.  People, including vendors, clerks, and other shoppers, wouldn’t look at us.  They didn’t talk to us.  They acted like we didn’t exist.  They didn’t want to be caught staring at us, so they didn’t look at all. 

And then, in one store, a girl (who looked about four years old) asked her mom if my friend and I were terrorists.  She wasn’t trying to be mean or anything.  I don’t even think she could have grasped the idea of prejudice.  However, her mother’s response is one I can never forgive or forget.  The mother hushed her child, glared at me, and then took her daughter by the hand and led her out of the store. 

All that because I put a scarf on my head.  Just like that, a mother taught her little girl that being Muslim was evil.  It didn’t matter that I was a nice person.  All that mattered was that I looked different.  That little girl may grow up and teach her children the same thing. 

This experiment gave me a huge wakeup call.  It lasted for only a few hours, so I can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day.  It reminded me of something that many people know but rarely remember: the women in hijabs are people, just like all those women out there who aren’t Muslim. 

People of Tumblr, please help me spread this message.  Treat Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Taoists, etc., exactly the way you want to be treated, regardless of what they’re wearing or not wearing, no exceptions.  Reblog this.  Tell your friends.  I don’t know that the world will ever totally wipe out prejudice, but we can try, one blog at a time.  

coming up next on white people solve racism

muslim women dont need your white saviour attitude, you might now finally realise what it’s like to be excluded from society because of a piece of garment but you’re never going to experience it in the way we do.

she literally worded this so well and so honestly and tried so hard not to be rude, she just tried to understand what you go through. she’s not trying to be a saviour, she’s trying to raise awareness. she never said she’d solve anything or experience it like you do. stop doing exactly what other people do to you and shut down someones ideas just because of their color or religion or anything. this is a valid and completely pure hearted thing. 

^

It’s funny how people act like white people are the biggest douchebags, and then act like total asshats themselves, huh?

She did this to get a GLIMPSE into the shit Muslim women are put through. She never claimed total understanding; in fact she said that she “can’t even begin to imagine how much prejudice Muslim girls go through every day.” She ADMITTED that she doesn’t know everything these women go through, and yet she’s STILL attacked? I cannot fathom why it’s deemed “okay” to be prejudiced against white people, even when we try to understand what it is people of other ethnicities/skin tones/nationalities/religions/etc go through. If you want, we can stop trying to understand and let everyone wallow in their self-pity.

Sometimes you don’t walk a mile in someone else’s shoes in order to judge them.  Sometimes you do it to understand where they’re standing.

If you attack someone for making the attempt to understand, congratulations.  You’re part of the problem.

(Source: olentaalla)

sci-universe:

This is quite what staring into a black hole would feel like as the material above is so dark the human eye struggles to discern what it is that it is seeing. However, that bizarre experience is just a bonus about the recently created ‘new black’ of the science world – the material called Vantablack, or super black, is a major breakthrough in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation.
Vantablack was created by the UK company Surrey NanoSystems using carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between.The material is revolutionary in its ability to be applied to light-weight, temperature-sensitive structures such as aluminium whilst absorbing 99.96% of incident radiation, believed to be the highest-ever recorded.
"For example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars, and allows the use of smaller, lighter sources in space-borne black body calibration systems. Its ultra-low reflectance improves the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and air-borne instrumentation”, said Ben Jensen, Chief Technology Officer of Surrey NanoSystems. (company’s news article here»)

sci-universe:

This is quite what staring into a black hole would feel like as the material above is so dark the human eye struggles to discern what it is that it is seeing. However, that bizarre experience is just a bonus about the recently created ‘new black’ of the science world – the material called Vantablack, or super black, is a major breakthrough in the application of nanotechnology to optical instrumentation.

Vantablack was created by the UK company Surrey NanoSystems using carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between.
The material is revolutionary in its ability to be applied to light-weight, temperature-sensitive structures such as aluminium whilst absorbing 99.96% of incident radiation, believed to be the highest-ever recorded.

"For example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars, and allows the use of smaller, lighter sources in space-borne black body calibration systems. Its ultra-low reflectance improves the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and air-borne instrumentation”, said Ben Jensen, Chief Technology Officer of Surrey NanoSystems. (company’s news article here»)

A DIALOGUE WITH SARAH, AGED 3: IN WHICH IT IS SHOWN THAT IF YOUR DAD IS A CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR, ASKING “WHY” CAN BE DANGEROUS
SARAH: Daddy, were you in the shower?
DAD: Yes, I was in the shower.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: I was dirty. The shower gets me clean.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why does the shower get me clean?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: Because the water washes the dirt away when I use soap.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why do I use soap?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: Because the soap grabs the dirt and lets the water wash it off.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why does the soap grab the dirt?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: Because soap is a surfactant.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why is soap a surfactant?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: That is an EXCELLENT question. Soap is a surfactant because it forms water-soluble micelles that trap the otherwise insoluble dirt and oil particles.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why does soap form micelles?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: Soap molecules are long chains with a polar, hydrophilic head and a non-polar, hydrophobic tail. Can you say ‘hydrophilic’?
SARAH: Aidrofawwic
DAD: And can you say ‘hydrophobic’?
SARAH: Aidrofawwic
DAD: Excellent! The word ‘hydrophobic’ means that it avoids water.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why does it mean that?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: It’s Greek! ‘Hydro’ means water and ‘phobic’ means ‘fear of’. ‘Phobos’ is fear. So ‘hydrophobic’ means ‘afraid of water’.
SARAH: Like a monster?
DAD: You mean, like being afraid of a monster?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: A scary monster, sure. If you were afraid of a monster, a Greek person would say you were gorgophobic.
(pause)
SARAH: (rolls her eyes) I thought we were talking about soap.
DAD: We are talking about soap.
(longish pause)
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why do the molecules have a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: Because the C-O bonds in the head are highly polar, and the C-H bonds in the tail are effectively non-polar.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Because while carbon and hydrogen have almost the same electronegativity, oxygen is far more electronegative, thereby polarizing the C-O bonds.
SARAH: Why?
DAD: Why is oxygen more electronegative than carbon and hydrogen?
SARAH: Yes.
DAD: That’s complicated. There are different answers to that question, depending on whether you’re talking about the Pauling or Mulliken electronegativity scales. The Pauling scale is based on homo- versus heteronuclear bond strength differences, while the Mulliken scale is based on the atomic properties of electron affinity and ionization energy. But it really all comes down to effective nuclear charge. The valence electrons in an oxygen atom have a lower energy than those of a carbon atom, and electrons shared between them are held more tightly to the oxygen, because electrons in an oxygen atom experience a greater nuclear charge and therefore a stronger attraction to the atomic nucleus! Cool, huh?
(pause)
SARAH: I don’t get it.
DAD: That’s OK. Neither do most of my students.
(The Dad is Stephen McNeil, "an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in Kelowna, British Columbia.")